Paying it forward – Erdogan style

Paying it forward – Erdogan style

July 20, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

With all eyes globally poised at COVID-19 and the impending economic meltdown, Black-Lives-Matter activism, and the protests in the USA and some Western countries, little attention is given to the rise of a potentially more formidable religious fundamentalism base for ISIS-style and orientation than ISIS itself; and indications are pointing to this happening right now, in today’s Turkey.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS are/were rogue organizations with relatively little resources, little prowess, and no international standing to offer them a safe haven under which to hide and protect themselves from the wrath of the world, so to speak.

But this was not the case for the Saudis over the last few decades. Saudi Arabia is an internationally recognized political entity, a member of the United Nations, a G-20 member with enormous wealth and a commodity that the world needs; oil. Saudi Arabia used its dollar power to spread the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam based on the interpretations and teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah.

The Saudis spent billions of dollars, tens and even perhaps hundreds of billions building religious schools and mosques throughout the entire globe. They sponsored, fostered and abetted preachers, including highly controversial violent radical preachers in order to promote their version of Islam. They financed and equipped most fundamentalist terror groups, all the way initially from the Afghani Mujahideen, the Somali Al-Shabab, to the Nigerian Boku Haram; just to name a few. Their program commenced in the late 1960’s, during the reign of Saudi King Faisal who initially wanted to eradicate the growing doctrine of Marxism in the Muslim World.

And when the Saudis believed they had it made, when they felt the road was paved and all obstacles removed, they launched the multi-billion dollar attack on Syria.

By then, fundamentalist Sunni Muslim youth across the globe were banking on Saudi leadership and had put all of their faith and hope in them to lead the Muslim World towards a new era in which Wahhabi Islam was expected to make a series of gains on the global arena; with a covert intention to gain world control.

As the Saudis were beginning to fail in fulfilling their promise, ISIS made its mark in the minds of Muslim youth when world media aired videos of ISIS tanks in the streets and main squares of Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city. Just before and after the fall of Mosul, the advance of ISIS looked unstoppable; reminiscent of the bygone days of Muslim conquest and glory, as perceived by many sympathetic Muslim youth.

It was not a surprise therefore, that when ISIS leader/Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi called for a Jihad in 2013, he not only rounded up the fundamentalist Sunni sector already radicalized, but he also managed to charm other previously moderate Sunnis who were amazed at his achievements.

It must be remembered here that in as far as Muslim religious battles and conquests are concerned, perhaps the last such great conquest of them all in the Western hemisphere, was the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. But this conquest of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II was the result of a huge effort, strategic planning, determination, patience, perseverance and the ability to employ the best in the world in terms of weapon development and specifically cannon manufacturing.

With the Saudi failure in Syria and its utter inability to score any victory in Yemen against all odds that favoured its highly privileged position, Saudi Arabia began to lose its stature as the leading nation of Muslim fundamentalism.

Enter Erdogan.

As I have written many times before, Erdogan is a combination of a religious fundamentalist zealot and a Turkish nationalist. He also has his own egocentric agendas, aspiring to be a mega Muslim leader and an empire builder.

In his quest for leadership, he has taken the role of an opportunist, a blackmailer and a scavenger, among other things.

As an opportunist, he rode on the anti-Syria bandwagon and walked the Qatari-Saudi talk. They flooded him with money and promises. He opened his borders with Syria to the terrorists they funded.

Later on, he used the Syrian refugees in Turkey to blackmail the EU with, opening the floodgate of refugees at will and demanding financial bribes, mainly from Germany, to close the gates after receiving his ransom price, courtesy of the lack of wisdom and short-sightedness of Angela Merkel.

As a scavenger, he is capitalizing on what the Saudis have invested in, to his own benefit.

Erdogan promised his supporters back in 2011 to pray in the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus after defeating Syrian President Assad, but he failed. He promised Turkish people to have ‘zero problems’ internally and externally. He failed. He expected to force Russia into accepting his terms prior to the 15th of March 2020 meeting, and he also failed. He was hoping to score a swift victory in Libya, and he is clearly failing.

What he fails to recognize is that he already is biting off more than he can chew, yet he is preparing to bunker down in Azerbajian.

The man is desperate for a win. There is no better score he can mark on the board than the equivalent of Sultan Mehmet II’s conquest of Constantinople; albeit take two.

The big difference here is that prior to the fall of Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and its fall was the result of a military defeat at the hands of the Ottomans. Oddly enough however, the Erdogan propaganda machine is portraying the change of status of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque as a great achievement. His supporters are chanting slogans claiming that turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque is tantamount to a conquest that was predicted in the Hadith.

Something must be amiss here. It is either that those supporters do not know that Constantinople/Istanbul had already been under Muslim/Turkish rule for more than five centuries, it is either that they don’t understand what conquest means, or that they are simply trying to festoon Erdogan with someone else’s achievements.

The real reason is more sinister. Erdogan has not been able to score any decisive military victory in all of his gambles, hence he decided to capitalize on the work of his ancestors. Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II took Constantinople after a long journey of strategic planning, but Erdogan thinks he can exhume the remains of vestiges of bygone glory and cloak himself with remnants of slogans of historic milestones and call them his own, thereby reclaiming an icon already under his control, and then audaciously call himself an all-time victor. Instead of having to go to battle to prove his worth, he chose the convenience of the stroke of a pen, and voila, he transformed himself to an instant great Muslim Fatih/conqueror. This is historic plagiarism at its worst.

In essence, in claiming such a great victory over Hagia Sophia, Erdogan has ‘photoshopped’ a triumph based on a fabricated virtual reality that is aimed to win him more support from the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim street; one that is least driven by rationality.

In all of this, Erdogan has not only benefited from the ground work of the Wahhabi Saudis he is fundamentally opposed to as being a Muslim Brotherhood man, but with his understanding of how to manipulate the vulnerable minds of Muslim youth, all the monies the Saudis have spent have inadvertently turned into a pay-it-forward scheme that he hopes will elevate him to the top of the Muslim World hierarchy.

Thus far, manipulating those vulnerable minds both domestically and within the broader Muslim World has been the only area in which Erdogan has been successful.

That said, the difference in international clout between Al-Qaeda/ISIS and the Erdogan leadership is much larger than that of such organizations and the untouchable Saudi Arabia. Turkey is not only a state, a member of the UN, a member of the G-20, but it is also a NATO member with a huge army.

But unlike the Saudis who do not have any history of strategic planning, technological prowess and entrepreneurial achievements other than paying foreigners to build them palaces, Turkey can play a more pernicious role, after all, it is a nation that has had a long history of empire building; and if and when Turkey decides to rise in a fundamentalist way, the world must take notice.

Under the protection of the above, and knowing that the West will not deal with any part of Turkey like it did with Tora Bora, Erdogan feels at liberty to incrementally convert the public school system into a fundamentalist one, but according to an Erdogan propaganda video, with its Arabic captions designed to recruit support from the Arab Sunni world, he indicates he is building the army of the future for the ‘Ummah’ by radicalizing the youth via the re-vamped schools. The Youtube has been removed, but here’s a screenshot of it.

In an article published nearly two years ago in the NYT, Erdogan’s plan of changing over the education system into a religious one is well presented. Public schools are systemically replaced by the religious Imam Hatip schools, of which Erdogan himself is a graduate. Whilst those schools teach regular subjects, around 50% of which are religious, and a student must pass those subjects before he/she can graduate. With this approach in fact, Erdogan could be leading Turkey into not only becoming a theological state, but also a nation that does not have enough technocrats and STEM graduates at a time when he is trying to build an empire and an advanced army. What is also of note is that affluent secular Turkish parents will send their children to private, non-religious schools, and the new generation of doctors, engineers and teachers will be mainly comprised of them.

In a propaganda video, a noisy and loud Erdogan supporter makes a statement saying that whoever stood up for the victory of Hagia Sophia will do the same for the mosques of Jerusalem, Cordoba (in Spain), Yemen, Mecca and Medina.

The main danger of Erdogan, globally speaking, is that he understands both of the fundamentalist Muslim as well as the liberal Western minds, but the West does not have this full understanding; no doubt to its own peril. Until he is either stopped, or falls on his own sword, he will continue to see the world as open slather for his fundamentalist and expansive adventures, because his mind is set in stone in the age of conquests and religious glory.

Links: Erdogan’s Plan to Raise a ‘Pious Generation’ Divides Parents in Turkey

أبو مالك التلي وأبو محمد الجولاني القصة الكاملة

باريس – نضال حمادة

نشر جمال زينية الملقب أبو مالك التلي القائد السابق لجبهة النصرة في القلمون الشرقي بياناً على صفحته على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي انستغرام يعلن فيه انشقاقه عن تنظيم هيئة تحرير الشام النصرة بقيادة الجولاني، مرجعاً سبب هذا القرار الى قرارات الجولاني التي لا يعلم بها والتزامه بتطبيق اتفاقات آستانة.

في المقابل ردّت معرفات تابعة لتنظيم هيئة تحرير الشام النصرة على التلي بالقول إن سبب خلافه مع الجولاني هو دفع التلي مبلغ مليوني دولار من أصل 11 مليون دولار قبضها التلي من قطر لإطلاق سراح راهبات معلولا.

بين كلام الجولاني وكلام التلي قصة عداء قديمة تعود الى عام 2013 عندما بدأ الجولاني يبحث عن البيعة له ولتنظيمه في سورية، حيث زار القلمون الشرقي والغوطة الشرقية والتقى في منطقة مزارع ريما بأبي مالك التلي وكان الأخير أميراً على حوالي 250 مقاتلاً، وفي اللقاء طلب الجولاني من التلي أن يبايعه فقال له التلي كم تقود من المقاتلين؟ فقال الجولاني 11 مقاتلاً! فأجابه التلي تطلب بيعة الأكبر والأقوى؛ والأجدر بك أنت أن تبايعني.

خرج الجولاني الى إدلب التي بنى فيها تنظيم جبهة النصرة بتمويل قطري ودعم لوجستي تركي وبشري من حكومة النهضة في تونس، حيث صعد اسم النصرة على حساب الفصائل الأخرى بعدما ذاب في داخلها فصيل لواء التوحيد الذي كان يقوده الإخواني عبد القادر الصالح. وهذا التنظيم كان يضم حينها آلاف المسلحين.

في تلك الفترة وصل مسلحو تنظيم الدولة داعش الى بادية حمص عبر الحدود العراقية السورية وبدأوا بالتوغل في منطقة القلمون السورية على مقربة من مناطق نفوذ التلي ومسلحيه، وأرسل البغدادي يومها مبعوثاً من قبله أصله من مدينة يبرود إلى التلي طالباً منه البيعة، فرفض التلي هذا الطلب بحجة أن في رقبته بيعة للجولاني. وعلى البغدادي أن يحصل أولاً على بيعة الجولاني حتى يتسنى للتلي مبايعته. كان كلام التلي عن بيعته للجولاني مناورة أراد منها الإفلات من بيعة البغدادي. وهو إنما استنسخ تجربة الجولاني مع البغدادي عندما طلب الأخير البيعة من الجولاني قال له إن في رقبته بيعة لأيمن الظواهري. وبالتالي على البغدادي الحصول على بيعة الظواهري له حتى يحصل على بيعة الجولاني. في الحالتين ناور كل من التلي والجولاني عبر بيعة الخصم البعيد جغرافياً لتجنّب سيطرة الخصم القريب حغرافياً.

كانت علاقة التلي مع الجولاني إعلاميّة في أكثر مراحلها وكانت تتم عبر قناة مصطفى الحجيري أبو طاقية الذي كان بدوره يبايع الجولاني بناء على طلب من تيار المستقبل وأحد الأجهزة الأمنية فضلاً عن تلقيه أموالاً قطرية ثمناً لهذه البيعة. وكان التلي يتلقى التمويل القطري عبر قناة أبو طاقية بشكل شهري، الى حين اختطاف الجنود اللبنانيين حيث فتح التلي بشكل مباشر مع القطريين وهو في صفقة التبادل هذه حرص على إطلاق سراح زوجة البغدادي عدو الجولاني الأول في سورية في وقت كان فيه مسلحو البغدادي يهاجمون المناطق التي تسيطر عليها النصرة ويخوضون ضدها حرباً ضروساً.

بعد انسحاب النصرة من القلمون الشرقي باتجاه ادلب حرص التلي على تأسيس قوة سمّاها جيش المنطقة الوسطى، وفتح خطوط تواصل مع جند الأقصى، كما أنه أعلن بيعة حراس الدين قبل أشهر عدة قبل أن يتراجع عن إعلانه هذا بطلب ورجاء من الجولاني، لكنه في واقع الأمر أصبح جزءاً من تنظيم حراس الدين وهو في إعلانه الأخير الانشقاق عن الجولاني إنما يعلن حقيقة عمرها سنوات حالت الظروف السابقة دون الإعلان عنها، لكنها حالياً قد أينعت وحان وقت الإشهار بها..

“The Good Terrorists”: How U.S. Airstrikes Helped Prop Al-Qaeda in Syria’s Idlib?

Global Research, December 14, 2019
Marines

Al-Qaeda in Syria has two noteworthy apologists. One is the jihadist propagandist Bilal Abdul Kareem, a former correspondent for CNN, often seen in videos sporting a long beard and reporting from the ground in the al-Nusra Front strongholds in northwestern Syria, and the other is Syria analyst and the fellow of the Middle East Institute Charles Lister.

Recently, Lister has written a research paper for the Hudson Institute, titled “The Syria Effect: Al-Qaeda Fractures,” [1] in which he has tried to prove that militants of al-Qaeda in Syria are not “bad guys” per se, rather they are “good terrorists” whose ambitions are restricted to fighting the Syrian government, and they don’t intend to mount terror attacks in the Western countries.

In conclusion of the lengthy screed, he has craftily proposed “Gaza-fication” of Syria’s northwestern Idlib, where like the Hamas in Gaza, the so-called “Salvation Government” of the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, can be recognized as a legitimate government administering the northwestern enclave under the tutelage of Ankara.

Unwittingly, however, Charles Lister has spilled the beans in the article about a July 30 American airstrike in rural Aleppo that killed several high-profile jihadist dissidents, who had challenged the unity of the Washington-backed insurgency against the Syrian government offensive in northern Hamah and Idlib in late April.

Before getting into details, it’s worth noting that Hurras al-Din is a small radical outfit in Syria’s northwestern Idlib that split in 2018 from al-Qaeda in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front until 2016, and now as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

An excerpt from Charles Lister’s research paper reads:

“When the Syrian regime and Russia launched their all-out military offensive on northwestern Syria in late-April 2019, a debate ensued within Hurras al-Din – a breakaway faction of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front – should they assist Tahrir al-Sham and other opposition groups by reinforcing their frontlines in northern Hama?

“Given al-Qaeda Central chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s public directives indicating the importance of Islamist unity and sustaining the armed struggle against the regime, the leader of Hurras al-Din Abu Hammam al-Suri and his deputy Sami al-Oraydi emerged as tacitly supportive of helping other jihadist groups, including Tahrir al-Sham, wherever necessary.

“The debate over Hurras al-Din’s role on Tahrir al-Sham’s opposition frontlines spilled out into the open in late June of 2019, when Hurras al-Din leader Abu Hammam al-Suri expelled two prominent Hurras al-Din clerics, Abu Dhar al-Masri and Abu Yahya al-Jazairi, for having issued non-sanctioned rulings forbidding fighting in northern Hama. Some alleged Abu Yahya had gone as far as pronouncing takfir on Tahrir al-Sham, thereby excommunicating them from Islam and labeling them apostates and legitimate targets for attack.

“Abu Hammam’s dismissal of Abu Dhar and Abu Yahya sparked an uproar within Hurras al-Din. The group’s internal judicial court, led by Abu Amr al-Tunisi, issued a petition signed by more than 300 members on June 23 demanding an arbitration involving Abu Hammam and his deputy, Sami al-Oraydi.

“However, neither Abu Hammam nor Oraydi turned up at the planned arbitration on June 25, leading the court’s chief, Abu Amr, to issue a furious five-minute audio statement accusing HaD’s leaders of nepotism. Abu Amr was swiftly expelled from Hurras al-Din, and this led another senior leader, Abu Yaman al-Wazzani, to declare in exasperation ‘the jihadist project over.’ Later that day, a statement confirmed that Wazzani and another fellow critic, Abu Musab al-Libi, had also been expelled from Hurras al-Din.

“Tensions persisted through the summer of 2019, albeit less intensely. But in a mysterious twist on June 30, 2019—just days after the above-mentioned crisis—Abu Amr al-Tunisi, Abu Yahya al-Jazairi and Abu Dhar al-Masri were all killed, along with three other allied hardliners (Abu al-Fid’a al-Tunisi, Abu Dujana al-Tunisi and Abu Ibrahim al-Shami) in an American airstrike that targeted a meeting of Hurras al-Din detractors in rural Aleppo.

“That was the first American strike in northwestern Syria in more than two years and it was followed up two months later by another on August 31, 2019, targeting Hurras al-Din ally Ansar al-Tawhid. Al-Qaeda veteran Abu Khallad al-Mohandis was also killed in an improvised explosive device attack that targeted his personal vehicle in Idlib city on August 22, 2019.”

It becomes abundantly clear after reading the excerpts from Charles Lister’s article that not only has Washington provided weapons and training to militant factions battling Damascus but it has also conducted airstrikes eliminating jihadist dissidents who dared to threaten the unity of large militant outfits in northwestern Idlib, such as Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

During the eight-year proxy war in Syria, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of al-Nusra Front, has emerged as the second most influential militant leader after the Islamic State’s slain chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In fact, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Although the current al-Nusra Front has been led by Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, he was appointed[2] as the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the late leader of Islamic State, in January 2012. Thus, al-Jolani’s Nusra Front is only a splinter group of the Islamic State, which split from its parent organization in April 2013 over a leadership dispute between the two organizations.

In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was based in Iraq, began sending Syrian and Iraqi jihadists experienced in guerrilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organization inside the country. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra.

In April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Baghdadi declared that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” The leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, issued a statement denying the merger and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.

Al-Qaeda Central’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, tried to mediate the dispute between al-Baghdadi and al-Jolani but eventually, in October 2013, he endorsed al-Nusra Front as the official franchise of al-Qaeda Central in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, however, defied the nominal authority of al-Qaeda Central and declared himself the caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Keeping this background in mind, it becomes abundantly clear that a single militant organization operated in Syria and Iraq under the leadership of al-Baghdadi until April 2013, which chose the banner of al-Nusra Front, and that the current emir of the subsequent breakaway faction of al-Nusra Front, al-Jolani, was actually al-Baghdadi’s deputy in Syria.

Thus, the Islamic State operated in Syria since August 2011 under the designation of al-Nusra Front and it subsequently changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in April 2013after which it overran Raqqa and parts of Deir al-Zor in the summer of 2013. And in January 2014, it overran Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in Iraq and reached the zenith of its power when it captured Mosul in June 2014.

Excluding al-Baghdadi and a handful of his hardline Islamist aides, the rest of Islamic State’s top leadership is comprised of Saddam-era military and intelligence officials. According to a Washington Post report [3], hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top- and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who plan all the operations and direct its military strategy.

It is an indisputable fact that morale and ideology play an important role in battlefield, and well-informed readers must also be aware that the Takfiri brand of most jihadists these days has directly been inspired by the puritanical Wahhabi-Salafi ideology of Saudi Arabia, but ideology alone is not sufficient to succeed in battle.

Looking at the Islamic State’s astounding gains in Syria and Iraq in 2013-14, a question naturally arises that where did its recruits get all the training and state-of-the-art weapons that were imperative not only for hit-and-run guerrilla warfare but also for capturing and holding large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

According to a revelatory December 2013 news report [4] from a newspaper affiliated with the UAE government which supports the Syrian opposition, it is clearly mentioned that along with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other military gear, the Saudi regime also provided machine gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks to every batch of five jihadists who had completed their training in the training camps located in Jordan’s border regions along southern Syria.

Once those militants crossed over to Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria from the Jordan-Syria border, then those Toyota pickup trucks could easily have traveled all the way to Raqqa and Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria, and thence to Mosul and Anbar in Iraq – the former strongholds of the Islamic State.

It is clearly spelled out in the report that Syrian militants got arms and training through a secret command center known as the Military Operations Center (MOC) based in the intelligence headquarters’ building in Amman, Jordan, that was staffed by high-ranking military officials from 14 countries, including the US, European nations, Israel and the Gulf states to wage a covert war against the Syrian government.

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Notes

[1] The Syria Effect: Al-Qaeda Fractures

[2] Al-Jolani was appointed as the emir of al-Nusra Front by al-Baghdadi

[3] Islamic State’s top command dominated by ex-officers in Saddam’s army

[4] Syrian rebels get arms and advice through secret command center in Amman

Iraqi Intel. Chief to CNN: Warns of Daesh Resurgence

Iraqi Intel. Chief to CNN: Warns of Daesh Resurgence

By Staff, CNN

Senior members of Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] are plotting mass prison breaks and a resurgence of terror after taking refuge in Turkey, according to the head of Iraqi Military Intelligence.

Lt. Gen. Saad al-Allaq told CNN that Iraq had handed dossiers on nine alleged terror leaders to Turkey. The subjects included top financiers with access to “huge” amounts of money to fund operations around the world, he said.

And recent communications from Daesh point to plans to try to break prisoners out of camps and jails across Syria and Iraq, al-Allaq said.

“Huge international efforts should be taken to deal with this issue because these criminals … are able to leave these camps and go back to their countries and thus they pose great danger in countries like Europe, Asia and northwest Africa,” al-Allaq said.

There are an estimated 10,000 alleged Daesh militants including many foreign nationals in custody under the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] in northern Syria. A nearby camp holds 70,000 women and children. Each has been described by the US as a “ticking time bomb,” even after the killing of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and some of his deputies.

The intelligence al-Allaq has on Daesh figures emerged during a wide-ranging discussion about Iraq’s role in finding al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a raid by American troops in October.

The general said senior Daesh figures known as “emirs” have access to enormous amounts of cash and were forming new cells in Turkey.

They escaped from Daesh’s last stand in Baghouz in eastern Syria earlier this year and bribed their way through SDF lines to relative safety in Gazientep in southern Turkey, he said.

“Some of its important leadership fled north, I mean in the direction of neighboring countries and into border areas like Gazientep,” he said.

“They have secretly crossed into these areas from the Syrian-Turkish border – top leaders who have money. They crossed with the help of smugglers by paying large amount of money and have secretly entered Turkish territory.”

He added: “Those elements who are right now in Turkey play a key role in the recruitment of fighters and terrorists.”

He said a new Daesh mission the terror group codenamed “Break Down the Fences” intended to storm jails where their followers were being held and try to rebuild its structures from there.

Most European nations are refusing to repatriate either imprisoned fighters or their families. But that leaves them in camps where brainwashing into Daesh codes can continue.

Al-Allaq said that if Daesh was successful in regaining control over these vast reserves of supporters the results would be “a catastrophe”.

The Death of White Helmets Founder is a Loss for the Syrian People!

White Helmets founder and his wife

 

James Le Mesurier is dead, his body was found near his home in Istanbul, he was the founder of the White Helmets, the group that is involved in ‘humanitarian’ efforts in Syria. That’s the main story.

But why would I say in the title his death is a loss to the Syrian people? His ‘White Helmets‘ group is accused by every Syrian official of atrocities and being the PR arm of al-Qaeda. I’ll throw a few names and hope you’ll find the pattern:

  • Osama Bin Laden, we were told he was the greatest threat to humanity leading al-Qaeda terrorist organization and that his death is the best thing achieved by Obama during his presidency. Did his group end or mushroom in numbers and affiliations after his weird death and dumping his body at sea as per Obama’s special Sharia law?
  • Abu Bakr Baghdadi, we were told he was the greatest threat to humanity leading ISIS, the worse yet terrorist organization during our times, and his killing is the best thing achieved by Trump thus far. Would his group end or mushroom after his death?
  • Jeffrey Epstein, a US billionaire who was heading a child-raping network serving some of the top figures in the world. He died mysteriously in his heavily guarded 24 hours monitored prison cell in the USA. Does his death serve justice for his victims? Maybe as an instant relief that such a criminal was killed, but what about the others involved with him.
Jeffrey Epstein hanged in his prison cell

Did you start seeing the pattern? Can you figure out a certain name connected directly to all these three figures: Bin Laden, Baghdadi, Epstein? What about a certain group of evildoers? And now add the sudden death of Le Mesurier.

Throughout history, when crimes start winding down the major culprits clean their tracks. The small players are ‘deleted’, the major players and main criminals breathe a window of relief, the victims are served a tiny shred of justice but the real criminals are loose.

Both main players and middle players and even small players think the killing of this latest black box will spare them the punishment they deserve for the massive humanitarian suffering they caused upon the Syrian people, maybe in this life although they shouldn’t keep their bets high, their other partners are still loose, but certainly in the life hereafter they will be lined up one by one before their victims, one by one, and then they will be dumped in the deepest dungeons of hell, but as a group.

Remaining criminals should really be worried now seeing how Baghdadi and White Helmets founder are eliminated. My personal advice to them: come clean, if you know something that implicates your enablers record it and present the evidence you know, surrender yourselves to the Syrian authorities, they’re the only party with sincere interest to uncover the real criminals, anybody else might be implicated, if not at the highest level, at any level in between them and you.

Le Mesurier for his ‘humanitarian’ received an ‘OBE’ by no other than the head of the regime of Elizabeth the Second, the regime behind every misery in human history at least a century before I was born. Not starting with the Indian colonization and famine, going through WWI, Sykes-Picot and the ensuing colonization of large parts of the Arab world and planting the most cancerous disease between the Levant and African parts of the Arab World.

 

Chief of Al-Qaeda Levant aka Nusra Front praising the White Helmets in Idlib!

His organization received hundreds of millions of US-taxpayers’ hard-earned money. He had good relations with the regime of Barack Hussein Obama, another major contributor to the ‘humanitarian‘ efforts. Obama, for the records, inherited the US ‘humanitarian’ efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo, Somalia… to name a few, the sufferings there intensified during his two terms presidency and added the ‘humanitarian’ efforts in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to name a few.

vanessa beeley@VanessaBeeley

James Le Mesurier wife “barred from leaving Turkey”. Co-founder of Incostrat, alleged UK FCO PR agency for , extremist gang occupying . Previous UKFCO connections. Skoll Foundation. Mayday Rescue funding stream. Interesting background.

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The Syrian people would have got some justice had this ex-British Army officer been arrested and tried publicly where he would expose all his hidden (known to Syrians) secrets and many of the players involved in the real crimes against humanity in Syria would have been exposed, and at least shamed not celebrated as Nobel Peace Award laureates or promoted as feminist defenders. One of the worst players, however, remain in our region and is being supported by two of Syria’s main allies while he swings on all ropes.

There’s a process of cleaning tracks been initiated and more small players heads will roll and the middle and big players trial might be postponed, but Divine justice will never forgive their mischief deeds on Earth, their punishment is prepared for them sooner or later, during their lifetimes or after:

“He reprieves but does not neglect.”

Al-Baghdadi Killing: Knocking off the Odd Man Out

By David Macilwain

Source

WH sit room Baghdadi strike f83a6

Following the alleged US raid and destruction of a house in NW Syria on 28th October where the notional leader of Da’esh was allegedly living, I spent some time analyzing photographs and satellite images of the site. While the main focus of commentary and skepticism was over whether Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had really died, in the way so graphically and poetically described by Donald Trump, inconsistencies and peculiarities surrounding the existence and destruction of the house went largely unnoticed.

And there were many! The first report from Al Jazeera, who had a local correspondent walking over the bombed site the following morning, conveniently identified its location near the village of Barisha in a “zoom-in” from Google’s satellite map, and the map displayed in their report was the same as the one that came up when I found it in a search on the 30th October. Inexplicably at the time, the house appeared to have already been destroyed!

Perhaps this also confused Al Jazeera, as they had identified one of the neighboring houses as the “suspected compound” hit in the strike, despite this house being clearly visible in the video report from Alaa Eddine Youssef which followed. This was before the Pentagon released drone footage of the operation and video of the subsequent airstrike, and before local scavengers and militants had removed material and altered the site’s appearance.

There were two possibilities to explain the aberrant Google satellite image, which showed a partly built or partly destroyed building as well as what appeared to be a large crater. The image accredited to Maxar Technologies 2019 could have predated the construction of the house, or post-dated its destruction, with the latter option obviously giving the lie to the US claims they had just launched the operation and that Al Baghdadi had only recently arrived there.

Given the appearance of the bombed site and the unconvincing and changing story from the White House, I chose to investigate this “conspiracy” option, postulating that the house shown in other satellite images in the media and in the Pentagon videos had been targeted months earlier, and the site then covered with loads of broken concrete and stone. Examining details in other areas of Syria demonstrated that the current Google satellite photo was taken later than mid-2017, and I assumed that the house must have been older than that.

Wrong assumption! On the verge of submitting this contentious claim, I noticed that one of the satellite images used in the media showing Abu Mohammed Al Halabi’s house also showed foundations of a new house nearby that didn’t appear in the currently available image on Google maps. Reports from different media sources had variously claimed that Al Halabi – a commander with the Hurras al-Din terrorist group – had bought the house two years ago, or sold it, or that the house had been built only two years ago.

Only at that point did I discover that “historic” satellite images can be viewed on Google Earth – but only on the downloaded desktop version and not on Google Chrome. Below is a composite of images from 2016, when none of the current buildings was present, up to the latest available there dating from September last year, when Al Halabi’s house was newly completed. The current satellite image on Google dates to January 2018, when excavations and preparations were being made. At the bottom right is an image from the Independent’s article of 28th October, supplied by Maxar but curiously printed upside down, in common with images displayed in other mainstream media reports. The foundations of a new house not visible in the image from September 2018, of which the walls now appear completed in current photographs, suggest the Independent’s image is from mid-2019.

Barisha house site changes 2016 19 1df5f

*(Satellite images 2016 to 2019, W Barisha. Open the image in new tab to enlarge.)

In the Al Jazeera report, Youssef states that the house was owned by Abu Mohammed al Halabi (“the Aleppan”), but that “he was not the target”. This implies that he might well have been the target – and for good reason; Al Halabi had a long dubious record of association with Hurras Al-Din, an extreme Salafist group closely allied to Da’esh, and one which the US claims to have been targeting. In recent months the US has launched a number of such strikes in Western Syria targeting members of Hurras Al-Din, including a recent one in a town not far from Barisha.

Abu Mohammed al Halabi, the nom de guerre of Mohammed Salama, who was notorious in Aleppo as a “trader and smuggler”, was also well known as a fighter and commander from back in 2014, when Liz Sly of the Washington Post wrote about his activities around the Turkish border crossing of Azaz, and his allegiance to Al Qaeda. At that time rival armed groups fought for control of this important point, which was a main supply route for “rebel-occupied” Aleppo. Bel Trew writing in the Independent also provides much detail on the circumstances and nature of Mohammed al Halabi’s relationship with Baghdadi, which sounds feasible but cannot be easily verified.

More to the point is the degree of cooperation between Turkish intelligence and these extremist groups, indicated by the evident freedom with which fighters could pass over the border crossing at Azaz, but also the crossing at Bab al Hawa – which coincidentally lies very close to where Al Halabi built his house last year. On one particularly notable occasion in late 2016, Turkey facilitated the transport of bus-loads of Al Qaeda fighters out of Syria at Bab al Hawa and back in through the Azaz crossing, where they went to provide support to the besieged insurgents in East Aleppo.

Halabi house pre strike Pentagon 47bb7

*(Halabi house pre-strike by Pentagon.)

Turkey’s support for various militant groups in NW Syria is hardly a secret, nor its early cooperation with the US in acting as a staging post for fighters and weapons from North Africa and elsewhere. Not to mention the long covert cooperation with IS in the oil-smuggling trade out of Eastern Syria. So we might greet with some skepticism Erdogan’s announcement that several members of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s family have just been detained in Azaz. One wonders if they may have been living there since the newly formed ISIL took over that section of the Turkish border in late 2013!

While this historic collaboration between Turkey and the US/CIA in assisting terrorist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda and Da’esh may appear to be currently faltering over the Kurdish question, their collaboration must go deeper than this, and a joint operation to “kill Baghdadi” must be considered feasible. But as with Bin Laden, the object of killing the terrorist group leader was not because he personally presented any further danger; confecting his death would achieve the same objectives.

Those objectives must be seen as the opposite of what they appear; rather than sealing the end of Baghdadi’s caliphate they allow it to be reborn under a different leader and with a different form. Just as Al Qaeda needed to die so that ISIS could be born from its ashes, so Baghdadi’s ISIS now needed to die so that its replacement – even under the same name – can provide the necessary Trojan Horse for the renewed war – on Iran. Mention of the “Khorasan” group in this context is worrying, as Khorasan is a region northeast of Tehran from where its leaders are presumed to come.

Having thus provided a rationale for the staging of a strike to kill Baghdadi, whose timing and actual target were not of primary importance, we may view the images of Al Halabi’s destroyed house without prejudice. Immediately it can be seen that the site does NOT look like that of a house that was bombed only the previous night. In fact, it doesn’t look much like the site of a bombed house at all!

Bombed houses Idlib comparison 0515b

*(Two bombed houses in Idlib.)

One of the things which sticks in the mind from the innumerable images of bombed buildings in Syria we have seen for the last eight years is the persistence of reinforced concrete slabs, such as would have formed the roof of Al Halabi’s house. The absence of any such slabs or visible fragments of that roof is remarkable by itself. Instead, in the area where the house stood is what appears to be a pile of pulverized and flattened material, surrounded by piles of rubble.

A close study and comparison of images of the remains of Mohammed Al Halabi’s house published in various different media on the 29th and 30th October reveals some strikingly aberrant features that make it impossible to believe the Pentagon’s – and the White House’s claim that the strike was carried out on the previous night. In the images below I have circled two piles of stone and concrete rubble which do not appear to have come from the house as a result of the explosion following the US airstrike. While the blast appears to have knocked over the perimeter wall quite cleanly on the south and west sides, there is simply no explanation for the presence of a large mound of rubble in that south-west corner of the compound, marked ‘1’.  If its origin was Al Halabi’s house, then it was pushed there with heavy machinery.

Halabi house site East and West views annotated 20f99

*(Halabi house east and west view, annotated.)

The second marked pile of rubble might have come from the garage beside the gates into the compound, whose angled broken roof slabs can be seen there, but it lies on the house side of where the building stood, and beside a small but living olive tree. By contrast, there are charred remains of two smaller buildings on the east side which look recent, as well as a large area of blackened olive trees extending from the north side of the compound towards a neighboring house. In initial reports of the bombing, shaky video of a fire and some small explosions taken from Barisha village were shown, and we might assume this was the result.

The exact position of these rubble heaps in relation to the house can be seen in the composite image below, where I have aligned and superimposed the walls of the compound visible in the Pentagon’s drone image with the line of the walls still clearly visible in a drone image of the site taken following the announcement of the bombing. The Pentagon image immediately preceded the bombing of the building, which was hit first at the point indicated by a purple cross, towards the southwest corner of the roof.

Drone view with house outline annotated 16e34

*(Drone view w/house superimposed, annotated.)

Other features visible more clearly in this view are the small truck – which appears to have been pushed over to the wall, and behind rubble heap ‘1’, and the outlines of the basement or “tunnel” entrance, which lay beneath the building’s tower section and the circular pad in front of it.

As is so often the case where false claims are made, it only takes one clearly observable fault to demolish the whole case; if one tip-truck load of rubble is where it shouldn’t be, why not the whole site? And why not the whole story?

The word “cover-up” springs to mind, and it will take more than a few truck-loads of concrete rubble to cover up the crimes committed by the Western allies and their proxies in Syria.

Abu Mohammad Salama Killed? Did Zionists & Kurds Deceive President Trump? Or Is This the Beginning of the End of Israel?

November 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Robert David Steele, a former Marine Corps infantry officer and CIA spy as well as an activist for Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE), regularly answers questions for Tehran Times.

Q. Within minutes of President Donald Trump’s announcement of an alleged raid that allegedly killed an alleged ISIS leader known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, skeptical commentary emerged. What is your summary appreciation?

A. Let me begin by saying that people I trust tell me that the raid was very real, with helicopters flying 50 feet above the ground at 130 knots. The cost of the raid has been estimated at $30 million. What does not appear to be real are the actual location, and the actual identity of the person we claim was killed.

I am among those who denounced the fake Bin Ladens including the last one provided by the Pakistani military as a gift to help Barack Obama win re-election. We sent men to their death for political theater. I knew immediately that this latest alleged raid was a fake, but chose to start with a headline, “Russia says Baghdadi killing faked by US [& Israel],” credited to Gordon Duff, founding editor of Veterans Today.  Gordon, whom I know personally, has a rich network of contacts on the ground, including Russian military commanders as well as honest Jews who despise Zionist provocations and lies. The official Russian denunciation of the raid as having never happened is a matter of record.  To that I add the earlier reported death of Al-Baghdadi in 2015 in an Israeli hospital, and the alleged but credible aspect of al-Baghdadi being a Mossad operative and Israeli citizen named Elliot Shimon, and you have the perfect storm. I believe the Zionists and the US neo-conservative lied to President Donald Trump, faked the entire raid, faked the alleged DNA testing, and have now put the President in a terrible spot.

Accepting that our Special Forces carried out a raid – somewhere — either al-Baghdadi / Elliot Shimon is still alive as Gordon suggests, and the death was faked; or al-Baghdadi died in 2015 and this new death was faked – someone else was killed. I think our President has been lied to.

A deeply suspicious person would also wonder if this is not a potential “kill shot” by Benjamin Netanyahu against Trump – here is what Ha’aretz says, in “Trump Basks in al-Baghdadi’s Bloody Assassination, but the Festivities Will End Shortly,”

Trump is bound to be criticized for his blood-thirsty style, as well as the fact that he hurried to announce al-Baghdadi’s demise before the Pentagon had signed off on final and incontrovertible DNA proof that the ISIS leader had indeed been killed. On the extremely unlikely chance that al-Baghdadi will emerge somewhere safe and sound, which has happened before, Trump would instantly transform, not into a lame duck but into a dead duck.

The above tells me two things: that the DNA was not confirmed as the President claimed; and that Benjamin Netanyahu might well choose one day to “resurrect” Elliot Shimon aka al-Baghdadi, as a reprisal for the Miriam Adelson Medal of Freedom that set the stage for her public denouncement of Netanyahu’s wife as crazy and Netanyahu as a servant to his wife – this cost him dearly.

Interestingly, a separate new story has emerged about Israel now considering Donald Trump an unreliable enemy of Israel, and the likelihood that LtCol Alexander Vindman is a Zionist tool – he is a Jewish-American now betraying the President with false testimony to Congress favoring impeachment. I am inclined to agree with this assessment and believe that Benjamin Netanyahu has Elliot Shimon aka al-Baghdadi tucked away for re-emergence – a miniature “Samson option” against the President.

Pablo Escobar, writing in The Saker, “Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’,” says this:

According to ground sources in Syria, a prevalent rumor in Idlib is that the “dead dog” in Barisha could be Abu Mohammad Salama, the leader of Haras al-Din, a minor sub-group of al-Qaeda in Syria. Haras al-Din has not issued any statement about it.

I conclude that the raid happened, that Mossad operative Elliot Shimon aka al-Baghdadi was not present; that the Kurds, on behalf of the Zionists, provided fake DNA samples before and after; and that whoever died was not in fact, the alleged target, who was not a real terrorist leader to begin with.

The worst case analysis is that President Donald Trump has been “schlonged” by Benjamin Netanyahu personally, the Zionists generally, and their controlled Kurdish paramilitary servants.

There is, however, a best case analysis that the French shadow foreign minister has shared with me, and I include it in the spirit of deference to the opinion of others. His view is that this was a deliberately fake raid intended to not only achieve a political bounce across a largely ignorant public, but to set the stage for the “treasure trove” of intelligence actually obtained elsewhere, that crucifies Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Brennan and Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Chuck Schumer among others, for having created ISIS and conspired with Israel as well as Saudi Arabia to destroy Syria.

My French colleague observes that the surprise travel of Pelosi and Schiff to Jordan and Afghanistan; the closure of all Israeli embassies and consulates immediately after the raid (ostensibly over a labor dispute, but 100% closure suggests government direction), and the resurfacing of the Epstein story with what I consider to be a falsified autopsy conclusion of murder all suggest that in conjunction with the forthcoming FISA criminal indictments, President Trump is getting ready for a coup d’grace against the Democratic leadership and its Zionist state sponsors. He concluded his observation by sharing the below post from Majestic 12, a Q Anon affiliate:

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1120482314067349504/pe_bdFXz_bigger.pngMajestic 12‏ @TS_SCI_MAJIC12 Oct 30

Majestic 12 Retweeted Israel in Atlanta

Ending the Endless Wars is bad for Israel.

#UnsealEpstein is bad for Israel.

#DrainTheSwamp is bad for Israel.

#Disclosure is bad for Israel.

Why?

Q. Apart from the Russians, who have very sophisticated S-400 target acquisition radars covering the entire region, who else is saying this is a fake raid that never happened?

A. As you might imagine, because the Zionists control most mainstream media enterprises, and this fake raid serves both the Zionists and the warmongering neo-conservatives in the USA that want to keep ISIS alive, keep stealing Syrian oil, and continue to undermine Syrian sovereignty, almost no one else is challenging the narrative with two exceptions: the Daily Star in the UK has run two pieces, “Shock claim top ISIS leader is ‘Israeli spy’,” and “ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘not killed by US military’ Russia claims; and citizen journalists everywhere are pointing out the obvious flaws in the story. My favorite comes from a Nordic country, where an alert citizen quickly noticed that Google Earth, which updates on a monthly to yearly basis, not a daily basis, shows the alleged raid site as having been destroyed in the past, not recently. In addition Newsweek has run with a story, “Obama White House Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo of Unfolding al-Baghdadi Raid Was Staged,” a story I agree with.

I have no doubt that the Americans carried out a real raid with live ammunition and real dead.  Everything else about this appears to have been faked, a terrible embarrassment to our President, unless of course this is a deliberately fake event that he has authorized in detail.

Q. You have been a Marine Corps infantry officer; a clandestine operations officer or spy; the senior civilian responsible for creating a new national intelligence analysis center; and a J-2 intelligence analyst in Afghanistan. What other “indicators” do you personally see that suggest this story is completely false?

A. I personally continue to believe that President Donald Trump has been lied to, and is not a party to the total deception that has been imposed on him by a combination of Zionists and neoconservatives including members of his own staff who failed to defend him – in my view this terrible situation demonstrates that his new National Security Advisor – a very talented and nice person – is not up to the task of protecting the President from being lied to by the military-intelligence complex that is still in a state of treason, selected officials not-withstanding.  The Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency as well as the Secretary of State have all failed the President by going along with a false narrative that they probably knew was false but allowed to go forward because of some combination of political opportunism, Zionist bribery and blackmail, and the President’s own ego – he fell into this one, made it his own, and in so doing has disgraced himself in the eyes of Xi and Putin.

I see two levels of indicators that persuade me that this story is completely false. At the strategic level this strikes me as a blatant attempt by the Zionists and their CIA collaborators who hate President Trump to keep the Kurds whom they are arming and training and leading, in the game. The Daily Beast published “The Kurds Spotted Baghdadi. The U.S. Abandoned Them Anyway” early on, and then I saw “Baghdadi’s death underscores what we’ve lost by abandoning Syria’s Kurds,” from The Washington Post, and a series of CIA-sponsored stories about how the Kurds continued to provide leads “even after Trump abandoned them” – below is from The Economic Times of India, “CIA got initial tip-off from one of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s wives and a courier: Report,”

American officials told the newspaper that the Kurds continued to provide information to the CIA on Baghdadi’s location even after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the American troops left the Syrian Kurds to confront a Turkish offensive alone.

The Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, one official said, provided more intelligence for the raid than any single country.

All this suggests that in combination, the Zionists and their treasonous allies in the US Departments of State and Defense and the CIA, are all seeking to block the President from fulfilling his campaign promise to get our forces out of the Middle East, and attempting to keep the Kurdish rebellion against the lawful Syrian government alive.

Given that al-Baghdadi has been reported dead seven times, I have to ask myself, is it possible that CIA and DoD and State did not know this? Or that their Middle East action officers are all Zionists, many dual US-Israeli citizens, and some being bribed and blackmailed directly by the Zionists? From where I sit, the President has fallen victim to a grand deception and he has no one – least of all the treasonous FBI – that he can rely on to protect him from traitors within our own ranks.

At the tactical level there are too many false notes across the entire story, to include dogs, an alleged tunnel with no exit, a site that has clearly been destroyed in the past, instantaneous DNA testing with the samples provided by the Kurds who are controlled by the Zionists, and more.  The similarities with the false final Bin Laden raid that led to many US deaths after the fact as part of the cover-up, are startling to include – I am not making this up – throwing the alleged target’s body parts into the ocean.  I keep waiting for CIA to release a photo of al-Baghdadi’s library before the alleged hide-out was allegedly flattened, it would not surprise me at all to learn that the long-dead al-Baghdadi was allegedly reading Orange Man, the new book by America’s greatest conservative cartoonist.

Pablo Escobar’s article, “Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’, provides the best over-all appreciation of the total context and the likely fraud perpetuated within that context. This entire story cannot be understood without accepting the very high probability that this was a reverse false flag – a fake target created for political theater, with the President of the United States of America being made a fool of by a combination of traitors in Israel and the USA, and well-intentioned loyalists who simply do not know what they do not know about the ability of the Zionists and their Kurdish servants to lie to great effect.

We did not kill al-Baghdadi, we certainly killed someone else, probably Abu Mohammad Salama or one of his deputies – none of them ISIS leaders, but rather leaders of Haras al-Din, an al Qaida affiliate.

Q. What anomalies have you not mentioned, that have emerged since you were first invited to comment on this very strange Presidential declaration of triumph over what appears to be a fake person?

Apart from Pablo Escobar’s piece, the single best commentary I have seen is from James Corbett, whose video, Something Big Has Happened! points out both the similarities with the fake raid to kill the fake final Bin Laden, with the many claimed deaths of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was deliberately turned into a fake threat by US propaganda. Four things jump out from various alternative media reports – the US and European media continue to lie about this raid and parrot the official narrative:

01 The alleged location of the raid in Idlib, which is not friendly ground for the alleged target, has been pointed out by many as incongruous. Privately my military colleagues are saying that the raid was launched either from the sea or from Israel, and Idlib was picked for the fake raid precisely because it was near the sea.

02 The frantic effort to “authenticate” what are probably lies about instant DNA analysis (DNA tests take between 24 and 72 hours although some capabilities may exist that can do a preliminary test in hours) suggest that the Pentagon is now very uneasy with the entire narrative including the President’s comments on whimpering. Never mind that the US has no idea if the original DNA was genuine, it could easily have been pre-matched to the intended patsy destined for future duty as a “Lee Harvey Oswald.”

02 The injured dog – when no one else was injured in a tunnel with no exit where the blast of a suicide vest would certainly have killed the dog and soldiers would also have been wounded if not killed by the blast that could only go in one direction appears to be pure theater. The classification of the dog’s photo and name as Top Secret takes this to new heights of ludicrousness. I have published a counterpart account, with photos, of the CIA’s Top Secret stealth cat in the spirit of engagement with the official narrative.

03 The underpants allegedly stolen by Kurds from deep within territory hostile to them – has generated a lovely thread on “false flag underpants” – are so unbelievable I have to question the sanity and professionalism of everyone who allowed this narrative to go forward. In combination with everything else, this strikes me as truly depraved Mossad humor, giving the Americans a pair of used underpants – probably including sperm – as a form of screwing with the goyim shiksas – the Zionist term for non-Jewish girls who can be treated as whores.

04 The alleged burial at sea of body parts – a suicide vest leaves the lower body – is so reminiscent of the ocean burial of the last Bin Laden that it suggests that those behind this narrative are absolutely certain we are all stupid.

05 This is all about oil and keeping ISIS alive as a joint Mossad-CIA operation. I am quite sure at this point that President Trump knows he has been manipulated into making a fool of himself, and I speculate that he is privately talking to President Putin about how to continue his plans to totally withdraw US forces from the region.  I am reminded of the private conversations of John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, where they both agreed that their own worst enemies were their own generals who wanted war, not one another. Today I do not believe the Russian generals want war, but too many of the American generals are posturing pimps for war because that is how they earn their retirement jobs – they are also lying to the Secretary of Defense and the President about our readiness for war – not only are we not ready for sustained war away from the USA, but we will absolutely lose any war that includes Russia or China as a committed adversary. It is my hope that the President will realize that he has been treated with such scorn by Israel and the Kurds and that this gives him the strength to fire all those who were complicit in these lies, withdraw entirely from Syria, and rebuild our military here at home.

06 I have just read “Seven takeaways from the CENTCOM commander’s hot wash of the Baghdadi raid,” and I have to say that I simply do not believe that six men “suited up” in suicide vests when a supposedly surprise “breach”  took place.  While I have no direct experience my training and broad experience suggests that the action is over in 30 seconds. I also do not believe that the alleged al-Baghdadi dragged children into a “hole” with him.

07 ISIS confirming the death and naming a new leader is for me consistent with ISIS being a fake terrorist organization responsive to US direction – if President Trump wants a fake death confirmed and a new leader named, it is his to command.

This raid may indeed serve the President well, but the anomalies are troubling.

Q. This apparently falsified “triumph” against ISIS – and in favor of the Kurds and the US keeping military troops and even tanks on top of the Syrian oil fields – comes just as Trump appears ready to criminally indict Obama, Clapper, Comey, Brennan, McCabe, Strzok, and Page, among others. How do you assess Trump’s prospects for the next months?

A. This falsified event will play well across America, and commentaries like mine and those of Gordon Duff and Pablo Escobar and James Corbett will not be noticed. For all practical purposes, this event is a political triumph, never mind that it is rooted in lies. The Chinese know this is a fake attack, the Russians know this is a fake attack, by now Trump knows this is a fake attack. There are now media reports that Trump has ordered the release of the video of the alleged attack, when it comes I expect it will be picked apart the way the video from the Christ Church false flag in New Zealand was picked apart.

On a positive note, my colleague Ben Fulford, a long-time observer of high finance and low crime based on Tokyo, has published “Third (fourth?) death of Mossad agent Shimon Elliot “al-Baghdadi” actually signifies major Middle East change,” and strikes a very upbeat note that I am prepared to embrace. The view of his Pentagon sources is that this event is going to lead to increased US-Russian collaboration in cutting off illegal oil, arms, human, and drug trafficking in the Middle East that all benefit the Zionists and the Deep State. I must emphasis that there are seven or more US military and intelligence leadership networks, some purely evil, some committed to the President’s success.  All those networks are at war with one another.  I believe the President and the White Hats will triumph in time.

If the President wants to make lemonade with these lemons, he should declare victory against ISIS and leave Syria.  His occupation of Syrian oil fields is both unconstitutional within the USA and illegal in relation to international treaties and conventions.

You mention the criminal indictments.  I published “SPECIAL: Game-Changing Court Filing by Michael Flynn Defense Lawyer Sidney Powell…PLUS DoJ Criminal Inquiry Plus Seth Rich Murder Central Brennan Task Force Plus Stone & Manafort to Get Off?” a few days ago and it has gone viral in part because Sidney Powell, the attorney for my colleague General Michael Flynn, has filed a detailed federal court document that itemizes the many crimes committed by all those seeking to fabricate the narrative of Russian election interference and Donald Trump as a Russian asset. The murder of Seth Rich is now part of the conspiracy led by President Barack Obama, and complicity in murder is on the table for all those who committed treason in mis-directing secret intelligence against then candidate Donald Trump.

I will end on a most positive note: while I would like to see our President do more to defend the US Constitution (especially  the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments), to bring all our troops home from all over the world; and to address the huge problems facing the working class and people of faith in the USA, on balance I believe that in the next few months the world will see political, legal, economic, and cultural triumphs by our President that could not have been imagined since the days of John F. Kennedy.

Unlike JFK, our President cannot be assassinated.  He will triumph. It is my hope that Iran will understand that behind the political theater and completely apart from our President’s continued tolerance of traitors in key positions, there is a house cleaning going on. From election reform to military tribunals to a global currency reset and a national debt jubilee to the reinstatement of family values and civic virtue, “Orange Man” is on a path pre-ordained by God, who absolutely has a sense of humor.

Q. Do you have an opinion on how the impeachment campaign will end, and who the Democrats will nominate to run against President Trump, if you are certain he will run? Are there any “wild cards.”

A. The impeachment campaign will not end well for the Democrats.  It is only in the news because the Deep State wants it to be in the news and is manipulating the polls.  In the Heartland everyone agrees that this is a “lynching” and those giving false testimony against our President are committing treason. It merits comment that so many Republicans are retiring precisely because they see the future: the public is going to turn against both of political parties that have betrayed the public trust and fronted for the Deep State. If President Trump implements #UNRIG (the election reform act championed by Dr. Cynthia McKinney and myself that the Zionists worked so hard to destroy), not only will he win with a landslide, but he could carry a whole new congress with him. Certainly by 2022 I expect four to five vibrant parties with blocks of elected representatives in Congress and at the state and local level. There are riots all over the world – the public is fed up with the corruption and demanding new honest governments.

Once the FISA criminal indictments are processed, in time for the beginning of the presidential campaign that does not really start until 1 February 2020, I believe the President will be assured of winning, and if he creates the truth channel and/or uses legal measures to force the media and social media to stop violating the 1st Amendment and Title 7 (anti-discrimination), the outcome will be clear by 4 July 2020.

The Democrats not only know they cannot win with anyone now running, but they have been quoted as saying that they collect more money in donations if President Trump is re-elected.  I believe the Democrats are preparing to “throw” the Presidential election while seeking to take back the Senate.

Tulsi Gabbard is the wild card.  This young person was a Congressional staffer who appears to have joined the military with a clear political intent. She started as a military police enlisted person and then became a medical specialist – a form of nurse administrator. Not only is she not a combat veteran in the correct sense of the word, but she is also in direct violation of all US military regulations against use of her appearing in uniform as part of her political campaign.  She has been keeping these two facts secret. Now here is what most do not know: not only is she Hindu, but she is also a Brahmin, the India version of 1%.  There is no difference between Hillary Clinton’s calling all of us “deplorables,” and Tulsi Gabbard viewing all of us as “untouchables” – as an avowed Hindu she must believe that caste divisions should be the law. All indications are that the Deep State is thinking hard about a possible run by Bloomberg – a Zionist at heart – and Gabbard, a cosmetic bimbo whose shallowness may not survive a Presidential campaign. However, if President Trump continues to ignore Independents, Libertarians, blacks, Latinos, suburban woman, the young, and the elderly on the West and East coasts, then Bloomberg-Gabbard is a winning ticket and – if they win – the US Constitution will be discarded with the end of free speech, the confiscation of guns, and a police state where local mass surveillance is the norm.

I do not think Hillary Clinton will run as much as she may delude herself into thinking she could win. Apart from the high probability of her being indicted soon, even if this is done secretly to avoid a public battle with the left, for high crimes including hundreds of millions of dollars taken in bribes from the French for Libya, from the Saudis for Syria and Yemen, and from the Russians for Uranium One, she is deeply vulnerable on the pedophilia front, and the election machines are being secured at the same time that all illegal aliens are being stripped from the voting rolls – three million illegal aliens voted for her in 2016, that is not going to happen again.

America is in the middle of a civil war between those who favor pedophilia, bestiality, transgenderism, and transhumanism, and those who favor faith, family, and community. The conservatives are losing that war because the Zionists – our worst enemy – control entertainment, the media, and the communications and computing networks that they use for espionage and insider trading.  I am not certain the President is fully familiar with the depth and breadth of the Zionist threat within the USA, one reason I value the opportunity to publish in Tehran Times.  He and his family have received briefings from me that bring together distinguished authors – my Memoranda for the President: 9/11 Truth is the stake in the heart of Zionism in the USA along with my memo on the Epstein case, the “Nine Veils of Evil,” and my collected Tehran Times articles, many censored in the USA, that I published as TRUMP vs. THE DEEP STATE: Recent Reflections of a Former US Spy & Marine Corps Officer. At Thanksgiving the President and his intimates will soon be receiving a copy of my new book, EYES ONLY: For the President (and the Public): Everything the Deep State Does Not Want You To Know.

Iran is correct is insist on the end of Israel – an invented state rooted in lies, bribes, blackmail and genocide – and the restoration of Palestine to the Palestinians.  Similarly here in the USA we must insist on the death of the Deep State and its Zionist underbelly so as to restore of integrity to our Constitutional Republic. I will pray for the day that our President meets the Supreme Leader, in Tehran, to “make the deal.” Be assured of the coincidence of interest between patriotic American conservatives, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We will win this fight, using ethical, legal, non-violent means, Insha’Allah. It helps us here in the USA if Iran and the Palestinians triumph in the Middle East – and vice versa. Iran and the USA have a common enemy: the Zionist state of Israel.

President Assad of Syria Tells the Truth regarding ISIS-Al Baghdadi, for All Who Care to Listen

Global Research, November 03, 2019

Western politicians are perception managers, puppets, deep state stooges. They bow to diktats from largely unelected polities. They are hollow, straw figures who sell out their countries and those whom they proclaim to represent with a whim. They have failed to “Stand on guard for thee”. They project “progressive perceptions” as they support Al Qaeda/ISIS and the conduct of war crimes under a fake humanitarian mandate. 

So, it is refreshing when a political figure tells the truth and takes a bold stand against the international cancer that is destroying international law, nation-state sovereignty, and humanity itself, with its war lies and its international terrorism.

President Assad of Syria tells the truth, for all who care to listen. In an interview with al-Sourya and al-Ikhbarya TV he discusses a number of important issues.

In reference to the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Hollywood-inspired narrative, he succinctly notes:

“This is part of the tricks played by the Americans.  That is why we should not believe everything they say unless they come up with evidence.  American politicians are actually guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around.”

Very true. He might have added that the evidence must be from non-partisan sources, and certainly not from Western terrorist-embedded sources.

When questioned about the Russian-Turkish agreement, Assad immediately iterated another important, but neglected truth.

“Russian principles,” he notes, “have been clear throughout this war and even before the Russian base that started supporting the Syrian army in 2015.  These principles are based on international law, Syrian sovereignty and Syria’s territorial integrity.”

Russian principles present a stark contrast to the unprincipled Western rogue coalition (Washington-led NATO and allies) that daily commits Supreme International war crimes in its Regime Change war against Syria and its peoples.

Whereas most Westerners refuse the truth and thus share responsibility for the crimes committed by those who falsely claim to represent them, Assad shines light on foundational truths. He understands the root of the cancer destroying the world, and he understands the imperative for a correct “diagnosis”. In the following statements he shatters the lies of “Fake Progressives”, of “humanitarian interventions”, of those who pretend to be “liberal” whilst at the same time supporting al Qaeda and ISIS:

“As for Trump, you might ask me a question and I give you an answer that might sound strange.  I say that he is the best American President, not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president.  All American presidents perpetrate all kinds of political atrocities and all crimes and yet still win the Nobel Prize and project themselves as defenders of human rights and noble and unique American values, or Western values in general.  The reality is that they are a group of criminals who represent the interests of American lobbies, i.e. the large oil and arms companies, and others.  Trump talks transparently, saying that what we want is oil. This is the reality of American policy, at least since WWII.  We want to get rid of such and such a person or we want to offer a service in return for money.  This is the reality of American policy. What more do we need than a transparent opponent?  That is why the difference is in form only, while the reality is the same.”

When asked about the Kurds, Assad again shattered orientalist, divisive notions, with these observations:

“As for the Kurds themselves, most of them had good relations with the Syrian state, and they were always in contact with us and proposed genuine patriotic ideas. In some of the areas we entered, the reaction of the Kurds was no less positive, or less joyful and happy than the reaction of other people there.”

He understands the imperial machinations behind balkanization projects and refuses to demonize all “Kurds”, especially since most would likely prefer to remain in a sovereign, pluralist, democratic Syrian state.

Finally, with reference to the Constitution, Assad underscores the importance of international law and UN Resolution 2254 which reinforces foundational rights of sovereignty and self-determination: UN Resolution 2254 reaffirms

“its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations …. ”

Indeed, the failure of the UN and its agencies to implement and enforce its own stated principles has been self-evident throughout the course of this hideous, holocaust-generating imperial war against Syria, and against civilization itself.

*

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Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017. Visit the author’s website at https://www.marktaliano.net where this article was originally published.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria” directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

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Baghdadi Alive or Dead Matters Little: ISIS Remains a US Creation

By Stephen Lendman

Source

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Like his predecessors, Trump operates as a frontman for the military, industrial, security complex, Wall Street, and other monied interests.

As commander-in-chief, he continues endless US wars of aggression in multiple theaters, along with economic terrorism on Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, and other nations on the US target list for regime change — including China and Russia.

His vow to bring all US troops home from Syria was a mirage. In March 2011, the US preemptively attacked the country for regime change, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing its sovereign independence.

Illegal Pentagon/CIA occupation of northern and southern parts of the country continues with no near-term prospect for conflict resolution because dominant bipartisan hardliners in Washington reject restoration of peace and stability to all US war theaters.

Longstanding US policy aims for dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations.

Nations not controlled by the US are vulnerable to preemptive attacks or war by other means — what the scourge of imperialism is all about, humanity’s greatest curse.

On Monday, US war secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley held a joint press conference.

Esper repeated Trump’s dubious claim about eliminating alleged ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Like DJT, he provided no evidence of Baghdadi’s death. The remains of whoever US forces reportedly killed were buried at sea so no independent DNA testing or other identity checks could be conducted, clear evidence of deception and coverup.

According to forensic pathologists, positive IDing of human remains can take days or weeks to complete. Trump claimed Baghdadi was killed overnight Saturday — in a remote Syrian location nowhere near a forensic lab.

Yet on Monday, US war secretary Mark Esper dubiously claimed DNA testing showed remains tested were Baghdadi’s — suggesting most likely whoever was killed was someone else.

Baghdadi alive or dead matters little. ISIS remains a US creation, its activities orchestrated and controlled by its Pentagon and CIA handlers.

US officials and establishment media pretend Pentagon forces combatted and destroyed the “caliphate.” Washington actively supports it, along with likeminded terrorist groups, in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.

Esper’s remarks were an exercise in mass deception, falsely claiming US operations in Syria “enable(d) the enduring defeat of ISIS,” adding:

“(R)epositioning (US) forces within the country is intended to posture us to continue this mission and give the president options, (including) execut(ion) (of) counterterrorism operations.”

The reality on the ground is polar opposite his above deception. Part of the US mission includes controlling and looting Syrian oil — on the phony pretext of protecting it from ISIS, enabling private interests and the CIA to profit from plundering Syrian resources, along with denying them to Damascus to benefit the nation and its people.

Esper: “(W)e will respond with overwhelming military force against” any threat to US occupation of Syrian territory and control of its resources.

Milley made similar remarks, stressing “counterterrorism operations” in Syria and other US war theaters that don’t exist.

During a Q & A session, reporters failed to challenge the US war of aggression and occupation of sovereign Syria threatening no one.

No one questioned Trump’s dubious account of Baghdadi’s alleged elimination or that the remains of whoever was killed were buried at sea to prevent independent DNA checking.

Nothing was asked about the looting of Syrian oil belonging to the nation, not an illegal foreign occupier.

Asked whether Pentagon troops might confront Russian or Syrian forces militarily, Esper curtly responded: “Yes.”

Last week, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov called US plunder of Syrian oil “state-sponsored banditry,” along with denouncing US protection of smugglers involved in looting Syrian resources.

Syria remains an active war theater, its people terrorized by the presence of US forces and jihadist foot soldiers.

As long as total US control of Syria remains unattained, dark forces in Washington rule out the restoration of peace and stability to the nation and its long-suffering people.

Questions Remain Over Alleged Death of Islamic State Leader

Image result for Questions Remain Over Alleged Death of Islamic State Leader

November 1, 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Defense this week said it had not seen any credible evidence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, had been killed in northern Syria last weekend, allegedly in a daring US military operation.

US President Donald Trump boasted last Sunday that American Special Forces raided a base in Idlib Province, which purportedly led to al-Baghdadi’s death from a suicide explosion. The Pentagon said six other people were killed in the operation. In addition, two of al-Baghdadi’s children were killed when the IS leader blew himself up as American troops were closing in, according to Trump’s own dramatic telling of the event.

Curiously, Trump gave prominent thanks to Russia for its help in the logistics of carrying out the attack.

However, Russian MOD spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov has subsequently stated that Russia was not involved in the raid, as Trump had claimed. He said that Russian flight data indicated that there were no US air strikes in the vicinity of the declared raid. The spokesman went further and remarked that there were no doubts as to whether the assassination mission even took place in the way that Washington is publicly claiming.

Another anomaly in the official US account is that the base where al-Baghdadi was purportedly hiding out is in a location known to be a stronghold for another al-Qaeda affiliate that is a sworn enemy of their perceived rival jihadists belonging to IS. Why and how then was the IS leader able to maintain a base surrounded by enemy jihadists?

According to the New York Times, it is claimed that al-Baghdadi paid $67,000 to the rival terror group, Hurras al-Din, for protection. Somehow that sounds a dubious explanation.

A glaring omission in US media coverage of the alleged killing of al-Baghdadi is the historical background as to who he was and how his former so-called caliphate came into being straddling Iraq and Syria.

There is copious evidence that Iraqi-born al-Baghdadi was recruited by American intelligence while imprisoned during the US war on Iraq in the mid- to late-2000s. He was held in the notorious Abu Ghraib US-run torture prison, but subsequently was released by the Americans despite his known jihadist past. It was around 2012 that the Obama administration was covertly mobilizing and weaponizing jihadi assets to carry out its clandestine war for regime change against the Syrian government. It is believed that al-Baghdadi was a key CIA asset for the US dirty war in Syria, even though Washington was proclaiming its involvement in Syria was to “defeat IS” and other terror groups.

It is entirely plausible that US intelligence assets are “terminated” whenever it is politically convenient and when it is calculated that their usefulness has expired.

Trump and the mainstream US media depiction of a spectacular success in exterminating a feared terror chief is almost certainly a distortion of reality and events.

The way Trump in particular has crowed about the purported operation suggests he is seeking a boost to his re-election chances next year. The thuggish rhetoric of killing the IS leader “like a dog” smacks of Trump trying to project an image of a tough president.

More generally, the event has afforded US media to proclaim the virtue of American military power in apparently bringing a notorious renegade “to justice”.

The timing could not be more important. The nearly eight-year war in Syria has exposed the criminality of Washington and its NATO partners for fueling carnage. By contrast, the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies have been vindicated in their long-held claims that a criminal US-backed aggression using terrorist proxies has been thwarted.

When Trump abandoned the Kurdish militants last month, the move was condemned for throwing Syria into further turmoil. It was Russia’s deft diplomacy which managed to contain the situation. At that point, Washington’s international credibility was scraping the barrel of duplicity and malign responsibility for conflict and chaos in Syria.

Hence, a sensational operation resembling “a movie” – as Trump put it – was a timely public relations remedy for Washington’s badly tarnished image. Ostensibly, “taking out” a terrorist leader gives the US the means to renew its propaganda narrative that it is “fighting against terrorism” rather than the reality of using terrorism for its regime-change wars and other imperialist objectives.

Was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed last weekend? It is not the first time his “death” has been reported by US forces who have made similar claims in past years. There are too many questions and discrepancies to take Washington’s version of events as accurate. More plausibly, it was a carefully contrived propaganda stunt to burnish Washington’s disgraced image.

One thing for sure, however, is that the US will continue to use terror proxies and assets into the future in order to achieve its pernicious geopolitical aims. There are plenty more “al-Baghdadis” to be cultivated and orchestrated by Washington as it sows chaos and destruction in the Middle East and beyond for its selfish interests.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

President al-Assad’s interview with the Syrian TV and the Syrian Alikhbaria TV

 

Thursday, 31 October 2019

DAMASCUS-President Bashar al-Assad stressed that the scenario broadcast by the US about the killing operation of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Daesh organization, is part of the US tricks and we should not believe what they say unless they give the proof.

The President added in an interview given to the Syrian TV and the Syrian Alikhbaria TV on Thursday, that the Russian-Turkish agreement on northern Syria is temporal, and it curbs the Turkish excess to achieve more damage through occupying more Syrian territories and cut the road in front of the US.

President Al-Assad affirmed that the entrance of the Syrian Arab Army into regions of northern Syria is an expression of the entrance of the Syrian State with all services it offers, adding that the army has reached the majority of the regions, but not completely.

The President underlined that Syria hasn’t offered any concessions regarding the formation of the committee of discussing the constitution.

Following is the full text of the interview as published by the Syrian Arab news Agency (SANA).

Journalist: Hello and welcome to this special interview with the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, His Excellency Dr. Bashar al-Assad.  Thank you for receiving us Mr. President.  Your last interview with Syrian media was several years ago and therefore we have a lot of questions.  We will begin with political questions and then move into internal issues.

President Assad: You are welcome, and as always let us speak with full openness.

Journalist:Mr. President, thank you very much for receiving us.  Since the political issues are pressing at the moment we will start with politics, Mr President. The United States announced a few days ago that the leader of the terrorist organization ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed. And it thanked Russia, Syria, Iraq, the Turks and the Kurds for helping kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Trump thanked Syria, but we have not heard any comment from Damascus. What is your take on Trump thanking Syria? Did Syria really take part in this operation?

President Assad:  Absolutely not, we heard about this only through the media.  Maybe, the reason behind including a number of countries as participants in this operation is to give it credibility so these countries will feel not embarrassed, but have the desire to be that they are part of a “great” operation, as the Americans have tried to portray it. And in this way, they are credited with fighting terrorism.  We do not need such credit.  We are the ones fighting terrorism.  We have no relations and have had no contact with any American institutions.

More importantly, we do not really know whether the operation did actually take place or not.  No aircraft were detected on radar screens.  Why were the remains of Baghdadi not shown?  This is the same scenario that was followed with Bin Laden.  If there are going to use different pretexts in order not to show the remains, let us recall how President Saddam Husain was captured and how the whole operation was shown from A to Z; they showed pictures and video clips after they captured him.  The same happened when they killed his sons several months later; they showed the bodies.  So, why did they hide everything about the Bin Laden operation and now also the Baghdadi operation?  This is part of the tricks played by the Americans.  That is why we should not believe everything they say unless they come up with evidence.  American politicians are actually guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around.

Journalist: Mr President, if Baghdadi has actually been killed, does it mean the end of his organization, or is it as usual that there will be new leaders and new organizations which are being prepared for the moment when the cards of their predecessors have been burned out?

President Assad:  First, Baghdadi represents ISIS, and ISIS represents a type of doctrine, which is the extremist Wahhabi doctrine.  This type of thought is more than two centuries old.  As long as this thought is alive and has not receded, this means that the death of Baghdadi, or even the death of ISIS as a whole, will have no effect on this extremist thought.

Regarding Baghdadi as an individual, it is well-known that he was in American prisons in Iraq, and that they let him out in order to play this role.  So, he is someone who could be replaced at any moment.  Was he really killed? Was he killed but through a different method, in a very ordinary way?  Was he kidnapped?  Was he hidden?  Or was he removed and given a facelift?  God only knows.  American politics are no different from Hollywood; it relies on the imagination.  Not even science fiction, just mere imagination.  So, you can take American politics and see it in Hollywood or else you can bring Hollywood and see it through American politics.  I believe the whole thing regarding this operation is a trick.  Baghdadi will be recreated under a different name, a different individual, or ISIS in its entirety might be reproduced as needed under a different name but with the same thought and the same purpose.  The director of the whole scenario is the same, the Americans.

Journalist: Questions have been raised about the Russian-Turkish agreement, particularly the item related to maintaining the status quo in the region which was subject to the Turkish aggression, Tal Abyadh and Ras al-Ain with a depth of thirty-two kilometers.  What some people understood from this was that it legitimized the Turkish occupation, particularly that the agreement did not include any Syrian role within these areas which were discussed in the agreement.  What is your response to that?

President Assad:  First, the Russian principles have been clear throughout this war and even before the Russian base that started supporting the Syrian army in 2015.  These principles are based on international law, Syrian sovereignty and Syria’s territorial integrity.  This has not changed, neither before, nor after, nor with changing circumstances.  However, Russian policy deals with the realities on the ground.  These realities on the ground have achieved two things; the withdrawal of armed groups from the north to the south in coordination with the Syrian Army, and as such the advance of the Syrian Army to the north, to the area not occupied by the Turks. These two elements are positive, but they do not cancel out the negative aspects of the Turkish presence until they are driven out one way or another.  This agreement is a temporary one, not permanent.  If we take for example the de-escalation areas at a certain period of time, some people believed that they were permanent and that they will give terrorists the right to remain in their areas indefinitely.  The fact was that it was an opportunity to protect civilians, and also to talk to the terrorists with the objective of driving them out later.  So, we have to distinguish between ultimate or strategic goals on the one hand, and tactical approaches on the other.

In the short term, it is a good agreement – and let me explain why; the Turkish incursion, not only reflects Turkey’s territorial greed but also expresses American desire.  The Russian relationship with Turkey is positive because it reigns in Turkish aspirations. On the other hand, it outmaneuvers the American game in the north.  Let me explain this. The recent German proposal which was immediately supported by NATO – and the Germans would not make this except on behalf of the Americans, NATO is the same thing as America.  The proposal talked about restoring security to this region under international auspices. This means that the area would be outside the control of the Syrian state and thus making separation a reality on the ground.  Through this agreement, the Russians reigned in the Turks, outmaneuvered the Americans and aborted the call for internationalization which was proposed by the Germans.  That is why this agreement is a positive step.  It does not achieve everything, in the sense that it will not pressure the Turks to leave immediately. However, it limits the damage and paves the way for the liberation of this region in the future, or the immediate future, as we hope.

Intervention: God willing

Journalist:  Since you described the agreement as temporary, but Turkey, as we have known it, does not abide by agreements.  Consequently, the question is what if Turkey continued to occupy the areas which it has controlled as a result of its recent aggression?  You said repeatedly that the Syrian state will use every possible means to defend itself.  But practically, did not the Russian-Turkish agreement prevent the ability to try and use such means?

 President Assad:  Let us take another example, which is Idlib.  There is an agreement through the Astana Process that the Turks will leave.  The Turks did not abide by this agreement, but we are liberating Idlib.  There was a delay for a year; the political process, the political dialogue, and various attempts were given an opportunity to drive the terrorists out.  All possibilities were exhausted.  In the end, we liberated areas gradually through military operations.  The same will apply in the northern region after exhausting all political options.

We must remember that Erdogan aimed, from the beginning of the war, to create a problem between the Syrian people and the Turkish people, to make it an enemy, which will happen through a military clash. At the beginning of the war, the Turkish Army supported the Syrian Army and cooperated with us to the greatest possible extent, until Erdogan’s coup against the Army.  Therefore, we must continue in this direction, and ensure that Turkey does not become an enemy state.  Erdogan and his group are enemies, because he leads these policies, but until now most of the political forces in Turkey are against Erdogan’s policies.  So, we must ensure not to turn Turkey into an enemy, and here comes the role of friends – the Russian role and the Iranian role.

Journalist: Picking up on this idea, Mr President, the actions taken by the Turks recently, and by Erdogan, in particular, like Turkishization, building universities, imposing the use of certain languages. These are actions taken by someone who is not thinking of leaving – just a follow up on your idea, since you said that they will leave sooner or later.  What about these actions?

President Assad:  If he was thinking of getting out, he would have left Idlib.  You might say that there is no Turkish army, in the technical sense in Idlib.  But we are in one arena, the whole Syrian arena is one – a single theatre of operations.  From the furthest point in the south to the furthest point in the north Turkey is the American proxy in this war, and everywhere we have fought we have been fighting this proxy.  So, when he does not leave after we exhaust every possible means, there won’t be any other choice but war, this is self-evident.  I am saying that in the near future we must give room to the political process in its various forms.  If it does not yield results then this is an enemy and you go to war against it; there is no other choice.

Journalist: Nevertheless, some people said that the American withdrawal from northern Syria, after which came the Turkish aggression, and then the Russian-Turkish agreement.  All of that came within an American-Russian-Turkish agreement.  What do you say to that?

President Assad:  This was meant to show that Russia accepted the Turkish incursion, or that Russia wanted to turn a blind eye in the fact that. In fact, it is not true. For over a year, the Russians were concerned about the seriousness of such a proposition.  We all knew that the Turkish proposition was serious, but it was shackled by American orders or desires.  Some people might criticize the Russians for this outcome, due to their position at the United Nations.  As I said a short while ago, the Russians deal with realities on the ground, consequently, they try to ensure that all political conditions are in place in order to pave the way for their departure from Syria and limit the damage by the Turks or reign in the Turkish recalcitrance aimed at inflicting more damage and occupying more land.  But the Russians were certainly not part of this agreement – Russian agreements are always public.  The Russian-Turkish agreement was announced immediately, with all its items; the agreement between us and the Kurds, with Russian mediation

n and support was also made public right from the very beginning.  There is no hidden agenda in Russian policies, which gives us assurances.

Journalist: But the American-Turkish meetings are not announced. You said repeatedly that Erdogan’s objective, or creating the buffer zone, was Erdogan’s main objective from day one of the war on Syria. President Obama refused to accept this buffer zone, while today we are seeing certain actions on the ground. Does this mean that Obama was better than Trump?

President Assad:  We should not bet on any American President.  First, when Erdogan says that he decided to make an incursion or that they told the Americans, he is trying to project Turkey as a super power or to pretend that he makes his own decisions; all these are theatrics shared between him and the Americans.  In the beginning, nobody was allowed to interfere, because the Americans and the West believed that demonstrations will spread out and decide the outcome. The demonstrations did not spread as they wanted, so they shifted towards using weapons. When weapons did not decide the outcome, they moved towards the terrorist extremist organizations with their crazy ideology in order to decide the outcome militarily.  They were not able to.  Here came the role of ISIS in the summer of 2014 in order to disperse the efforts of the Syrian Arab Army, which it was able to do, at which point came the Russian intervention.  When all bets on the field failed, it was necessary for Turkey to interfere and turn the tables; this is their role.

As for Trump, you might ask me a question and I give you an answer that might sound strange.  I say that he is the best American President, not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president.  All American presidents perpetrate all kinds of political atrocities and all crimes and yet still win the Nobel Prize and project themselves as defenders of human rights and noble and unique American values, or Western values in general.  The reality is that they are a group of criminals who represent the interests of American lobbies, i.e. the large oil and arms companies, and others.  Trump talks transparently, saying that what we want is oil. This is the reality of American policy, at least since WWII.  We want to get rid of such and such a person or we want to offer a service in return for money.  This is the reality of American policy. What more do we need than a transparent opponent?  That is why the difference is in form only, while the reality is the same.

Journalist: the leader of the dissolved Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, made statements to the media in which he said that Trump promised them that before withdrawal he will contact the Russians to find a solution to the Kurdish question by making an agreement with the Russians and the Syrian state to give the Kurds an opportunity to defend themselves. Was there really such an agreement, and what is the fate of non-border regions in the Syrian Jazeera, the regions which were under the control of the armed militias called SDF? Have these regions been handed over to the Syrian state, and if so in what way? Is it only in the military sense; or ultimately has the return of the Syrian institutions to these regions taken place?

President Assad: Do you mean an American-Kurdish agreement?

Journalist: The Americans promised the Kurds to find a solution to their cause by influencing the Russians to reach an understanding with the Syrian state to give them an opportunity to defend themselves.

President Assad:  Regardless of whether contact has been made or not, as I said before whatever the Americans say has no credibility, whether they say that to an enemy or a friend, the result is the same – it is unreliable.  That is why we do not waste our time on things like this.  The only Russian agreement with the Kurds was what we talked about in terms of a Russian role in reaching an agreement with Kurdish groups – we should not say with the Kurds, because this is inaccurate and we cannot talk about one segment – the groups which call themselves SDF with the Syrian Army to be deployed.  Of course, the Syrian Army cannot be deployed only to carry out purely security or military acts. The deployment of the Syrian Army is an expression of the presence of the Syrian state, which means the presence of all the services which should be provided by the state.  This agreement was concluded, and we reached most regions but not completely.  There are still obstacles.  We intervene because we have direct and old relations – before the Turkish incursion – with these groups.  Sometimes they respond, in other places they don’t. But certainly, the Syrian Arab Army will reach these areas simultaneously with full public services, which means the return of full state authority.  I want to reiterate, that this should take place gradually.  Second, the situation will not return as before.  There are facts on the ground which need to be addressed, and this will take time. There are new facts related to people on the ground which took place when the state was absent. There are armed groups; we do not expect them to hand over their weapons immediately.  Our policy should be gradual and rational, and should take the facts into account.  But the ultimate goal is to return to the situation as it used to be previously which is the full control of the state.

Journalist:After everything that happened: they targeted the Syrian state, Syrian citizens, the Syrian Arab Army. Throughout the war years, they played a bad role and were American proxies, after all this, are we as Syrians able to live with the Kurds once again?

President Assad: To be accurate, this issue is raised repeatedly, and sometimes in private gatherings.  And I know that part of your role is to repeat what you hear, regardless of personal conviction.  What happened during this war is a distortion of concepts; to say that this group has a certain characteristic, negative or positive, is neither objective nor rational.  It is also unpatriotic.  Among the Kurds there were people who were American agents or proxies.  This is true, but among the Arabs there were similar cases in the Jazeera area and in other areas in Syria.  This applies to most segments of Syrian society.  The mistake which was made was that this action was made by a group of Kurds who made themselves representatives, not only of the Kurds, but of the Arabs and others segments of society in al-Jazeera region.  The Americans, through their support with weapons and money – of course the money is not American, it comes from some gulf Arab states – helped establish the authority of these groups over all segments of the society, leading us to believe that those in the area were all Kurds.  So, we are actually dealing with the various Kurdish parties.  As for the Kurds themselves, most of them had good relations with the Syrian state, and they were always in contact with us and proposed genuine patriotic ideas. In some of the areas we entered, the reaction of the Kurds was no less positive, or less joyful and happy than the reaction of other people there. So, this evaluation is not accurate. Yes, very simply, we can live once again with each other. If the answer were no, it means that Syria will never be stable again.

Journalist: But what is the problem with the Kurds, even before the war? Where does the problem with them lie?

President Assad: Although we stood with these groups for decades, and we could have paid the price in 1998 through a military clash with Turkey because of them, we stood with them based on the cultural rights of these groups or of this segment of Syrian society. What do they accuse the Syrian state of?  They accuse it of being Chauvinistic, and sometimes they accuse the Ba’th Party of being a Chauvinistic party although the census conducted in 1962 was not under the Ba’th Party, because it was not in power at the time.  They accuse us of depriving this group of their cultural rights.  Let us presume that what they say is correct.  Can I, as an individual, be open and close-minded at the same time?  I cannot.  Can the state be open or tolerant and intolerant and close-minded at the same time?  It cannot.  If we take an example of the latest group which joined the Syrian fabric, the Armenians. The Armenians have been a patriotic group par excellence.  This was proven without a shadow of doubt during the war.  At the same time, this group has its own societies, its own churches and more sensitively, it has its own schools.  And if you attend any Armenian celebration, a wedding, or any other event – and I used to attend such events because I used to have friends among them previously – they sing their traditional songs but afterwards they sing national, politically-inclined songs.  Is there any form of freedom that exceeds this?  The Syrian Armenians are the least, among other Armenians of the world, dissolved in society.  They have integrated, but not dissolved into Syrian society.  They have maintained all their characteristics.  Why should we be open here and unopen with others?  The reason is that there are separatist propositions.  There are maps showing a Syrian Kurdistan as part of a larger Kurdistan.  Now, it is our right to defend our territorial integrity and to be wary of separatist propositions.  But we do not have a problem with Syrian diversity.  On the contrary, Syrian diversity is rich and beautiful which translates into strength.  We do not have an adverse view of this; but richness and diversity are one thing and separating and fragmenting the country is something else, something contrary. That is the problem.

Journalist: Just to pick up on this idea, Mr. President, living with each other. In your answer, you said that we must ultimately live with each other. The problem here is not only with the Kurdish component. There were groups of the population who lived in different areas outside the control of the Syrian state for years. What about those? What is the state’s plan to reintegrate them under the idea of living together, particularly the children among them, because with children we are talking about Syria’s future generation? What is the plan for these people?

President Assad:  Actually, the problem is primarily with children and then with young people in the second instance.  There are several issues, one of which is that this generation does not know the meaning of the state and the rule of law.  They have not lived under the state, they have lived under armed groups.  But the worst and most dangerous impact is on the children, who in some areas have not learned the Arabic language, and others who have learned wrong concepts – extremist concepts or concepts against the state or the homeland and other concepts which were proposed from outside Syria and taught to them in formal school curricula.  This was the subject of discussion during the past few weeks, particularly during the past few days, because the deployment of the Syrian Army in large areas in the northern regions highlighted this problem on a large scale.  Currently ministries, particularly the Ministry of Education and also the Ministries of Defence and the Interior are studying this issue.  I believe there will be a statement and a solution proposed shortly, albeit general in the first phase which will be followed by administrative measures in order to assimilate these people within the system of the Syrian state.  For instance, who will enroll in the Syrian Army, who will enroll in the police, who will enroll in schools?  Somebody who is twelve years old: how will they integrate into the Syrian school system if they know nothing of the curriculum?  The same applies to those who are in primary schools. I believe the solution is to assimilate all within the national system, but there should be special measures in order to reintegrate them into this system, and I believe in the next few days we will have a final picture of this.

Journalist: returning to politics, and to the United States, in particular, President Donald Trump announced his intention to keep a limited number of his troops in Syria while redeploying some of them on the Jordanian borders and on the borders of the Israeli enemy, while some of them will protect the oil fields. What is your position in this regard, and how will the Syrian state respond to this illegitimate presence?

President Assad: Regardless of these statements, the reality is that the Americans are occupiers, whether they are in the east, the north or the south, the result is the same.  Once again, we should not be concerned with his statements, but rather deal with the reality.  When we are finished with the areas according to our military priorities and we reach an area in which the Americans are present, I am not going to indulge in heroics and say that we will send the army to face the Americans.  We are talking about a super power.  Do we have the capabilities to do that?  I believe that this is clear for us as Syrians.  Do we choose resistance?  If there is resistance, the fate of the Americans will be similar to their fate in Iraq.  But the concept of resistance needs a popular state of mind that is the opposite of being agents and proxies, a patriotic popular state which carries out acts of resistance.  The natural role of the state in this case is to provide all the necessary conditions and necessary support to any popular resistance against the occupier. If we put to one side the colonial and commercial American mentality which promotes the colonization of certain areas for money, oil and other resources, we must not forget that the main agents which brought the Americans, the Turks and others to this region are Syrians acting as agents of foreigners – Syrian traitors.  Dealing with all the other cases is just dealing with the symptoms, while we should be addressing the causes.  We should be dealing with those Syrians and try to reformulate the patriotic state of the Syrian society – to restore patriotism, restore the unity of opinion and ensure that there are no Syrian traitors.  To ensure that all Syrians are patriots, and that treason is no longer a matter of opinion, a mere difference over a political issue.  We should all be united against occupation.  When we reach this state, I assure you that the Americans will leave on their own accord because they will have no opportunity to remain in Syria; although America is a superpower, it will not be able to remain in Syria.  This is something we saw in Lebanon at a certain point and in Iraq at a later stage.  I think this is the right solution.

Journalist: Last week, you made a tour of the front lines in Idlib with which you surprised the Syrians and the world. Addressing the soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army, you said that the battle is in the east, but Idlib is an advanced outpost of the enemy in the west which aims at dispersing the forces of the Syrian Army. Some saw the visit as the go-ahead sign, or the zero hour for the coming battle of Idlib. Is it so?

President Assad: No, there was no link between my visit and the zero hour.  First, I conduct tours every so often to the areas which are considered hot spots and dangerous, because these heroes are carrying out the most difficult of tasks, and it is natural for me to think of visiting them.  This has been common practice for me; the visit to Idlib in particular was because the world perhaps believed that the whole Syria question is summed up in what is happening in the north, and the issue has now become a Turkish Army incursion into Syrian territory, and forgetting that all those fighting in Idlib are actually part of the Turkish Army, even though they are called al-Qaeda, Ahrar al-Sham and other names. I assure you that those fighters are closer to Erdogan’s heart than the Turkish Army itself.  We should not forget this, because politically and in relation to Turkey in particular, the main battle is Idlib because it is linked to the battle in the north-eastern region or the Jazeera region.  This is the reason – I wanted to stress that what is happening in the Jazeera region, despite its importance and despite the wide area of operations does not distract us from the significance of Idlib in the overall battle.

Journalist: You say, Mr President, that there is no link between your visit to Idlib and the zero hour but is there a link between your visit to Idlib and the meeting which took place on the same day between Turkey and Russia?

President Assad:  Actually, when I was there, I had forgotten completely that a summit was being held on the same day.  I did not remember that.  I knew that a summit would be taking place and that it would be on Tuesday but…

Journalist: But your statements gave the impression that it was a preemptive rejection or something against the meeting.

President Assad:  That is true.

Journalist: Or against this meeting.

President Assad: Some articles and comments even said that there was a feeling of anger against the summit, and that the summit was against us.  The fact is that I was not angry, and my statements against Erdogan are continuous.  I said that he was a thief, and from the first days he started stealing everything related to Syria. So, he is a thief.  I was not calling him names; I was describing him.  This is an adjective and this description is true.  What do you call somebody who steals factories, crops and finally land?  A benefactor?  He is a thief, there is no other name.  Previously in my speech before the People’s Assembly, I said that he is a political thug.  He exercises this political thuggery on the largest scale.  He lies to everyone, blackmails everyone. He is a hypocrite and publicly so.  We are not inventing an epithet; he declares himself through his true attributes. So, I only described him

As to the agreement, as I said a while ago, we believe that Russian involvement anywhere is in our interest, because our principles are the same and our battle is one.  So, Russian involvement will certainly have positive results and we started to see a part of that.  Contrary to what you said, we were happy with this summit, and we are happy with the Russian-Turkish relationship in general, contrary to what some people believe, that the Russians are appeasing the Turks.  It does not matter whether the Russians are appeasing the Turks or not or whether they are playing a tactical game with them.  What is important is the strategy.  That is why I can say that there is no link at all between my statements and the summit.

Journalist:  Remaining with Idlib, but from a different perspective, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and in an interview with a newspaper about the situation in Idlib, described it as complicated, and I’ll mention the points he made: he called for a solution which guarantees the security of civilians.  He also talked about the presence of terrorist organizations and the importance of avoiding an all-out military campaign which, in his opinion, will, far from solving the problem, have a serious humanitarian consequence.  What do you think of what he said, and will the operation be postponed or stopped because of international pressure or based on Pedersen’s remarks?

President Assad: If Pedersen has the means or the capacity to solve the problem without an all-out military operation, it will be good.  Why does he not solve the problem? If he has a clear plan, we have no objection.  It is very simple. He can visit Turkey and tell the Turks to convince the terrorists, or ask Turkey to separate the civilians from the militants.  Let the civilians stay in one area and the militants in another.  It would be even easier if he could identify who is a militant and who is not.  Fighting terrorism is not achieved by theorizing, making rhetorical statements or by preaching.  As for postponing, had we waited for an international decision – and by international decision I mean American, British, French and those who stand with them – we would not have liberated any region in Syria since the first days of the war.  These pressures have no impact. Sometimes we factor in certain political circumstances; as I said, we give political action an opportunity so that there is no pretext, but when all these opportunities are exhausted, military action becomes necessary in order to save civilians, because I cannot save civilians when they are under the control of the militants.  Western logic is an intentionally and maliciously up-side-down logic.  It says that the military operation should be stopped in order to protect civilians, whilst for them the presence of civilians under the authority of terrorists constitutes a form of protection for the civilians.  The opposite is actually true.  The military intervention aims at protecting the civilians, by leaving civilians under the authority of terrorists you extend a service to terrorists and take part in killing civilians.

Journalist: You are not waiting for an international decision but are you waiting for a Russian one? Can the Russians delay the beginning of the military operation? We saw earlier that military operations were stopped in Idlib, to the extent that some people said that the Russians put pressure every time to stop the operations as a result of special understandings with the Turks. Is that true?

President Assad:  “Pressure” is not the right word.  We, the Russians and the Iranians are involved in the same military battle and the same political battle.  We are always in talks with each other to determine the circumstances which allow for an operation to go ahead.  On several occasions, we agreed on a specific timing for a certain operation, which was later postponed because of military or political developments.  This dialogue is normal.  There are issues we see on the internal arena, and there are issues seen by Iran on the regional arena and there are those issues seen by the Russians on the international arena.  We have an integrated approach based on dialogue.  In the past month, I have held five meetings with Russian and Iranian officials, so less than a week apart.  Between each two meetings there were military and political developments such that what had been agreed in the first meeting was then changed or modified in the second, third and fourth meetings and the last of which was yesterday.  The fast pace of developments makes it necessary sometimes to postpone operations.  On the other hand, we have contacts with civilians in those areas.  We really try hard to make it possible for civilians to move from those areas into our areas in order to save lives; moreover, if a political solution was possible, and sometimes we succeeded in finding such a solution, it would save the lives of Syrian soldiers, which is a priority that we should not ignore.  So, there are many elements, which are difficult to go into now, which affect this decision and postpone it; it is not a matter of pressure. The Russians are as enthusiastic about fighting terrorism as we are, otherwise why would they send their fighter jets?  The timing depends on dialogue.

Journalist: But President Putin announced the end of major military operations in Syria.  Would Russia be with us in Idlib? Would it take part in the military operation?

President Assad:  Russia was with us in liberating Khan Skeikhoon and its environs; announcing an end to military operations does not mean an end to fighting terrorism.  Indeed, the major battles have almost finished, because most areas either surrender voluntarily or are subject to limited operations.  The Khan Sheikhoon operation might look on the map as a major battle, but there was in fact a collapse on the part of the militants. So, maybe this is what was meant by the end of the major operations.  Their statements that Idlib should return under the control of the Syrian state and their determination to strike at terrorism have not changed.

Journalist: Remaining in Idlib and on the same point, because there is a lot being said about this. Concerning the terrorists in Idlib, and they are the same terrorists Pedersen talked about, how are they going to be handled? Are they going to be deported?  There have been cases like this before: terrorists being deported from different regions in Syria to Idlib.  Now, terrorists are in Idlib. Would the Turks accept the terrorists to be deported to Turkey, or how are they going to be dealt with?

President Assad:  If Turkey does not accept that, it is Turkey’s problem and it does not concern us.  We are going to deal with them in the same way we have in the past. Some might ask: in the past there were areas to which terrorists were permitted to retreat to, but now there is no other place to which terrorists might be sent from Idlib.  So, where should they go?  If they do not go to Turkey, they have two options: either return to the Syrian state and resolve their issues or face war.  There is no other choice, neither for us nor for them. These are the two only options.

Journalist: Some media outlets have circulated leaks about meetings with the Turks.  Is that true, on what level, and what was the outcome of those meetings, if they had taken place?

President Assad: All those meetings were held between security officers but at different levels.  Few meetings, probably two or three, were held in Kasab inside the Syrian borders or close to the joint borders, and one or more meetings were held in Russia.  I do not recall the number exactly, because they took place in the space of the past two years.  But there have been no real results.  At least we had expected to reach a solution concerning the withdrawal agreed upon in Astana for fifteen kilometers west and north in the de-escalation zone in Idlib.  It did not happen.

Journalist: So, you confirm that there have been meetings with the Turkish side, but that was before the agreement…

President Assad: Of course, there were tripartite meetings with Russian mediation and Russian presence.  We insisted on the Russian presence because we do not trust the Turks, so that there are witnesses.

Journalist: not bilateral meetings?

President Assad: No, trilateral meetings.

Journalist: Trilateral, with the Russians present? Was that before the last Russian-Turkish meeting?

President Assad: Of course.

Journalist: Are you prepared today to sit with the Turks after the aggression and after the agreement?

President Assad:  If you are asking me how would I feel if I, personally, had to shake hands with a person from the Erdogan group, or someone of similar leanings or who represents his ideology – I would not be honoured by such a meeting and I would feel disgusted.  But we have to put our personal feelings aside when there is a national interest at stake.  If a meeting would achieve results, I would say that everything done in the national interest should be done.  This is the responsibility of the state.  I do not expect a meeting to produce any results unless circumstances change for the Turks.  And because the Erdogan-type Turks are opportunists and belong to an opportunist organization and an opportunist ideology, they will produce results according to changing circumstances, when they are under pressure, depending on their internal or external circumstances or maybe their failure in Syria. Then, they might produce results.

Journalist: The sensitive question in this regard is: the Turks are occupiers, so if I am willing, or if I have the chance, or if I believe that I might meet the Turks, the Turks are occupiers, exactly like Israelis, so it would be possible to meet the Israelis. This is a sensitive issue, but it is being raised.

President Assad: It was actually raised when we started these meetings: how can we meet occupiers in Afrin or other areas, even if there are not occupiers, they support terrorism; they are enemies in the national sense.  The difference between them and Israel is that we do not recognize the legitimacy of its existence as a state. We don’t recognize the existence of the Israeli people. There is no Israeli people except the one that existed for several centuries BC, now they are a diaspora who came and occupied land and evicted its people.  While the Turkish people exist, and they are a neighboring people, and we have a common history, regardless of whether this history is good or bad or in between; that is irrelevant.  Turkey exists as a state and it is a neighboring state.  The Alexandretta issue is different from the situation in which a people without land replace a land and a people; the comparison is not valid.  Even when we negotiated with Israel in the 1990s, we did not recognize it.  We negotiated in order to achieve peace.  If this was achieved and the rights were returned, we would recognize it; as I said, the comparison is invalid.  Turkey will continue to exist and the Turks should remain a brotherly people.  Erdogan was betting at the beginning to mobilize the Turkish people behind him in order to create hostility with the Syrian people, and consequently be given a free hand.  We have to be careful not to look at things in the same way.  I stress again that some people, not the political forces, but within the Turkish Army and security institutions are against Erdogan.  This was the reason behind our drive to meet them.

 

Furthermore, and this was the subject of discussion with our Russian and Iranian friends – who said that yes, we are defending you, but in the end, you are the owners of the cause.  This is true, the land is ours, and the cause is ours and so we have a duty to carry out by meeting them directly, even if we do not expect results.  Maybe there will come a day when we can achieve results, particularly with changing circumstances inside Turkey, in the world and within Syria.

Journalist: Concerning Israel, some people describe it as the absent present in the events in Syria, the greatest beneficiary of what happened in Syria. Indeed, it is more comfortable now than in any other time before in comparison with weakening Syria, Hizbollah and Iran, as analysts say.

President Assad:  It is the always-present.  It has never been absent.  It might be absent in terms of language, because we fight its proxies, agents, flunkies or tools, in different ways, some military some political.  They are all tools serving Israel directly or through the Americans.  Since the battle on the ground is with these forces, it is normal that the terminology describes these forces and not Israel.  Israel is in fact a main partner in what is happening, and as an enemy state, that is expected.  Will it stand by and watch?  No. it will be proactive, and more effective in order to strike at Syria, the Syrian people, the Syrian homeland and everything related to Syria.

 Journalist: Benefiting practically from what happened?

President Assad:  This is self-evident.  Even if we do not discuss it, it is one of our national givens in Syria.

Journalist: After all the aggressions carried out by the Israeli enemy on Syria, we have never seen an Arab position, and the Arab League has never moved. When the Turkish aggression started, the Arab League met at the level of Foreign Ministers. The first impressions were good, and the final communique was described as positive. In return, we have not heard a statement from the Syrian state.

 

President Assad:  Do you recall when Syria’s membership in the Arab League was frozen?  Did we issue a statement? We did not.  So, if we did not issue a statement as a result of Syria’s departure from the Arab League, why would we issue one when they started discussing Syria’s return to the Arab League? I think the implications of my answer are clear for all those who want to understand.  I do not think that your viewers believe that raising this issue merits more than the few sentences I have just said.

Journalist:  True. If we move to pure politics concerning the constitutional committee.  What is your explanation of the criticism made by the other side to this committee, although it has been one of their demands for years?

President Assad:  Very simply, they believed that we would reject the formation of this committee, and maybe they were shocked that we were able to form it, because they used to raise obstacles and blame the Syrian government.  We dealt with these obstacles in a specific diplomatic manner, not making concession on fundamental issues, but on some issues which we consider related to form.  They were shocked in the end, and that is why they launched a severe attack on it.  That is what happened, in brief.

Journalist: The Syrian state made no concessions under Russian or Iranian pressure?

President Assad:  No. Had we made real concessions, they would not have attacked it.  They would have praised the formation of the committee.  Their attack shows that we have not made any concessions and no concessions can be made.  The constitutional committee and the outcomes it might produce later would be used as a launching pad to attack and strike at the structure of the Syrian state.  This is what the West has been planning for years, and we know this. That is why it was not an option to concede on fundamentals and particular stances related to Syria’s interest.  There were other details which were insignificant, like the fact that they camouflaged themselves under the umbrella of the so-called moderate opposition.  In many instances, they proposed names affiliated to al-Nusra Front, which we rejected because of this affiliation.

Journalist: Terrorists?

President Assad: They are terrorists.  In the end we agreed to a number of those, which might have come as a surprise.  We determined that the result would be the same regardless: the same background, the same affiliation, the same master.

Journalist: True

President Assad:  And decision maker, and so the signal for the decision would be from the same source.  So, what difference does it make?

Journalist: Puppets, no more.

President Assad:  Exactly.  We agreed.  This is only an example.  There are many other details, but this is what surprised them.  We have not made any concession on fundamental issues.

Journalist:  Pedersen talked about meetings of the constitutional committee in Geneva saying that it would open the door to reaching a comprehensive solution to the Syrian crisis, and in his view, that solution includes holding parliamentary and presidential elections under the supervision of the United Nations and in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.  He also talked about ensuring the participation of Syrian expatriates. Would you accept international supervision on parliamentary and presidential elections?  And is this issue within the preview of this committee?  And who has the right to vote, practically?

President Assad: For him to say that this committee prepares the ground for a comprehensive solution, this is not true.  It provides part of the solution, maybe.  We do not know where the committee will end-up, but by saying this he ignores the presence of the terrorists.  A constitutional committee while the terrorists are still there will solve the problem – how? This is impossible; it is rejected.  The solution starts by striking at terrorism in Syria.  It starts by stopping external interference in Syria.  Any Syrian-Syrian dialogue complements, contributes and plays a certain role, but it does not replace the first and second elements. I am saying this in order not to leave part of the statement as if we have agreed to it.

As to the other part of the question, if he believes that Resolution 2254 gives the authority to any party, international or otherwise, to supervise the elections, this means that they are returning to the era of the mandate.  I would like to recall that the first part of the resolution refers to Syria’s sovereignty, which is expressed by the Syrian state alone and no one else.  The elections that will be held will be under the supervision of the Syrian state from A to Z.  If we want to invite any other party – an international body, certain states, organizations, societies, individuals or personalities, it will still be under the supervision of the Syrian state and under the sovereignty of the Syrian state.  The constitutional committee has nothing to do with the elections it is only tasked with the constitution.  If they believe that they will return to the days of the mandate, then that would only be in their dreams.

Journalist: Again, on Pedersen’s statements, he said that the mere acceptance to form the constitutional committee is an implied acceptance of the other side and constitutes a joined commitment before the Syrian people to try and agree, under the auspices of the United Nations, on the constitutional arrangements for Syria. Some people objected to this implied acceptance of the other side by the committee, since it does not represent the Syrian people and is not elected by the Syrian people. What is your response to that?

President Assad:  All your questions are valid, at least from a legal perspective.  First, let us identify the first party and the second; some people believe the first party is the Syrian state or the Syrian government.  No, this is not the case, the first party represents the viewpoint of the Syrian government, however the Syrian government is not part of these negotiations nor of these discussions.

Journalist: The first party is supported by the Syrian government.

President Assad:  Exactly.  The government supports this party because we believe that we share the same viewpoint.  They are people who belong to the same political climate of the Syrian government.  This does not imply that the government is part of the negotiations.  Legally, we are not a part of the constitutional committee and this does not imply the government’s recognition of any party; this issue is should be clear.  So, he is referring to a side which represents the viewpoint of the Syrian government.  Here we have to question: what does he mean by “implied acceptance,” what is it we are accepting?

The first party initially accepted to be part of Sochi and to sit down with the second party in Sochi; it later accepted to set up a constitutional committee and discuss ideas regarding the constitution.  Accepting to sit down with them, does not imply that we accept their nature.  The first party exists in Syria, lives in Syria, belongs to all segments of the Syrian people; similarly, there is a state which has the same viewpoint, is elected by the Syrian people and enjoys the support of the majority of people.  The second party is appointed by whom?  It is appointed by Turkey.  Why was the formation of the constitutional committee delayed? For a whole year, we have been negotiating with Turkey via the state-guarantors, Russia and Iran.  The second party was not appointed by any Syrian side; a few represent the terrorists and the majority represent the states which imposed them; it is exclusively Turkey, and of course those standing in the background, the Americans and others.  And there is the other party, which, as I said, represents the terrorists. So, what is it I am accepting?  I accept the terrorist to be a patriot, or I accept those appointed by others, or I accept agents to be patriots. Let us speak frankly.  Why should we lie and speak diplomatically?  The reality is that there is a patriotic party dealing with a party which is an agent and a terrorist, its as simple as that. But in order to be diplomatic and to not anger everyone, I will call it a Syrian-Syrian dialogue, but only in terms of an identity card, passport and nationality.  But as for belonging, that is a different discussion, to which we all know the answer too aside from the diplomatic discourse.

Journalist: Pedersen considered that the launch of the work of the committee is actually a return to Geneva. Have we returned to Geneva after four years? And what about Sochi and Astana?

President Assad:  No, we have returned to Geneva only geographically, whereas politically, we are part of Sochi, and everything that is happening has its frame of reference as Sochi and is a continuation of it.  There is no Geneva, it is not part of this process.  The fact that the UN is represented and participates in Sochi gives it an international dimension, which is necessary; but it does not mean that Geneva undercuts Sochi.  There is no Geneva.

Journalist: Could Pedersen’s statements, all the statements we have reviewed here, aim at preempting the work of the committee, or are they completely outside the context of its work? And concerning the constitution, in particular, is what is happening a complete change of the constitution, a discussion on the constitution, or the amendment of some provisions of the constitution?

President Assad:  There will be an attempt to direct the work of the committee in a certain direction.  This is for sure, and we are fully aware of this and won’t allow it.  That is why everything announced outside the committee has no value; it is absolute zero, as simple as that.  Therefore, we should not waste our time on such statements or give it any importance. What is the second point?

Journalist:  About the nature of the committee’s work: is it discussing the provisions of the constitution, amending some provisions or a complete change of the constitution?

President Assad:  This constitutes a large part of the discussion on setting up the constitutional committee: shall we amend the constitution or have a new constitution?  Our position was that when we amend a provision of the constitution and put it to a referendum, it becomes a new constitution.  So, there is no real difference between amending the constitution or having a new one, because there is nothing to define the new constitution, a completely new constitution.  This is all theoretical and has no real meaning.  What concerns us is that everything produced by the meetings of this committee and is in line with national interest – even if it is a new constitution from A to Z, we shall approve.  And if there is an amendment of a single provision in the constitution, which is against national interest, we would oppose it.  So, in order not to waste our time in such sophistry, we should focus on the implications.  We are fully aware of the game they are going to play. They aim to weaken the state and transform it into a state which cannot be controlled from within and, consequently is controlled from the outside.  The game is clear, as is happening in neighboring countries which we don’t need to mention.  This is not going to happen; but they will try and we will not accept.  This is the summary of months of future dialogue, and maybe longer, I don’t know. Of course, I mean future dialogue.

Journalist:  We discussed at length the constitutional committee and all the statements made about it. I will move to the issue which people are waiting for: talking about the internal situation in Syria, since we are talking about attempts to influence, what matters is the internal situation.  During the war years, the Syrian’s suffered from high prices, lack of production, shortage of job opportunities, many consequences of terrorism, the sanctions, and the difficult military situation over large parts of the Syrian territory.  The natural outcome was a deterioration in the living conditions of Syrian families.  But now, conditions on the ground militarily have improved, most of the land has returned to the control of the Syrian state.  What about the living conditions? Are there signs of an improvement of this situation, or will the situation remain as it is until all Syrian territory is liberated?

President Assad:  If the cause was only due to the situation on the ground, terrorism, etc., then yes, it is better to wait.  But this does not make sense.  As you know, some people tend to blame everything on the security situation and whilst there is no doubt that it has a great impact, but it is not absolute.  This answers the last part of the question.  Do we wait?  No, because if we were to wait, even if the situation on the ground changed, living conditions would not improve.  Living conditions will not improve unless we move, very simply, as a state and as a society on all levels.  Liberating some areas might have an impact on the economic situation if these areas were employed and integrated into the development and economic cycle in Syria.

Journalist:  Areas in which there are resources in particular.

President Assad:  There might be resources, or it might be a tourist area.  Currently there is no tourism, so this area will not have an impact on the economic situation, but an agricultural area like the northern regions, this is essential; today we import some of the things which we used to export and because they are imported in a round-about way in order to circumvent the sanctions, we are paying more for them.  If we take Aleppo for instance, it is the heart of Syrian industry, and with Damascus they are the center of the Syrian economy.  So, areas are different but if we liberate areas without taking the necessary measures to invigorate the economy, things will not improve.  So, as a state, we need to accelerate the rebuilding of infrastructure – like restoring electricity and other utilities, and the role of state institutions, in order to facilitate the return of the productivity cycle.  Here I am not referring to major industries and large projects.  Even before the war, we had the view that large projects are important but they are not the solution.  For a country like Syria, the strength of its economy lies in small and medium-sized enterprises.  It is these enterprises, the grocery store or the barber’s shop, that will help invigorate the economy.  The problem is that some people wait; they say that let us wait to see what happens.  If we are to wait, then we should not expect to see the signs that you referred to.  Are there signs? Yes, of course, there are improvements, there are industries which have emerged, workshops that have returned to work.  The number of people who have returned to the country is higher than the development of the economy, and consequently some might say these improvements are intangible, this is correct.  The challenge now is to integrate these people into the economic cycle.  The answer to the question: (can we do it?) of course, we can.  We should not say that circumstances prevent us, no; we have some laziness, we have some dependencies and sometimes we do not have the vision of how to move.  And by we, I mean all of us as a society, as a state and as citizens.  The state is responsible to provide the necessary conditions and the infrastructure, but it cannot open all the shops, workshops, and industries.

Journalist:  If we can, why do we not see a real response by the government to your continued directives to the ministers to deal transparently with the citizens.  Why is this indifference and improvisation in the work of government institutions and the absence of any planning or a preemptive alternative, as some people say, some people who hold the government responsible directly for squandering the blood of the martyrs and the wounded and the sacrifices of the Syrians?

President Assad:  First, if we want to address government institutions, and in order to be objective, I cannot talk about them collectively; there are those ministries that are working, while there is laziness and inefficiency in others.  Within ministries, there are institutions which are functioning properly and others which are not fulfilling their duties.  So, if we want to talk objectively, we need to identify specific sectors in order to distinguish between them; any generalities do not properly reflect reality.  In our own private discussions, we can talk in general terms – the state is not functioning, the government is not functioning etc., but I am an official and I cannot but speak in a scientific, objective and tangible manner.  In reality, there are cases of negligence and there is the opposite.  If I look at the positive aspects, if all the institutions are not working, where are we getting salaries from?  How do students go to school?  There are martyrs in the education and electricity sectors.  Electricity plants were targeted and then problems solved and solutions found.  Despite the difficulties due to the sanctions, we are able to provide basic commodities like oil, wheat and others.  So, there is work being done.  Of course, you will tell me that it is only normal for talk about pain.  This is natural and I do not expect people to refer to the positives.  It is human nature to talk about pain. When I am healthy, I do not talk about being in good health every day, but when I’m sick, I will talk about my illness; again, this is only natural.   But in order to evaluate properly the situation we should consider all angles.  As to the negatives, the challenge lies in distinguishing between causes related to the crisis and the war and causes related to our dereliction? When people criticize the state, they speak as if there is no war.   Similarly, when an official speaks, they often blame everything on the war; the challenge is how to separate the two.  This is what we are doing now. When we had the gasoline and diesel crisis, the problem was indeed caused by the sanctions and our ability to provide these resources.  The problem is that the state itself is under sanction, so it cannot import.  It imports using other channels, which I won’t divulge, to source these resources.  Most of the time we succeed, but other times we do not; these latter cases are beyond our control.  As for electricity, the plants and infrastructure are continuously targeted, do we hold the officials responsible for the terrorist rockets?  We need to be objective about certain issues, for example we were able to reclaim some gas wells, which improved the electricity situation, but the needs of the returnees and the workshops which have reopened are much larger than the electricity we were able to restore.  We need to see all these issues.  So, we are able to produce, but we go back to the same question: how do we distinguish between dereliction and valid causes.  This is what we should be considering, but we are not discussing the situation from this perspective.  At the level of the state, we are trying to reach these results, and we have been able to reach them in relation to dereliction.  Officials who do not fulfill their duties should be removed; dereliction should not be given an opportunity to continue.  There is also the issue of corruption.  Dereliction of duty is one thing and corruption is something else. The outcome may be the same sometimes, but here I am referring to an official who is not corrupt but is either unable to carry out their duty or does not have a clear vision.  When it becomes apparent that they do not have either of these qualities, then they should leave immediately.

Journalist:  On this subject of having a clear vision, if we talk about the rate of exchange for the dollar, it is logical that during the war the exchange rate increases if not as a result of the war itself, as a result of the embargo and the economic sanctions on our country, but recently rises are incomprehensible and affect the details of the daily life.  What is your explanation of this incomprehensible rise?

President Assad:  As I said some issues are self-evident, first, sanctions have an impact on state revenues in dollars or hard currency in general.  This affects the exchange rate, which in turn affects prices.  State revenues have also receded as a result of fewer exports and the lack of tourism; no tourists will visit a country during a war.  Countries that we depend on for exports are contributing to the sanctions in one way or another.  Nonetheless, we have managed to identify unofficial channels for exports, which has contributed to the inflow some hard currency. There is also the speculation game, some of which happens inside Syria and some of which happens outside; additionally, there is speculation on social media, which we get dragged into.

The most dangerous of these factors is the psychological.  When we hear that the Syrian pound has dropped, we rush to buy dollars.  We believe in this way that we have saved money by turning our pounds into dollars, but as a consequence, the exchange rate drops in a severe and accelerated manner and consequently prices rise significantly; what citizens have saved by converting pounds to dollars they have lost due to higher prices.  There are many aspects to this issue. Now, can the state intervene?  Yes it can, but with limited revenues and tremendous demand – due to higher prices of basic commodities like wheat, oil, fuel and others, there is a trade off between exhausting dollars on speculation or spending on basic needs.  If dollars are exhausted, this will mean we will have no wheat and oil; this is our reality.  Our revenues are not what they used to be and as such our priorities have been on focused on arms and ammunition and squeezing what we can in order to provide the necessary weapons.

Journalist:  Are there no measures that the state can take to control the rate of the exchange?

President Assad:  Of course, there are.  If you compare our situation with other countries in our region, when the dollar exchange rate is affected, you find that it increases multiple times in a matter of days.  So, it is a miracle that the exchange rate, which was in the upper forties or fifties before the war, is still around six hundred nine years on.  This does not make sense; the pound was expected to collapse at the end of 2012. Had it not been for particular methods, which unfortunately I cannot divulge due to their covert nature, the pound would have collapsed.  Let me give you an example: one factor which people are not aware of, is that the liberation of an area does not necessarily serve the Syrian Pound, because by liberating an area, we are removing its access to dollars which were paid to the terrorists to cover their needs and expenses.  This is one of the tools we benefited from. I mean that things are not absolute, and we cannot say that terrorists were serving us in this regard.  Not every positive step has a positive impact.  That is why I am saying that the issue is complicated.  Some experts say that there is a process of drying the region up of dollars and the whole region is paying the price of the dollar.  But notice the difference between us and neighbouring countries.  The Turkish Lira, for instance, lost about two percent of its value in the last few days; yesterday I believe, due to a decision taken by the American Congress.  Countries are totally subject to these fluctuations.  Despite our circumstances, we do not succumb entirely – we suffer, we defend, we fight all the whilst having a war waged against us.  Whereas these other countries do not have a war waged against them, yet they can barely support their currency, and moreover, the currency is supported by external financial and political measures.  So, there are challenges but once again the solution is not difficult.  The solution is not the dollar game, but an economic game.  If we go back to your first question and start to look at the economic cycle as being the foundation, we realise that getting involved in speculation does not play to our favour.  If we are able to get the economic cycle moving, then we can create more tools for the monetary authorities and for society to improve the economic conditions and reduce dependency on the dollar.  Small or medium-sized industries help us reduce our dependency on importing materials and hence reduce the pressure on the Syrian Pound.  We have many tools which we can use, but the speculation game is not the solution. This is what I believe.

Journalist: So, I understand from what your excellency said that these policies or measures might take a longer time to produce results, but they are more effective and successful?

President Assad: What I want to say in answer to all economic questions is that the solution is there. There are those who say that when I present all these factors, it is because we do not have a solution.  No, solutions do exist and are not impossible and what we have done proves that they are not impossible; but this does not mean that we have done our best.  This is the starting point and this requires an economic dialogue, I am presenting the larger headlines that we are capable of achieving.  Actually, the dollar, the economy and the living conditions are all part of one cycle.  They are not separate parts.  The solution lies in accelerating state services and facilities to push projects forward and this is what we are doing; we are waiting for a response, because there is a lot of pressure on foreign investors not to invest in Syria.

Journalist: And the solution also lies in fighting corruption. There is a lot of talk about that now. There is talk about a wide-ranging campaign which included a number of business men and officials who are suspected of corruption. Is that true, Mr President? Is this campaign part of the measures taken to combat corruption, and would it include other individuals?

President Assad:  That is true, but it is not a campaign, because the word “campaign” gives the impression that we have just started, because a campaign has a beginning and an end, and is temporary.  This is not true, for either we used to accept corruption and suddenly we don’t accept it any longer, or we did not acknowledge it.  No, it is visible, and the beginning is now over three years old. Why?  Because at the start of the war the internal situation was not a priority at all.  We used to think of providing our basic needs, just to live, but there was process of tearing up the state and the homeland by terrorists and, on a larger scale, by the corrupt.  That was the problem. The country cannot stand it and the state cannot stand it.

Journalist: We just wanted to stay alive.

President Assad:  In the first years.  Afterwards when the tearing up increased, we returned to fighting corruption which we had started before, but the circumstances were different before the war, and priorities were different.  Now fighting corruption was given priority because of the economic conditions we are living and because this reservoir, which is the state, is punctured in many places, so any revenues going into it were syphoned out and so we were not able to benefit from them.  Where did we start? We started with the military establishment. No state starts accountability at the heart of the military establishment during a war; this institution is sacred.  However, because it is sacred especially during the war, and because it stands for discipline, this establishment doe not allow itself to be, at the same time, be a symbol of corruption.  So, accountability started in the military establishment and many high-ranking officers were put in jail with other officers at different levels.  Those who were proven innocent were released and there are those who are still being tried up till now and after many years; so, there was no favouritism.  The question was raised: is it possible while the military establishment is involved in a war.  We said that the military establishment is fighting terrorism and fighting corruption. It fights everything, and because it is the military establishment it should be at the forefront in everything.  The same process was also followed in the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Telecommunications. Many institutions were involved.  But, the issue was raised because there are aspects of society, personalities and institutions which are the subject of people’s attentions, in the spotlight of society, the issue was given prominence, while in actual fact, there is nothing new.  As to accountability, it is an ongoing process.  In answer to your question, yes, it is ongoing.

Journalist:  Are we going to see other individuals brought to account?

President Assad:  As long as there is corruption, fighting it we will continue. That’s for sure. In these circumstances and in other circumstance.  This is part of developing the state. We cannot talk about developing the state in terms of administration and other aspects without fighting corruption. This is self-evident.

Journalist: there are those who floated the idea that the state needed money, or that our allies asked the state to pay for debts, so the state appropriated money from merchants, in a vengeful way, to the extent that some people described it as Ritz Carlton Syria.  How do you comment on this?

President Assad:  They always describe Syria as a regime.  They do not say a state. Their objective by saying so is to make us appear as a gang, a junta, etc.  Whereas the state has basic principles, a constitution, regulations, clear controls.  We are a state, not a sheikhdom as is the case in some countries.  The state has a constitution and a law.  The first thing in the constitution, or one of its most important provisions, is the protection of private property.  We cannot tell somebody, under any title, we take this property.  There are many appropriations of properties belonging to terrorists, which have been appropriated temporarily, but they have not become state property, because there is no court decision, although these individuals are terrorists, there is still a need for a court decision. It doesn’t mean that this property goes automatically to the state. It needs a court decision.  In this framework, the state cannot say, under any title, “you are corrupt, so give me your money.”  This is at odds with the basic principles of the state.

Journalist: These are measures taken on legal grounds.

President Assad:  Of course.  There are many cases which people confuse.  There was a meeting between a group of business men and state officials in order to support the Syrian Pound when it started to drop quickly because of the state of fear and anxiety. Otherwise, there was no economic cause for the collapse of the Syrian pound.  They were asked to help state institutions, particularly the Central Bank, and they did it.  This does not mean that they made donations to the state, they contributed hard currencies and took Syrian Pounds in return. Nobody offers the state anything for free.

Journalist: Just moving the economy.

President Assad:  Yes, in a certain way and according to a certain agreed plan. They did it and it gave quick results. There is also corruption fighting which you asked about a short while ago.  There are officials and individuals in the private sector, because corruption is done in partnership.  In the private sector, all those who squandered state money were asked to return it because the objective is to get the money without necessarily being vindictive, before we prosecute and go the courts for years. And we don’t know if the courts would be able to return all the money or not.  There are documents. Are you prepared to return state money? Many of them expressed a willingness to do so.  So, there are aspects to the issue included in your question.

Journalist: But why was the issue promoted, or people understood sometimes the reasons you mentioned to mean that prosecution or accountability targeted business men only, but we have not heard about officials. We heard only about merchants or businessmen?

President Assad:  And that is why I said that accountability started in the army, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Transport and other institutions and it is still ongoing, all of this targeted officials in the firs place.  And all those in prison are state officials at different levels.  You cannot prosecute one party when they have another partner. There is always a partnership, but sometimes the name of official is not mentioned because people are not interested or the name of the person from the private sector is not mentioned because people don’t know this individual. The question is that of media marketing, and we have never relied, and will never rely, on media marketing or propaganda to say that we are fighting corruption.  We are more interested in actually fighting corruption rather than making a big fuss about it.

Journalist:  That is why there is talk of a law on disclosure of financial assets of all those working in the public sector.

President Assad:  Discussions started a few months ago, and there was a workshop last week under the auspices of the Ministry of Administrative Development.  It is an important law. In fact, this is not new. It was raised a year before the war but at that time it was not formulated as a law. It was rather in the form of a decision for any individual employed by the state to disclose their financial assets so that this declaration becomes a frame of reference for the assets he gains during his employment.  Many people were asking why state officials were not being asked about their assets and how they were acquired.  To do so, would require a legal framework and that is what we are doing at the moment.  The essence in fighting corruption lies in the laws. By disclosing financial assets means this law which will constitute an important reference for any person employed by the state; after one year or twenty years you can ask them how they acquired their assets.

Journalist: What are the measures that will be taken in this regard?

President Assad: The law for the disclosure of financial assets is part of it, prosecuting corrupt individuals for certain wrongdoings is another.  However, if you go back to the discussion about corruption, particularly on social media, people talk about everything except the source of corruption.  In our case, the source lies in the laws and the related executive decrees and measures etc.  The legal structure of corruption is the problem, most of the cases referred to the courts are found to be an implementation of the law, which is very vague and has many loopholes.  As long as this is the case, even if you are fully-convinced that they are corrupt, they are legally innocent, because they have ‘implemented the law.’  Our laws give far reaching authorities, and allow for many exemptions.  This is why in my previous meeting with government, after the reshuffle, I talked about setting up a committee to amend the laws and in particular cancelling exceptions.  Exceptions are not necessarily in the form of allowing for officials to issue them but also in the form that they may implement in various manner at their own discretion.  I might implement it in good faith and create discrepancies between people, and I might implement it in bad faith and receive money and consequently become corrupt in the financial sense of the word.  That is why we started by focusing on the exceptions given to the President of the Republic.  By allowing for exceptions, if I wanted to implement the law fairly, I cannot because I will give you the opportunity to implement the provision in a certain way while somebody else is deprived of this possibility, because I did not encounter him or he did not have access to me.  As I said we started by canceling the exceptions of the President of the Republic.  Furthermore, any exceptions that are required in particular areas, for example the Customs Law; in these instances, there should be clear boundaries and controls over these exceptions. They should not be left to the discretion of any official regardless of their seniority.  So, we used to have so many exceptions without any controls, including in employment and other areas.  Again, our laws are full of loopholes which need to be fixed by passing new laws.  This has already begun, particularly with local administration laws because the violations we see everywhere are partly legal.  This is what we need to do. We are focusing on the anti-corruption law because what we are doing now in terms of fighting corruption is merely addresses the symptoms but does not solve the problem.

Journalist: So, it is about fighting the corrupt environment and not the corrupt individuals.

President Assad: Exactly.

Journalist: And here I ask about our role in the media, finally, and thank you for your patience with us, Mr. President, and for answering all these questions.

 President Assad: Not at all, you are welcome.

Journalist:  As the media, within the framework of fighting the corrupt environment, do we have a role and how do you see it?

President Assad:  You have a crucial role in two areas.  By the way, my last meeting with the government was dedicated solely to the role of the media.  First because I know that the media will have many enemies from within the state, especially when it addresses the question of corruption.  This is for many reasons, not only because of interests but also because it is our nature and our culture that we do not like criticism.  Even when it is general, we turn it into something personalized, and reactions start to appear, which create a great number of problems – either through fighting the media in principle or fighting the information which you need in order to do your job in this case.

So, the meeting was dedicated to advancing the state media; first because it constitutes the most important tool in fighting corruption.  Corruption is wide-ranging and includes many sectors, the relationship between people and the state, the relationship of different sectors within the state is not only a daily relationship, it is manifested on an hourly basis.  Consequently, we cannot, using any mechanism, follow up on all these cases. Here comes the role of the media, since the media are supposed to be in all corners of society.  So, it constitutes a major auxiliary instrument to expose cases of corruption.  The more important point which I touched on earlier when I referred to the laws, is the environment which needs radical reform.  The media should lead the dialogue around this reform.  The state has brought in legal experts to study the flaws, but legal experts do not necessarily have the vision.

Lawyers can formulate the laws, which is only part of the process.  The other part is the vision.  Who has this vision?  The officials alone – no.  There are details that officials, in their experience and position do not see.  And every individual in society, by virtue of their presence in a certain domain cannot see the whole solution, they can see part of the solution.  The media can bring us together to discuss this solution. From another perspective, we are seeing the chaos of discussion on social media.  Here is the role of the national media to shift this discussion from superficiality, personalization, gloating, revenge and manipulation from the outside, even unknowingly.  The media can create a real methodology for a serious dialogue, a mature dialogue, a national and consequently productive dialogue.  In fact, there are great hopes pinned on you, although you are still at the beginning through the programmes which you have started recently.  The opportunity to upgrade this dialogue, to fight corruption, address the laws, and the corrupt – the horizons for you are broad and open for you to play an important role. I personally pin great hopes on you and support the official media in this regard.

Journalist:  Thank you for your support, Mr President, which is practically empowering but also entrusts us with a great responsibility.

President Assad:  Thank you. I am happy to have this dialogue with two important and major national media institutions.  No doubt people have high hopes on the role of officials and the state in the future of Syria, whether in fighting corruption, fighting terrorism or the many other issues which you have tried to pass through the views of the Syrian citizens;  In turn we pin our hopes on you in the media to be – as you have been – part of the battle against terrorism, against corruption and against any flaw which might take the country backward instead of moving it forward.

You are welcome.

Journalist: Thank you, Mr President.

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Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’

October 28, 2019

The Age of Anger Exploding in Serial Geysers

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission

Trump’s victory-lap movie version buries the embarrassing story of deploying tanks to ‘protect’ Syrian oilfields

What remained of the attack site. Photo: AFP

“He died like a dog.” President Trump could not have scripted a better one-liner as he got ready for his Obama bin Laden close-up in front of the whole world.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, fake caliph, ISIS/Daesh leader, the most wanted man on the planet, was “brought to justice” under Trump’s watch. The dead dog caliph is now positioned as the ultimate foreign policy winning trophy ahead of 2020 reelection.

The climatic scenes of the inevitable-as-death-and-taxes movie or Netflix series to come are already written. (Trump: I “watched it like a movie.”) Cowardly uber-terrorist cornered in a dead-end tunnel, eight helicopter gunships hovering above, dogs barking in the darkness, three terrified children taken as hostages, coward detonates a suicide vest, tunnel collapses over himself and the children.

A crack forensic team carrying samples of the fake caliph’s DNA apparently does its job in record time. The remains of the self-exploded target – then sealed in plastic bags – confirm it: it’s Baghdadi. In the dead of night, it’s time for the commando unit to go back to Irbil, a 70-minute flight over northeast Syria and northwest Iraq. Cut to Trump’s presser. Mission accomplished. Roll credits.

This all happened at a compound only 300 meters away from the village of Barisha, in Idlib, rural northwest Syria, only 5km from the Syria-Turkish border. The compound is no more:  it was turned to rubble so it would not become a (Syrian) shrine for a renegade Iraqi.

The caliph was already on the run, and arrived at this rural back of beyond only 48 hours before the raid, according to Turkish intelligence. A serious question is what he was doing in northwest Syria, in Idlib – a de facto cauldron-like Donbass in 2014 – which the Syrian army and Russian airpower are just waiting for the right moment to extinguish.

There are virtually no ISIS/Daesh jihadis in Irbil, but lots of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, as in al-Qaeda in Syria, known inside the Beltway as “moderate rebels,” including hardcore Turkmen brigades previously weaponized by Turkish intel. The only rational explanation is that the Caliph might have identified this Idlib backwater near Barisha, away from the war zone, as the ideal under-the-radar passport to cross to Turkey.

Russians knew?

The plot thickens when we examine Trump’s long list of “thank yous” for the successful raid. Russia came first, followed by Syria – presumably Syrian Kurds, not Damascus – Turkey and Iraq. In fact, Syrian Kurds were only credited with “certain support,” in Trump’s words. Their commander Mazloum Abdi, though, preferred to extol the raid as a “historic operation” with essential Syrian Kurd intel input.

In Trump’s press conference, expanding somewhat on the thank yous, Russia again came first (“great” collaboration) and Iraq was “excellent”: the Iraqi National Intelligence Service later commented on the break it had gotten, via a Syrian who had smuggled the wives of two of Baghdadi’s brothers, Ahmad and Jumah, to Idlib via Turkey.

There’s no way US Special Forces could have pulled this off without complex, combined Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian Kurd intel. Additionally, President Erdogan accomplishes one more tactical masterpiece, juggling between performing the role of dutiful, major NATO ally while still allowing al-Qaeda remnants their safe haven in Idlib under the watchful eye of the Turkish military.

Significantly, Trump said, about Moscow: “We told them, ‘We’re coming in’ … and they said, ‘Thank you for telling us.’” But, “they did not know the mission.”

They definitely didn’t. In fact, the Russian Defense Ministry, via spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, said it had “no reliable information about US servicemen conducting an operation to ‘yet another’ elimination of the former Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Turkish-controlled part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.”

And on Trump’s “we told them,” the Russian Defense Ministry was emphatic: “We know nothing about any assistance to the flight of US aircraft to the Idlib de-escalation zone’s airspace in the course of this operation.”

According to ground sources in Syria, a prevalent rumor in Idlib is that the “dead dog” in Barisha could be Abu Mohammad Salama, the leader of Haras al-Din, a minor sub-group of al-Qaeda in Syria. Haras al-Din has not issued any statement about it.

ISIS/Daesh anyway has already named a successor: Abdullah Qardash, aka Hajji Abdullah al-Afari, also Iraqi and also a former Saddam Hussein military officer. There’s a strong possibility that ISIS/Daesh and myriad subgroups and variations of al-Qaeda in Syria will now re-merge, after their split in 2014.

Who gets the oil?

There’s no plausible explanation whatsoever for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for years, enjoying the freedom of shuttling back and forth between Syria and Iraq, always evading the formidable surveillance capabilities of the US government.

Well, there’s also no plausible explanation for that famous convoy of 53 brand new, white Toyota Hi-Luxes crossing the desert from Syria to Iraq in 2014 crammed with flag-waving ISIS/Daesh jihadis on their way to capture Mosul, also evading the cornucopia of US satellites covering the Middle East 24/7.

And there’s no way to bury the 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  leaked memo that explicitly named “the West, Gulf monarchies, and Turkey” as seeking a “Salafist principality” in Syria (opposed, significantly, by Russia, China and Iran – the key poles of Eurasia integration).

That was way before ISIS/Daesh’s irresistible ascension. The DIA memo was unmistakable: “If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

True, the fake caliph has been proclaimed definitely dead at least five times, starting in December 2016. Yet the timing, now, could not be more convenient.

The facts on the ground, after the latest ground-breaking Russia-brokered deal between the Turks and the Syrian Kurds, graphically spell out the slow but sure restoration of Syria’s territorial integrity. There will be no balkanization of Syria. The last remaining pocket to be cleared of jihadis is Irbil.

And then, there’s the oil question. The “died as a dog” movie literally buries – at least for now – an extremely embarrassing story: the Pentagon deploying tanks to “protect” Syrian oilfields. This is as illegal, by any possible interpretation of international law, as is, for that matter, the very presence in Syria of US troops, which were never invited by the government in Damascus.

Persian Gulf traders told me that before 2011, Syria was producing 387,000 barrels of oil a day and selling 140,000 – the equivalent of 25.1% of Damascus’s income. Nowadays, the Omar, al-Shadaddi and Suwayda fields, in eastern Syria, would not be producing more than 60,000 barrels a day. Still, that’s essential for Damascus and for “the Syrian people” so admired within the Beltway – the legitimate owners of the oil.

The mostly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) did in fact take military control of Deir er-Zor when they were fighting ISIS/Daesh. Yet the majority of the local population is Sunni Arab. They will never tolerate any hint of a longtime Syrian Kurd domination – much less in tandem with a US occupation.

Sooner or later the Syrian army will get there, with Russian air power support. The Deep State might, but Trump, in an electoral year, would never risk a hot war over a few, illegally occupied oilfields.

In the end, the “died as a dog” movie can be interpreted as a victory lap, and the closure of a historical arc languishing since 2011. When he “abandoned” the Syrian Demoratic Forces Kurds, Trump effectively buried the Rojava question – as in an independent Syrian Kurdistan.

Russia is in charge in Syria – on all fronts. Turkey got rid of its “terrorism” paranoia – always having to demonize the Syrian Kurd PYD and its armed wing YPG as a spin-off of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) separatists inside Turkey – and this may help to settle the Syrian refugee question. Syria is on the way to recover all its territory.

The “died as a dog” movie can also be interpreted as the liquidation of a formerly useful asset that was a valued component of the gift that keeps on giving, the never-ending Global War on Terror. Other scarecrows, and other movies, await.

What after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS ?! ماذا بعد أبو بكر البغدادي وداعش؟!

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What after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS ?!

Dr. Mohammed Sayed Ahmed 

It’s not the first time we’ve talked about the U.S. taking control of two of the world’s most important industries: terrorism and media. Through the first industry, it has been able to make significant gains at the expense of destroying societies and harvesting innocent human beings. Through the second industry, she was and still is trying to brainwash world public opinion and the illusion that she is innocent of terrorism, but the world’s first warrior, in an attempt to cleanse her blood-stained hand..

This week, the U.S. media came out to talk about the killing of Isis terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi through a U.S. military operation in Idlib, Syria, followed by the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump himself to talk about al-Baghdadi’s death through a u.S. military operation. The man continued to weave from his imagination a long story about the hunt for Al-Baghdadi, who was eventually forced to blow himself up with an explosive belt, trying to convince the world public that they had thus permanently destroyed the myth of ISIS, and therefore there is no justification for their presence in Syria..

Despite the weakness and fragility of the American narrative and its long-standing lack of resilience to the conscious mind. Within hours, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that there were no u.S. air flights or allied forces in Idlib, not on Saturday or in the days before, yet the United States, through its control of the media, was trying to promote its false news, and unfortunately World public opinion is still under the influence of this infernal media machine, which is working to falsify consciousness around the clock. In the age of digital media, man has become a prisoner of fabricated and false information and information through this new media..

The story of the United States of America with terrorism is old and began during the Cold War with the former Soviet Union on the pretext that it was an infidel state and was trying to spread atheism in the world and Muslims should fight it. Indeed, some Islamist groups have been encouraged to go to Afghanistan to fight against disbelief and atheism with the support of the United States, which has provided the sacrificed mujahedeen with money and weapons. The battle ended with the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1990, and the mujahedeen returned from Afghanistan to their Arab and Muslim countries to practice violence and terrorism within these communities..

Then the United States created al-Qaeda, which has terrorized the world for two decades, turning osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi, into a legend by the mighty American media machine, which he and his organization attributed to the world’s largest terrorist incident, the bombing of two towers. World trade in the United States itself on September 11, 2001, using the latest missile and aircraft warfare technology. This has raised many questionmarks about the strength and capability of the organization that managed to penetrate the world’s largest security system, even though its leaders, as portrayed by the U.S. media itself, live in the mountains and caves of Afghanistan. America has declared war on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden on the grounds that they are responsible for terrorism in the world, and yet the organization has remained present and leading the terrorist scene around the world and issues daily statements circulated through the American media machine that he is responsible for all explosion is happening here or there.

With the activation and acceleration of the steps of the new Middle East project, through which the United States of America seeks to break up and divide the Arab region along sectarian, ethnic and sectarian lines, which requires the use of the paper of terrorist groups to be the process of partition and fragmentation from within without direct confrontation from it, As in Afghanistan and Iraq, it took advantage of popular anger within some Arab countries and poured more fire on it while pushing its trained elements to lead the street in its favor. This is where al-Qaeda disappeared from the global terrorist scene, and also disappeared from the media platforms that were promoting it, which means that it was the United States that sponsored and promoted this organization, and when its mission ended, it disappeared from existence..

It then manufactured a number of new terrorist organizations and launched its hand in the region and supported it with money and weapons. We heard about Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in Sinai, Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Sham in Syria, but these organizations quickly disappeared and sold out to the new terrorist organization and the legend created by the United States and promoted to it through its powerful media machine, the Islamic State in Iraq. Al-Sham, who is known as THE MEDIA of ISIS and has become a new scare by America, scares the whole world, and it is surprising that there is no sane person on earth who wondered how these terrorist organizations appear?! And how do you disappear without introductions?! How can al-Qaeda, whose operations have terrorized the whole world, disappear from existence? We no longer hear of anything about him, even though there is no real confrontation to fight it and eliminate it?!

After the United States of America manufactured ISIS in Iraq, it gave it the signal to start entering Syria to carry out its partition plan after the first organizations that led the terrorist operations at the beginning of the global war on Syria failed to achieve what America hoped thanks to the steadfastness of the people. And the valor of the Syrian Arab Army. Here, America found itself in need of a larger organization that would manufacture, support it with money and weapons, and amplify it with its media machine, and ISIS, which began to move from one place to another, was at one moment the primary responsibility for terrorist operations around the world. There is no terrorist incident unless ISIS leaders claim responsibility for it, they have weapons that are superior to those of regular armies..

The question is, who gave them this weapon? The United States is the world’s largest arms dealer, and it is in its interest to continue this terrorism to continue its trade, because countries threatened by terrorism seek to buy weapons from the United States to fight terrorism and defend themselves. If terrorism ceases, its trade will cease. Of course, the media is one of the most important tools of the United States to promote its terrorist goods and industry, so we can now explain why the myth of ISIS began to fall and the U.S. announcement of al-Baghdadi’s death in preparation for its withdrawal from Syria after the failure of its project. It is now equipped to manufacture a new terrorist organization, its media machine is ready to promote and amplify, and the global collective mind is ready for receptions and repetitions without the realization of reason..

Oh God, I warned So bear witness

ماذا بعد أبو بكر البغدادي وداعش؟!

د. محمد سيد أحمد

ليست المرة الأولى التي نتحدث فيها عن سيطرة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية على صناعتين من أهم الصناعات في العالم وهما صناعتا الإرهاب والإعلام. وعبر الصناعة الأولى تمكنت من تحقيق مكاسب كبيرة على حساب تدمير مجتمعات وحصد أروح بشر أبرياء. ومن خلال الصناعة الثانية كانت ومازالت تحاول غسل أدمغة الرأي العام العالمي وإيهامه أنها بريئة من الإرهاب، بل هي المحارب الأول له في العالم، في محاولة لتطهير يدها الملوثة بالدماء.

وخلال هذا الأسبوع خرجت علينا وسائل الإعلام الأميركية تحدّثنا عن مقتل أبي بكر البغدادي زعيم تنظيم داعش الإرهابي عبر عملية عسكرية أميركية في إدلب السورية، ثم تبع ذلك خروج الرئيس الأميركي ذاته «دونالد ترامب» ليتحدث عن مقتل البغدادي عبر عملية نوعية للجيش الأميركي. وظل الرجل ينسج من خياله قصة طويلة حول مطاردة البغدادي الذي اضطر في النهاية الى تفجير نفسه بحزام ناسف، محاولا بذلك إيهام الرأي العام العالمي بأنهم بذلك قد قضوا بشكل نهائي على أسطورة داعش، وبالتالي لا يوجد مبرر لوجودهم في سورية.

وعلى الرغم من ضعف وهشاشة الرواية الأميركية وعدم صمودها طويلاً أمام العقل الواعي. فخلال ساعات كانت وزارة الدفاع الروسية تؤكد أنه لم يكن هناك في إدلب أي طلعات جوية للطيران الأميركي أو القوى المتحالفة معه لا في يوم السبت الذي حدّدوه أو في الأيام السابقة عليه، ومع ذلك تحاول الولايات المتحدة وعبر سيطرتها على وسائل الإعلام الترويج لأخبارها الكاذبة، وللأسف الشديد مازال الرأي العام العالمي يخضع لتأثير هذه الآلة الإعلامية الجهنمية التي تعمل على تزييف وعيه على مدار الساعة. فقد أصبح الإنسان في عصر الإعلام الرقمي أسير ما يُقدَّم له من معلومات وأخبار مفبركة وكاذبة عبر هذا الإعلام الجديد.

وقصة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية مع الإرهاب قديمة فقد بدأت أثناء الحرب الباردة مع الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق بدعوى أنها دولة كافرة وتحاول نشر الإلحاد في العالم وعلى المسلمين أن يقوموا بمحاربتها. وبالفعل تم تشجيع بعض الجماعات الإسلامية للذهاب إلى أفغانستان للجهاد ضد الكفر والإلحاد بدعم من الولايات المتحدة التي أمدت المجاهدين المضحوك عليهم بالمال والسلاح. وانتهت المعركة بتفكيك الاتحاد السوفياتي عام 1990، وعاد المجاهدون من أفغانستان إلى بلادهم العربية والإسلامية ليمارسوا العنف والإرهاب داخل هذه المجتمعات.

ثم قامت الولايات المتحدة بصناعة تنظيم القاعدة الذي أثار الرعب في العالم على مدى عقدين من الزمان تحوّل على أثرها أسامة بن لادن الثري السعوديّ إلى أسطورة بواسطة الآلة الإعلامية الأميركية الجبارة، حيث نسب إليه وإلى تنظيمه أكبر حادثة إرهابية في العالم وهي تفجير برجَي التجارة العالمية بالولايات المتحدة ذاتها في 11 سبتمبر 2001 وباستخدام أحدث أساليب التكنولوجيا الحربية من صواريخ وطائرات. وهو ما أثار العديد من علامات الاستفهام حول قوة وقدرة التنظيم الذي استطاع أن يخترق أكبر منظومة أمنية في العالم، على الرغم من أن قادته وكما صوّر لنا الإعلام الأميركي ذاته يعيشون في الجبال والكهوف في أفغانستان. وقامت أميركا بإعلان الحرب على تنظيم القاعدة وأسامة بن لادن بدعوى أنهم المسؤولون عن الإرهاب في العالم، ورغم ذلك ظل التنظيم موجوداً ومتصدراً للمشهد الإرهابي حول العالم ويصدر يومياً بيانات يتم تداولها عبر الآلة الإعلامية الأميركية أنه المسؤول عن كل تفجير يحدث هنا أو هناك.

ومع تفعيل وتسريع خطوات مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي تسعى من خلاله الولايات المتحدة الأميركية إلى تفتيت وتقسيم المنطقة العربية على أسس مذهبية وعرقية وطائفية وهو ما يستلزم استخدام ورقة الجماعات الإرهابية لتكون عملية التقسيم والتفتيت من الداخل دون مواجهة مباشرة منها، كما حدث في افغانستان والعراق، حيث استغلّت موجات الغضب الشعبي داخل بعض البلدان العربية وقامت بسكب مزيد من النيران عليه مع الدفع بعناصر مدربة تابعة لها لتقود الشارع لصالحها. هنا اختفى تنظيم القاعدة من المشهد الإرهابي العالمى، واختفى أيضاً من فوق المنابر الإعلامية التي كانت تقوم بالترويج له، وهو ما يعني أن الولايات المتحدة هي التي كانت ترعى هذا التنظيم وتروّج له وعندما انتهت مهمته اختفى من الوجود.

ثم قامت بعد ذلك بصناعة عدد من التنظيمات الإرهابية الجديدة وأطلقت يدها بالمنطقة ودعمتها بالمال والسلاح. فسمعنا عن أنصار بيت المقدس في سيناء، وجبهة النصرة وجند الشام في سورية، لكن سرعان ما اختفت هذه التنظيمات سريعاً وقامت بمبايعة التنظيم الإرهابي الجديد والأسطورة التي صنعتها الولايات المتحدة وروّجت لها عبر آلتها الإعلامية الجبارة وهو تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية بالعراق والشام والذي عرف إعلامياً بتنظيم داعش والذي أصبح بعبعاً جديداً تخيف به أميركا العالم أجمع، ومن المثير للعجب أنه لا يوجد عاقل على وجه الكرة الأرضية تساءل عن كيف تظهر هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية؟! وكيف تختفي دون مقدمات؟! فكيف لتنظيم القاعدة الذي كانت عملياته ترعب العالم أجمع يختفي من الوجود؟! ولم نعد نسمع عنه أي شيء رغم عدم وجود مواجهة حقيقية لمحاربته والقضاء عليه؟!

وبعد أن قامت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بصناعة داعش في العراق أعطته إشارة البدء للدخول إلى سورية لتنفيذ مخططها التقسيمي والتفتيتي بعد أن فشلت التنظيمات الأولى التي كانت تقود العمليات الإرهابية في بداية الحرب الكونية على سورية في تحقيق ما ترجوه أميركا بفضل صمود الشعب وبسالة الجيش العربي السوري. هنا وجدت أميركا نفسها في حاجة إلى تنظيم أكبر تقوم بصناعته ودعمه بالمال والسلاح وتضخّمه بواسطة آلتها الإعلامية فكان تنظيم داعش الذي بدأ ينتقل من مكان إلى آخر حتى أصبح في لحظة معينة هو المسؤول الأول عن العمليات الإرهابية التي تتم حول العالم. فما من حادثة إرهابية إلا ويعلن قادة داعش عن مسؤوليتهم عنها فهم يمتلكون أسلحة تتفوق على أسلحة الجيوش النظامية.

والسؤال هنا مَن الذي أعطاهم هذا السلاح؟! الولايات المتحدة هي أكبر تاجر للسلاح في العالم، ومن مصلحتها استمرار هذا الإرهاب لتستمر تجارتها رائجة، لأن الدول التي يتهددها الإرهاب تسعى إلى شراء السلاح من الولايات المتحدة لمكافحة الإرهاب والدفاع عن نفسها. وإذا توقف الإرهاب ستتوقف تجارتها. وبالطبع الإعلام إحدى أهم أدوات الولايات المتحدة للترويج لبضاعتها وصناعتها الإرهابية، لذلك يمكننا الآن تفسير لماذا بدأت أسطورة داعش في الأفول وإعلان الولايات المتحدة الأميركية عن مقتل البغدادي تمهيداً لانسحابها من سورية بعد فشل مشروعها. فهي تجهز الآن لصناعة تنظيم إرهابي جديد، وآلتها الإعلامية جاهزة للترويج والتضخيم، والعقل الجمعي العالمي المغيب جاهز لعمليات الاستقبال والترديد دون إعمال للعقل.

اللهم بلغت اللهم فاشهد.

ISIS LEADER AL-BAGHDADI WAS KILLED IN US OPERATION IN SYRIA’S IDLIB: REPORTS

ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Was Killed In US Operation In Syria's Idlib: Reports

Al-Baghdadi

27.10.2019

South Front

It seems that every ‘successful US President’ should defeat own ‘Terrorist #1’.

Late on October 26, eight unidentified military helicopters carried out a series of strikes on positions in the outskirt of the town of Barisha in the Syrian province of Idlib. The town is located near near Turkish border. Early on October 27, Prpesident Donald Trump announced that “something very big” had happened.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Something very big has just happened!

135K people are talking about this

Mainstream media outlets citing anonymous military and intelligence sources already reported that the incident was a successful US operation to eliminate ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

FOX News (source):

The Islamic State group leader who reportedly had a $25 million bounty on his head is believed to have been killed in Syria.

A “high value ISIS target” — believed to be Islamic State mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — was killed by U.S.-led forces in Idlib, a well-placed military source told Fox News on Saturday night.

Soon after, the White House issued a statement that major news would be announced there at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Newsweek directly claims that al-Baghdadi was killed (source):

The United States military has conducted a special operations raid targeting one of its most high-value targets, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), Newsweek has learned. President Donald Trump approved the mission nearly a week before it took place.

Amid reports Saturday of U.S. military helicopters over the Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, a senior Pentagon official familiar with the operation and Army official briefed on the matter told Newsweek that Baghdadi was the target of the top-secret operation in the last bastion of the country’s Islamist-dominated opposition, a faction that has clashed with ISIS in recent years.

A U.S. Army official briefed on the results of the operation told Newsweek that Baghdadi was killed in the raid, and the Defense Department told the White House they have “high confidence” that the high-value target killed was Baghdadi, but further verification is pending DNA and biometric testing. The senior Pentagon official said there was a brief firefight when U.S. forces entered the compound in Idlib’s Barisha village and that Baghdadi then killed himself by detonating a suicide vest. Family members were present. According to Pentagon sources, no children were harmed in the raid but two Baghdadi wives were killed after detonating their own explosive vests.

Local Idlib sources report that at least 7 people, including a child and 3 women, were killed in the developments in Barisha. This goes contrary to claims by US media alleging that no civilians were killed.

Séamus Malekafzali but he’s spooky this time@Seamus_Malek

First daylight video from the site in northern Idlib of the massive military op supposedly to kill Baghdadi. The place has just been absolutely leveled.

Embedded video

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Ryan O’Farrell@ryanmofarrell

Speculating, but an interesting compound built on the western outskirts of Barisha, Idlib last spring, especially the bottom building https://goo.gl/maps/VbdE25FtXRntYMBP8 

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
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Other reports speculate that:

  • the strikes in Barisha to destroy al-Baghdadi’s compound and prevent it from turning into a place of worship for various radicals and ISIS supporters;
  • Turkey was not informed about the operation because President Erdogan is no more a US ‘reliable partner’. It’s hard to suppose how this is even possible because of the localtion of the supposed operation;
  • Turkey provided the US with intelligence

As expected the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces already claimed  that the supposed operation against al-Baghdadi became possible thanks to their assistance to the US-led coalition. This is an ordinary behavior for the Kurdish group that likes to prentend that it’s responsible for a total defeat of ISIS.

Mazloum Abdî مظلوم عبدي

@MazloumAbdi

Successful& historical operation due to a joint intelligence work with the United States of America.

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During the past few years, mainstream media outlets repeatedly claimed that al-Baghdadi was eliminated in Syria or Iraq. All these reports appeared  to be fake news.

If the current claim is different and the US-led coalition really eliminated  the ISIS leader, this will be an important development contributing for a further ISIS collapse.

  • The elimination of al-Baghdadi would be an important PR victory for the Trump administration that would use this factor to justify its Middle East foreign policy inside the US ahead of the Presidential Election 2020. So, Trump will get another chance to claim that his administration defeated ISIS.
  • The elimination of al-Baghdadi, if it realy happened, in Idlib province reveals all the hypocrisy of Western diplomats and journalists that have fiercely opposed ani-terror efforts of the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance in the very same area.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

The Rise and Fall of ISIS صعود وسقوط داعش

August 10, 2019

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

A year or two ago, I would have never imagined that I would be writing an article with this title, at least not this soon; but things change.

If anything, my previous articles about ISIS which I wrote back between 2014 and 2017 were very alarming and predicted the worst, but again, things change, and back then there were many reasons to feel alarmed.

I have reiterated in that era of the past that the ISIS ideology had deep roots in fundamentalist Islam, and I still have this view. I have professed many times that this fundamentalist doctrine had been in place long before Christopher Columbus set a foot on American soil and that we cannot blame the CIA, Israel, the UK, or the West in general for the creation of this ideology, and I am not retracting. I have also said that those fundamentalist views do not represent real Islam, and there is no change in heart on this aspect either. So what has changed?

In this context, we are talking about the ideological rise and fall of ISIS. We are not talking about the political aspects and the horde of players who helped create, manipulate and employ ISIS for different reasons and agendas. With all of those players however, ISIS needed the support base, and that support base was the Muslim youth who are disenchanted by world events and the manner the world views Islam. Furthermore, they are disgruntled by the governments of the Muslims World and their links to the West: links they consider as treasonous and shameful. It was this mindset that was the recruitment base for ISIS; not the Pentagon.

So for the benefit of clarification, I must herein emphasize that there has always been a perverted version of Islam that founded itself on violence; in total contradiction to the Quranic teachings that clearly forbid coercion and oppression. This version was finally committed to a written doctrine, written by Ibn Taymiyyah; the founding doctrine of the Wahhabi Saudi sect.

When the West “discovered” this doctrine, it tried to employ it to its advantage, and this was how Al-Qaeda and ISIS were created, with Al-Qaeda’s role to hurt the USSR in Afghanistan, and ISIS to topple the legitimate and secular Syrian Government.

The not so funny thing about ISIS was that when the proclamation of creating the Islamist state back in mid-2014, the Caliphate passion became something easy to grow and self-nurture in the hearts and minds of many Sunni Muslims across the globe; including moderate ones.

Harking back at what happened back then; one honestly cannot blame them much. After all, many of the then Iraqi ISIS commanders and fighters were former Saddam-era Iraqi Army personnel. Many of them have even actually walked away from the “dictator” in the hope that the “regime change” was going to be for the better, only to soon realize the state of mess and mayhem that the American invasion created.

Before ISIS “had the chance” to show its ugly face, may moderate Muslims thought that this new force emerging out of Mesopotamia, one that does not recognize the border lines that Western colonialists have drawn between Sham (Syria) and Iraq, one that wants to unite Muslims, is perhaps “the one” to go for and support.

Ironically, most of those Muslims today look back at those days and either forget or wish to forget that at one stage, at some level, deep down in their hearts they supported ISIS, albeit not fully knowing what it stood for.

It was this subtle and covert support for ISIS by some elements of the global Sunni rank-and-file that gave ISIS a fertile ground for luring in recruits and that was the major cause for concern.

If anyone looks for evidence that supports this statement, then he/she need not go further than looking at the recent history of terror attacks in the EU (especially France) and the UK.

After the horrendous Bastille Day attack in Nice in the summer of 2016, a new direction for terror was established, and the perpetrator proved that one does not need a weapon to kill. His weapon was a truck, and he didn’t even need to buy it. He rented it.

After this infamous attack and what followed it, I among many others, predicted more of such events, and they continued for a while, and then suddenly they stopped. Why? This is the question.

For ISIS to be have been able to keep its momentum and growing support base, it needed to gain the hearts and minds of Muslims. But to do so, it needed to score victories and be able to revive Muslim nostalgia. Both are equally important.

In the beginning, it boasted its victories and the biggest of which was the takeover of Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city. This was how the ears of many Muslims worldwide pricked up and poised themselves to hear more. Some jumped on the band wagon straight away, but the majority braced and waited for more evidence that ISIS in general, and Baghdadi in specific, are the right ones to trust and follow.

Image result for isis crimes

What followed the capture of Mosul by ISIS however was nothing short of disgrace for ISIS; one that exposed its true inner ugliness. And instead of being able to capitalize on its initial momentum and promising to achieve more of it by adopting at least some of the virtues of Islam, ISIS turned its inability to achieve further military victories into a blood bath, looting and a sex slave market.

Image result for isis crimes

Before too long, even some of the most ardent Muslim supporters of ISIS turned away from it, and then against it, to the degree that they now even forget or deny that they once supported its baby steps.

What is interesting to note is that the move from secularism to Islam has not changed in the Muslim world. An increasing number of Muslim girls are wearing the Hijab with or without ISIS, but ISIS itself has lost its sway with the general Sunni Muslim populace.

What is interesting to see is that the definition of what is a “real Muslim” is changing, and changing quickly. And whilst the move towards Hijab and all what comes with it is still going full steam ahead, there seems to be a growing trend in the Muslim World towards moderation.

The ISIS fundamentals of black and white doctrine seem to be becoming increasingly tolerant of certain shades of grey. Even some personal Facebook friends and friends of friends who have brandished their photos performing Pilgrimage at Mecca don’t seem to be at dis-ease posting other photos brandishing a Heineken. To someone outside the Muslim Faith this may not sound like a big deal, but in reality, it is.

This all sounds good, but what has happened here really?

ISIS has definitely lost the plot. Fortunately for the world, irrespective of who are/were the people “behind” ISIS, its recruitment base had to come from Muslims; especially the youth. Having lost the ability to draw more recruits and enthusiasts who pledge their actions and lives to Baghdadi without even having to be formal ISIS members, ISIS as an organization and a name is now a spent force, and dare I say a figment of the past.

This however does not mean that the Muslim community has “immunized” itself against potential new ISIS-like organizations and agendas.

The initial rise of ISIS could have well been the result of a nostalgic remnant of a certain belief system that many Muslims did not even want to investigate and study properly to see if it really and truly conforms with the Teachings of Islam and all other religions. The fall of ISIS however heralds a new unprecedented era in the Muslim mind, and this calls for great optimism.

Perhaps for the first time in the history of Islam ever since its inception, Muslims are now beginning to examine some teachings they inherited. Even Saudi Arabia and its infamous Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) seem to be sick and tired of the old rules and dogmas that allow this and prohibit that; based on no foundation at all. I have never been a fan of MBS, but having lived in Saudi Arabia for a while, I had always thought that this country would never allow women to drive, never ever. The fact that he changed this is a great step in the right direction. This does not take away from MBS’s genocidal activities in Yemen of course, but on the dogmatic side of things, this is a huge step towards reform. In Saudi Arabia there is also a call to have a second take on the Hadith (the spoken word of Prophet Mohamed) in an attempt to identify certain teachings that promote violence and that are incompatible with Islam. The rationale behind this is that they were never the words of the Prophet to begin with and that they might have been injected into the huge discourse by others with political agendas. Such an initiative was totally unfathomable only up till a few years ago.

Does this mean that we are seeing the end of Muslim fundamentalist-based violence? Hopefully we are, but the real answer to this question is for the whole Muslim community to answer.

The truth is that ISIS may be done and dusted, but the ideology behind lives on.

It is hoped for that the actions of ISIS will be remembered for eternity. It is hoped that Muslims realize that if they truly want to pursue the fundamentalist dreams of conquest and world dominion, then they cannot distance themselves from the legacy of ISIS. It is hoped that they look forward to a new world that is open to all religions and doctrines.

I am a firm believer that God created man in His own image, and part of this image is goodness and love of goodness; and Muslims are part of this creation. After all, Muslims, all Muslims believe in the Hadith that says: “The best people are those who most benefit to other people”. Russia and Syria might have won the military war on ISIS, but it is Muslims who have won the spiritual fight. Muslims: 1, ISIS: 0.

ِArabic Translation 

By UP

صعود وسقوط داعش

غسان كادي

 ، لم أكن أتخيل منذ عام أو عامين أبداً أنني سأكتب مقالًا بهذا العنوان؛

في ذلك الوقت كانت هناك أسباب كثيرة للشعور بالقلق، لكن الأمور تتغير.

في مقالاتي السابقة حول داعش التي كتبت في الفترة ما بين 2014 و 2017 كانت مقلقة للغاية وتوقعت الأسوأ ،  لكن الأمور تغيرت .

في تلك الحقبة الماضية كررت أن أيديولوجية داعش لها جذور عميقة في الإسلام الأصولي ،وقلت أيضًا أن تلك الآراء الأصولية لا تمثل الإسلام الحقيقي ولا يزال لدي هذا الرأي. فالعقيدة الأصولية كانت موجودة قبل فترة طويلة من اكتشاف الأرض الأمريكية وعليه لا يمكننا اتهام وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية أو إسرائيل أو المملكة المتحدة أو الغرب عمومًا بإنشاء هذه الأيديولوجية، وأنا هنا لا أتراجع. إذن ما الذي تغير؟

 في هذا السياق، نتحدث عن الصعود ولسقوط الأيديولوجي لداعش، ولا نتحدث عن الجوانب السياسية واللاعبين الذين ساعدوا في إنشاء وتوظيفها لأسباب وجداول أعمال مختلفة. لأنه مع توفر كل هؤلاء اللاعبين، كانت داعش بحاجه إلى بيئة حاضنة وقاعدة الدعم، وكانت البيئة الحاضنة وقاعدة الدعم هي الشباب المسلم المحبط بالأحداث العالمية والطريقة التي ينظر بها العالم إلى الإسلام والاستياء من حكومات العالم الإسلامي وروابطهم الخائنة والمخزية بالغرب. هذا الاحباط والاستياء مكن البنتاغون من التوظيف السياسي لداعش.

لذلك لا بد أن أشدد هنا على الوجود الدائمً لنسخة منحرفة من الإسلام تأسست على العنف ؛ في تناقض تام مع التعاليم القرآنية التي تمنع بوضوح الإكراه والقمع. نسخة كتبها ابن تيمية ؛ العقيدة المؤسسة للطائفة الوهابية السعودية.

عندما “اكتشف” الغرب هذه العقيدة المنحرفة، حاول أن يوظفها لصالحه ، وهكذا تم إنشاء القاعدة وداعش، القاعدة لإلحاق الأذى بالاتحاد السوفيتي في أفغانستان، وداعش لإسقاط الشرعية والعلمانية الحكومة السورية.

 لا شك ان إعلان داعش عن إنشاء الدولة الإسلامية في منتصف عام 2014 ، أيقظ الحنين والأمل بعودة الخلافة في  قلوب وعقول العديد من المسلمين السنة في جميع أنحاء العالم ؛ بما في ذلك المعتدلين. وبصراحة لا يمكن إلقاء اللوم عليهم كثيرا. بعد كل شيء ، فإن العديد من قادة ومقاتلي داعش العراقيين كانوا في السابق من أفراد الجيش العراقي في عهد صدام. لقد ابتعد كثير منهم عن “الديكتاتور” على أمل أن يتم “تغيير النظام” للأفضل ، لكنهم انضموا لداعش يسبب حالة الفوضى التي أحدثها الغزو الأمريكي.

قبل أن تظهر داعش وجهها القبيح ، ربما اعتقد المسلمون المعتدلون أن هذه القوة الجديدة الخارجة من بلاد ما بين النهرين ، والتي لا تعترف بالحدود التي رسمها المستعمرون الغربيون بين الشام (سوريا) والعراق ، هي القوة التي تستطيع توحيد المسلمين، والتي يجب دعمها .

ومن المفارقات، أن معظم هؤلاء المسلمين عندما ينظرون اليوم إلى الوراء، إما ينسون أو يودون أن ينسوا أنهم في مرحلة ما، في أعماق قلوبهم، أيدوا داعش ، وإن كانوا لا يعرفون تمامًا معنى ذلك.

هذا الدعم الخفي والسري لداعش من قبل بعض التيار السني العالمي هو الذي أعطى داعش أرضية خصبة لجذب المجندين وكان ذلك هو السبب الرئيسي للقلق.

إذا كان أي شخص يبحث عن أدلة تدعم هذه المقولة، فلن يحتاج الا إلى أبعد النظر في الهجمات الإرهابية في الاتحاد الأوروبي (وخاصة فرنسا) والمملكة المتحدة.

في الهجوم المروع الذي وقع يوم الباستيل في نيس في صيف عام 2016 ، أثبت مرتكب الجريمة أنه لا يحتاج إلى سلاح ليقتل. كان سلاحه شاحنة ، ولم يكن بحاجة لشرائها. فقد استأجرها.

وبعد هذا الهجوم المشين وما تلاه ، توقعت من بين أشياء كثيرة أخرى حدوث المزيد من هذه الأحداث ، التي استمرت لفترة، ثم توقفت فجأة.

لماذا ا؟ هذا هو السؤال.

لتتمكن داعش من الحفاظ على دعم بيئتها الحاضنة المتنامية ، كانت تحتاج إلى كسب قلوب وعقول المسلمين. وللقيام بذلك ، كان من الضروري تسجيل الانتصارات لإحياء حنين المسلمين للخلافة.

في البداية ، تفاخرت داعش بانتصاراتها وكان أكبرها الاستيلاء على الموصل. ثاني أكبر مدن العراق. وهكذا أصبحت آذان العديد من المسلمين في جميع أنحاء العالم تستعد وتهيئ نفسها لسماع المزيد. قفز البعض على عربة داعش مباشرة ، لكن الغالبية استعدت وانتظرت للحصول على مزيد من الأدلة على أن داعش بشكل عام ، والبغدادي على وجه الخصوص ، هما الشخصان المناسبان للثقة والمتابعة.

لكن ما أعقب استيلاء داعش على الموصل لم يكن أقل من وصمة عار كشفت عن قبحها الداخلي الحقيقي. وبدلاً من أن تتمكن داعش من الاستفادة من زخم انتصارها الأول ووعدها بتحقيق المزيد من ذلك من خلال ابراز من فضائل الإسلام على الأقل ، حوّلت داعش عجزها عن تحقيق المزيد من الانتصارات العسكرية إلى حمام دم ونهب وسوق للاسعباد الجنسي.

قبل مضي وقت طويل ، حتى ابتعد بعض أكثر المؤيدين الإسلاميين المتحمسين لداعش عنها ، ثم تحولوا  ضدها ، لدرجة أنهم الآن نسوا أو أنكروا أنهم أيدوا ذات مرة خطواتها الاولى .

 ما يثير الاهتمام هو ان فقدان داعش سيطرتها على عامة المسلمين السنة لم ينعكس على عملية الانتقال من  العلمانية إلى الإسلام لم يتغير في العالم الإسلامي. فعدد يرتدي عدد الفتيات المسلمات المحجبات يزداد

وما يثير الاهتمام هو أن تعريف “المسلم الحقيقي” يتغير ويتغير بسرعة. وبينما لا يزال ارتداء الحجاب وكل ما يأتي معه في تزايد ، يبدو أن هناك اتجاهًا متزايدًا في العالم الإسلامي نحو الاعتدال.

يبدو أن أساسيات مذهب داعش الأسود والأبيض أصبحت أكثر تسامحًا مع بعض ظلال الرمادي. حتى بعض الأصدقاء الشخصيين على وأصدقاء الأصدقاء قاموا بتلوين صورهم وهم يؤدون رحلة الحج في مكة المكرمة ،و لا يبدو أنهم لا يرغبون في نشر صور أخرى تحمل علامة هاينكن. بالنسبة لشخص من خارج الديانة الإسلامية ، قد لا يبدو هذا أمرًا كبيرًا ، لكنه في الواقع كذلك.

كل هذا يبدو جيدا ، ولكن ما حدث هنا حقا؟

بالتأكيد فقد فشلت مؤامرة داعش لحسن الحظ بالنسبة للعالم ، وبغض النظر عمن يكون / كان “وراء” تنظيم “داعش” ، كان المسلمين خاصة الشباب قاعدة التجنيد؛ فقدت داعش القدرة على جذب المزيد من المجندين والمتحمسين الذين نذروا أفعالهم وحياتهم للبغدادي دون الحاجة حتى إلى أن يكونوا أعضاء رسميين ، وأصبحت  داعش كمنظمة واسم الآن قوة مستهلكة ، وأتجرأ على القول، صورة من الماضي

لكن هذا لا يعني أن المجتمع المسلم “قام بتحصين” نفسه ضد المنظمات وجداول الأعمال المحتملة الجديدة المشابهة لداعش.

كان من الممكن أن يكون الصعود الأول لداعش هو  بقايا حنين لنظام معتقد معين لم يرغب الكثير من المسلمين حتى في دراسته بشكل صحيح لمعرفة ما إذا كان يتوافق حقًا مع تعاليم الإسلام وجميع الأديان الأخرى. لكن سقوط داعش يبشر بعهد جديد لم يسبق له مثيل في العقل الإسلامي ، وهذا يستدعي تفاؤلًا كبيرًا.

ربما لأول مرة في تاريخ الإسلام منذ نشأته ، بدأ المسلمون الآن في دراسة بعض التعاليم التي ورثوها. حتى في المملكة العربية السعودية وولي العهد السعودي الأمير محمد بن سلمان  يبدو أنهما سئموا من القواعد والعقائد القديمة التي تسمح بهذا وتحظر ذلك ؛ بدون أي أساس على الإطلاق.

لم أكن من عشاق محمد بن سلمان، ولكني كنت أعيش في المملكة العربية السعودية لفترة من الوقت ، وكنت أظن دائمًا أن هذا البلد لن يسمح أبدًا للنساء بقيادة السيارات، لكن هذا حدث وهو خطوة كبيرة في الاتجاه الصحيح و خطوة كبيرة نحو الإصلاح يجب ان لا تنسينا الإبادة الجماعية التي تقوم بها السعودية في اليمن بالطبع.

في المملكة العربية السعودية ، هناك أيضًا دعوة لإعادة النظر في الحديث (الكلمة المنطوقة للنبي محمد) في محاولة لتحديد التعاليم المنسوبة للنبي التي تروج للعنف والتي تتعارض مع االقرآن واعتبارها احاديث منحولة تم حقنها من قبل الآخرين لتبرير اجندات سياسية. مثل هذه المبادرة لم تكن ممكنة على الإطلاق قبل بضع سنوات.

هل هذا يعني أننا نشهد نهاية للعنف الإسلامي القائم على الأصولية؟ نأمل أن نكون ، لكن الإجابة الحقيقية على هذا السؤال هي برسم المجتمع المسلم بأسره.

والحقيقة هي أن داعش يقد هزمت ولكن الأيديولوجية الكامنة ورائها ما زالت مستمرة.

من المأمول أن يتذكر  المسلمون أفعال داعش إلى الأبد وأن يلفظوا إرث تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية وأحلامها الأصولية المتمثلة في الفتح والسيطرة على العالم ، من المأمول أن يتطلعوا إلى عالم جديد مفتوح لجميع الأديان والمذاهب.

أنا من أشد المؤمنين أن الله خلق الإنسان على صورته ، وجزء من هذه الصورة هو الخير ومحبة الخير ؛ والمسلمون جزء من هذا الخلق. بعد كل شيء ، المسلمون ، جميع المسلمين يؤمنون بالحديث الذي يقول:  “خير ا النَّاس انفعهم ” للنَّاس

ربما تكون روسيا وسوريا قد ربحت الحرب العسكرية على داعش ، ولكن المسلمين هم الذين فازوا في المعركة الروحية. المسلمون: 1 ، داعش: 0.

US Embassy in Iraq Serves As Mossad, Daesh HQ – Iraqi MP

By Staff, Agencies

A senior Iraqi MP warned that the US embassy in Baghdad is involved in “suspicious activities,” saying agents of the ‘Israeli’ spy agency Mossad and Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] have been spotted regularly visiting the diplomatic mission.

“The US embassy in Baghdad has turned into a center for ‘Israel’s’ Mossad and Daesh terrorists,” Hassan Salem was quoted as saying by the Iraqi Arabic-language al-Sumariya news website.

Salem said the US embassy is interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs by spying, spreading rumors and hatching plots.

“The US embassy’s violation of laws and forgetting its responsibilities based on the international laws mean that the center could not be called an embassy and therefore, its closure is legally necessary,” the Iraqi lawmaker said.

The MP had earlier suggested that US forces in Ain al-Assad military base were protecting Daesh ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the western desert of Iraq’s Anbar province.

“Al-Baghdadi is using the Anbar desert as a safe haven, while the US forces provide him with all means of support from their station at the Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province,” Salem said in February.

The Iraqi MP argued then that America’s support for al-Baghdadi “stems from Washington’s fear of a draft bill on expelling foreign troops from Iraq, which the parliament intends to vote on during the new legislative term.”

Also in February, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the first time divulged explosive secrets about how the United States supported Daesh and intentionally allowed the Takfiri terror outfit to gain power in Iraq so that Washington could creep back into the Arab country.

He said the administration of former US President Barack Obama had played a key role in the creation of Daesh by allowing the terrorist group to overrun Iraqi territories.

Hassan Nasrallah: Daesh is Still a US-Israeli Asset, Threatens Central Asia

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 2, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Commander Mostapha Badreddine, known as ‘Zulfiqar’, who was killed in Syria in May 2016.

 

 

Transcript:
[…] The other subject (I want to talk about), my second point, is very important: it is the battlefield where the Sayyed (descendant of the Prophet) Zulfiqar, God have mercy on him, was operating, where he spent the last years of his life, and from where he returned as a victorious martyr, namely Syria. We’ll talk a little about it.

Day after day, the validity of our decision and choice to go to Syria is confirmed more and more clearly. (I mention it) because today, we speak of a martyred leader who was killed in this battle. And we are constantly 
asked for accountability for all the blood (of our fighters we shed for Syria). Every time our friends or enemies write something (about the Syrian war), they ask us about this blood, about our martyrs, a large number of martyrs, a whole constellation of (Hezbollah members) who fought in Syria and got killed or wounded. They ask: who answers for this blood (who bears responsibility for it and justifies it)? We answer for this blood. We answer for these wounds (of war).

Moreover, as the days passed, more and more masks have fallen, more and more hideous faces (of conspirators) were brought to light, and more and more documents and evidence (of a foreign plot) as well as confessions and press conferences have multiplied: confessions from former Presidents, Kings, former Prime Ministers, Heads of governments and Foreign Ministers, or former Chiefs of Staff… Day after day, our confidence and certainty is reinforced: what we did was 100% just and absolutely right, and we went to the right place at the right time. 
Every day, it becomes clearer that what happened in Syria was very different from what happened in the rest of the Arab world (during the Arab Spring). In Syria, there was a US-Israeli-Saudi plot for which some countries from the Gulf and the region were used (Emirates, Qatar, Turkey…). The Syrian issue had nothing to do with – we have said so repeatedly, but it must be recalled today as we commemorate this martyr. It had nothing to do with elections, democracy, reforms, change, or with any of this nonsense we have heard since 2011. And the proof is that the United States, Saudi Arabia and those countries (who participated in the plot), who did they come up with and push forward for this supposed “humanitarian democratic change” in Syria? This formula should be put in inverted commas, highlighted with two red lines, and, as the Syrians say, followed up with one thousand question marks and a million exclamation marks… Who did they come up with (in this alleged purpose)? Democratic forces? Forces from the popular will? Forces whose culture and ideology tends to shape a (better) future? Where have you seen any such thing? 
In order not to talk in theoretical and blurry terms and invoke merely documents or (theoretical) evidence, let us talk about an obvious, visible and undeniable reality, namely Daesh (ISIS). Let us consider the example of Daesh. Today we’ll talk a bit about Daesh.

Daesh… How were they able to capture nearly 40% of the territory of Syria? 40 or 45% of Syria, as far as I can remember. That is to say, most of the East of the Euphrates, which is 25% (of Syria) if we add Manbij and (neighboring) regions. Most of the East of the Euphrates, Deir Ezzor, Abu Kamal, Mayadeen, all the Syrian desert, which is 5 times the size of Lebanon, up to Palmyra, the outskirts of Homs, the Yarmouk camp, part of the province of Suweida, East of Homs, East of Hama, East and North of Aleppo… We talk about 40 to 45% of Syria! And at the same time, Daesh controlled half or more than half of Iraq, a whole number of Iraqi provinces: Anbar, Mosul, Salahuddin, etc. They arrived at the gates of Karbala and the gates of Baghdad.Where did they come from? Who brought them here? Who armed them? Who eased up things for them and gave them all the opportunities? Who gave them money? Who opened all the borders for them? Who covered them favorably in the media? All the Arab satellite channels constantly repeated (with praise) “the Islamic State”! Who (did all that)? We must never forget! Neither the Lebanese who have pushed back Daesh in the Jurd of Ersal and in the Bekaa have the right to forget, nor the Syrian people, nor the Iraqi people, nor all the peoples of the region must ever forget (all the atrocities) perpetrated by Daesh, (the Western and regional countries & media that supported them), and everything that Daesh will continue to do, as I’ll mention later. 

And what is Daesh? What is its ideology? It is the Wahhabi ideology that is shaped in Saudi Arabia, in the Saudi Universities, in the Saudi religious schools, in Saudi mosques, and that was propagated around the world with Saudi money (originally to thwart Khomeini’s revolutionary Islam), by decision and at the request of the United States, as recognized by both the Americans and the Saudis. Before the confession of Mohammad Bin Salman about this fact, there was a video recording of Hillary Clinton where she acknowledged this, namely that it is the US who asked Saudi Arabia to support, propagate and disseminate the Wahhabi ideology worldwide. Where does the ISIS ideology come from? Saudi Arabia! At the request of whom? The United States! Who facilitated this? The Americans and their allies! Who funded it? Saudi Arabia! And the ISIS fighters, where did they come from? (They were brought) from all around the world! O my brothers and sisters, most of the suicide bombers in Syria and Iraq were Saudi nationals! And there were other nationalities as well. And they were brought to these cities (of Syria and Iraq).The (US and Saudi Arabia) are the ones who supported them, armed them, financed them, have opened all the borders for them and have staked so much on them. Daesh was (initially) required only against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. And later, against Iran and against whoever was to be submitted, hit and destroyed.

What is the Daesh project? To establish a State in which there will be elections? A democratic State? A State in which the people can express (freely) his will? A State whose inhabitants will elect their MPs, their leaders and rulers? Never! For Daesh, according to the ideology of Daesh, elections are an act of disbelief (deserving of death)! Anyone who participates in elections is a disbeliever (in their eyes)! Whoever stands near a ballot box, his blood shall be shed, he is to be killed! Is it not what Al Qaeda and the Taliban did in Afghanistan? Is it not what happened in Iraq during all the elections that were held? Is Daesh able to shape a (better) future? And by whom were (these monsters) created? By the United States!

In the past, an individual named… Anyone can find (this video) over the Internet. I speak of General Wesley Clark – and it was on CNN, my brother, I don’t quote a TV channel of our friends or allies –, who was the Supreme Commander of NATO forces. (Wesley Clark) said on CNN that the Islamic State – they do not speak of Daesh (derogatory term), they keep saying ‘the Islamic State’ (to smear Islam) – : “ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies to fight to the death against Hezbollah.” He said: “To do this, you don’t put out a recruiting poster and say ‘Let’s go fight Hezbollah’. That is why we and our friends have created ISIS.” 
(Daesh was meant to fight) all that (Resistance) Axis, all these forces facing the US and the Israeli project. Syria rejected surrender and submission (to the US, and that’s why it had to be destroyed). There are people who have never done anything against Israel, but who spend their time denigrating Syria, saying that for decades, there has been no resistance in the Golan. It is enough for (the honor of) Syria, and its current and former leaders, to never have surrendered, to have remained steadfast (against Israel), to have held on and protected the (Lebanese and Palestinian) Resistance, not to have submitted to US dictates when the whole world was subject to them, with the exception of Iran and some popular forces (including Hezbollah). What was required was to break up Syria in the interest of the United States and Israel.As for Iraq, it expelled US forces from its territory by popular Resistance, armed Resistance, political Resistance and  the intransigence of its position (against US occupation). But the US wanted to resettle there. And about this point, I want to warn my Iraqi brothers. See what Trump is doing: it is clear that he wants to keep all his electoral promises. You may say that… Characterize him as you want: stupid, crazy, arrogant, whatever you like. But you know that my habit is to recognize the facts, even if they somewhat shed a positive light on our enemy. (In his foreign policy), Trump did everything he announced during the election campaign. He retreated from the Iranian nuclear deal, from such and such agreements and treaties – there must no longer remain a single international agreement to which the US is still committed to. He moved the US embassy to Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He acknowledged… The question of the ‘Deal of the Century’ (supposed to liquidate the Palestinian cause) is still ongoing. I do not know if he had spoken of the Syrian Golan (during his election campaign), so I will not include it in the list of broken promises. Everything he announced, he is doing it.

And among the things that Trump declared (back then), is that the US should take the Iraqi oil. The United States must seize it, that’s what he said. Of course, he also promised during his election campaign that Saudi Arabia is a milking cow that he’ll milk to the last drop (before getting rid of it). He has indeed milked it, and every day, he milks it even more! Isn’t it true?
So he said, among other things, that Iraqi oil is the rightful property of the United States: “We went into Iraq, we sent 150,000 soldiers, we made sacrifices, we paid a high price…” He often reminds the $ 7 trillion dollars spent, claiming (that because of that, this oil is rightfully theirs). He was asked how he would go about it. This happened during the election campaign, on television. I’m not inventing lies against this dude. He said they were to seize the oil fields area, stationing their forces there and isolating it (from the rest of Iraq). From there, they would take Iraqi oil and sell it until they have recovered their money. This is one of the electoral promises of Trump to which our Iraqi brothers should give their full attention. This idea has not left the mind of Mr. Trump. And when our Iraqi brothers follow every situation, every detail, every minor or major thing, they have to be very vigilant on this afterthought of Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump believes that Iraqi oil is rightfully his, and he must keep that promise. Daesh was the means that would allow the US to return to Iraq. And Daesh remains the pretext of maintaining US troops in Iraq.

And all the Daeshites who were East of the Euphrates, where have they gone, O my brothers? Where? Some went to Iraq, some were sent inside Syria, and another part has been transferred to Afghanistan. O my brother, who transferred them to Afghanistan? Who? We can understand the situation ourselves. Who transferred them to Afghanistan? (The US!) I’ll come back to it in a moment. Therefore, Daesh still has a role to play (at the service of the United States).Anyway, Daesh’s goal is to destroy (Arab and Muslim) armies, societies and peoples. Therefore if someone asks me whether Daesh was defeated, I will answer yes, but they did achieve great successes. It’s unfortunate to say but Daesh has done great things for the United States, for Israel and for all the enemies of the (Islamic) Community. Daesh destroyed armies, peoples and entire societies. Daesh poured torrents of blood among the peoples and inhabitants of our region. Daesh erected very high walls of hatred and rancor that will not disappear before decades or centuries. These are achievements that serve the interests of Israel and the United States. We must recognize it. We must recognize this reality in order to remedy it. We mustn’t merely recognize it and do nothing about it, it must be remedied.

What I want to say before concluding this point is that Daesh, my brothers and sisters, and I address all the peoples of the region, Daesh is still a danger. Let no one consider that Daesh is over. Yes, the Daesh caliphate, this false caliphate is no more. Their pseudo-State is no more. The Daesh army who controlled much of the area of ​​Iraq and Syria no longer exists. But Daesh as an ideology, Daesh as the leadership they showed us on TV two days ago (al-Baghdadi)… How (are they still a threat)?… Daesh as lone wolves, Daesh as terrorists and suicide bombers (sleeping) cells, this Daesh still exists, and will be activated and instrumentalized in Syria. It’s not idle talk, but I speak on the basis of data and information. What remains of Daesh will be activated and instrumentalized in Iraq. This is why the current cooperation between Iraq and Syria on their shared border is a duty and a necessity of the utmost importance. For Daesh is a threat for the two peoples, the two armies and the two States.

Daesh today has a role to play in Afghanistan, killing the Afghan people, and spreading more death and chaos in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has become a base for spreading Daesh in Central Asia. And this is what the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister denounced yesterday and today. So who transferred Daesh to Afghanistan? (The United States !)
 

***

And up to Sri Lanka. After the horrific massacre in Sri Lanka, many countries of the world expressed their condemnation: the European Union has condemned it, as did European negotiators, the UN, the US, etc. But has someone asked about the ideology that perpetrated the suicide operations and (atrocious) massacres in Sri Lanka against (innocent) men, women and children in churches and hotels? Where does it come from? Who stands behind this ideology? Who supports it, finances it, revives it, defends it? Is it not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Why do you condemn (only) the instruments, and say nothing about the true and essential reason (of this terrorism, namely Wahhabism)?Daesh is still a security risk, and we must all behave as facing a (permanent) threat. We must face it politically, culturally, in the media, militarily, in terms of security, and on every field. Furthermore, this threat will never be far from Lebanon. It is true that the army and the Resistance, embraced by the people and through a national consensus, liberated our land (Jurd Ersal) from Daesh and its ilk, but this danger is not far from us and is not finished. It is true that we have achieved great victories on all fronts in the fight against Daesh and its ilk, and against the whole (US-Israeli-Saudi) project in the region, but we must consider that the danger persists and act accordingly to remedy it.

And on this issue, we must not forget the identity of those responsible, because it is one of the challenges today: the main culprits are the US and Saudi Arabia. What Daesh perpetrated against the peoples of our region, against Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, what it still perpetrates in Yemen, in Nigeria, what it has perpetrated in Sri Lanka, all these horrible crimes, this massive destruction, those billions of dollars in economic losses, hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded, dishonor (inflicted on women raped and subjected to slavery), the (Christian and Muslim) holy places desecrated and destroyed… All these losses, shall we forget them? Everything is fine? May God forgive past mistakes? How could this be so?

And the United States and some Gulf countries have the impudence to organize conferences against impunity, wanting to prevent that so and so who committed such a thing would escape punishment for his actions (in general African leaders). But as for the invasion of peoples, destruction of whole countries, killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people… It is not such a big deal. This issue is forgotten with a simple hug. Why? Because those who do this are the United States and Saudi Arabia: this bloody alliance currently at work, frankly, must be fought and condemned, (as) their insistence to continue the war against Yemen.

Yesterday, the United Nations said that the number of deaths in Yemen is probably 250,000 martyrs killed (by the bombing) or victims (of disease, famine…). 250,000 !!! But that is a (minor) information that appears briefly at the bottom of TV screens, and no more. There is nothing at all (neither outrage nor denunciation…). Did we see a movement in the Arab world? In the Muslim world? O my brother, is there any reaction at all in the whole world? It is the UN that gives this number, not the (Yemeni) TV channel Al-Masira, not AnsarAllah, not Sayed Abd-al-Malik (al-Houthi). The UN declares: ‘O people, a massacre unfolds before your eyes, 250,000 Yemenis have been killed so far !!!’ It is the UN that says that! Did a single hair of beard, mustache or head shudder (when people heard this information)? No way. Why? For the butcher is Saudi-American. It is forbidden to condemn them. It is impossible to say anything (against them).

Up to these (37) executions of young people in Saudi Arabia. One of them is a noble scholar. There were ordinary citizens, young men and women, some personalities. Some were under 15 when they were arrested. What is their sin? What is their crime? Having participated in a protest, a sit-in, posting something on a blog or social network… They are executed. Without trial. Their secret trials without appeal (are a travesty of justice). Is it not (an abominable crime)? But we talk about it no more. For an hour or two, some countries have condemned this act, and then, nobody talks about it anymore. And the relations (of all countries with Saudi Arabia) are completely normal because there is (lots of) money involved.

Today, my brothers and sisters, we live in a world… We must realize and understand that it is in such a world we live in. There are neither international law, nor international organizations, nor countries with principles or pride, nor values, ​​nor morality, nor laws. There is none of that. Only power and money (matter). The powerful are respected. The wealthy can do anything they want. They can seize a journalist like Khashoggi in a Consulate, and subject him to what has never been done in History. But nobody has the right to open his mouth because it is Saudi Arabia. The US perpetrates massacres every day, but no one has the right to open his mouth, because it is the United States. And if we dare say something, we will find ourselves condemned. Tomorrow, voices will rise in Lebanon saying that the Sayyed (Nasrallah) wants to create problems for our country, as if we did not have enough problems. Even if that were true, where is our humanity? Where are our moral values? Where are our human emotions (compassion, outrage…)? This situation asks us to stop (and take a stance).And after that, and worse than that, everything that happens in our region is at the service of Israel, its influence and hegemony, in order to complete the ‘Deal of the Century’ (liquidating the Palestinian cause), and at the service of the United States, politically and financially. Who can say otherwise? Someone dare tell us otherwise, and defend Saudi Arabia, claiming that it acts in the interests of the Arab community! This insistence on waging wars and financing of wars, (in whose interest is it)?

Today, there is an ongoing war in Libya. May God preserve us from (chaos) in Sudan. May God preserve us from (chaos) in Algeria. If the peoples of Sudan and Algeria do not behave with awareness and national responsibility, God knows what will happen to those countries. God knows where Libya is heading. God knows in what other countries (the Saudis and US) will interfere (to foment chaos). This insistence to display hostility against Iran, plot against Iran and besiege Iran, up to the announcement of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates that they’ll compensate for the absence of Iranian oil on international markets, where will this lead?“(In the long run) evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil.” (Quran, 30, 10). Just see the end (promised by God to evil people). And it is only their fate in this world (their punishment in the hereafter will be much worse).And (despite all that), Mr. Trump mocks (the Saudis) and constantly humiliates them. One would expect him to respect his friends, thank them, express his gratitude, invoke God’s blessings upon them, compliment them, and so on and so forth… But every day, he denigrates them. Every day, he humiliates them. We all saw Trump’s last speech (in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27). He laughed a lot, as well as his audience, (boasting about the ease with which he extorted money from Saudi Arabia). Yesterday, in a meeting with some (Hezbollah) brothers, I told them… I’ll tell you frankly. I do not like King Salman, I hate his guts. I hate him from the bottom of my heart. But listening to the way Trump talked about him, I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for him. See how Trump insults them, humiliates them, crushes them, degrades them… Where is the Arab pride? Where is Islam? Where are the two holy places (Mecca and Medina)? Where are the clans? Where are the tribes? Where are the… I do not know what to call them… these swords with which they dance? Where is their honor? Not a single word! Not a single word!

Some people in Lebanon, whenever I or some of my brothers speak and say bad things about Saudi Arabia, they meet us on the spot (to defend the Saudis). Show us your courage, O heroes, O proud, dignified and noble knights of Arabism! Go answer him! The Trump insulted your (beloved) King! He insulted your (beloved) King! Where are you? Nobody dares to even breathe (in front of Trump)! Are they (real) men?! No way! They did not open their mouth! Even the inhabitants of the tombs speak more than (the Lebanon’s March 14 coalition, pro-Saud and pro-US)! At least, when we enter a cemetery, there is an inscription on the tombstones. But (as for our Lebanese opponents), their faces are blackened, and there is nothing written on them! Please do not resent me for these colloquial words (spoken in Lebanese dialect). That’s how we speak in our villages.

Trump said (to King Salman), “Oh King! I like you !” Of course he likes him! “You have lots of money! And we spend a lot of money to defend you! So you have to pay!” And he made all kinds of (derogatory and explicit) signs. All his gestures and words were nothing but mockery and humiliation! Mockery and humiliation (from the beginning to end)! And after that, what did Trump say? “They want us to abandon Saudi Arabia? I do not want to lose Saudi Arabia! We have squeezed 450 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia, in arms sales and more!” I have a question: 450 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia? Because I speak only of Saudi Arabia. We have not mentioned (the sums squeezed from) the rest of the Gulf countries. All this money, is it Saud’s money, their personal funds?

First, there is no Saudi Arabia and no Saudi people, it is only the Hijaz, and the people of the Arabian Peninsula (usurped by the Saud family, with the help of Britain, who gave it their own name). This money is the property of the people of this (Islamic) Community. According to Islamic law and jurisprudence, all Muslim scholars will tell you that this money belongs to the public treasury, and is the property of all Muslims. What right do you have to take ownership of 450 billion dollars of Muslims’ money to give to Trump? On what (legal or moral) basis? While there are Muslims starving from Somalia to Indonesia? They are starving! There are famines, earthquakes, poverty, misery, diseases, illiteracy (that this money should relieve)… How to describe this situation?

Let me conclude this point with Pompeo. I’m done talking about the situation in the region, just two more words (before I speak about Lebanon internal politics). Pompeo… Two or three days ago, my (Hezbollah) brothers (who follow the Western media) sent me the speech of Pompeo on a CD in English, informing me of what he said. I asked them to make sure of it, so that the excerpts I’ll read in my speech be strictly accurate. This Pompeo, who is Secretary of State of the United States (equivalent to Minister of Foreign Affairs), is a diplomat who must inspire confidence, political trust, diplomatic trust, because he has to manage global affairs, to ensure peace in the world, give their rights to people, etc. [Laughs] The frankness he has shown is very positive and appreciable (for us).

He talks about his role in the CIA. This comment was also broadcast on US channels. The US Secretary of State acknowledged practicing lies, deception and theft. He confessed to lies, deceit and plunder! All this while he was director of the main US intelligence agency (CIA). He said: “I was the Director of the CIA. We lied, cheated and stole.” He is therefore a liar, a traitor and a thief, a robber. An international brigand, an international raider. Imam Khomeini, God have mercy on him, called them the “plunderers”. In addition to the “tyrants”, the “arrogant,” he called them “Plunderers of the world (resources) and of the peoples.” “We stole”, said Pompeo.

He was asked about the slogan of the military school where he studied (West Point). He was asked the question, or maybe he asked the question to himself, and he replied: “Our slogan was ‘Do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal, nor tolerate those who do.’ But when I was the Director of the CIA, we lied, cheated and stole. We had entire training courses.” When asked about his position with regard to Saudi Arabia, he says it’s different.

Imagine, then, that the leading US diplomat –we do not speak of the CIA or the US military, he is the Foreign Minister of the United States– confesses to be a liar, a cheater and a thief. It’s not me who described him! He described himself in these words! This man who was in Lebanon just a few days ago! And who came to tour the world, Europe, etc.

By mentioning all this, I want to come to this conclusion: whoever trusts and pins his hopes in the United States to settle our problems and concerns for us, and help our causes… May God help us if they were to be the intermediary to solve the problem of our land and maritime borders (with occupied Palestine)! They want to impose their terms, they want to impose themselves in Lebanon (in the interests of Israel). The United States does not negotiate, they just impose their conditions and give ultimatums! Such are Trump and Pompeo! Liars, cheaters, thieves. They support and favour Israel at the expense of the whole world! Not only at the expense of Arabs, Muslims and Christians of the region, but at the expense of the whole world!Regarding the bloody and monstrous  Saudi-American alliance, we must be clear and firm. And regarding Daesh, no one should act as if this danger was over: this danger still threatens us, and has new roles in the region. We must always and constantly be ready to face this danger, and not be neglectful in this regard. […] 

See also: Hassan Nasrallah: Israel is Unable to Launch a New War, Beware of the Media

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

Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi latest video: an English language transcript

Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi latest video: an English language transcript

The Saker

May 02, 2019

Dear friends,

Today I have decided to post a partial (90%) transcript of the video recently released by the ISIS Takfiris.  My main motive is that this video is constantly being removed by YouTube, Facebook and the rest of the social media.  I happen to believe that listening to our enemies is very important.  Listening to our most dangerous and evil enemies is vital.  Furthermore, how can I possibly expect people to fully understand and appreciate the huge differences existing between the various forms of traditional Islam and the Takfirism of the al-Qaeda crazies if you, the reader, cannot compare them.  I won’t bother posting the video itself since uploading it on the social media will only have it removed, while uploading it to our servers exposes us to all sorts of stupid (or deliberately provocative) accusations.  I don’t need that.

So I asked a friend to locate this video, translate it into English (again, 90% of it, small irrelevant parts have been omitted) and send me the transcript.  I am most grateful to this friend for his help.

I leave you with this text with the hope that it will contribute to form your own opinion about al-Baghdadi, the man whom both the USA and Russia declared dead, killed in an airstrike, and who is now apparently happily alive.  I will end with a question to all of you:

What do *YOU* make of this Bin-Laden v2 character?

[FYI – this is the conclusion of my (Arab and Muslim) interpreter: “A pathetic attempt to prove ISIS is still somewhat relevant“.  FWIW – I can only concur: the Russian campaign against ISIS has been devastatingly effective, hence their need to relocate to places like Sri Lanka and hence their need to try to prove that they are still up-and-running.]

Kind regards

The Saker

PS: in the near future I will post a video and transcript of a speech by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in which he discusses ISIS and the rest of the Takfiris in some detail.  Hopefully, such an exercise in “compare and contrast” will contribute to the awareness that there is no such thing as a single, monolithic, Islam, the latter being at least as diverse as the world of (nominal) Christianity.
——-

Praise be to God.
The battle against the Crusaders and their like will be long. The battle of Baghuz ended. In it, were fully displayed the monstrosity of the crusaders against the Islamic Ummah, and the courage and steadfastness of the Islamic Ummah. We frightened the hearts of the Crusaders, and it increased their hatred against the Islamic Ummah. 
Praise be to God, your brothers who were true to their alleagance (to ISIS), and God chose them, among which your brothers who held the banner (names list of ISIS cadres & soldiers killed in Baghuz). These brothers were the cause of our steadfastness there, in spite of the small size of the area, the severe blockade imposed on it and the savage assault against them. Everywhere, they proved to the Crusaders & the whole world that they are determined to fight, and never leave any part of the Islamic land to the Crusaders before they are killed. They triumphed in the eyes of God, and need no praise from us (because they are in paradise). But the Islamic Ummah will never forget them. 
Praise be to our brothers who made 92 (terror) operations in 8 countries. It proves the unity of the fighters, their determination, clear vision and understanding of what requires the battle, and of the reality they live. 
We praise our brothers in Libya and their attack on the city of Fuqaha. May God reward them. They proved to the enemy that they can take the initiative, and that their battle against the enemy is one of bloodshed (long-time, patience). May they exhaust the enemy in all his capacities. The Jihad will stay until the Day of Resurrection. 
God gave us the order to fight, not to win. May God grant us patience and success.
We accept the pledge of allegiance of our brothers in Burkina Faso and Mali, congratulate them and ask God to help them, and we exhort them to keep striking the Crusading France. They must know that the Muslims help, protect and avenge each other. It is like one and same body. 
God guided some people in Khorasan, and they joined us. May they succeed.
I think you saw the news of Netanyahou elected as Head of State of the Jewish State. As well, the most important news was that the tyrant of Algeria and the tyrant of Soudan were overthrown. But sadly, until now, people did not understand why they took to the streets, and what they really want. Because a tyrant left and was replaced by another one, worse in crime and aggression against Muslims. We remind the peoples that the only way with these tyrants is the fight in the way of God. With this jihad, the tyrants disappear, and peoples reach dignity and honor. Nothing but sword can be of use against these tyrants. Peoples must resort to the ways of Islam to overthrow tyrants so that the only religion (on earth) is God’s.
Your brothers in Sri Lanka duly avenged our brothers in Baghuz by striking the Crusaders in their holy day. This is but a part of the vengeance awaiting the Crusaders. Gladly, Americans & Europeans also got killed there. We accept the pledge of allegiance of our Sri Lanka brothers. May they persevere and be accepted as martyrs, and keep on in this dignified way of martyrdom.
We praise the action of our brothers in the land of the Prophet (Saudi Arabia), in al-Zulfi, against the Al Saloul (derogatory word for Al Saoud). May this attack be followed by many others, and may this vile, tyrant regime perish.

ISIL’s Baghdadi Refers to Syria Defeat in First Video in Five Years

AlManar

April 30, 2019

ISIL Leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The ISIL Takfiri group’s elusive supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first purported appearance in five years in a propaganda video released Monday, acknowledging ISIL’s defeat in the Syrian town of Baghouz while threatening “revenge” attacks.

The world’s most wanted man was last seen in Mosul in 2014, announcing the birth of ISIL’s “caliphate” across swathes of Iraq and Syria, and appears to have outlived the proto-state.

In the video released by ISIL’s Al-Furqan media arm, the man said to be Baghdadi referred to the months-long fight for ISIL’s final redoubt Baghouz, which ended in March.

“The battle for Baghouz is over,” he said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred.

He referred to a string of ISIL defeats, including its onetime Iraqi capital Mosul and Sirte in Libya, but insisted the Takfiri terrorists had not “surrendered” territory.

“God ordered us to wage ‘jihad.’ He did not order us to win,” he said.

In a segment in which the man is not on camera, his voice described the April 21 Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed 253 people and wounded nearly 500, as “vengeance for their brothers in Baghouz.”

The man insisted ISIL’s operations against the West were part of a “long battle,” and that the Takfiri group would continue to “take revenge” for members who had been killed.

“There will be more to come after this battle,” he said.

On Monday ISIL terrorists claimed their first attack in Bangladesh in more than two years, saying they had “detonated an explosive device” on a group of police in Dhaka, wounding three officers, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

Source: AFP

WILL ISRAELI-SAUDI BACKED ISIS ATTACK JORDAN NEXT?

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By Andrey Ontikov – Jordan may become the new victim of ISIS, writes the prominent American outlet, The National Interest. With the weakening of the positions of the group in Syria and Iraq, it is here that a significant number of terrorists can go, and they will fall on more than fertile ground. We figured out how likely such a scenario is, why the Hashemite Kingdom in this case will pay the price for the policy of its allies and how it will complicate the Russian operation in Syria.

Terrorist Relocation

Russian politicians, military and diplomats periodically sound the alarm about the possible destabilization of the situation in various parts of the world after the defeats that extremist groups suffer in Syria and Iraq. The terrorist international, which has flooded these two countries since 2011, will now return home – with combat experience behind them and heads that are not cool. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, we can talk about 50 thousand militants from 100 countries. In the area of ​​particular risk – the states of the Middle East, the EU and Southeast Asia.

Fighting east of Hama

The problem is recognized at the expert level in the United States. So writes Emily Przyborowski, an employee of the American Council on Foreign Policy, writes in her article in The National Interest that ISIS militants can find a safe haven for themselves in neighboring Syria and Jordan Iraq. According to her, in the ranks of the militants fought 3 thousand. As citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 250 of them have already returned.

The author recalls that as recently as August of this year a terrorist act was already committed in the country. Then, the militants laid a mine under a patrol car in the city of Fuheys, located 12 km from Amman. The explosion killed one member of the security forces. The next day, Jordanian special forces conducted a counterterrorism raid. During the assault on extremist asylum killed four more law enforcement officials.

Syrian refugee children in the courtyard of a temporary school built in an old mosque in the eastern part of Idlib province

Syrian refugee children in the courtyard of a temporary school built in an old mosque in the eastern part of Idlib province
Photo: Global Look Press / Anas Alkharboutli / dpa

At the same time, Emily Przyborowski indicates that in March of this year, the United States, together with Jordan, opened a training center to counter terrorism to the south of the kingdom’s capital. But, judging by the terrorist attack in August, its effectiveness is still in doubt. In addition, the author of the article diplomatically closes his eyes to a number of external factors, due to which the kingdom was facing a new threat.

Amman’s economic difficulty

Jordan – a country that does not have such a number of minerals, like many of its neighbors. Consequently, these resources Amman is forced to acquire abroad. The economy of the kingdom is largely dependent on foreign aid, primarily Saudi and American. But despite this, the country and its population are still very poor. Recent attempts by the authorities to raise income tax have led to thousands of protests that cost the office of Prime Minister Hani al-Mulka.

The difficult economic situation only contributes to the potential growth of extremist sentiment. And not only. In some cases, people are going to fight in Syria and Iraq, not because the Islamist ideology is close to them, but solely for the sake of wages for participating in hostilities that are paid by foreign sponsors of terrorists. The latter understand: money for newly-fledged militants is either a good alternative to low salary in their homeland, or even a chance to cope with the hopelessness associated with unemployment.

Types of Amman

Scenes of Amman
Photo: Global Look Press / Mika Schmidt / dpa

As for the Syrian crisis, Amman became an unwitting participant in it. Experts note that the last thing the kingdom’s authorities are interested in is to destabilize the situation on its borders. Jordan began to reap the fruits of foreign adventures when refugees poured into its territory. According to the UN, as of February of this year, there were 89 forced migrants per thousand residents of the kingdom, and their total number was 740 thousand: 657 thousand from Syria, 66 thousand from Iraq, and the rest from other countries.

The content of such a large number of people fell heavily on the shoulders of the Jordanian authorities. It is not just about allocating money, but also about creating camps for the accommodation of refugees, as well as jobs for them. Nevertheless, the majority of internally displaced people live on less than $ 3 a day, which is another stimulus for the growth of extremist sentiments – only now among those whom Jordan has sheltered in their territory. Actually, reports about the recruitment of militants in refugee camps appeared in 2013.

And this is not to mention the fact that the kingdom is traditionally one of the main bases for the radicals in the person of the Muslim Brotherhood. And they terrorized Syria for several decades ago, leaving after committing attacks back to Jordan. Soviet military experts were also attacked. At the same time, the authorities in Amman already could not do anything about it , citing the fact that the “Brotherhood” is controlled by the CIA.

Extinguish the fire with gasoline

What Emily Pshiborovski did not mention in her material was about how the United States, which in the article is presented as Amman’s defenders against terrorists, trained these same terrorists right on the territory of the kingdom. We are talking about the program for the training of American fighters instructors “moderate opposition”, launched in 2013. True, later in Washington they recognized its inefficiency, since only a few dozen militants were able to prepare for the spent $ 500 million.

But the problem is also different: as part of the program, the rebels were also supplied with weapons, which were partially plundered by the Jordanians themselves and turned out to be on the black market, and partially sold by “oppositionists” to ISIS terrorists. As is clear, the likelihood that such actions will ricochet in the future around Jordan itself only increases.

US military at military base at-Tanf

US military at military base at-Tanf
Photo: US Department of Defense Press Service / defense.gov

And of course, it is worth remembering that the American military base at-Tanf and the Rukban refugee camp are located on the Syrian territory, at the junction of the borders with Iraq and Jordan. Around them is the 55-kilometer “security zone”, which the United States declared a closed territory. What happens there remains a mystery to the general public. The Russian Defense Ministry recently said that the United States was training armed units there. And this accusation is fully justified: it is from the area of ​​the at-Tanfa militant group that various Syrian settlements are constantly attacking.

To say that the leadership in Amman is not enthusiastic about all this is to say nothing. But, given the volume of foreign economic assistance, it does not have to choose. As they say, the one who pays is the one who tells the band what to play.

Pawn in someone else’s game

The prospect of turning Jordan into a safe haven for terrorists is no good for Russia either. Globally, this is another hotbed of instability in the Middle East, which is already enough. And in the context of the Syrian crisis, we can safely expect that the kingdom will turn into a rear base for militants. And something suggests that it will be much more difficult for Moscow to get an invitation to liquidate them from Amman, rather than in the case of Damascus – even despite the warm friendly relations between President Vladimir Putin and King Abdullah II.

On the other hand, it is unlikely that the leaders of ISIL or other terrorist groups will determine whether they should destabilize Jordan or not. Single attacks and attacks are still in their power, but globally, decisions will be made at a different level.

Imprints of children's hands on the wall in one of the camps for Syrian refugees in Jordan, 10 kilometers from the Syrian border

Imprints of children’s hands on the wall in one of the camps for Syrian refugees in Jordan, 10 kilometers from the Syrian border
Photo: Global Look Press / Gabriel Romero / ZUMAPRESS

And here you just need to remember that the preparation of the militants of the opposition, which is not very different from ISIS, in the territory of the kingdom was done by the Americans. The situation in Rukban is controlled by the USA. Earlier, the Defense Ministry accused Washington of faking the fight against ISIS on the eastern bank of the Euphrates – the remaining small stronghold of militants cannot be eliminated for several months.

There are plenty of facts pointing to cooperation between the United States and extremists, the Russian military. And the leader of the terrorists, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was once in a US prison in Iraq, and after his release, the group he headed now began to rise rapidly. So Jordan, if it risks anything, is to fall prey to some new “geopolitical project” of Washington: he, as practice shows, gets rid of allies with the same ease as he does from enemies.

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