الرئيس حافظ الأسد… وقصة اللقاء الأول

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علي ناصر محمد

الرئيس حافظ الأسد… وقصة اللقاء الأول – جريدة البناء | Al-binaa ...

شكلت وفاة القائد العربي الكبير حافظ الأسد خسارة كبيرة ليس لسورية وشعبها فقط، بل للشعوب العربية قاطبة في وقت من أصعب الأوقات في تاريخ الوطن العربي، إذ خسرتْ برحيله زعيماً، عنيدًا، صلباً، رابط الجأش، لا يأبه للضغوط، صاحب رؤية تاريخية مُدعَّمة بالثقة في النفس ومؤمنة بتحقيق هدفها في النهاية. رجل فكر وأيديولوجيا قومية في وقت واحد.

كان رحمه الله آخر القادة العرب الذين شكلوا التاريخ الحديث للمنطقة. غير أنّ أثره كان أقوى من الجميع فرؤياه الثاقبة ومواقفه المبدئية وموقفه المقاوم للاحتلال، ورفضه العنيد لتقديم تنازلات، فيما يتعلق بالأرض العربية المحتلة، وتمسكه بالحقوق المشروعة للشعب العربي الفلسطيني، حوّلت سورية إلى قوة سياسية إقليمية. ولهذا سيذكر التاريخ للرئيس الراحل أنه لم يحوِّل سورية إلى عملاق سياسي له حضوره ونفوذه على امتداد الوطن العربي فحسب، بل سيذكر له أيضاً ودائماً أنه صمد واستمر في الصمود وواجه كل الضغوط الساعية للانتقاص من الحق العربي، وأنه ظلّ متمسكاً بتصميمه ألا يوقع سوى على سلام شامل وعادل ومشرف.

كما سيذكر التاريخ حافظ الأسد كرجل أعطى سورية الاستقرار واستمرارية الحكم وأكد أهمية بلاده في المنطقة، واستطاع مدَّ خيمة الأمن عليها طوال ثلاثين عاماً عقب سنوات من الانقلابات المتلاحقة والقلاقل وعدم الاستقرار السياسي. إنه، باعتراف الجميع، أول زعيم عربي سوري يذهب بهذا القطر العربي إلى مركز الفاعلية الذي لا تستطيع قوة دولية أو إقليمية تجاهل دوره وتأثيره.

لقد طبع الراحل سياسات المشرق العربي، وعموم المنطقة العربية ببصمات قوية لمواقفه وأفكاره وممارساته على مدى ما يزيد على ثلاثة عقود من الزمن.

ولا يخفى على أحد أنّ تلك الفترة من تاريخ سورية شهدت خطوات كُبرى على صعيد بناء سورية الحديثة القوية، وهو ما لم يكن متوافراً ولا متحققاً قبله في السنوات الأربع والعشرين التي سبقت الحركة التصحيحية، لكثرة الانقلابات والتغييرات التي أحدثت حالة من عدم الاستقرار منعت سورية وشعبها حتى من التقاط الأنفاس، فحوّل المكانة الاستراتيجية لسورية التي كانت هدفاً للصراعات الإقليمية والدولية يدور الصراع عليها إلى شوكة الميزان في التوازنات الإقليمية وأصبح أحد اللاعبين السياسيين الكبار في المنطقة.

وقد تمكّن من تحقيق ذلك بما عرف عنه من حنكة واقتدار في مضمار إدارة السياسة والتخطيط الاستراتيجي، والتصريف التكتيكي الفذّ للمواقف، والتحري الدقيق للخيارات البرنامجية، ولم يكن ذلك يرجع إلى موقع سورية الجغرافي والسياسي في قلب مصهر التناقضات كما يفترض فحسب، بل يعود في كثير منه، وبشهادة المحللين السياسيين، إلى جَلَده ودهائه وكفاءته النادرة في تطويع الممتنع، وفي استثمار تداعيات التناقض في بناء رأسمال القوة.

وقد تمتع الراحل العظيم، حتى باعتراف خصومه، بعقل استراتيجي، وبالرغم من التموّجات التي كان بعضها عارماً فقد حقق لسورية استقراراً وثباتاً، ولعب دوره في عملية السلام بحذق سياسي نادر، فنال عن جدارة لقب الرقم الصعب ولذلك فإنّ رحيل حافظ الأسد ترك فراغاً سياسياً في منطقة الشرق الأوسط كأحد اللاعبين الكبار، باعتباره رجل الاستراتيجية الواقعية بشهادة أعدائه قبل أصدقائه.

كان الرئيس الراحل قارئاً جيداً للتاريخ بشكل عام، وللتاريخ العربي والإسلامي بشكل خاص. قراءة الأحداث ووقائع الماضي، بمعنى الاستلهام من وقائعه وأحداثه العظام وخرج بالكثير من العبر والدروس. وكان يدرك دوره ودور بلاده في التاريخ العربي والإسلامي، حيث إنّ سورية صنعت عقوداً طويلة من هذا التاريخ. وكان يدرك أنّ سورية كانت وما زالت بموقعها الاستراتيجي وبتراثها القومي وتاريخها السياسي العربي، من أهم الأقطار العربية في مواجهة المشروع الصهيوني لإقامة «إسرائيل» في قلب الوطن العربي، في فلسطين، ثم لمواجهة تمدّده خارج فلسطين بعد هزيمة حزيران 1967، ومن ثم كانت سورية على الدوام منذ نجاح هذا المشروع – بشقيه – ولا تزال هدفا للتآمر الرئيسي والتخريب السياسي الداخلي والمخططات الصهيونية عموماً. ولذلك فإنّ الصمود الذي أبداه الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد حتى اللحظة الأخيرة من حياته في مواجهة المطامع «الإسرائيلية»، وإصراره على المطالبة باستعادة كلّ الأراضي المحتلة في الجولان وباقي الأراضي العربية المحتلة، نابع من موقف قومي يعتمد على التمسك بالحقوق الشرعية الثابتة، وعلى الشرعية الدولية التي نادت بذلك. لقد رحل الأسد وهو مجلّل بالفخار ومعه كل العرب وسورية بالطبع لأنه رفض التوقيع على سلام ناقص، سلام غير عادل، رفض أن يركع للضغوط أو ينحني للرياح. رحل بعد أن قدمت سورية بقيادته كل ما في وسعها لتحرير جنوب لبنان الذي أسعده ولا شك في أيامه الأخيرة ولذا ستبقى ذكراه في الوجدان العربي كمثل سنديانة قوية صلبة لم تقتلعها رياح الصراعات، ولا العواصف الإقليمية والدولية.

إنّ رجلاً في مكانة حافظ الأسد يترك تأثيراً لا يُنسى على التاريخ وعلى السياسة، وعلى من أتاح لهم القدر أن يلتقوا به.. وقد كنتُ من الذين جمعهم القدر مع الراحل الكبير، وتعود معرفتي الشخصية بهذا القائد الفذ إلى نيسان – أبريل عام 1970 حين كان وزيراً لدفاع، وقبيل الحركة التصحيحية في تشرين من العام نفسه، وكنت قادماً من عدن للقائه بوصفي وزيراً للدفاع في اليمن الديمقراطية.

كان هذا أول لقاء لي بحافظ الأسد، وأذكر أنه ترك في نفسي انطباعات رائعة منذ ذلك اللقاء. إذ كان الراحل العظيم يتمتع بصفات نادراً ما يتمتع بها القادة الذين يتحملون أعباء ومسؤوليات كتلك التي تحمّلها حافظ الأسد. ورغم أن حافظ الأسد، بوصفه وزيراً للدفاع وقائداً لسلاح الطيران في مرحلة كانت سورية كلها ما تزال مهمومة بإزالة آثار نكسة حزيران وإعادة بناء قواتها المسلحة، فقد منحني من الوقت وأنصت إليّ باهتمام شديد. كانت تلك ميزة يتمتع بها القائد الراحل، وكان على شيء من الرقة واللطف، مع ذاكرة مذهلة وقدرة على التركيز الذهني قلّ مثيلها.

كان هادئ القسمات، خافت الصوت مع وضوح النبرة، وكان كريماً أيضاً في المساعدات التي طلبتها لبلادي، لم يتردّد رغم الظرف الصعب الذي تمر به سورية والذي كنت أعرفه، بل لبى كلّ ما طلبناه لتعزيز القدرة العسكرية لقواتنا المسلحة التي كانت في طور النشأة والتكوين بعد أن نال اليمن الجنوبي استقلاله الوطني من الاستعمار البريطاني في نوفمبر 1967م. كانت معركته قومية في الأساس وكان هذا المنطلق من ثوابته، لذا لعب الخبراء السوريون الذين رافقوني على الطائرة نفسها التي أعادتني إلى عدن دوراً هاماً في إنشاء الكلية العسكرية في عدن، كأول أكاديمية عسكرية تدرس العلوم الحديثة، كما قدموا عونا لا يُقدّر بثمن في إعادة بناء القوات المسلحة ووضع القوانين والتشريعات المتعلقة بوزارة الدفاع وتنظيم مختلف الأسلحة. كما أرسل عدداً من الطيارين والمدربين على الطائرات الروسية ميغ 17 قبل عودة طيارينا من التدريب في الاتحاد السوفياتي، وأرسل أيضاً بعثة طبية لإدارة المستشفيات العسكرية..

بعد ذلك توالت اتصالاتي بالراحل، وتكرّرت لقاءاتي به، وكنت أحرص على الدوام خلال زياراتي إلى الخارج، خاصة بعد أن أصبحت رئيساً للوزراء ورئيساً لبلادي، فيما بعد، على أن تكون دمشق محطة مهمة فيها، ولقاء الرئيس الأسد في الصدارة دائماً. وكان رحمه الله مغرماً بالتاريخ وقارئاً جيدا له، وبقدر ما كان يتحدث عن موقف سورية ورؤيتها، فإنه كان يبدي حرصا شديدا على التعرف على تطورات الأوضاع في اليمن والخليج العربي وحرصا شديدا على استقرار الأوضاع في هذه المنطقة الحيوية. وكان يعرف الكثير من أوضاعها ويتابعها بدقة، ويرى في وحدة اليمن وعلاقات حسن الجوار والتعاون مع محيطها في الجزيرة والخليج خير دعم لسورية ولدول المواجهة في صراعها القومي مع العدو «الإسرائيلي».

تعدّدت لقاءاتي بالرئيس الراحل بعد ذلك في العديد من المناسبات والمنعطفات الحاسمة، سواء بالنسبة لسورية أو بالنسبة لليمن أو لي شخصياً، وفي كل المواقف، وفي أصعب الظروف فإنّ الرئيس الأسد أبدى على الدوام دعماً وتأييدا لليمن ولقضاياه وعلى رأسها الوحدة اليمنية، وأبدى معي تعاطفا لا حدود له في الأوقات الصعبة والمحن الشديدة، وكان هذا نوعاً من الوفاء النادر للأصدقاء قلما نجد له مثيلاً في هذا الزمن الصعب.

ورغم أنني زرت العديد من عواصم العالم، والتقيت العديد من زعمائه عرباً وأجانب، فإنّ دمشق والرئيس الأسد يظلان في قلبي ووجداني وفكري إلى درجة أنني اخترت دمشق مقراً لإقامتي وأسرتي بعد مغادرتي السلطة واليمن ومقراً للمركز العربي للدراسات الاستراتيجية الذي أسّسته بدعمه ومساندته، وعقدنا المؤتمر التأسيسي له في دمشق تحت رعايته الكريمة في أبريل – نيسان عام 1995م.

لقد ودَعت سورية منذ عشرين عاماً باني نهضتها الحديثة، الرئيس حافظ الأسد، بأكثر ما يمكن لبلد أن يودع به قائده.. بالوفاء والعرفان… فعلت ما هو أبعد، فقررت تكريس نهجه والاستمرار على خطاه، من خلال إجماعها على نجله الدكتور بشار الأسد.

عشرون عاما مرّت على غياب الرئيس حافظ الأسد، لم يعد المشهد كما كان في حياته، جرت أمور كثيرة في سورية واليمن وليبيا ولبنان وفلسطين وفي أماكن أخرى من الوطن العربي والعالم، لكنّ سورية ظلت في قلب الأحداث كما كانت، ولا يزال الصراع يدور عليها وحولها وهي دائماً عصية على الكسر، وهذا قدرها، باعتبارها صانعة السلام والحرب، فلا حرب بدونها ولا سلام أيضاً بدونها. ووسط هذه العواصف يكون غيابه مؤلماً..

*الرئيس اليمني الأسبق.

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – AUGUST 14, 2019: SYRIAN ARMY REACHED KHAN SHAYKHUN

South Front

Government forces are developing their advance in the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The Syrian military has deployed a new batch of reinforcements, including battle tanks from the 4th Armoured Division, to the frontline. According to pro-government sources, these reinforcements will take part in the ongoing Syrian Army offensive in northwestern Hama and southern Idlib.

On August 13, a firefights took place east of Sukayk, but no notable changes on the frontline took place. Syrian Army units made an attempt to capture Tel Tari, but the attack was repelled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. In a separate development, government troops liberated Kafr Ayn.

An increased usage of anti-tank guided missiles was also reported.

On August 12, a Turkish military convoy accompanied by militants visited Tell Tuqan, Surman and Morek. According to local sources, Ankara is now actively working behind the scenes to rescue militants besieged in northern Hama.

The Syrian Army and its allies are preparing to capture Kafr Zita and Khan Shaykhun and cut off the rest of supply lines to the key militant stronghold of Lataminah.

The Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces continued their bombing campaign against militants’ infrastructure in the area. According to data released by the Russian Defense Ministry, the priority targets of the bombing campaign is underground hideouts, gatherings of military equipment and convoys of the terrorists.

10 villages in the Syrian province of Raqqah have signed a reconciliation agreement with the Damascus government, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria said on August 12. According to the released report, the total population of the villages is around 20,000 people. The Russian Defense Ministry provided no further details regarding the development. The Syrian Democratic Forces and the US-led coalition have not commented on the situation yet.

Such developments are a notable blow to the US-led efforts to isolate the US-occupied, northwestern part of Syria from the rest of the country.

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Pouring Gasoline on the Fire

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By Richard Edmondson

The US and Turkey have come to an agreement under which US military personnel will begin training so-called moderate rebels to fight in Syria. The announcement was made Tuesday. This is not just a foolish move; it is the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a fire.

There are no moderate rebels. The moderate people in Syria support their government. If Obama is really serious about fighting ISIS he should join forces with the Syrian government and with Hezbollah–because they are the “boots on the ground” who are taking the fight to the terrorists.

How will the US know the “moderates” it trains aren’t really ISIS secret agents? That may sound funny, but I’m serious. In a report here we are told that the US has so far “screened” about 1200 rebel fighters  said to have been drawn from “several moderate groups in Syria.”

nagata

According to the report, the “screening” process is being headed up by Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata. The plans are to train about 5,000 “moderates” per year, but the process is going slowly because each applicant is supposedly being thoroughly checked. Some 100 US personnel are already in the area setting up three training camps–in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia–and eventually about 1,000 US troops are expected to be involved in the program.

Question: how does Nagata know that at least some of the “moderates” being recruited for this effort aren’t in reality deep-cover ISIS operatives? Answer: he doesn’t. And even if they are moderates now, what’s to stop them from going over to the other side once they get their American training and equipment?

We saw an instance, late last year, in which two “moderate” rebel groups who had received US training–Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front–laid down their weapons and surrendered after coming into military conflict with Al-Nusra. The two groups had been supplied with GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles. All of this equipment ended up in Al-Nusra’s possession. It is said that Harakat Hazm gave up “without firing a shot,” and that some of its members even defected over to the takfiri militants. These events took place in early November of 2014, and they proved somewhat embarrassing for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, or WINEP.

In April of 2014, WINEP fellow Jeffrey White published an article in which he referred to Harakat Hazm as “rebels worth supporting.” I discussed White’s piece in a post entitled The Myth of the ‘Moderate’ Rebels, which I put up on October 15 last year. At that time, Harakat Hazm had not yet surrendered to Al-Nusra, but the post included a video about the organization that placed its supposed “moderation” into considerable doubt. Below is that video. Starting at about 1:04 in you will see footage showing five men seated at a table. The one in the center is Salim Idris, former chief of staff of the Free Syrian Army–another supposed “moderate.”

In my article I noted that the best way for the US to defeat ISIS, perhaps the only way, is to join forces with the Syrian government. But this will not happen, I also mentioned, because it runs counter to the wishes of the Zionist lobby in America, which wants to see regime change in Syria.

Now, just a few months later, one has to wonder: was it Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata who made the decision to give GRAD rockets and TOW missiles to Harakat Hazm? Nagata was already on the job training Syrian rebels in October of last year, and you can go here to see a report filed at that time that offers a little bit of insight into his background. The report doesn’t leave you with a great deal of confidence in him.

Once the initial 1200 “moderates” have undergone their training, what happens then? Will they simply be wished the best of luck, sent off into Syria, at which point that’s the end of it? Hardly. According to a report here, once they are in Syria, the “moderate” rebels will be given the power to call in US airstrikes, which opens up a host of possibilities, including a scenario in which US air power is manipulated by those on the ground for purpose of attacking rival rebel groups. And this, too, has happened before–in Afghanistan.

How much of our tax dollars are being wasted on this enterprise? How much is being wasted now–and how much will be wasted in the years to come? Another consideration is the chance that all this will escalate. Those who remember history will recall that the Vietnam war started out with just a small number of US “advisers” in the country to train South Vietnamese troops. In 1959, a total of just 760 US personnel were in South Vietnam; in 1960, the number grew to 900. By 1968, America had more than a half million troops stationed in the country.

As mentioned above, one of the US training camps being set up is in Saudi Arabia. The Wahhabist ideology was born in Saudia Arabia, and the kingdom today remains its epicenter. Exactly what sort of persons do you suppose Nagata will be providing training for in his camp there? Perhaps they will include the enlightened followers of a Saudi cleric who recently explained why, in his view, the earth doesn’t rotate. The cleric has been identified as Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari:

The above video surfaced earlier this week. The following video, below, was posted three months ago and shows Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah discussing, in a somewhat bemused manner, the beliefs of clerics like al-Khaibari:

Not only is the “moderate rebel” a myth, but the notion that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are sincere partners in fighting ISIS is also a myth. All three countries have been heavily implicated in providing assistance to the very terrorists the Obama administration claims to be fighting. Due to the low price of oil, filling up gasoline cans is cheap these days.

The only people who attempt to put out fires with gasoline are either, a) the very stupid; or, b) those who only pretend to want to see the fire put fire out but who in reality are seeking to create a bigger fire.

In a speech given on Thursday, February 19, Obama asserted that the world is “united against the scourge of violent extremism and terrorism.” This is a fairly accurate statement as far as it goes; the vast majority of the world’s people are indeed united on that point. The question, of course, becomes: does Obama really not know who his friends are in this fight?

The Middle East is really not that hard to figure out. The best, the brightest, the most patriotic of the region–these people already know what side they are on; they have joined the ranks of Hezbollah, the Syrian and Lebanese Armies, and the Syrian National Defense Force. They will fight and they will defeat America’s trained proxies, and then when nothing is left but for America to send in its own ground forces, they will fight America as well.

This is the course our leaders are presently headed on–all for Israel.

Norwegian film director reveals viral “Syrian hero boy” video a hoax to Invade Syria

NATO Using Fake Viral Syrian Hero Boy Video To Invade Syria

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Norwegian film director reveals viral “Syrian hero boy” video a hoax
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

A viral video showing a Syrian boy rescuing a girl under gunfire, watched online by millions of viewers and widely shared by media agencies, was faked by a Norwegian film crew, media reported.

Posted on Youtube on Monday, the “Syrian hero boy” video was shot on location in Malta last May with professional actors, and directed by 34-year-old Norwegian director Lars Klevberg, who claimed he hoped to create a debate on children in war zones.

“The film appears to show an authentic phone- or amateur video recording, but is in fact a short fiction film released in the hopes to create political action and debate and focus on innocent children growing up in war,” Klevberg said in a statement released on Twitter on Friday.

View image on Twitter

In the film, a young boy braves sniper fire and appears to be shot while rescuing a girl hiding behind a burned car in what was meant to look like war-torn Syria.

The video, which had been seen more than six million times by Saturday amid an online debate about its authenticity, received 280,000 kroner ($41,492.85) in funding from the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) and the Norwegian government, the BBC reported.

According to the BBC, the filmmakers said their intention was to upload the video without specifying whether it was real or fiction.

The video spread after the production team uploaded it on Youtube trying to maximize its virality and sent it out on Twitter to generate a “debate.”

The issue of authenticating footage of the conflict has been a major issue in the Syrian civil war, as the country has become an increasingly difficult terrain for media and monitoring outlets to confirm attacks and casualties.

The Syrian government often claims video footage of the conflict are fabricated, which has led to fears by many that the Norwegian movie would be used as ammunition to corroborate these claims.

In June 2011, it was revealed that a widespread blog entitled “A Gay Girl in Damascus” was in fact a hoax by an American man based in Scotland.

Many people took to Twitter to express their anger over the hoax.

  1. pic.twitter.com/a7jjVGsyVH

.@LarsKlevberg do you know how many Syrian citizen journalists have died to tell the truth of what is happening in #syria? Shame on you

Estimates on the number of people killed in the four-year conflict vary between 124,000 and 191,000, and more than half the population of the country has been forced to flee. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 9,400 children had been killed in the conflict as of August.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

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Damascene Conversions – Isis, Assad And The Bombing Of Iraq

http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/773-damascene-conversions.html

This time last year, Western corporate media were focused on a single, grave threat to human life and civilised values. An endless stream of atrocity claims – some real, some fabricated with ‘evidence’ posted on YouTube – depicted President Assad of Syria as the latest incarnation of Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, bin Laden, Gaddafi: namely, the Official Enemy to be targeted for destruction.

Once again, ‘quality’ media generated a sense of inevitability – this Enemy was also so monstrous that the US-UK alliance had to ‘intervene’, to ‘act’. It later transpired that the plan was to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities Assad had’.

The massacre claims were part of a rolling propaganda barrage intended to clear a path through public opposition to an attack. It was a close copy of the 1991 Gulf War media campaign described by the late historian Howard Zinn:

‘The American population was bombarded the way the Iraqi population was bombarded. It was a war against us, a war of lies and disinformation and omission of history. That kind of war, overwhelming and devastating, waged here in the US while the Gulf War was waged over there.’ (Zinn, Power, History and Warfare, Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, No. 8, 1991, p.12)

This summer, the Assad atrocity stories splashed across newspaper front pages and TV broadcasts for so long have mysteriously dried up. If the BBC website looked like this last year, it now looks like this, this and this. The Independent published an article with a title that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago:

‘Putin may have been right about Syria all along – Many cautioned against the earlier insistence of the Obama administration that Assad must go’

Has the man universally loathed and reviled by corporate commentators undergone an appropriately Damascene conversion? A more prosaic explanation was supplied by the Financial Times:

‘US and allies must join Assad to defeat Isis [Islamic State], warns British MP’ (Sam Jones, Financial Times, August 21, 2014)

The MP in question, Sir Malcolm Rifkind – chairman of parliament’s intelligence and security committee, and a former foreign secretary – declared:

‘”[Isis] need to be eliminated and we should not be squeamish about how we do it… Sometimes you have to develop relationships with people who are extremely nasty in order to get rid of people who are even nastier.”‘

One year ago, Rifkind called for a ‘military strike’ on Syria of ‘a significant kind’:

‘If we don’t make that effort to punish and deter, then these actions will indeed continue.’

Richard Dannatt, former head of the British army, observed last month:

‘The old saying “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” has begun to have some resonance with our relationship in Iran and I think it is going to have to have some resonance with our relationship with Assad.’

Again, unthinkable in the recent past, when Media Lens was smeared as ‘pro-Assad’ for challenging obviously suspect, warmongering claims.

Fighters hailed by the media last year as heroic ‘rebels’ opposing Assad’s army are now decidedly ‘jihadists’. In 2012, the New York Times reported:

‘Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists…’.

Assad, it seems, is yesterday’s ‘bad guy’ – Isis is the new ‘threat’. On this, almost every media commentator appears to agree. A Guardian leader of August 11, commented:

‘President Obama had no real alternative to the air strikes he ordered last week against Islamic State (Isis) forces… Quite apart from the threat to the future of Iraq as a whole, the US and Britain have a humanitarian duty to the endangered minorities, and a debt of honour to the Kurds.’

It is pretty remarkable that journalists are still able to believe (presumably dismissing Gaza as a blip) that US-UK foreign policy is guided by notions of ‘duty’ and ‘honour’. The UK’s leading ‘liberal-left’ newspaper is apparently not appalled by the prospect that the killers of half a million children through sanctions and in excess of one million people as a result of the 2003 invasion are once again affecting to ‘help’ Iraq. Why, because the editors can perceive ‘ignorance and incompetence’ in Western actions but not self-interested criminality. Thus, for the Guardian, ‘America is right to intervene.’

The editors offered the vaguest of nods in the direction of one of the great bloodbaths of modern times:

‘After all that has passed in recent years, hesitation about any kind of intervention in the Middle East is entirely understandable. But the desperate plight of the Iraqi minorities and the potentially very serious threat to the Kurds surely warrants a fundamental reconsideration.’

Alternatively, ‘all that has passed in recent years’ might provoke ‘a fundamental reconsideration’ of the idea that the US-UK alliance is guided by concern for the plight of Iraqi minorities.

As Steve Coll wrote in The New Yorker last month:

‘ExxonMobil and Chevron are among the many oil and gas firms large and small drilling in Kurdistan under contracts that compensate the companies for their political risk-taking with unusually favorable terms.’

Coll added sardonically:

It’s not about oil. After you’ve written that on the blackboard five hundred times, watch Rachel Maddow’s documentary “Why We Did It” for a highly sophisticated yet pointed journalistic take on how the world oil economy has figured from the start as a silent partner in the Iraq fiasco.’

The conclusion:

‘Obama’s defense of Erbil is effectively the defense of an undeclared Kurdish oil state whose sources of geopolitical appeal – as a long-term, non-Russian supplier of oil and gas to Europe, for example – are best not spoken of in polite or naïve company…’

‘We Tried To Set The Middle East To Rights’

Like the rest of the corporate press, the Guardian view of the world is heavily influenced by structural factors – internal corporate needs conditioned by external political and corporate pressures. On August 15, another Guardian leader commented:

‘[R]arely in modern history can military force have been exerted over such an extended period to such little purpose. We tried to set the Middle East to rights, but succeeded only in deepening its divisions and intensifying the violence we had hoped to curb.’

‘We’ – US-UK state-corporate-military-media power – ‘tried to set the Middle East to rights’. For the people, we are to presume, not Big Oil, the ‘silent partner in the Iraq fiasco’. However:

‘We have been burnt before, we should not be burnt again.’

The great lesson to take from our devastation of an entire country – ‘we’ suffered.

A further Guardian leader on August 18 opined:

‘The situation in Iraq is very threatening. But Britain is only one of many countries under threat.’

According to the FBI and Homeland Security, even the US is not at risk from Isis even after the recent airstrikes. Associated Press reported:

‘The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the U.S. homeland from the Islamic State militant group.’

Richard Barrett, who ran counterterrorism operations for Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, argues that the latest Western war in Iraq ‘does rather play to the [jihadist] narrative that these bad regimes are being supported by outside powers and, therefore, if you get too close to overthrowing them, the outside powers will come and beat you up’. The people who were ‘going to fight Assad or [former Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al] Maliki are now seeing a broader enemy’ in the form of the US and UK governments. Barrett adds:

‘The argument that they could also achieve the same [result] by [conducting] terrorist attacks in Western countries becomes stronger [though] not necessarily inevitable… Their justification will be: “If it hadn’t been for air strikes we would be fine, establishing our caliphate [in Iraq].. Why did you mess with us? Now we’ll mess with you.”‘

Barrett suggests that military action should always be a last resort and is not the ‘tool that is going to solve the [Isis] problem. Look at Libya, look at Afghanistan, look at Iraq in 2003. It’s just reaching for a hammer because it is a hammer and it’s to hand’.

The potential for the imagined threat to become real was emphasised by the brutal murder of journalist James Foley captured on an Isis video. A Guardian leader of August 21 observed:

‘The video is one of a number of developments that have sharpened our understanding of the risks inherent in a new military campaign in the region, even if limited and carefully conducted – that is, as limited and carefully conducted as an undertaking aimed at blowing up things and people can ever be.’

Presumably the Guardian has inside knowledge indicating that the campaign is ‘limited and carefully conducted’. But even the Guardian’s own logic suggested Isis would become a threat to the West only when ‘we’ attack them:

‘Bluntly put: if we target them, they will target us.’

So Isis are not in fact ‘our’ enemy until ‘we’ make them ‘our’ enemy! But of course it is ‘our’ job to sort them out:

‘We should not be alone in a contest with Isis. Regional powers should take on a greater role, perhaps even military, but certainly a more coherent diplomatic role.’

At the Guardian’s dissident extreme, Owen Jones wrote on August 20:

‘Nobody is pretending that Isis is going to be defeated by a few rousing renditions of Kumbaya.’

So we can take for granted that the focus should be on defeating the new enemy identified by Western elites:

‘Surely only then can the Iraqi military hope to defeat these sectarian murderers.’

But then should we not also aspire ‘to defeat’ the notoriously vicious and unaccountable Iraqi military? And Jones quoted veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn to the effect that ‘Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies are the “foster parents” of Isis’. So should we not also be focusing on the need ‘to defeat’ Saudi Arabia and Qatar? And how about the US and UK governments who supply the weapons and other support empowering these tyrannies?

But even dissident ‘mainstream’ journalists conform to propaganda demanding that Official Enemies be targeted for ‘defeat’. Favoured allies, and of course the West, are treated quite differently. The public is to believe that the sheer evil of the Enemy means that negotiation, compromise and accommodation are out of the question – war is often presented as the only option. Why? Because it allows the West to play its trump card, high-tech violence; to get what it wants on its own terms. When negotiation, later is mysteriously found to be possible even with the likes of Gaddafi (2004) and Assad (2014), few ask why it was once declared out of the question.

Jones concluded:

‘Because Isis has proved so successful in spreading terror, it will be difficult to have a rational debate about how to defeat them.’

Because Western governments are so successful in spreading terror, it will be difficult for journalists like Jones to have a rational debate focused on something other than defeating the enemy du jour.

Modern Enlightenment Culture

A leader in The Times commented:

‘Modern enlightenment culture [sic] finds it hard to grasp the notion of radical evil. When theocratic fanatics destroyed the Twin Towers on 9/11 and bombed the Spanish train network in 2004 and the London Underground on 7/7, the instinct of many western commentators was to wonder what Europe and America had done to provoke such hatred. The correct answer was “nothing”.’ (Leading article, ‘Beating the barbarians,’ The Times, August 12, 2014)

Modern enlightenment culture also finds it hard to grasp the notion that it has itself committed crimes of awesome violence.

The Times lamented the failure of ‘a decade of efforts to build democracy in Iraq’ – a level of wilful blindness that would have stunned the philosophes. Inevitably, The Times supported yet another war as the only enlightened option:

‘A coherent strategy of striking jihadist targets, arming the peshmerga and supporting a new, inclusive Iraqi administration could salvage stability in Iraq. Anything less hands victory to barbarians.’

In 2005, journalist Seymour Hersh reported that between autumn 2003 and late autumn 2004, the US 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone had dropped ‘500,000 tons of ordnance [on Iraq], and that is two million, 500-pound bombs’. Perhaps these latest US bombs will do better.

The Times echoed the Guardian on Isis:

‘The organisation is a threat to the peoples of the region, to the stability of the Middle East and to Britain directly.’ (Leading article, ‘State of Violence,’ The Times, August 18, 2014)

David Aaronovitch has been playing his usual role of demoniser-in-chief, with his familiar calls for war to prevent – what else? – ‘effective genocide’, this time in Iraq (Gaza being someone else’s problem). As usual, the Nazis are the obvious comparison:

‘Isis are very like the SS in occupied eastern Europe. There is the same idea of a mystical destiny that doesn’t just permit killing, but demands it… In service of that vision, the pits had to be filled with bodies.’ (Aaronovitch, ‘Isis will just keep killing – until we stop them,’ The Times, August 11, 2014)

And:

‘Just like the SS, Isis men will kill more and more… stopping only when they are utterly defeated and every executioner – even if he is such a gentle boy from Purley – is dead or tried.’

Therapists describe a phenomenon called ‘projection’ – the ‘enemy’ acts as a screen on which the analysand projects precisely the qualities he or she is unwilling to face in him or herself. Thus, since 1945, the West has endlessly left pits ‘filled with bodies’ driven by the mystical ‘manifest destiny’ of ‘American exceptionalism’. Aaronovitch himself summed up the thinking on August 14:

‘Something broke in western policy when Ed Miliband won the vote preventing action in Syria after the chemical attacks this time last year… The message was clear to everyone and is the worst you can ever send – that the cops have left town.’ (Aaronovitch, ‘Only military action will defeat the jihadis,’ The Times, August 14, 2014)

‘We’ are ‘the cops’. Who voted ‘us’ Globocop? No-one, ‘we’ seized the role by right of military might. And so we find that the claim can again be exactly reversed. Are we really playing the role of ‘cops’? Well, cops are not supposed to illegally invade countries, overthrow governments, flatten cities, steal resources, commit mass torture. What kind of people do that? Villains, criminals, terrorists.

To look hard in the mirror of the Official Enemy is to see the truth of who ‘we’ really are.

JAWBAR: THE END IS NEAR; QUNAYTRA FRONT DISASTER FOR ZIONISTS

army

JAWBAR:  Once Jawbar is conquered, the East Ghouta will be completely secure.  This is the end for the rats.  Once Al-Maleeha fell, not only did Zahraan ‘Alloosh obtain his own death warrant,  but the entire south-to-eastern fronts fell apart.  Yesterday, more blocks in the direction of the Al-Tayyiba Mosque and other areas were subject to the inevitable march of the SAA and NDF.  Artillery fire is precise and devastating.  Yesterday, the SAA killed these identified marsupials:

Naader ‘Ajaaj (PALESTEEZIAN COYOTE SPITTLE)

Sa’eed Jaassem Al-Tabtabi (var: Al-Tabatabaa`iy.  He probably changed the spelling to de-Jaafarize it.  KUWAITI CREAMPUFF)  

Qaassem Daleel

Waleed Hamaama

‘Abdul-Kareem ‘Ayyaash

Another 12 were not identified.

 

Al-‘Aaliya Farms:  In the Doumaa area.  This is where ‘Alloosh will find the Devil.  A pack of rats belonging to the Jaysh Al-Islam (now merged with Al-Ittihaad Al-Islaami Li-Ajnaad Al-Shaam, yawn) was wiped off the map:

Muneer Fawwaaz

Mahmoud Al-Khutba

Faarooq Jamaaleddeen

Waleed Dalwaan

Muhammad Khibya (This family has about run out of males)

‘Ali Al-‘Alawi

Raateb Sulayk  (var: Saleek)

Mahmoud Bakri

 

Khaan Al-Shaykh:   Annihilation was the motto of the SAA yesterday as more than 67 rodents met their end here.  Almost all were foreign mercenaries.  Near the distillery (Ziad’s favorite), the Agricultural Foundation, Nestle Street and behind the Sundus Building, scores of rats went down the pipe to the Main Sewer in Hell.  No names are available since the majority are foreigners carrying invalid identification.  It is very likely we will never know who these rats are since their carcasses will be rendered into a trillion particles of ash.

 

Khaan Al-Shaykh:  West of the Villas area near the Al-Manshiyya School.  No details about a pack of rats and their voyage to the Orifice of Oblivion.

 

Al-Zabadaani:  At the Radio Station Quarter and ‘Aara Neighborhood, these cockroacheds were dispatched to the Stygian shores:

Ahmad Muraad

Saleem Al-Aghawaat

Husaam Al-Tareeda

Mahmoud Ghannoom

‘Uthmaan ‘Alaa`uddeen

Sabri Mansoor  

 

army

Salaam Highway:  An attempted infiltration into this area resulted in 10 carcasses, wrapped and ready to go straight to Satan’s Buffet.  No names.

 

‘Adraa Town:  A skirmish at the olive oil press resulted in 6 Jabha Al-Islamiyya hyenas yelping their way to the polar climes of Hades.  No names.

 

Fighting reported also at these locations: Al-Sindiyaana, Al-Hijaariyya Farms, Al-Husayniyya Farms.

 

Daarayyaa:  East of the Sayyida Sukayna (var: Ruqayyaa) Shrine, the SAA killed this worm:

“Abu Khaaled Shu’ayb (Id pending. Rat leader)

__________________________________________________________

QUNAYTRA:

 

This front is going the same as Der’ah.  There is a big surprise awaiting the Zionist Settlers, too.  The FSA offshoot which is commanded by Chief Yokel, ‘Abdul-Ilaah Al-Basheer, might as well be led by Mr. Rogers.  This King Rat is about as smart Joan Rivers in her hospital bed.

 

Qunaytra City:  At the empty hospital, a pickup with 23mm cannon donated by Saudi Arabia was turned to dross by an SAA rocket.  Also, at the bank and the cinema (they’re still advertising 2001: A Space Odyssey) another pickup was targeted and destroyed.  No names available.

 

da3raa

Umm Baatina/Umm Al-‘Izhaam:  2 pickups with 23mm cannons were destroyed.  All aboard reportedly killed.

 

Al-Samdaaniyya School:  6 rodent flatbeds with rodent cannons went bye-bye yesterday.  Total dead?  14 with 11 wounded and warbling.

 

Burayqa:  1 pickup with 23mm cannon destroyed here.  No names.

 

East of ‘Ayn Al-Darb:  Another pickup with 23mm cannon was sent to Mephisto’s Junkyard along with its passengers.

 

Tal Kuroom (Hill of Grapevines)/Jibba:  Another flatbed bites the dust along with its cannon.

 

Al-‘Ajraf:  And another pickup with 23mm cannon destroyed.  It seems like the Zionist Settler gangsters are setting these rubes up for disaster.

 

Hirsh Majdoolyaa:  Whoah there Pilgrim!  Are you saying another pickup with 23mm cannon was destroyed?  Yep.

 

Bi`r ‘Ajam:  And another Toyota flatbed with 23mm cannon was destroyed.

 

South Umm Baatina at Al-Mushrifa Lands:  8 rodents were trapped and dispatched by the Orkin Man.

 

Al-Ruwayhana/Umm Baatina Road:  A convoy coming from behind Zionist lines was subject to massive artillery fire and destroyed.  The rats who survived are being treated and newly-created field hospitals run by Zionist veterinarians.

 

Fighting also in: Jibbaa, Rasm Al-Shawaali, Tishreen Farms 
Read more

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

ISIS Terrorists Trained in a US Base in Turkey

http://aydinlikdaily.com/Detail/ISIS-Terrorists-Trained-In-A-US-Base-In-Turkey/3640#.U_mmb-kg85s

ISIS Terrorists Trained in a US Base in Turkey
Published 19-06-2014
Members of the terrorist organization, ISIS, which killed thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, are alleged to be trained in the US İncirlik Base in Adana, Turkey.

According to Turkish media sources, it has been discovered from Washington that ISIS members received their training in Turkey, and that the Riyadh administration is funding $3 billion for this terror organization.  A senior official from Iraqi government confirms that one of the training camps of the ISIS is located near the Incirlik Air Base in Adana Turkey.

 

Last week, the main opposition party, the CHP’s MP Sezgin Tanrikulu, brought to the agenda the fact that four Turkish intelligence officers trained the insurgents linked to the ISIS terror organization in Iraq. These four Turkish intelligence officers were taken into custody by the Iraqi soldiers, and their confession brought to the agenda of the assembly by Tanrıkulu.

Hollande admits France Recently Armed Syria ISIL Terrorists

Hollande Says France Recently Armed Syria Takfiris

http://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/hollande-says-france-recently-armed-syria-takfiris-diplomats-refuse-to-note-oppositions-role-as-same/

France President Francois Hollande says his country has recently supplied weapons to the foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants operating against the Syrian government.

francois-hollande-president_

The French leader said on Thursday that Paris delivered weapons to the Takfiri terrorists in Syria “a few months ago,” stressing, “We should not stop” supporting the anti-Damascus militants.

Hollande also called on the United States and European Union countries to join the campaign and said Paris cannot “go it alone.”

In an interview with France’s Le Monde daily published on Wednesday, the French president said the international community shoulders a “heavy responsibility” with regards to the turmoil in Syria, which has also spilled over into neighboring Iraq.

He also said the ISIL Takfiri militants would never have come into existence if the Syria crisis had been properly handled, adding that other armed militants operating in the country “deserve all our support.”

France has been among the major supporters of the Takfiri extremists operating to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since March 2011.

In January, Hollande said some 700 French nationals had taken part in the fight against the Damascus government, adding that Paris needs to warn young people against joining the ranks of extremist groups in the Arab country.

According to some sources, more than 170,000 people have so far been killed and millions of others displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants in Syria

Press TV

Eretz Zen releases video showing the connection between the Islamic State, and the western backed opposition to Syria.

One of the key US men in Syria, the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, who operated mostly in the Greater Aleppo area, was open about his daily communication and collaboration with extremist jihadists from the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) and al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra. He refers to their fighters as brothers. In one footage after the rebel capture of Menagh military airbase, he even appeared standing next to an Egyptian jihadist from ISIL, Abu Jandal, while thanking him and his group for their contributions. The US is known to have funneled military aid to al-Okaidi and others in the FSA throughout the last couple of years.

Eretz Zen

USA looking to use ISIL as an excuse to get involved in Syria

America’s top general calls for fighting ISIL in Iraq and Syria

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey hold a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, August 21, 2014.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey hold a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, August 21, 2014.
America’s top general says the terrorist group ISIL can be contained and eventually defeated, but only if it is engaged in Syria and not just in Iraq.

“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, ‘end-of-days’ strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated,” said Thursday Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no.”

Dempsey was speaking at a news conference with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel one day after President Barack Obama urged countries in the Middle East to join with Washington to “extract the cancer” of ISIL’ jihadist ideology, after the beheading of an American journalist sparked global outrage.

Dempsey said he wasn’t predicting US airstrikes in Syria, but said the problem must be addressed diplomatically, politically and militarily by America and its regional partners.

Hagel said all options were on the table, including airstrikes in Syria. He warned that ISIL is more than a traditional “terrorist group” and better armed, trained and funded than any recent threat.

“They marry ideology and a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well funded. This is beyond anything we have seen,” Hagel said.

The US also pressed ahead with airstrikes in Iraq, in a bid to create a safe perimeter around the Mosul dam after Iraqi Kurdish forces seized the facility from ISIL earlier this week.

The military’s Central Command said the latest strikes destroyed or damaged three Humvees, multiple roadside bomb “emplacements” and another insurgent vehicle.

The US military has conducted 90 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8, including the latest raids. Of those operations, 57 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the dam.

ISIL released a video Tuesday in which a militant with a British accent is seen beheading American journalist James Foley and threatening a second US hostage if the airstrikes continue. US Attorney General Eric Holder noted Thursday that the FBI had an open criminal probe into Foley’s kidnap. “We have long memories and our reach is very wide. We will not forget what happened and people will be held accountable – one way or the other,” he said.

Interpol has called for a global response to the threat, with monitors covering the conflict in Syria saying ISIL has more than 50,000 fighters in that country alone, including 20,000 foreigners.

A European security official said Foley’s executioner, a masked man in black who used a knife to behead Foley, spoke with an accent from London or near London. Some officials suggested it was possible the man was originally an immigrant to the United Kingdom.

A US official said American investigators were urgently attempting to “identify and capture” the man in the video. The official did not say who would take the lead in trying to capture him once he is identified.

US and European officials said efforts were underway to match the voiceprint of the man in the video with recordings of known individuals.

Foley’s captors had demanded a ransom of 100 million euros – $132 million – for his release, his employer GlobalPost said. Foley had been reporting for GlobalPost from Syria when he was abducted in November 2012.

The Pentagon revealed Wednesday that US special forces were sent into Syria earlier this year to try to rescue American hostages but they came up empty handed as the captives were not at the targeted location.

President Bashar al-Assad sworn in for a new term

1

since the beginning of the crisis we warned that what is happening is a plot that will not stop at Syria’s border but it will pass it as terrorism knows no limits….. soon we will see the Arab, regional and western countries that supported terrorism paying heavy price.

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in Wednesday before the members of the People’s Assembly.
Following the swearing in, the President delivered a speech in which he first saluted the Syrian people, calling them “honorable” and “free”.
He reminded how, throughout the crisis in Syria, which is now in its forth year, some have spoken on behalf of the Syrian people repeating the slogan “The People Want’
“Yes, the people did want, the people did make their decision, the people did act,” the President said.
“Years have passed since some chanted for freedom, but you, the Syrians, were the freemen at the time of subordination, and you were the masters at the time of acting,” he added.
Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic He applauded the Syrian people for having practiced democracy at its best by choosing “your constitution, parliament and president. Thus the choice was yours and democracy was of your making.”
The President also hailed the Syrians’ firm steadfastness as they have refused to bow, surrender or give up to those who shouted that “they won’t kneel down but to God”.
“Rather you held fast to their homeland and believed in an only God…When they said ‘God is Great’, God was greater than them and those who stood by them because God is on the side of the right and the right is one the side of the people ,” the President said.
The President dismissed everything those said or did in the name of the Syrian people as mere “talk” and “illusion”, lauding the Syrians for having done the acting and made the fact on the ground.
“They wanted it a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries,” he said.
President al-Assad stressed that “The compass has now been rendered clear to many who have missed the vision, being ignorant or else misled, and the ugly faces have been exposed after the mask of ‘freedom’ and ‘revolution’ was dropped.”
Yet, he added, “the fangs of those came into play in the Syrian body in terms of killing, destroying, eating hearts and livers, slaughtering and beheading.”
The President hailed Syria’s June 3 presidential elections as “a full-dimensional battle” and not just a procedural political process, a battle “for its win all other battles have been devoted.”
The elections, he added, “were a declaration of a real affiliation to the homeland that rises above the affiliation given by an ID or a passport.”
The President went on saying that the elections were “our battle to defend the sovereignty, legitimacy, national decision and the people’s dignity,” commending the big participation in the vote as “a referendum in favor of sovereignty against terrorism with all its forms.”
“With your votes, you have toppled the terrorists together with their Syrian agents who have been a cover for them. You also brought down their masters,” the President said.
President al-Assad added “they were appalled seeing the Syrian citizen holding his passport, choosing his candidate and casting his votes in the ballot boxes… they were terrified by these simple steps because they understood that they are more than mere elections- they stand for defending the homeland, its sovereignty and dignity- and that what made them prevent the voting process in their countries and some Arab countries that follow them.. That is the hypocrisy of the West.”
“The Syrians abroad declared through the elections that they are Syrians by heart and soul, and they have proved what we said in the beginning: the main reason that made the citizens go abroad is the terrorism and brutality of the gunmen. For how could a sane person believe that a citizen was attacked by his own state and fled its crackdown would at the same time support it with all enthusiasm shown by the expatriates and displaced during the elections?” President al-Assad wondered.
“You have proved throughout history that you are people who do not fear challenge but rather love it whoever the challenger is … you have foiled the enemies and proved their shallowness and ignorance,” the President said, adding “analysis and study centers will be drowned for years in searching for answers for all what happened, to identify the enemies’ mistakes’ their misjudgment and their wrong decisions in the past stage, but they will not reach the answer because they have been accustomed to flunkies and depended on agents.”
He added that the presidential elections was for many of the Syrians “a bullet shot at the chests of the terrorists and those standing behind them.”
“Millions of bullets were fired and hit and settled in the ballot boxes, proving that all the empires of politics, media and oil are worthless in front of a sincere pure national stance,” said the President.
He affirmed that the victory of the Syrian people would not have been made possible was it not for the blood of the martyrs and the injured and for their steadfast and patient families.
President al-Assad struck a defiant note by saying that the tougher the conditions the more firm the Syrian people.
“We are people who get more defiant by pressures and who face the attempts of humiliation with more pride, dignity and self-confidence,” he added.
President al-Assad said that aggression on Syria does not target persons or governments as it seemed to some people at the beginning , but it targets the country’s structure, role and mentality of its citizens to turn them into herds led remotely and to distract them with endless conflicts that extend to generation instead of taking interest in their national ambitions and achieve welfare.
President al-Assad affirmed that the colonial west is still colonial, the essence is one even if the methods have changed, adding that although the west and its Arab tool governments have failed to fulfill what they planned for, this does not mean they stopped to exhaust Syria as an alternative goal to achieve the basic goals planed by them for a remote extent, unfortunately with Syrian hands that sold their country, not their honor because they have no honor at all.
President al-Assad added since the beginning of the crisis we warned that what is happening is a plot that will not stop at Syria’s border but it will pass it as terrorism knows no limits….. at that time some people said that “the Syrian President threats the world”, Is not what we see today in Iraq Lebanon all countries infected by the false plague of the Arab spring a concrete, tangible evidence of what we warned of before,” the President wondered, adding that soon we will see the Arab, regional and western countries that supported terrorism paying heavy price.
The President affirmed that a lot of people will understand, some of them lately and even after it’s too late, that the war which the Syrian citizens carry on in dependence of their own land is going beyond the country’s borders to defend a lot of peoples that sooner or later will confront the same terrorism due to the lack of vision in their policies and absolute ignorance of their countries’ interests.
دمشق-سانا
أدى السيد الدكتور بشار حافظ الأسد القسم الدستوري اليوم رئيساً للجمهورية العربية السورية أمام أعضاء مجلس الشعب وبحضور شخصيات سياسية واجتماعية ودينية.
وألقى الرئيس الأسد كلمة عقب أدائه القسم الدستوري جاء فيها..
أيها السوريون الشرفاء.. أيها الشعب الحر الثائر.. ثلاث سنوات وأربعة أشهر.. عندما قال البعض نيابة عنكم “الشعب يريد” نعم الشعب أراد.. الشعب قرر.. الشعب نفذ.
سنوات مضت منذ صرخ البعض للحرية فكنتم الأحرار في زمن التبعية.. وكنتم الأسياد في زمن الأجراء.. زايدوا عليكم بالديمقراطية فمارستموها بأرقى صورها.. ورفضتم أن يشارككم غريب إدارة الوطن.. فاخترتم دستوركم وبرلمانكم ورئيسكم.. فكان
الخيار خياركم والديمقراطية من صنعكم.
قالوا “إن الشعب السوري واحد”.. فوقفتم في وجه إعصار فتنتهم ولم تسمحوا لرياح التقسيم والفتنة أن تضرب قلوبكم وعقولكم.. وكنتم بحق شعبا واحدا بقلب واحد.
صرخوا “بأنهم لن يركعوا إلا لله” فما ركعتم لسادتهم ولا استسلمتم ولا سلمتم.. بل صمدتم وتمسكتم بوطنكم وآمنتم بإله واحد أحد.. لا تشاركه دول عظمى ولا يغني عنه لا نفط ولا دولار.. وعندما قالوا الله أكبر.. كان الله أكبر منهم  وممن وقف معهم.. لأن الله مع الحق.. والحق مع الشعب.
سنوات مرت كان لهم القول وكان لكم الفعل.. غرقوا في الوهم.. فصنعتم الواقع.. أرادوها ثورة فكنتم أنتم الثوار الحقيقيين.. فهنيئا لكم ثورتكم وانتصاركم.. وهنيئا لسورية انتماءكم إليها.
هنيئا لسورية شعبا تحدى كل أشكال الهيمنة والعدوان بكل الوسائل التي يملكها.. عقلا وفكرا ووعيا وطنيا.. بيده لمن استطاع حمل السلاح.. بلسانه عبر قول كلمة حق.. بقلبه عبر صموده وبقائه رغم التهديد.. هنيئا لسورية شعبا تحدى كل أشكال الخوف والإرهاب بالاستفتاء والانتخاب.. ومارس حقه تحت النار.. وأفشل العدوان وأصحابه وأدواته.
شعب غير صموده كل المعطيات فتغيرت معها الظروف والوقائع.. تبدلت مواقف.. وتراجعت أخرى.. سقطت مسميات.. واندثرت تحالفات.. انقسمت مجالس وتفتتت هيئات.. عادت البوصلة واضحة عند كثير ممن غابت عنهم الرؤية.. جهلا أو تضليلا.. وانكشفت الوجوه القبيحة على حقيقتها بعد أن سقط عنها قناع الحرية والثورة.. لتعمل أنيابها في الجسد السوري قتلا وتدميرا وأكلا للقلوب والأكباد ونحرا للرقاب وقطعا للرؤوس.
لم يتركوا وسيلة قذرة إلا واستخدموها.. لم يتركوا طريقا شاذة أو منحرفة إلا وسلكوها.. وفشلوا.
فشلوا بإقناعكم أنهم الحريصون على مصالح الشعب وحقوقه.. وفشلوا بإشعاركم أنكم بحاجة لأوصياء عليكم لإدارة أموركم وشؤون بلادكم.. وفشلوا أخيرا ونهائيا بأن يغسلوا أدمغتكم أو أن يكسروا إرادتكم.
تحديتم الإعصار بصدور عارية.. ووقفتم كالرمح في وجه الغدر.. فسمع الكون صوتكم رغم كل محاولات الكذب والتشويش والتضليل.. أعليتم صوت الحق.. وأجبرتم العالم أن يرى الحقيقة.. التي جهدوا ثلاث سنوات ونيف في إخفائها وقتلها ودفنها.. وأبقيتموها أنتم حية ترزق.. حقيقة ظهرت لتحطم بساعات محدودة امبراطوريات السياسة والنفط والإعلام.
نعم.. ساعات قليلة خرجتم فيها تعبرون عن رأيكم وتظهرون قوة إرادتكم.. كانت كفيلة بمحو كل التزوير والإرهاب النفسي والمعنوي الذي مورس على سورية لسنوات.. لم تكن تلك الانتخابات مجرد عملية سياسية إجرائية كما هو الحال في أي مكان في العالم.. بل كانت معركة كاملة الأبعاد.. سخرت كل المعارك الأخرى من أجل ربحها.. فبالنسبة لأعداء الوطن كانت السبيل الذي انتظروه لنزع شرعية الدولة.. وإظهار الشعب السوري بمظهر الضعيف المتفكك غير القادر على حكم نفسه.. ليخلقوا بعدها مبررات التدخل الخارجي بذرائع مختلفة.
وأما بالنسبة لنا كمواطنين فكانت الانتخابات إعلان انتماء حقيقي للوطن.. يتجاوز انتماء تمنحه هوية أو جواز سفر.. كانت الانتخابات معركتنا للدفاع عن السيادة والشرعية والقرار الوطني وكرامة الشعب.. وكانت المشاركة الكبيرة استفتاء لصالح السيادة
ضد الإرهاب بكل أشكاله.. لم يكن مهما لدى الكثيرين من سيصعد أو سيفوز.. لكن المهم كان من سيسقط جراءها.. لقد أسقطتم بأصواتكم الإرهابيين.. وأسقطتم معهم العملاء من السوريين الذين شكلوا لهم غطاء سياسيا.. وأسقطتم بذلك أسيادهم أصحاب المشروع بكل ما فيه من دول كبرى وأخرى تابعة منقادة.. من مسؤولين وأصحاب قرار يملون ويأمرون.. وإمعات يملى عليها وتنصاع وتنفذ.
ولم تقف النتيجة عند هؤلاء بل تجاوزتها إلى إسقاط كل انتهازي استغل الأزمة من أجل تحقيق مكسب فردي على حساب الآخرين.. وكل من نأى بنفسه عن المعركة منتظرا اتضاح موازين القوى.. وكذلك من وقف ضد رغبة الشعب بمقاطعته هذا الاستحقاق الوطني الأهم أو دعا إلى مقاطعته وتأجيله.. معلنا عن علم أو عن جهل موقفا مطابقا تماما لمواقف أعداء الشعب.
أما انتخابات الخارج الفعلية والرمزية.. فبعد أن جهدت الماكينات الإعلامية المعادية على مدى سنوات لإظهار أن كل من خرج من سورية يقف ضد الوطن والدولة.. فقد أتتهم الصفعة من السوريين في الخارج مغتربين ولاجئين.. الذين قالوا كلمتهم وفاجؤوا العالم.. وكرسوا الصورة الوطنية للسوريين وعنادهم في التمسك باستقلال قرارهم وصيانة سيادتهم.. لم تمنعهم ظروف الاغتراب أو اللجوء من القيام بواجبهم تجاه هذا الاستحقاق الوطني المفصلي.. خرجوا إلى الاستحقاق أفواجا.. البعض منهم خرج رغم آلامه الجسدية والمعنوية.. البعض الآخر خاطر بلقمة عيشه ومستقبل وجوده رغم حاجته.. وواجه تهديدات حاولت منعه من المشاركة.. لقد هالهم أن يحمل مواطن سوري جواز سفره ويختار مرشحه ويضع ورقته في الصندوق.. لقد ذعرتهم هذه الخطوات البسيطة لأنهم فهموا أنها أكثر من مجرد انتخابات.. هي دفاع عن وحدة الوطن وسيادته وكرامته.. وهذا ما جعلهم يمنعون التصويت في دولهم ودول عربية تابعة لهم.. هذا هو نفاق الغرب.. فكيف يدعون الدفاع عن شعب منعوه من قول كلمته عندما شعروا أنها ستناقض رغباتهم ومصالحهم.. مع ذلك نشكرهم لانهم بجهلهم وعدم وعيهم زادوا من حماسة السوريين ومن شرعية الانتخابات بدل أن ينقصوها كما كانوا يعتقدون.
لقد أعلن السوريون خارج حدود الوطن عبر الانتخابات أنهم سوريون قلبا وروحا.. وأثبتوا ما كنا نقوله في البدايات.. أن السبب الأساسي لخروج المواطنين خارج البلاد هو إرهاب المسلحين ووحشيتهم.. فكيف يمكن لعاقل أن يصدق أن مواطنا اعتدت عليه دولته وخرج هربا من قمعها.. أن يقف معها بنفس الحماسة والتحدي التي أظهرها المغتربون واللاجئون في الانتخابات… كيف لمواطن كاره لدولته كما افترض البعض أن يكون قادرا على إحداث هذا الفرق الشاسع بين أن يكون خنجرا في ظهر وطنه وعبئا عليه كما أرادوه أن يكون.. وبين أن يكون كما رأيناه سندا وداعما له… لكل أولئك أوجه التحية والتقدير وأؤكد بأنني أكثر تفاؤلا بأن الظروف ستعود الى الوضع الذي يرجع فيه كل أبناء الوطن المخلصين الشرفاء إليه.. وأكثر ثقة بأنهم سيكونون من أوائل العائدين حالما تزول الأسباب التي أجبرتهم على الخروج خارج الوطن ليكونوا سنده من الداخل.
لقد أثبتم أيها المواطنون أنكم عبر تاريخكم شعب لا يخاف التحدي بل يهواه.. كائنا من كان المتحدي.. أفشلتم الخصوم وأثبتم سطحيتهم وجهلهم.. وستغرق لسنوات مراكز التحليل والدراسات لديهم بالبحث عن أجوبة شافية لكل ما حصل.. ولتحديد أخطائهم وسوء تقديراتهم وقراراتهم في الفترة السابقة.. ولن يصلوا إلى جواب لأنهم اعتادوا على الإمعات واعتمدوا على العملاء.. لم يعرفوا أو يفهموا أو يتعاملوا مع السادة ومع الوطنيين الشرفاء.. لذلك هم أقدر على فهم مصطلحات الخنوع والذل والتبعية.. لكنهم غير قادرين على تفسير معاني الشرف والسيادة والحرية.. فمن يرد أن يتوقع سلوك وردود أفعال شعب عريق.. فعليه أن يمتلك نفس العراقة والعمق التاريخي والحضارة ليسبر مكامن قوته.. وصلابته.. اللتين تظهران بوضوح في الأزمات الوطنية الكبرى وفي المراحل التاريخية المفصلية.
يتبع
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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Syrians determined to national unity ahead of Presidential elections

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Hama

May 27, 2014, Sana News

With only a week left before the presidential elections are held in Syria, the Syrian people continue to take to the streets and organize activities to express support for this momentous event.

The Trade Union in Hama organized a festival to voice support for the elections and the Syrian Arab Army which is fighting terrorism, affirming their adherence to building the democratic state and strengthening the concepts of citizenship and rule of law.

Participants voiced support for presidential candidate Dr. Bashar al-Assad and his political, economic and social projects, saying that he has a clear vision of Syria’s future.

The areas of al-Mukharam, al-Na’em, Dibeen, al-Joubanyeh, al-Houz, al-Qarnyeh, al-Samaqyat, al-Aqrabyeh, Hiet, Sheen and Homs Workers and Journalists Union in Homs witnessed national events in support of the Syrian Arab Army and holding the presidential elections on time.

The participants stressed their adherence to national unity and appreciation of the sacrifices made by the army.

They also voiced support to candidate Dr. Bashar al-Assad for his ability to face pressures and confront challenges.

Many events were held in Aleppo Province in which the participants stressed their support to the presidential elections and rejection of terrorism and the countries backing it.

They said the people of Aleppo will participate heavily in the upcoming elections as the elections represent the Syrians’ willingness to preserve the sovereignty of their homeland.

They hailed the efforts made by the Syrian Army in the face of the armed terrorist groups across the country.

People of al-Marqab area and the Lawyers Union in Tartous Province carried out two stands in support of the presidential elections and the Syrian Arab Army.

The participants stressed their support to candidate al-Assad, expressing appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the Syrian Army in defending the homeland and preserving its unity and sovereignty.

Meanwhile, 250 youths of the National Union for Syria Students in Tartous formed a great picture on the corniche of the coastal city to express their support to candidate  Dr. Bashar al-Assad.

The participants stressed that the country is going to achieve victory over terrorism thanks to its citizens, Army and leadership.

They hailed the role of the Army in confronting  terrorism to which the country is exposed.

The area of al-Qardaha in Lattakia witnessed a national event in which the participants expressed support to candidate al-Assad and the Syrian army in its operations against terrorism across the country.

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The participants said the Syrians are united in facing plots and challenges, adding that the elections embody the will of the Syrians.

They stressed that the Syrians have foiled all plots and conspiracies targeting Syria, adding that Syria, with its army and leadership, will remain firm in the face of all enemies.

The Revolutionary Youth Union in Idleb carried out a stand in the city in support of the elections and the Syrian Army.

The participants stressed that the Syrians have proved their ability to confront and overcome all challenges.

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In Deir Ezzor, a rally in support of elections was organized at Euphrates University, with participants expressing their support for the Army and candidate al-Assad, making an oath of fealty to Syria and its people.

On a relevant note, the Damascus branch of the National Union of Iraqi Students organized an oratorical festival at Damascus University on occasion of the upcoming elections and in support of Syria against the conspiracy targeting it.

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Participants said the Iraqi people stand alongside their Syrian brethren in the battle against terrorism, asserting that Syria will remain a beacon of knowledge, heroism, courage, and sacrifice.

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Deir Ezzor

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Damascus University

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Syrians Slap Smelly Shoes In the Faces of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism

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The Syrian Elections: Daily Updates

 
Syrians Slap Smelly Shoes In the Faces of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism
May 25, 2014, NSNBC
In 2012, when Syrians held a referendum and adopted the by far most democratic constitution among Middle Eastern countries, they slapped a smelly shoe into the face of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism. In May 2014, Syrians unite again and extend their arms to slap an even more smelly shoe into the face of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism on June 3, 2014 when they hold the country’s first democratic election.
The old shoes have been worn by Zionism and Modo-Colonialism for years. Just in case that the mere stench is not enough to throw them into convulsions, this time around the people of Syria will make sure that the slap in their faces will be a knock-out blow.
Genuine Reform Comes from Within. In early 2012 the people of Syria adopted a new constitution. The draft had been written with participation of the a broad spectrum of Syrian experts, including those who can be counted to the real, the genuine, Syrian opposition.
An opposition that has now, for more than three years, participated in a political discourse aimed at reform in four consecutive steps.
The adoption of a new constitution, the adoption of a program toward political reform, presidential, and parliamentary elections. It is when these preconditions for reform with the people of Syria, not Zionism, not modo-colonialism, but the people of Syria as “sovereign” have been fulfilled, that a sovereign people can and will determine how to reform their country and its political system.
Let us for a moment reflect on the term modo-colonialism and why it is that I use it. It is not neo-colonialism, as narrowly defined by the early post-colonial African thinkers. Modo-Colonialism is colonialism here and now, its manifestation within the actuality of an ongoing, living and lived political discourse. It is the “nous” of the philosophers if you will.
It is the fashion of the day; the bloody garments of oppression, subversion, usurpation and right-out murder which it fashions to wear here and now at the ticking heart of history.
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Adoption of 2012 Constitution a Slap in the Face of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism.
When the people of Syria adopted the proposed draft resolution in 2012, they shun a light; as if a beacon had been lit in an Arab world where neighbors like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, politically and with regard to human rights, never progressed from the dark ages of medieval tyranny.
No other Arab people and nation have a constitution that guarantees and protects the rights of minorities as well as the rights of women and children as much as the Syrian constitution.
In fact, with regard to enshrining human rights in the constitution, the people of Syria could teach valuable lessons even to Israel, which likes to describe itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East”, or Germany which does not enshrine human rights in its, still intermediate” basic law.
What endowed the adoption of the constitution with the quality of a “slap in the face” of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism was the fact that it was adopted under the hardships which were unleashed against the people and the nation of Syria.
Dumas, photo courtesy of SANA
Let us recall, for a moment, the words of former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumaswho admitted that the war on Syria was planned two years before “The Arab Spring”Dumas stated in a TV interview, that “top British officials” confessed that they were preparing a war on Syria and asked “If I wanted to participate”. Dumas appeared in a TV interview with the French TV Channel LPC, saying:
 “I am going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me, that they were preparing something in Syria. …This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister of Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I am French, that does not interest me. …This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… in the region it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance. …Consequently, everything that moves in the region…- and I have this from a former Israeli Prime Minister who told me ´we will try to get on with our neighbors but those who don´t agree with us will be destroyed. It is a type of politics, a view of history, why not after all. But one should  know about it”.
Everyone who cares can study the constitution and convince him- or herself about how human rights and minority rights, as well as political, participatory rights have been enshrined in its architecture. It has been translated into a number of languagesincluding English.
That said, let me quote a few passages from its preamble, which really turned it into a slap in the face of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism. That includes the faces of Modo-Colonialism’s Vice-Roy’s and Quislings in the Middle East.
“Arab civilization, which is part of human heritage, has faced through its long history great challenges aimed at breaking its will and subjecting it to colonial domination, but has always risen through its own creative abilities to exercise its role in building human civilization.”
“The Syrian Arab Republic is proud of its Arab identity and the fact that its people are an integral part of the Arab nation. The Syrian Arab Republic embodies this belonging in its national and pan-Arab project and the work to support Arab cooperation in order to promote integration and achieve the unity of the Arab nation.”
“The Syrian Arab Republic considers international peace and security a key objective and a strategic choice, and it works on achieving both of them under the International Law and the values of right and justice.”
“The Syrian Arab role has increased on the regional and international levels over the past decades, which has led to achieving human and national aspirations and achievements in all fields and domains. Syria has occupied an important political position as it is the beating heart of Arabism, the forefront of confrontation with the Zionist enemy and the bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world and its capabilities and wealth. The long struggle and sacrifices of our people for the sake of its independence, progress and national unity has paved the way for building the strong state and promoting cohesion between the people and their Syrian Arab army which is the main guarantor and protector of the homeland’s sovereignty, security, stability and territorial integrity; thus, forming the solid foundation of the people’s struggle for liberating all occupied territories.”
Sportsmanship and The Honorable Thing To Do for A Real Syrian.
All honor and respect belongs to anyone who registered his candidacy for the presidential elections. That includes those who registered their candidacy but failed at gathering the sufficient number of signatures to have their candidacy approved by the Supreme Constitutional Court. Each of these candidates has defied threats against his life and safety and made an unequivocal and implied statement, saying
“I defy your threats, your murderous terrorism on behalf of Zionism and Modo-Colonislism, and I denounce anyone who wants to impose a solution on me and the people of Syria that would deprive us of our constitutionally guaranteed rights.”
Bashar al-Assad
The three candidates who succeeded at gathering the sufficient number of signatures have shown further honor and sportsmanship. This includes candidate Dr. Bashar al-Assad as much as Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar and Dr. Hassan al-Nouri.
Their names will remembered in Syria’s now more than 6.000 year-long history as the first presidential candidates who contested Syria’s first fully democratic presidential elections. Allow me to forecast what history, “Syrian” history will have to report about them.
Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad will be remembered as the founding father of Syria’s democracy who succeeded at implementing the most democratic system among Arab nations while the country was under a sustained and vicious attack by a 4th generation, unconventional war that was forced upon it by Zionism and Colonialism.
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Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar and Dr. Hassan al-Nouri will be remembered as two honorable Syrians who rose to the occasion, knowing that the circumstances of war would make it unlikely that they would win, but they participated anyways.
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They defied personal risks, defied those foreign powers who wanted to denigrate them, and stood up for Syria because it was the right thing to do.
They will have an eternal place in the history of Syria and the history about the birth of Syrian democracy.
All three of them, Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar and Dr. Hassan al-Nouri, will rightfully be remembered as the three founding fathers of Syria’s democracy.
Protests_IDF-attack_Homs_Syria_1
The people of Syria can hardly wait until June 3. Eager to launch those smelly shoes into the faces of Zionism and Modo-Colonialism, they are rallying. They defy Washington’s Ankara’s, Qatar’s, Saudi Arabia’s death squads and take to the streets.
A comparison with a religious proverb that is shared by the Mosaic faith, Christianity and Islam comes to mind.

“Let him who is free of guilt throw the first stone”.

After three years of war forced upon them by Zionism and Modo-Colonialsim, after more than 160.000 lost lives, after the displacement of over 2.5 million, the people’s reply to that proverb is an unequivocal.
“I want to be the first to throw a rotten, smelly shoe in their faces, in fact, I want to rub their noses with it first and slap them until they faint from their own stench.”
Over the last days, the people of Syria have held election rallies throughout Syria. In Tartous, the people rallied, announcing their commitment to elect their president against all odds and honoring the martyrs who have given their lives to bring them to this point in history.
In Damascus, the Kurdish National Movement for Peaceful Change rallied at Omayyad Square under the motto “together, towards a new Syria”.
Another rally was held in Quneitra where people celebrated the election as victory over terrorism. In Sweida, the Teachers Syndicate celebrated a festival in support of the elections and in support of the Syrian Army that made it possible.
In the village of al-Soura al-Saghira people rallied in defiance of threats. Thousands of citizens of al-Dabbousiyeh and neighboring villages in the countryside of Homs took to the streets in support of the elections.Other rallies were held in al-Qabo, al-Insha’at, al-Naisiye, in Talkalkh, al-Slalibeh, Jableh, Kalmako,Qamishli . ….. .. .
All of them, everywhere are ready to cast their vote on June 3 and to throw that smelly rotten shoe right there where it is most well deserved.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Terrorists Cut Off Water to 3 million People in Aleppo Syria, no sign of Mrs Obama holding up poster

USA armed/funded Al-Qaeda have cut off the water supply to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, now for the tenth day , people are drinking from dirty inner city streams with makeshift water pumps. abu Ayman an Emir of Jabhat AL Nusra AKA AlQaeda working with the “Islamic Front” formerly the FSA, shut down main pumps at Slieman Halabi station. cutting off the water from western aleppo which is under the Syrian Army’s control”, apparently they accidently cut off the water to their own areas too. I point out that the human rights organisations are ignoring this, the media is either ignoring it or lying about it.

Chechen jihadists in Syria: The case of Omar al-Shishani

Chechen jihadists in Syria. (Photo: AFP)
Published Thursday, May 1, 2014
Chechen jihadists play a major role in the conflict in Syria. They have been fighting in Syria since 2012 and their role has been carefully planned, with direct clerical guidance from certain countries and indirect involvement by a number of intelligence agencies.
The Chechen jihadist role in the Syrian crisis has the covert support of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The Qatari ties to Chechen jihadists, though relatively recent, are the most effective. The Saudis have provided clerical support, while the Turkish role is mostly logistical.
Omar the Chechen
In September 2010, the Georgian authorities arrested Tarkhan Batirashvili on charges related to illegally purchasing and stockpiling weapons. Little did the man know that the primary outcome of his arrest would be his transformation into a jihadist and that later on, he would become one of the most famous leaders of the jihadist project in Syria.
Omar was born in 1986 in the Pankisi Gorge located in northeast Georgia, where the majority of the population is Chechen. In 2006, he was drafted into the Georgian military. The impoverished young man was seen as a loner, but he was known for his passion for learning various combat techniques.
He was retained on contract by the Georgian army after the end of his compulsory service in 2008. Less than a year later, he was discharged after contracting tuberculosis. This was before he was arrested in September 2010.
There is nothing new in the information above, most of which is already known and circulated. But a jihadist source close to Omar al-Shishani agreed to speak to Al-Akhbar to help us gain a better understanding of who Omar really is and how he became a leading Chechen jihadist.
According to the jihadist source, the two years between Omar’s discharge and his arrest played an important role in developing his jihadist ideology. During that period, Batirashvili met a number of friends who eagerly supported jihad.
The short time he served in prison played a crucial role in his life. There, he met a man called Mohammed, a Saudi national who had ties to major jihadist leaders and was well versed in jihadist ideology. Mohammed told Batirashvili about the role of the Saudis in supporting jihad, and the feats of the late Thamir Saleh Abdullah al-Suwailem, a Saudi national and major jihadist commander in Chechnya.
Batirashvili, became eager to partake in jihad himself, and even started seeing himself fighting against what jihadists called the “Russian infidels.” “Brother Mohammed would tell him salvation was near, and that those visions were signs from God,” the source added.
Batirashvili was later released from prison after contracting tuberculosis. “Sheikh [Batirashvili] left prison armed with the prayers of Brother Mohammed and the names of clerics who have a history of supporting jihad, and ways to contact them,” the source explained.
Passage to Egypt
Batirashvili, now rechristened as Omar al-Shishani (Omar the Chechen), wasted no time. He quickly contacted two of those clerics via the Internet. The source said, “They told him there were vigorous efforts to revive the golden age of jihad. They then quickly agreed to meet away from the country of the infidels, in Egypt.”
Shishani travelled to Egypt, possibly in February 2011, where he met with a Saudi cleric, a Qatari businessman, a prominent figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, and a young Turkish man known as Mansour al-Turki.
The idea of jihad in Syria was not on the table yet. Batirashvili believed he would be leaving Egypt back to the Caucasus, having obtained backing for a new and sustainable wave of jihad against the Russians. It is also likely that there was a jihadist operation in the works for Egypt, which was witnessing the beginnings of unrest against the Mubarak regime. The Muslim Brotherhood and its backers, primarily Turkey and Qatar, wanted to seize power there at any cost.
But the way events unfolded in Egypt allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to achieve its goals at the ballot box. This, in addition to the outbreak of the crisis in Syria, tilted the jihadist compass in the direction of the Levant.
By that time, Mansour al-Turki had become a permanent escort for Batirashvili during his stay in Egypt. He had also convinced him that jihad would become global. The source quoted Shishani saying, “Repeated discussions with Sheikh Mansour persuaded me that the jihad against the infidels was one and the same everywhere, and was the path to the restoration of the caliphate and its rule over the entire world.”
It seems that Omar’s impressionable character was one of the reasons he was chosen to lead Chechen jihadists in Syria, instead of giving the task to veteran jihadist commanders. For one thing, the latter’s allegiance primarily lay with the organizations they fought for before, specifically al-Qaeda.
The journey to Syria
In late 2011, Shishani found himself in Turkey, ahead of entering Syria, for “jihad against the Russians and their Baathist ally, who is no less of an infidel than the communists are.”
The jihadist source said, “Sheikh Omar did not want to form an independent group. He was looking for a group with a clear vision and a correct approach.”
To this end, Batirashvili held several meetings with jihadist leaders in Syria. He is quoted as having said, “We sat with their commanders but we were shocked by the extent of their misplaced loyalties. We found them to be very vein.”
Shishani also wanted to obtain a pledge from jihadists in Syria to support jihadists in the Caucasus in the future, a promise he ultimately obtained only from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In ISIS’ arms
In the Aleppo countryside, Omar met with major jihadist figure in Syria, Abu al-Athir al-Absi, who became his new patron. Through Absi, a meeting was arranged for Shishani with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of ISIS.
Shishani is quoted as praising Baghdadi, “We found in him humility, which we did not find in others. He pledged to support the jihad in the Caucasus. He was immensely pleased with us, and confirmed that he has been looking for some time for a way to help there.”
Shishani’s Army of Emigrants and Partisans, formed in March 2013, pledged allegiance to ISIS for jihad against the Syrian regime, but they did not endorse its claim to leading the caliphate for many reasons, including “avoiding antagonizing emir Dokka Omarov [a major Chechen jihadist leader] and his supporters,” according to the same source.
Despite this, Salah al-Din al-Shishani, another Chechen commander, along with 800 of his fighters, split from Omar’s group in November 2013. Interestingly though, the split was almost amicable. In a statement explaining his move, Salah al-Din said, “The leadership of ISIS suggested that our group, the Army of Emigrants and Partisans, grant it an all-encompassing pledge of allegiance. Part of our mujahedeen gave an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, while the rest refused to grant an all-encompassing pledge. Praise be to God, every mujahid has the right to choose. We did not become enemies because of this. We are brothers, and we will unite when needed to fight together against the enemy. We will not refuse to give an all-encompassing pledge when there is a single emir ruling all of the Levant, God willing.”
The Turkish role
Since the jihadists’ attention turned to Syria, their reliance was primarily on the Turkish role for help. Turkish collaboration with Chechen jihadists dates back to the Ottoman era, specifically, to the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid I, who helped Sheikh Mansour al-Shishani in the war with the Russian Empress Catherine in 1787. Mansour answered the call “to preserve the caliphate.”
Based on similar grounds, Chechen jihadists were manipulated to draw them into the Syrian crisis. The premise was that “jihad against the Russians in the Levant paves the way for the return of the caliphate, and for taking the jihad back to the Russian heartland.”
Ankara took advantage of the ties cultivated by its secret services with a number of Chechen jihadist symbols, who moved to Syria recently. Turkey is a compulsory crossing bridge for all Chechens on their way to Syria. The flow of Chechen jihadists reached a peak in the past two months during the battle near the headquarters of the Air Force Intelligence in Aleppo, and the town of Kessab on the Syrian coast.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Erdogan’s false flag sarin operation in Syria last August failed to entice USA armed intervention supporting the terrorists

The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.

[*] Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.

For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’

The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. (According to a Defense Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas experiments with dogs.) The DIA paper went on: ‘Previous IC [intelligence community] focus had been almost entirely on Syrian CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles; now we see ANF attempting to make its own CW … Al-Nusrah Front’s relative freedom of operation within Syria leads us to assess the group’s CW aspirations will be difficult to disrupt in the future.’ The paper drew on classified intelligence from numerous agencies: ‘Turkey and Saudi-based chemical facilitators,’ it said, ‘were attempting to obtain sarin precursors in bulk, tens of kilograms, likely for the anticipated large scale production effort in Syria.’ (Asked about the DIA paper, a spokesperson for the director of national intelligence said: ‘No such paper was ever requested or produced by intelligence community analysts.’)

Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical precursors for sarin. Five of those arrested were freed after a brief detention. The others, including the ringleader, Haytham Qassab, for whom the prosecutor requested a prison sentence of 25 years, were released pending trial. In the meantime the Turkish press has been rife with speculation that the Erdoğan administration has been covering up the extent of its involvement with the rebels. In a news conference last summer, Aydin Sezgin, Turkey’s ambassador to Moscow, dismissed the arrests and claimed to reporters that the recovered ‘sarin’ was merely ‘anti-freeze’.

The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons. It said Qassab had ‘self-identified’ as a member of al-Nusra, and that he was directly connected to Abd-al-Ghani, the ‘ANF emir for military manufacturing’. Qassab and his associate Khalid Ousta worked with Halit Unalkaya, an employee of a Turkish firm called Zirve Export, who provided ‘price quotes for bulk quantities of sarin precursors’. Abd-al-Ghani’s plan was for two associates to ‘perfect a process for making sarin, then go to Syria to train others to begin large scale production at an unidentified lab in Syria’. The DIA paper said that one of his operatives had purchased a precursor on the ‘Baghdad chemical market’, which ‘has supported at least seven CW efforts since 2004’.

A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. In its final report in December, the mission said that at least 19 civilians and one Syrian soldier were among the fatalities, along with scores of injured. It had no mandate to assign responsibility for the attack, but the person with knowledge of the UN’s activities said: ‘Investigators interviewed the people who were there, including the doctors who treated the victims. It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.’

In the months before the attacks began, a former senior Defense Department official told me, the DIA was circulating a daily classified report known as SYRUP on all intelligence related to the Syrian conflict, including material on chemical weapons. But in the spring, distribution of the part of the report concerning chemical weapons was severely curtailed on the orders of Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff. ‘Something was in there that triggered a shit fit by McDonough,’ the former Defense Department official said. ‘One day it was a huge deal, and then, after the March and April sarin attacks’ – he snapped his fingers – ‘it’s no longer there.’ The decision to restrict distribution was made as the joint chiefs ordered intensive contingency planning for a possible ground invasion of Syria whose primary objective would be the elimination of chemical weapons.

The former intelligence official said that many in the US national security establishment had long been troubled by the president’s red line: ‘The joint chiefs asked the White House, “What does red line mean? How does that translate into military orders? Troops on the ground? Massive strike? Limited strike?” They tasked military intelligence to study how we could carry out the threat. They learned nothing more about the president’s reasoning.’

In the aftermath of the 21 August attack Obama ordered the Pentagon to draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful” to the Assad regime.’ The original targets included only military sites and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’: two wings of B-52 bombers were shifted to airbases close to Syria, and navy submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles were deployed. ‘Every day the target list was getting longer,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The Pentagon planners said we can’t use only Tomahawks to strike at Syria’s missile sites because their warheads are buried too far below ground, so the two B-52 air wings with two-thousand pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we’ll need standby search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target selection. It became huge.’ The new target list was meant to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities Assad had’, the former intelligence official said. The core targets included electric power grids, oil and gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.

Britain and France were both to play a part. On 29 August, the day Parliament voted against Cameron’s bid to join the intervention, the Guardian reported that he had already ordered six RAF Typhoon fighter jets to be deployed to Cyprus, and had volunteered a submarine capable of launching Tomahawk missiles. The French air force – a crucial player in the 2011 strikes on Libya – was deeply committed, according to an account in Le Nouvel Observateur; François Hollande had ordered several Rafale fighter-bombers to join the American assault. Their targets were reported to be in western Syria.

By the last days of August the president had given the Joint Chiefs a fixed deadline for the launch. ‘H hour was to begin no later than Monday morning [2 September], a massive assault to neutralise Assad,’ the former intelligence official said. So it was a surprise to many when during a speech in the White House Rose Garden on 31 August Obama said that the attack would be put on hold, and he would turn to Congress and put it to a vote.

At this stage, Obama’s premise – that only the Syrian army was capable of deploying sarin – was unravelling. Within a few days of the 21 August attack, the former intelligence official told me, Russian military intelligence operatives had recovered samples of the chemical agent from Ghouta. They analysed it and passed it on to British military intelligence; this was the material sent to Porton Down. (A spokesperson for Porton Down said: ‘Many of the samples analysed in the UK tested positive for the nerve agent sarin.’ MI6 said that it doesn’t comment on intelligence matters.)

The former intelligence official said the Russian who delivered the sample to the UK was ‘a good source – someone with access, knowledge and a record of being trustworthy’. After the first reported uses of chemical weapons in Syria last year, American and allied intelligence agencies ‘made an effort to find the answer as to what if anything, was used – and its source’, the former intelligence official said. ‘We use data exchanged as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The DIA’s baseline consisted of knowing the composition of each batch of Soviet-manufactured chemical weapons. But we didn’t know which batches the Assad government currently had in its arsenal. Within days of the Damascus incident we asked a source in the Syrian government to give us a list of the batches the government currently had. This is why we could confirm the difference so quickly.’

The process hadn’t worked as smoothly in the spring, the former intelligence official said, because the studies done by Western intelligence ‘were inconclusive as to the type of gas it was. The word “sarin” didn’t come up. There was a great deal of discussion about this, but since no one could conclude what gas it was, you could not say that Assad had crossed the president’s red line.’ By 21 August, the former intelligence official went on, ‘the Syrian opposition clearly had learned from this and announced that “sarin” from the Syrian army had been used, before any analysis could be made, and the press and White House jumped at it. Since it now was sarin, “It had to be Assad.”’

The UK defence staff who relayed the Porton Down findings to the joint chiefs were sending the Americans a message, the former intelligence official said: ‘We’re being set up here.’ (This account made sense of a terse message a senior official in the CIA sent in late August: ‘It was not the result of the current regime. UK & US know this.’) By then the attack was a few days away and American, British and French planes, ships and submarines were at the ready.

The officer ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the attack was General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs. From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been sceptical of the administration’s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt. They pressed the DIA and other agencies for more substantial evidence. ‘There was no way they thought Syria would use nerve gas at that stage, because Assad was winning the war,’ the former intelligence official said. Dempsey had irritated many in the Obama administration by repeatedly warning Congress over the summer of the danger of American military involvement in Syria. Last April, after an optimistic assessment of rebel progress by the secretary of state, John Kerry, in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘there’s a risk that this conflict has become stalemated.’

Dempsey’s initial view after 21 August was that a US strike on Syria – under the assumption that the Assad government was responsible for the sarin attack – would be a military blunder, the former intelligence official said. The Porton Down report caused the joint chiefs to go to the president with a more serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. It was the joint chiefs who led Obama to change course. The official White House explanation for the turnabout – the story the press corps told – was that the president, during a walk in the Rose Garden with Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, suddenly decided to seek approval for the strike from a bitterly divided Congress with which he’d been in conflict for years. The former Defense Department official told me that the White House provided a different explanation to members of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon: the bombing had been called off because there was intelligence ‘that the Middle East would go up in smoke’ if it was carried out.

The president’s decision to go to Congress was initially seen by senior aides in the White House, the former intelligence official said, as a replay of George W. Bush’s gambit in the autumn of 2002 before the invasion of Iraq: ‘When it became clear that there were no WMD in Iraq, Congress, which had endorsed the Iraqi war, and the White House both shared the blame and repeatedly cited faulty intelligence. If the current Congress were to vote to endorse the strike, the White House could again have it both ways – wallop Syria with a massive attack and validate the president’s red line commitment, while also being able to share the blame with Congress if it came out that the Syrian military wasn’t behind the attack.’ The turnabout came as a surprise even to the Democratic leadership in Congress. In September the Wall Street Journal reported that three days before his Rose Garden speech Obama had telephoned Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, ‘to talk through the options’. She later told colleagues, according to the Journal, that she hadn’t asked the president to put the bombing to a congressional vote.

Obama’s move for congressional approval quickly became a dead end. ‘Congress was not going to let this go by,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Congress made it known that, unlike the authorisation for the Iraq war, there would be substantive hearings.’ At this point, there was a sense of desperation in the White House, the former intelligence official said. ‘And so out comes Plan B. Call off the bombing strike and Assad would agree to unilaterally sign the chemical warfare treaty and agree to the destruction of all of chemical weapons under UN supervision.’ At a press conference in London on 9 September, Kerry was still talking about intervention: ‘The risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting.’ But when a reporter asked if there was anything Assad could do to stop the bombing, Kerry said: ‘Sure. He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week … But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.’ As the New York Times reported the next day, the Russian-brokered deal that emerged shortly afterwards had first been discussed by Obama and Putin in the summer of 2012. Although the strike plans were shelved, the administration didn’t change its public assessment of the justification for going to war. ‘There is zero tolerance at that level for the existence of error,’ the former intelligence official said of the senior officials in the White House. ‘They could not afford to say: “We were wrong.”’ (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The Assad regime, and only the Assad regime, could have been responsible for the chemical weapons attack that took place on 21 August.’)

*

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.

By the end of 2012, it was believed throughout the American intelligence community that the rebels were losing the war. ‘Erdoğan was pissed,’ the former intelligence official said, ‘and felt he was left hanging on the vine. It was his money and the cut-off was seen as a betrayal.’ In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line. But Obama didn’t respond in March and April.’

There was no public sign of discord when Erdoğan and Obama met on 16 May 2013 at the White House. At a later press conference Obama said that they had agreed that Assad ‘needs to go’. Asked whether he thought Syria had crossed the red line, Obama acknowledged that there was evidence such weapons had been used, but added, ‘it is important for us to make sure that we’re able to get more specific information about what exactly is happening there.’ The red line was still intact.

An American foreign policy expert who speaks regularly with officials in Washington and Ankara told me about a working dinner Obama held for Erdoğan during his May visit. The meal was dominated by the Turks’ insistence that Syria had crossed the red line and their complaints that Obama was reluctant to do anything about it. Obama was accompanied by John Kerry and Tom Donilon, the national security adviser who would soon leave the job. Erdoğan was joined by Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, and Hakan Fidan, the head of the MIT. Fidan is known to be fiercely loyal to Erdoğan, and has been seen as a consistent backer of the radical rebel opposition in Syria.

The foreign policy expert told me that the account he heard originated with Donilon. (It was later corroborated by a former US official, who learned of it from a senior Turkish diplomat.) According to the expert, Erdoğan had sought the meeting to demonstrate to Obama that the red line had been crossed, and had brought Fidan along to state the case. When Erdoğan tried to draw Fidan into the conversation, and Fidan began speaking, Obama cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ Erdoğan tried to bring Fidan in a second time, and Obama again cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ At that point, an exasperated Erdoğan said, ‘But your red line has been crossed!’ and, the expert told me, ‘Donilon said Erdoğan “fucking waved his finger at the president inside the White House”.’ Obama then pointed at Fidan and said: ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’ (Donilon, who joined the Council on Foreign Relations last July, didn’t respond to questions about this story. The Turkish Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to questions about the dinner. A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed that the dinner took place and provided a photograph showing Obama, Kerry, Donilon, Erdoğan, Fidan and Davutoglu sitting at a table. ‘Beyond that,’ she said, ‘I’m not going to read out the details of their discussions.’)

But Erdoğan did not leave empty handed. Obama was still permitting Turkey to continue to exploit a loophole in a presidential executive order prohibiting the export of gold to Iran, part of the US sanctions regime against the country. In March 2012, responding to sanctions of Iranian banks by the EU, the SWIFT electronic payment system, which facilitates cross-border payments, expelled dozens of Iranian financial institutions, severely restricting the country’s ability to conduct international trade. The US followed with the executive order in July, but left what came to be known as a ‘golden loophole’: gold shipments to private Iranian entities could continue. Turkey is a major purchaser of Iranian oil and gas, and it took advantage of the loophole by depositing its energy payments in Turkish lira in an Iranian account in Turkey; these funds were then used to purchase Turkish gold for export to confederates in Iran. Gold to the value of $13 billion reportedly entered Iran in this way between March 2012 and July 2013.

The programme quickly became a cash cow for corrupt politicians and traders in Turkey, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. ‘The middlemen did what they always do,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Take 15 per cent. The CIA had estimated that there was as much as two billion dollars in skim. Gold and Turkish lira were sticking to fingers.’ The illicit skimming flared into a public ‘gas for gold’ scandal in Turkey in December, and resulted in charges against two dozen people, including prominent businessmen and relatives of government officials, as well as the resignations of three ministers, one of whom called for Erdoğan to resign. The chief executive of a Turkish state-controlled bank that was in the middle of the scandal insisted that more than $4.5 million in cash found by police in shoeboxes during a search of his home was for charitable donations.

Late last year Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz reported in Foreign Policy that the Obama administration closed the golden loophole in January 2013, but ‘lobbied to make sure the legislation … did not take effect for six months’. They speculated that the administration wanted to use the delay as an incentive to bring Iran to the bargaining table over its nuclear programme, or to placate its Turkish ally in the Syrian civil war. The delay permitted Iran to ‘accrue billions of dollars more in gold, further undermining the sanctions regime’.

*

The American decision to end CIA support of the weapons shipments into Syria left Erdoğan exposed politically and militarily. ‘One of the issues at that May summit was the fact that Turkey is the only avenue to supply the rebels in Syria,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘It can’t come through Jordan because the terrain in the south is wide open and the Syrians are all over it. And it can’t come through the valleys and hills of Lebanon – you can’t be sure who you’d meet on the other side.’ Without US military support for the rebels, the former intelligence official said, ‘Erdoğan’s dream of having a client state in Syria is evaporating and he thinks we’re the reason why. When Syria wins the war, he knows the rebels are just as likely to turn on him – where else can they go? So now he will have thousands of radicals in his backyard.’

A US intelligence consultant told me that a few weeks before 21 August he saw a highly classified briefing prepared for Dempsey and the defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, which described ‘the acute anxiety’ of the Erdoğan administration about the rebels’ dwindling prospects. The analysis warned that the Turkish leadership had expressed ‘the need to do something that would precipitate a US military response’. By late summer, the Syrian army still had the advantage over the rebels, the former intelligence official said, and only American air power could turn the tide. In the autumn, the former intelligence official went on, the US intelligence analysts who kept working on the events of 21 August ‘sensed that Syria had not done the gas attack. But the 500 pound gorilla was, how did it happen? The immediate suspect was the Turks, because they had all the pieces to make it happen.’

As intercepts and other data related to the 21 August attacks were gathered, the intelligence community saw evidence to support its suspicions. ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’ Much of the support for that assessment came from the Turks themselves, via intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. ‘Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and back-slapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.’ Erdoğan’s problems in Syria would soon be over: ‘Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria, or at least that was the idea. But it did not work out that way.’

The post-attack intelligence on Turkey did not make its way to the White House. ‘Nobody wants to talk about all this,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘There is great reluctance to contradict the president, although no all-source intelligence community analysis supported his leap to convict. There has not been one single piece of additional evidence of Syrian involvement in the sarin attack produced by the White House since the bombing raid was called off. My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.’

Turkey’s willingness to manipulate events in Syria to its own purposes seemed to be demonstrated late last month, a few days before a round of local elections, when a recording, allegedly of Erdoğan and his associates, was posted to YouTube. It included discussion of a false-flag operation that would justify an incursion by the Turkish military in Syria. The operation centred on the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the revered Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, which is near Aleppo and was ceded to Turkey in 1921, when Syria was under French rule. One of the Islamist rebel factions was threatening to destroy the tomb as a site of idolatry, and the Erdoğan administration was publicly threatening retaliation if harm came to it. According to a Reuters report of the leaked conversation, a voice alleged to be Fidan’s spoke of creating a provocation: ‘Now look, my commander [Erdoğan], if there is to be justification, the justification is I send four men to the other side. I get them to fire eight missiles into empty land [in the vicinity of the tomb]. That’s not a problem. Justification can be created.’ The Turkish government acknowledged that there had been a national security meeting about threats emanating from Syria, but said the recording had been manipulated. The government subsequently blocked public access to YouTube.

Barring a major change in policy by Obama, Turkey’s meddling in the Syrian civil war is likely to go on. ‘I asked my colleagues if there was any way to stop Erdoğan’s continued support for the rebels, especially now that it’s going so wrong,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The answer was: “We’re screwed.” We could go public if it was somebody other than Erdoğan, but Turkey is a special case. They’re a Nato ally. The Turks don’t trust the West. They can’t live with us if we take any active role against Turkish interests. If we went public with what we know about Erdoğan’s role with the gas, it’d be disastrous. The Turks would say: “We hate you for telling us what we can and can’t do.”’

4 April

Leaks Reveal Turkey using ALQaeda for False flag in Syria

leaked conversation between Turkey’s intelligence chief and the war room reveals plot  to create a casus belli for war with Syria by using ISIL, an alQaeda offshoot, to threaten a turkish shrine Suleiman Shah Tomb.  Turkey has blocked youtube in order to cover up the leaks.  Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the recording of planning for a military incursion into Syria adding that a  ’network of treason’ was responsible for leak. Part two of the leaked conversation implicates John Kerry US secretary of state in the plot.

The leaked recording if a press conference between Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish intelligence agency’s undersecretary Hakan Fidan, and the Chief of the Turkish General Staff Necdet Özel.Ahmet Davutoğlu is suggests that the Turkish Army must enter Syria on the pretext of protecting the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the godfather of the Ottoman Sultanate. He suggests that he can send 2-3 agents and blow up the tomb of Suleiman Shah then claim it was an attack by ISIL. They would then have the justifiable reasons to convince their allies they must enter Syria to protecting what is commonly considered as Turkish heritage.
Interestingly the leaked recordings do not include any discussions concerning the up-coming elections or the Turkish opposition. 
Some damning excerpts from part one:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”
Hakan Fidan: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s what I told back there. For one thing, the situation is different. An operation on ISIL has solid ground on international law. We’re going to portray this is Al-Qaeda, there’s no distress there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land.
Feridun Siniroğlu:  That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organizations are extremely open to manipulation.
Damning excerpts from part two:
Yasar Guler: Those Turkish Special Forces are waiting over there for a year! It is not like we plan all this just yesterday, They have been waiting for a year.
Ahmet Davutoglu : Kerry told me exactly this: DID YOU MAKE UP YOUR MINDS?
Yasar Guler : Yes we made up our minds 100 times with USA
Feridun Sinirlioglu: 3 days ago Americans came to the military headquarters and they had a crisis coordination meeting. This is the first time I hear of this
Translation of first tape
In the leaked tape,
  • Foreign Minister Ahmet Davudoğlu
  • Head of Turkish Intelligence MIT Hakan Fidan
  • Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioğlu
  • General Yaşar Güler
search for a reason (and wants to create one if the search is not fruitful) to declare war against Syria. The leakage has two parts, the latter is yet to be translated to English. Here is the first part.
Başçalanın Seçim Güdümlü Savaş Planı 1-1
ELECTION DRIVEN WAR PLANS – I PART 1 Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”
Hakan Fidan: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: “Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”
Yaşar Güler: “It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”

FIRST SCREEN:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I couldn’t entirely understand the other thing; what exactly does our foreign ministry supposed to do? No, I’m not talking about the thing. There are other things we’re supposed to do. If we decide on this, we are to notify the United Nations, the Istanbul Consulate of the Syrian regime, right?
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: But if we decide on an operation in there, it should create a shocking effect. I mean, if we are going to do so. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but regardless of what we decide, I don’t think it’d be appropriate to notify anyone beforehand.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: OK, but we’re gonna have to prepare somehow. To avoid any shorts on regarding international law. I just realized when I was talking to the president (Abdullah Gül), if the Turkish tanks go in there, it means we’re in there in any case, right?
Yaşar Güler: It means we’re in, yes.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yeah, but there’s a difference between going in with aircraft and going in with tanks…
SECOND SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: Maybe we can tell the Syrian consulate general that, ISIL is currently working alongside the regime, and that place is Turkish land. We should definitely…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: But we have already said that, sent them several diplomatic notes.
Yaşar Güler: To Syria…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s right.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Yes, we’ve sent them countless times. Therefore, I’d like to know what our Chief of Staff’s expectations from our ministry.
Yaşar Güler: Maybe his intent was to say that, I don’t really know, he met with Mr. Fidan.
Hakan Fidan: Well, he did mention that part but we didn’t go into any further details.
Yaşar Güler: Maybe that was what he meant… A diplomatic note to Syria?
Hakan Fidan: Maybe the Foreign Ministry is assigned with coordination…
THIRD SCREEN:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: I mean, I could coordinate the diplomacy but civil war, the military…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: That’s what I told back there. For one thing, the situation is different. An operation on ISIL has solid ground on international law. We’re going to portray this is Al-Qaeda, there’s no distress there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land.
Yaşar Güler: We don’t have any problems with that.
Hakan Fidan: Second after it happens, it’ll cause a great internal commotion (several bombing events is bound to happen within). The border is not under control…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I mean, yes, the bombings are of course going to happen. But I remember our talk from 3 years ago…
Yaşar Güler: Mr. Fidan should urgently receive back-up and we need to help him supply guns and ammo to rebels. We need to speak with the minister. Our Interior Minister, our Defense Minister. We need to talk about this and reach a resolution sir.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: How did we get specials forces into action when there was a threat in Northern Iraq? We should have done so in there, too. We should have trained those men. We should have sent men. Anyway, we can’t do that, we can only do what diplomacy…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I told you back then, for God’s sake, general, you know how we managed to get those tanks in, you were there.
Yaşar Güler: What, you mean our stuff?
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: Yes, how do you think we’ve managed to rally our tanks into Iraq? How? How did manage to get special forces, the battalions in? I was involved in that. Let me be clear, there was no government decision on that, we have managed that just with a single order.
FOURTH SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: Well, I agree with you. For one thing, we’re not even discussing that. But there are different things that Syria can do right now.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: General, the reason we’re saying no this operation is because we know about the capacity of those men.
Yaşar Güler: Look, sir, isn’t MKE (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation) at minister’s bidding? Sir, I mean, Qatar is looking for ammo to buy in cash. Ready cash. So, why don’t they just get it done? It’s at Mr. Minister’s command.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: But there’s the spot we can’t act integratedly, we can’t coordinate.
Yaşar Güler: Then, our Prime Minister can summon both Mr. Defence Minister and Mr. Minister at the same time. Then he can directly talk to them.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: We, Mr. Siniroğlu and I, have literally begged Mr. Prime Minster for a private meeting, we said that things were not looking so bright.
FIFTH SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: Also, it doesn’t have to be crowded meeting. Yourself, Mr. Defence Minister, Mr. Interior Minister and our Chief of Staff, the four of you are enough. There’s no need for a crowd. Because, sir, the main need there is guns and ammo. Not even guns, mainly ammo. We’ve just talked about this, sir. Let’s say we’re building an army down there, 1000 strong. If we get them into that war without previously storing a minimum of 6-months’ worth of ammo, these men will return to us after two months.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: They’re back already.
Yaşar Güler: They’ll return to us, sir.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: They’ve came back from… What was it? Çobanbey.
Yaşar Güler: Yes, indeed, sir. This matter can’t be just a burden on Mr. Fidan’s shoulders as it is now. It’s unacceptable. I mean, we can’t understand this. Why?
SIXTH SCREEN:
Ahmet Davutoğlu: That evening we’d reached a resolution. And I thought that things were taking a turn for the good. Our…
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: We issued the MGK (National Security Council) resolution the day after. Then we talked with the general…
Ahmet Davutoğlu: And the other forces really do a good follow up on this weakness of ours. You say that you’re going to capture this place, and that men being there constitutes a risk factor. You pull them back. You capture the place. You reinforce it and send in your troops again.
Yaşar Güler: Exactly, sir. You’re absolutely right.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Right? That’s how I interpret it. But after the evacuation, this is not a military necessity. It’s a whole other thing.
SEVENTH SCREEN
Feridun Siniroğlu: There are some serious shifts in global and regional geopolitics. It now can spread to other places. You said it yourself today, and others agreed… We’re headed to a different game now. We should be able to see those. That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organizations are extremely open to manipulation. Having a region made up of organizations of similar nature will constitute a vital security risk for us. And when we first went into Northern Iraq, there was always the risk of PKK blowing up the place. If we thoroughly consider the risks and substantiate… As the general just said…
Yaşar Güler: Sir, when you were inside a moment ago, we were discussing just that. Openly. I mean, armed forces are a “tool” necessary for you in every turn.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Of course. I always tell the Prime Minister, in your absence, the same thing in academic jargon, you can’t stay in those lands without hard power. Without hard power, there can be no soft power.
EIGTH SCREEN
Yaşar Güler: Sir.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: The national security has been politicized. I don’t remember anything like this in Turkish political history. It has become a matter of domestic policy. All talks we’ve done on defending our lands, our border security, our sovereign lands in there, they’ve all become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.
Yaşar Güler: Exactly.
Feridun Siniroğlu: That has never happened before. Unfortunately but…
Yaşar Güler: I mean, do even one of the opposition parties support you in such a high point of national security? Sir, is this a justifiable sense of national security?
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: I don’t even remember such a period.
NINTH SCREEN:
Yaşar Güler: In what matter can we be unified, if not a matter of national security of such importance? None.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: The year 2012, we didn’t do it 2011. If only we’d took serious action back then, even in the summer of 2012.
Feridun Sinirlioğlu: They were at their lowest back in 2012.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Internally, they were just like Libya. Who comes in and goes from power is not of any importance to us. But some things…
Yaşar Güler: Sir, to avoid any confusion, our need in 2011 was guns and ammo. In 2012, 2013 and today also. We’re in the exact same point. We absolutely need to find this and secure that place.
Ahmet Davutoğlu: Guns and ammo are not a big need for that place. Because we couldn’t get the human factor in order…

Part 2 of audio (incomplete thus far)
FEridun Sinirlioglu : Let me tell you this, it is a small piece of land, by the international law it is Turkish soil, so we have all the right to do an operation and if we do this the whole world would back us, have no doubt about it.
Yasar Guler answers: We have no doubt
Yasar Guler: Those Turkish Special Forces are waiting over there for a year! It is not like we plan all this just yesterday, They have been waiting for a year.
Ahmet Davutoglu  : Kerry told me exactly this: DID YOU MAKE UP YOUR MINDS?
Yasar Guler : Yes we made up our minds 100 times with USA
Feridun Sinirlioglu: 3 days ago Americans came to the military headquarters and they had a crisis coordination meeting. This is the first time I hear of this
Yasar Guler: No we do it all the time
Ahmet Davutoglu : Everyone must fulfill their duties. If the embassador tells me “sir if i do this I will be locked in prison, they lock everyone in prison” then what should we do? We tell him to step down and we will find someone else to replace him who can do what he needs to do. This is the way things work in democracy.

Turkey, hiding behind the NATO flag, feels free not only to allow terrorists to pass freely but also blatantly attack Syria

PressTV – Turkish army artillery pounds west Syria

Turkish army has fired several rounds of artillery toward western Syria as Ankara seeks to renew its assistance to foreign-backed militants fighting against the Damascus government.

On Wednesday, Turkish forces fired across the frontier into a border region, which is administratively part of Syria’s western province of Latakia.

The development comes after Turkey shot down a Syrian fighter jet on Sunday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country’s F-16 military aircraft shot the Syrian warplane down after it strayed into Turkey’s airspace.

Syria called the shoot-down an act of “blatant aggression,” and said the downed plane was flying over northern Syria at the time.

Meanwhile, three Turkish policemen and two suspected militants of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been injured during an anti-terror operation in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul.

Turkish special forces and anti-terror units stormed several buildings in the Umraniye neighborhood of Istanbul on Tuesday evening. Suspects fired back at security forces before they were shot and captured.

The police operation was launched after it was announced that the ISIL was behind a deadly attack on security forces in Turkey’s central province of Nigde on March 20.

Three people were killed and five others, including a Turkish gendarmerie soldier and a police officer, were injured during the assault.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Some sources say over 140,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

Russia warns against Saudi missile supply to Syria terrorists

http://en.alalam.ir/news/1569913

Free Syrian Army
Free Syrian Army’s militants prepare to fire an artillery cannon in eastern al-Ghouta, targeting Syrian army forces in the capital Damascus January 29, 2014.
Russia has expressed “deep concern” about reports from anonymous sources that Saudi Arabia is planning to supply Syrian militants with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile launchers to “turn the tide” in the three-year conflict.

“There is a chance that if these powerful weapons get into the hands of the terrorists who have flooded the country, they are likely to turn up far beyond the borders of Syria itself,” said a statement from the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

The second report this month that these weapons will be given to terrorists was published by AFP news agency over the weekend, and was indirectly confirmed up by several recent developments.

The Western-backed Syrian opposition chief Ahmad Jarba promised that “powerful arms will be arriving soon” to foreign-backed armed units during a visit last week to militants on the ground. Meanwhile, his principal backers hosted Pakistan’s army Chief of Staff, General Raheel Sharif in Riyadh earlier this month. Pakistan makes versions of both types of weapons, and has been earmarked as the supplier by Saudi officials, according to the source.

These developments trigger concerns that the militants are preparing to open a new “southern” battlefield in the coming months, the ministry warned.

“The Syrian conflict cannot be solved by force, and we ask all those considering the military option to reconsider, and allow the Syrians to reach a peaceful agreement within the parameters of Geneva, and without outside interference,” said the statement.

The long-awaited talks in the Alpine city last month have produced localized peace treaties to alleviate humanitarian suffering, but gave no hint of a political reconciliation between the warring sides.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

Fifty British jihadis terrorists back from Syria war ‘plotting a new 7/7 attack’ in UK

http://breakingnews.sy/en/article/33954.html

Intelligence officers believe 50 of the estimated 250 returning jihadis – experts in explosives and weapons – are out for revenge on the UK
A hardcore group of 50 British jihadis who have been fighting in Syria have returned to the UK and are planning to attack us, MI5 fears.

Intelligence officers believe the killers – experts in explosives and weapons – are out for revenge after the Home Office vowed to crack down on “terror tourists” battling and training abroad.

Around 250 jihadis are thought to have returned, but 50 are said to be plotting another attack like 7/7.

Homegrown fanatics are going to war-torn Syria to learn deadly skills but there have been recent threats of laws banning them from fighting abroad.

A security source said: “The very laws banning their jihad travels may goad so-called reformed jihadists into violence. Having had a taste of the frontline and seeing fellow extremists become martyrs they could turn on mainland Britain.

“It is very important extremist groups are identified and monitored to make sure they do not endanger British lives.”

Anti-terror police have stepped up the monitoring of extremist mosques and border officials are tightening checks on suspects trying to return from Syria.

Arrests linked to Syria are soaring, with 16 so far this year, compared to 24 for all of 2013. Extremists can get life in jail for “acts preparatory to terrorism and assisting a person in such activities” and they can get 10 years for “training as a terrorist”.

U.S. & Saudi Arabia want a terrorist and convicted drug dealer, who is in charge of the Syrian National Coalition, to be their negotiator

The Criminal Record of the Head of the Syrian National Coalition 

Ahmad+Al+Assi+Al+Jarba+Alternative+Views+Venice+LdEC2Um08bjx

In an attempt to “settle” the Syrian crisis Washington and Riyadh has put forward a negotiator – the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Ahmad Jarba. But it seems that today there’s a few people who do remember the story of Ahmad’s rise to “prominence”. A former felon, he was detained for drugs smuggling in Saudi Arabia and later transferred to Syria under convoy.  In Syria Ahmad Jabra started running disorderly houses, and later on he was hired for the assassination of the runaway Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs, but instead of killing his target he charged it for “alarming him”.

The impending rise of Ahmad-al-Jarba to national leadership is disturbing but not unexpected. It is part of a distinct pattern. The same Western powers which are still engaged in a “war on terror” are perfectly happy to use terrorists for their own ends, and promote them to power as respected statesmen, when it suits them. Then their crimes are soon forgotten. Their victims, however, who rightly expected Western help against the terrorists, are then abandoned and told to move with the tide which rapidly washes them away.

There is a long tradition of terrorists becoming respectable political leaders because somebody says so. The present government of Uruguay, popularly elected and popular, is led by former Tupumaro guerrillas, whose decades–long campaign of violence and murder was ultimately legitimised by the corruption of the self-serving regimes they fought against. More relevantly, the West has now decided it likes the people responsible for crimes such as kidnapping the British Ambassador.

Then-Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin did not attend the Middle East peace talks at Leeds Castle in the UK because he was still wanted by the British for terrorist activities, blowing up the King David Hotel (British Headquarters in the 1940s). After an agreement was eventually signed at Camp David he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Camp David is of course in the USA, and agreement was brokered by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1982 the FAN rebel movement overthrew the government of Chad, led by Goukouni Oueddei, in a coup and replaced him with its own leader, Minister of Defence Hissene Habre, the most pro-Western of Chadian political figures. Within a fortnight, Habre was being described as “President” and Goukouni as the “Libyan-backed rebel”. Habre and Goukouni had both been members of the same Libya-based resistance movement, and both their competing armies had been trained by Libya.

Police and diplomatic records show that Riyadh handed over “the suspected terrorist and killer Ahmad al-Jarba” to Damascus in 2008, apparently on charges of drug trafficking, in accordance with an extradition agreement between the Saudi and Syrian security services. Then he was considered to be “really a bad guy”. Now he is presented as the number one asset in the country, leading the National Coalition.

In Syria the Baath Party is no longer accepted as “the vanguard party” within society and the Sunni minority wants more influence. Saudi Arabia, the main player in the present crisis, is playing this card well. Saudi Arabia is a Western ally because its oil-rich rulers prefer to influence West than East and can afford to choose their own friends. But it cannot compete in political or intelligence infrastructure with the USA or EU. Join their camp, even on your own terms, you still have to play by their rules.

The role the US, Turkish and Saudi intelligence services are playing in all that is happening in Syria and the region indicates that they want to make a “Disorderly house out of the White House”. At least 20 different terrorist-aligned groups are fighting the government and each other as part of the current game plan, bound by an ever-changing pattern of fragile alliances. It is as if the intelligence agencies can’t survive without keeping the Cold War going; Syria was once within the Soviet sphere of influence, received strong military support from the former Soviet Union and Russia is involved there now, so the US and its allies have to show they are the bigger bastards.

Long tradition of Saudi involvement

Saudi involvement in Syria dates back long before the current civil war. For example, the deaths of Hisham al Badni (the PA of Khaled Meshaal, a Hamas commander), Imad Mughnyeh (Hezbollah Commander in Chief), and Muhammad Suleiman (the link man between Hezbollah, Assad and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Damascus have all been linked by local sources with Saudi intelligence, and thee has been no convincing rebuttal of these allegations.

A spree of murder and intimidation of members of the Syrian government is also attributed to the Saudis. In this campaign, all are at risk, including ordinary citizens who may be considered at various times to be expendable by outside entities.

Those close to the Alawi are at particular risk. This sect is considered heretical by other Moslems, and this can be used to justify any action taken against its members, whether or not it has anything to do with religion. A delicate social and political balance between Moslem sects has existed since the death of Mohammed, and the question of who is the Prophet’s rightful successor, the main cause of the various divisions within Islam, is now being used by the US, a non-Moslem country, to upset this balance and provoke fear and division.

Saudi Arabia sees itself as the guardian of the Sunni variety of Islam. The inspiration of the Saudi operations is Prince Bandar bin Sultan. It has been widely reported that he has tried to destabilise Syria both through the National Coalition and with the help of outside forces, regardless of their orientation. In fact Syrian counterintelligence has tried to murder him on several occasions.

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As often happens in intra-Moslem conflicts, the Prince justifies his actions by describing them as a jihad: a term meaning “struggle to establish the law of God on earth”, the obligation of every Moslem, but often interpreted to mean “holy war” in which anything is acceptable. The multitude of Islamic Peace organisations throughout the world have long objected to political figures using this term to justify actions against fellow Moslems, inspired by politics, rather than the promotion of the faith.

The true agenda of the Saudi leadership is not to promote “correct” Islam in a country which already largely practices it but to topple the regime, especially by stirring things up in the National Coalition. Islam does not actually preach terrorism, or support those who practice it. But in order to scale back the Moslem Brotherhood’s influence, Saudi Arabia is apparently happy to impose Ahmad al-Jarba as the National Coalition’s new leader.

Saudi Arabia has, officially, no higher value than Islam. The secular West has plenty. So who actually wants to promote a once-reviled terrorist to lead Syria, and for what purpose?

Although regional media reports claim that Ahmad al-Jarba was fasttracked to the highest post in the Coalition by outside intelligence services, mainly Saudi, his advancement also serves the interests of other players in the ongoing Syrian quagmire, including Qatar. In the long years when Jarba was regarded as everybody’s worst nightmare, his notoriety united the Saudi, Qatari and Syrian security services. They had a common enemy, and indeed this was largely true, as his plots and actions were aimed at all of them, indiscriminately.

Standing up to Jarba was a cheap way for the leaders of regional countries to present themselves as men of principle and reliable partners – i.e., acolytes hoping for a handout – in the War on Terror. Now each regional country is trying to use him for their own advantage at the expense of the others. In any such contest, the US generally has the support network to win the day. What Jarba is supposed to do for Syria when he is its leader does not even enter the equation.

Once again a fugitive from justice has become a valued intelligence asset working on the ground to topple a regime, with not only regional but US support. Prince Bandar is no fool and he has carefully calculated the risks involved in getting into bed with Jarba. He, could not have been allowed to take such risks without getting the green light from Washington, the instigatoe of the War on Terror, which for many years has actually meant the War on Jarba in this region.

As has been reported in the regional press, “Bandar bargained with several blocs in the Coalition over installing Jarba as the president of the opposition group in return for delivering game-changing weapons. Ahmad al-Jarba is known for being able to solve problems, and even for being ready and able to carry out paid assassinations, perhaps unpaid if his personal interests are served. For instance, it is known that Emir Hamad’s people asked Ahmad al-Jarba to assassinate the exiled Qatari foreign minister in Syria. Al-Jarba even received payment after accepting the offer.

Ahmad Jarba is an influential tribal figure in Syria, as a member of the important Shammar tribe, in a country with a “delicate balance” of tribal affiliations and political interests. On this basis, he has some claim to a stake in deciding the country’s future. But his long years as a wanted terrorist should cast doubt on his willingness to act as a statesman.

Jarba was an influential tribal figure before he became a terrorist, able to lever the same influence. For Jarba, terrorism wasn’t the only mode of political action open to him, it was a conscious choice. Maybe he will solve a short term problem, as the West perceives it. But what then?

The most likely scenario is that the Saudi and US intelligence services have done a deal to divide influence over the new Syria between them and are using the thorn in their respective sides to remove any obstacles to this hegemony. Jarba is, after all, the man most feared by all the other countries’ intelligence agencies and their chosen combatant factions.

Having served his purpose, he will again be branded a terrorist and replaced with someone with a better track record. All this will cost many lives and rivers of blood. None of it has anything to do with the Syrian people or any problem they are currently fighting about. It is therefore not a solution to those problems, but to the Saudi and US problem with Syria.

The rehabilitation of Jarba has nothing to do with resolving the Syrian conflict. It is a means of terrorizing other countries into extending Saudi and US influence in the region. Apparently no price is too high to pay to achieve this end.

In Afghanistan, the US and its allies now spit on the graves of the hundreds of dead youngsters they sent to fight the Taliban, and the thousands killed during the insurgency, by bringing the Taliban into government. In Afghanistan as in Syria, government of what? An independent country or a corridor of power far away where totally different issues are being discussed?

The question remains, if Ahmad Jarba is the best Washington and Riyadh were able to put forward, can you imagine the rest of the the so-called “National Coalition”?  Do felons make good peace negotiators?

Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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