Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt Contractors and Media

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Leaked Docs Expose Massive Syria Propaganda Operation Waged by Western Govt  Contractors and Media — Strategic Culture

September 26, 2020

Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.

Ben NORTON

Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and “influencers,” and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to “re-brand” Syria’s Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by “softening its image.” ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that “aired almost every day on” major Arabic-language TV networks.

Virtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

The files confirm reporting by journalists including The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal on the role of ARK, the US-UK government contractor, in popularizing the White Helmets in Western media. ARK ran the social media accounts of the White Helmets, and helped turn the Western-funded group into a key propaganda weapon of the Syrian opposition.

The leaked documents consist mainly of material produced under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. All of the firms named in the files were contracted by the British government, but many also were running “multi-donor projects” that received funding from the governments of the United States and other Western European countries.

In addition to demonstrating the role these Western intelligence cutouts played in shaping media coverage, the documents shine light on the British government program to train and arm rebel groups in Syria.

Other materials show how London and Western governments worked together to build a new police force in opposition-controlled areas.

Many of these Western-backed opposition groups in Syria were extremist Salafi-jihadists. Some of the UK government contractors whose activities are exposed in these leaked documents were in effect supporting Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and its fanatical offshoots.

The documents were obtained by a group calling itself Anonymous, and were published under a series of files entitled, “Op. HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] Trojan Horse: From Integrity Initiative To Covert Ops Around The Globe. Part 1: Taming Syria.” The unidentified leakers said they aim to “expose criminal activity of the UK’s FCO and secret services,” stating, “We declare war on the British neocolonialism!”

The Grayzone was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents. However, the contents tracked closely with reporting on Western destabilization and propaganda operations in Syria by this outlet and many others.

UK Foreign Office and military wage media war on Syria

A leaked UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office report from 2014 reveals a joint operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development to support “strategic communications, research, monitoring and evaluation and operational support to Syrian opposition entities.”

The UK FOC stated clearly that this campaign consisted of “creating network linkages between political movements and media outlets,” by the “building of local independent media platforms.”

The British government planned “Mentoring, training and coaching for enhanced delivery of media services, including digital and social media.”

Its goal was “to provide PR and media handling trainers, as well as technical staff, such as cameramen, webmasters and interpreters,” along with the “production of speeches, press releases and other media communications.”

An additional 2017 government document explains clearly how Britain funded the “selection, training, support and communications mentoring of Syrian activists who share the UK’s vision for a future Syria… and who will abide by a set of values that are consistent with UK policy.”

This initiative entailed British government funding “to support Syrian grassroots media activism within both the civilian and armed opposition spheres,” and was targeted at Syrians living in both “extremist and moderate” opposition-held territory.

In other words, the UK Foreign Office and military crafted plans to wage a comprehensive media war on Syria. To establish an infrastructure capable of managing the propaganda blitz, Britain paid a series of government contractors, including ARK, The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), Innovative Communication & Strategies (InCoStrat), and Albany.

The work of these firms overlapped, and some collaborated in their projects to cultivate the Syrian opposition.

Western government contractor ARK plays the media like the fiddle

One of the main British government contractors behind the Syria regime-change scheme was called ARK (Analysis Research Knowledge).

ARK FZC is based in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It brands itself as a humanitarian NGO, claiming it “was created in order to assist the most vulnerable,” by establishing a “social enterprise,  empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.”

In reality ARK is an intelligence cutout that functions as an arm of Western interventionism.

In a leaked document it filed with the British government, ARK said its “focus since 2012 has been delivering highly effective, politically-and conflict-sensitive Syria programming for the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the European Union.”

ARK boasted of overseeing $66 million worth of contracts to support pro-opposition efforts in Syria.

On its website, ARK lists all of these governments as clients, as well as the United Nations.

ARK contractor Syria UK US Australia Canada

In its Syria operations, ARK worked together with another UK contractor called The Global Strategy Network (TGSN), which is directed by Richard Barrett, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6.

ARK apparently had operatives on the ground inside Syria at the beginning of the regime-change attempt in 2011, reporting to the UK FCO that “ARK staff are in regular contact with activists and civil society actors whom they initially met during the outbreak of protests in spring 2011.”

The UK contractor boasted an “extensive network of civil society and community actors that ARK has helped through a dedicated capacity building centre ARK established in Gaziantep,” a city in southern Turkey that has been a base of intelligence operations against the Syrian government.

ARK played a central role in developing the foundations of the Syrian political opposition’s narrative. In one leaked document, the firm took credit for the “development of a core Syrian opposition narrative,” which was apparently crafted during a series of workshops with opposition leaders sponsored by the US and UK governments.

ARK trained all levels of the Syrian opposition in communications, from “citizen journalism workshops with Syrian media activists, to working with senior members of the National Coalition to develop a core communications narrative.”

The firm even oversaw the PR strategy for the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the leadership of the official armed wing of Syria’s opposition, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). ARK created a complex PR campaign to “provide a ‘re-branding’ of the SMC in order to distinguish itself from extremist armed opposition groups and to establish the image of a functioning, inclusive, disciplined and professional military body.”

ARK admitted that it sought to whitewash Syria’s armed opposition, which had been largely dominated by Salafi-jihadists, by “Softening the FSA Image.”

ARK contractor Syria soften FSA image

ARK took the lead in developing a massive network of opposition media activists in Syria, and openly took credit for inspiring protests inside the country.

In its training centers in Syria and southern Turkey, the Western government contractor reported, “More than 150 activists have been trained and equipped by ARK on topics from the basics of camera handling, lighting, and sound to producing reports, journalistic safety, online security, and ethical reporting.”

The firm flooded Syria with opposition propaganda. In just six months, ARK reported that 668,600 of its print products were distributed inside Syria, including “posters, flyers, informative booklets, activity books and other campaign-related materials.”

In one document spelling out the UK contractors’ communications operations in Syria, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN boasted of overseeing the following media assets inside the country: 97 video stringers, 23 writers, 49 distributors, 23 photographers, 19 in-country trainers, eight training centers, three media offices, and 32 research officers.

ARK emphasized that it had “well-established contacts” with some of the top media outlets in the world, naming Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Times, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabic, Orient TV, and Al Arabiya.

The UK contractor added, “ARK has provided regular branded and unbranded content to key pan-Arab and Syria-focused satellite TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Orient TV, Aleppo Today, Souria al-Ghadd, and Souria al-Sha’ab since 2012.”

“ARK products promoting HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) priorities by fostering attitudinal and behavioural change are broadcast almost every day on pan-Arab channels,” the firm bragged. “In 2014, 20 branded and un-branded Syria reports were produced on average by ARK each month and broadcast on major pan-Arab television channels such as Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, and Orient TV.”

“ARK has almost daily conversations with channels and weekly meetings to engage and understand editorial preferences,” the Western intelligence cutout said.

The firm also took credit for placing 10 articles per month in pan-Arab newspapers such as Al Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat.

US-UK program Basma cultivates Syrian media activists

The Syrian opposition media war was organized within the framework of a project called Basma. ARK worked with other Western government contractors through Basma in order to train Syrian opposition activists.

With funding from both the US and UK governments, Basma developed into an enormously influential platform. Its Arabic Facebook page had over 500,000 followers, and on YouTube it built up a large following as well.

Mainstream corporate media outlets misleadingly portrayed Basma as a “Syrian citizen journalism platform,” or a “civil society group working for a ‘liberatory, progressive transition to a new Syria.’” In reality it was a Western government astroturfing operation to cultivate opposition propagandists.

Nine of the 16 stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained through the US/UK government’s Basma initiative, ARK boasted in a leaked document.

In an earlier report for the UK FCO, filed just three years into its work, ARK claimed to have “trained over 1,400 beneficiaries representing over 210 beneficiary organisations in more than 130 workshops, and disbursed more than 53,000 individual pieces of equipment,” in a vast network that reached “into all of Syria’s 14 governorates,” which included both opposition- and government-held areas.

ARK UK contractor Syria media map

The Western contractor published a map highlighting its network of stringers and media activists and their relationships with the White Helmets as well as newly created police forces across opposition-controlled Syria.

ARK UK contractor Syria opposition media map

In its trainings, ARK developed opposition spokespeople, taught them how to speak with the press, and then helped arrange interviews with mainstream Arabic- and English-language media outlets.

ARK described its strategy “to identify credible, moderate civilian governance spokespeople who will be promoted as go-to interlocutors for regional and international media. They will echo key messages linked to the coordinated local campaigns across all media, with consortium platforms able to cover this messaging as well and encourage other outlets to pick it up.”

In addition to working with the international press and cultivating opposition leaders, ARK helped develop a massive opposition media super-structure.

ARK said it was a “key implementer of a multi-donor effort to develop a network of FM radio stations and community magazines inside Syria since 2012.” The contractor worked with 14 FM stations and 11 magazines inside Syria, including both Arabic- and Kurdish-language radio.

To propagate opposition broadcasts across Syria, ARK designed what it called “Radio in a Box” (RIAB) kits in 2012. The firm took credit for providing equipment to 48 transmission sites.

ARK also circulated up to 30,000 magazines per month. It reported that “ARK-supported magazines were the three most popular in Aleppo City; the most popular magazine in Homs City; and the most popular magazine in Qamishli.”

A Syrian opposition propaganda outlet directly run by ARK, called Moubader, developed a huge following on social media, including more than 200,000 likes on Facebook. ARK printed 15,000 copies per month of a “high-quality hard copy” Moubader magazine and distributed it “across opposition-held areas of Syria.”

The British contractor TGSN, which worked alongside ARK, developed its own outlet called the “Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS),” a leaked document shows. This confirms a 2016 report in The Grayzone by contributor Rania Khalek, who obtained emails showing how the UK government-backed RFS media office offered to pay one journalist a staggering $17,000 per month to produce propaganda for Syrian rebels.

Another leaked record shows that in just one year, in 2018 – which was apparently the final year of ARK’s Syria program – the firm billed the UK government for a staggering 2.3 million British pounds.

This enormous ARK propaganda operation was directed by Firas Budeiri, who had previously served as the Syria director for the UK-based international NGO Save the Children.

40 percent of ARK’s Syria project team were Syrian citizens, and another 25 percent were Turkish. The firm said its Syria team staff had “extensive experience managing programmes and conducting research funded by many different governmental clients in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other conflict-affected states.”

Western contractor ARK cultivates White Helmets “to keep Syria in the news”

The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing “an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work.”

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign, a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently “following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams” that The Syria Campaign “selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news,” the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office.

“With ARK’s guidance, TSC (The Syria Campaign) also attended ARK’s civil defence training sessions to create media content for its #WhiteHelmets campaign which launched in August 2014 and has since gone viral,” the Western contractor added.

In 2014, ARK produced a long-form documentary on the White Helmets, titled “Digging for Life,” which was repeatedly broadcast on Orient TV.

While it was running the White Helmets’ social media accounts, ARK bragged that it was boosting followers and views on the Facebook page for Idlib City Council.

The Syrian city of Idlib was taken over by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which then went on to publicly execute women who were accused of adultery.

While effectively aiding these al-Qaeda-aligned extremist groups, ARK and the British intelligence cutout TGSN also signed a document with the FCO hilariously pledging to follow “UK guidance on gender sensitivity” and “ensure gender is considered in all capacity building and campaign development.”

Setting the stage for lawfare on Syria

Another leaked document shows the Western government-backed firm ARK revealing that, back in 2011, it worked with another government contractor called Tsamota to help develop the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA). In 2014, SCJA changed its name to the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA).

The Grayzone exposed CIJA as a Western government-funded regime-change organization whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies in order to wage lawfare on the Syrian government.

ARK noted that the project initially worked “with seed funding from the UK Conflict Pool to support investigative and forensic training for Syrian war crimes investigators” and has since “grown to become a major component of Syria’s transitional justice architecture.”

Since the US, European Union, and their Middle East allies lost the military phase of their war on Syria, CIJA has taken the lead in trying to prolong the regime-change campaign through lawfare.

InCoStrat creates media network, helps them interview al-Qaeda

In the leaked documents, another UK government contractor called Innovative Communications Strategies (InCoStrat) boasted of building a massive “network of over 1600 journalists and key influencers with an interest in Syria.”

InCoStrat stressed that it was “managing and delivering a multi donor project in support of UK Foreign Policy objectives” in Syria, “specifically providing strategic communication support to the moderate armed opposition.”

Other funders of InCoStrat’s work with the opposition in Syria, the firm disclosed, included the US government, the United Arab Emirates, and anti-Assad Syrian businessmen.

InCoStrat served as a liaison between its government clients and the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-backed parallel government that the opposition tried to create. InCoStrat advised senior leaders of this Syrian shadow regime, and even ran the National Coalition’s own media office from Istanbul, Turkey.

The Western contractor took credit for organizing a 2014 BBC interview with Ahmad Jarba, the then-president of the opposition National Coalition.

The firm added that “journalists have often reached out to us in search of the appropriate people for their programmes.” As an example, InCoStrat said it helped plant its own Syrian opposition activists in BBC Arabic reports. The firm then added, “Once making the initial connections we encouraged the Syrians to maintain the relationships with the journalists in the BBC instead of using ourselves as the conduit.”

Like ARK, InCoStrat worked closely with the press. The firm said it had “extensive experience in engaging Arab and international news media,” adding that it worked directly with “heads of regional news in major satellite TV networks, press bureaus and print media.”

“Key members of InCoStrat have previously worked as Middle East correspondents for some of the world’s largest news agencies including Reuters,” the Western contractor added.

Also like ARK, InCoStrat established a vast media infrastructure. The firm set up Syrian opposition media offices in Dera’a, Syria; Istanbul and Reyhanli, Turkey; and Amman, Jordan.

InCoStrat worked with 130 stringers across Syria, and said it had more than 120 reporters working inside the country, along with “an additional five official spokesmen who appear several times a week on international and regional TV.”

InCoStrat also established eight FM radio stations and six community magazines across Syria.

The firm reported that it penetrated the armed opposition by developing “strong relationships with 54 brigade commanders in Syria’s southern front,” that involved “daily, direct engagement with the commanders and their officers inside Syria,” as well as defected officers Free Syrian Army (FSA) units in government-held Damascus.

In the leaked documents, InCoStrat boasted that its reporters organized interviews with many armed opposition militias, including the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Don’t just plants media stories; “initiate an event” to create your own scandals

In its media war on Damascus, InCoStrat pursued a two-pronged campaign that consisted of the following: “a) Guerrilla Campaign. Use the media to create the event. b) Guerrilla Tactics. Initiate an event to create the media effect.”

The intelligence cutout therefore sought to use the media as a weapon to advance tangible political demands of the Syrian opposition.

In one case, InCoStrat took credit for a successful international campaign to force the Syrian government to lift its siege of the extremist-held opposition stronghold of Homs. The Grayzone contributor Rania Khalek reported on the crisis in Homs, which was besieged by Damascus after the far-right Sunni fundamentalists that controlled it began carrying out sectarian massacres against religious minorities and kidnapping Alawite civilians.

“We connected international journalists with Syrians living in besieged Homs,” InCoStrat explained. It organized an interview between Britain’s Channel 4 and a doctor in the city, which helped raise international attention, ultimately leading to an end to the siege.

In another instance, the UK contractor said it “produced postcards, posters and reports” comparing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad to the fundamentalist Salafi-jihadists in ISIS. Then it “provided a credible, Arabic-English speaking Syrian spokesperson to engage the media.”

The campaign was very successful, according to InCoStrat: Al-Jazeera America and The National published the firm’s propaganda posters. The British contractor also organized interviews on the topic with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, The Times, Buzzfeed, Al-Jazeera, Suriya Al-Sham, and Orient.

InCoStrat Syrian opposition media Assad ISIS

After regime change comes Nation Building Inc.

InCoStrat has apparently been involved in numerous Western-backed regime-change operations.

In one leaked document, the firm said it helped to train civil society organizations in marketing, media, and communications in Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. It even trained a team of anti-Saddam Hussein journalists inside Basra, Iraq after the joint US-UK invasion.

In addition to contracting for the United Kingdom, InCoStrat disclosed that it has worked for the governments of the United States, Singapore, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, and Libya.

After NATO destroyed the Libyan state in a regime-change war in 2011, InCoStrat was brought in in 2012 to conduct similar communications work for the Libyan National Transitional Council, the Western-backed opposition that sought to take power.

Coordinating with extremist militias, cooking news to “reinforce the core narrative”

The leaked documents shed further light on a UK government contractor called Albany.

Albany boasted that it “secured the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers” to influence media narratives and advance UK foreign policy interests.

The firm helped create an influential Syrian opposition media outfit called Enab Baladi. Founded in 2011 in the anti-Assad hub of Daraya, at the beginning of the war, Enab Baladi was aggressively marketed in the Western press as a grassroots Syrian media operation.

In reality, Enab Baladi was the product of a British contractor that took responsibility for its evolution “from an amateur-run entity into one of the most prominent Syrian media organizations.”

Albany also coordinated communications between opposition media outlets and extremist Islamist opposition groups by hiring an “engagement leader (who) has deep credibility with key groups including (north) Failaq ash-Sham, Jabha Shammiyeh, Jaysh Idleb al Hur, Ahrar ash-Sham, (center) Jaysh al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and (south) Jaysh Tahrir.” Many of these militias were linked to al-Qaeda and are now recognized by the US Department of State and European governments as official terrorist groups.

Unlike other Western government contractors active in Syria, which often tried to feign a semblance of balance, Albany made it clear that its media reporting was nothing more than propaganda.

The firm admitted that it trained Syrian media activists in a unique “newsroom process” that called to “curate” news by “collecting and organising stories and content that support and reinforce the core narrative.”

In 2014, Albany boasted of running the Syrian National Coalition’s communications team at the Geneva Peace talks.

Albany also warned that revelations of Western government funding for these opposition media organizations that were being portrayed as grassroots initiatives would discredit them.

When internal emails were leaked showing that the massive opposition media platform Basma Syria was funded by the United States and Britain, Albany wrote, “the Basma brand has been compromised following leaks about funding project aims.”

The leaks on social media “have damaged the credibility and trustworthiness of the existing branded platform,” Albany wrote. “Credibility and trust are the key currencies of the activities envisaged and for this reason we consider it essential to refresh the approach if the content to be disseminated is to have effect.” The Basma website was taken down soon after.

These files provide clear insight into how the Syrian opposition was cultivated by Western governments with imperial designs on Damascus, and was kept afloat with staggering sums of cash that flowed from the pockets of British taxpayers – often to the benefit of fanatical militiamen allied with Al Qaeda.

While Dutch prosecutors prepare war crimes charges against the Syrian government for fighting off the onslaught, the leaked files are a reminder of the leading role that Western states and their war-profiteering companies played in the carefully organized destruction of the country.

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

The Collaborator’s Reward: the UAE, from Syria to Israel

By Tim Anderson

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Mohamad Bin Zayed Bashar Assad 9062b

What do Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and the UAE’s Mohamad Bin Zayed (MBZ) all have in common? They dreamed that their collaboration with the imperial power would allow them the freedom to pursue their own ambitions.

Very wrong. Once Noriega was employed by the CIA to betray compatriot nationalists and to be used as a tool against independent Cuba and Nicaragua, imperialism owned him. Once Saddam was armed (including with poison gas) by NATO countries to attack Revolutionary Iran and slaughter dissident Iraqis, imperialism owned him. And once MBZ collaborated with Mossad against the Palestinian resistance and armed terrorist groups against Syria, imperialism owned him.

After Noriega sought to play a more independent role in Central America the US, under Bush the First, invaded Panama killing thousands (see ‘The Panama Deception’), just to kidnap Noriega and jail him on drug trafficking charges. Saddam was not allowed to pursue his own interests in Kuwait. Instead his ambitions were used as a pretext to starve and then destroy Iraq. Saddam himself was eventually lynched, under US military occupation. MBZ, for his supposed crime of resuming relations with Syria in 2018, was forced to recognise Israel, thus becoming the new disgrace of the Arab and Muslim world. Once a collaborator is owned he is owned.

The UAE gained nothing by openly recognising the zionist regime. There was no political or economic benefit. The UAE was already collaborating deeply with Israel, as evidenced by the open access enjoyed by the Mossad team which murdered Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in February 2010 (Lewis, Borger and McCarthy 2010), and later kidnapped Australian-Israeli whistle-blower Ben Zygier, after he had provided Dubai authorities with “names and pictures and accurate details” of the team, supposedly in exchange for UAE protection. However Israel kidnapped Zygier in the UAE and he later died from ‘suicide’ in an Israeli jail (Rudoran 2013).

There was no independent motive behind the disgraceful UAE move, other than fear and obedience. The Trump regime pressured and threatened MBZ into recognising Israel, just to help with its 2020 election campaign.

How do we know this? Two months before the UAE officially recognised Israel, Trump envoy James Jeffrey threatened the UAE regime for its renewed relations with Syria, which went against Trump’s subsequent ‘Caesar Act’ (MEMO 2020), a piece of legislation primarily aimed at imposing discipline on third party ‘allies’ which sought to normalise relations with Damascus.

Washington’s ‘Caesar’ law (part of an omnibus NDAA Act) pretends to authorise the US President to impose fines and confiscate the assets of those, anywhere in the world, who “support or engage in a significant transaction” with the Syrian government (SJAC 2020). It aimed at Persian Gulf allies, principally the UAE, and perhaps some Europeans who were considering renewed relations with Damascus (Anderson 2020)

As it happened, in late December 2018, the UAE resumed relations with the Syrian Government and resumed investment in the besieged country. This was despite the anti-Syrian role of the UAE in the early days of the conflict and, in particular, their backing of ISIS terrorism. That role was acknowledged by senior US officials in late 2014.

Head of the US Army General Martin Dempsey in September 2014 admitted that “major Arab allies” of the US funded ISIS (Rothman 2014). The following month US Vice President Joe Biden specified that US allies “Turkey, Qatar and the UAE had extended “billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” to all manner of fanatical Islamist fighters, including ISIS, in efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad (Maskanian 2014). Biden later offered a hollow apology to the UAE for his remarks (Al Jazeera 2014). A sanitised Atlantic Council version of this history was that the UAE had backed “armed opposition groups – such as the Free Syrian Army” (Santucci 2020).

In any case, with Washington’s regime change war lost – certainly after the expanded role of Russia in Syria from September 2015 onwards – the UAE began to change tack. In November 2015 UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash expressed cautious support for Russia’s role and in April 2018 he characterised the conflict as one between the Syrian Government and Islamic extremism. On 27 December the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus (Ramani 2020). Bahrain followed suit the next day. The MBZ regime claims to have provided over $530 million “to alleviate the suffering” of Syria since 2012 (Santucci 2020), though how much of this went into armed Islamist groups is unclear.

But there certainly have been some UAE-funded construction projects in Syria in recent times. No doubt wealthy UAE investors saw some opportunities in post-war reconstruction. The Emirates hosted a Syrian trade delegation in January 2019 and in August 2019 some private Emirati companies participated in the Damascus International Trade Fair (Cafiero 2020).

But in early 2020 the Trump regime passed its Caesar law, aimed at reining in its wandering ‘allies’. In June envoy James Jeffrey pointed his finger at the UAE, saying: “the UAE knows that we absolutely refuse that countries take such steps [in Syria] … we have clearly stressed that we consider this a bad idea … anyone who engages in economic activities … may be targeted by these sanctions” (MEMO 2020).

That could mean big trouble for the UAE. The Obama regime (through the US Treasury’s ‘Office of Foreign Assets Control’) had already ‘fined’ European banks more than 12 billion dollars for their business with Iran and Cuba, in breach of Washington’s unilateral coercive measures (Anderson 2019: 42).

Two months later in August the UAE’s open recognition of Israel presented the semblance of some sort of change in the region. An Atlantic Council paper hoped that might be to derail the UAE’s ‘normalization policy with Syria’ (Santucci 2020). That indeed was one part of the project: tighten the siege on the independent region: from Palestine through Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to Iran. In the process 80% of the besieged Syrian population was living in poverty, and on the brink of starvation (Cafiero 2020). This was a determined if failing strategy, set in place by Bush the Second and carried through faithfully by Obama and Trump, despite the latter’s pragmatic misgivings.

The other part of the project was to strong-arm the little petro-monarchy into boosting the Trump election campaign. The UAE’s recognition of Israel did nothing to help MBZ, but was well received in Tel Aviv (though it did not change the constellation of Resistance forces) and was skilfully presented in the USA as some sort of concession to Palestine. Yet Trump’s flimsy pretext (a ‘freeze’ on further annexations) was quickly discredited. Israeli Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said that a ‘freeze’ was in place before the UAE deal (Khalil 2020). Netanyahu maintained that further annexations were still ‘on the table’ (Al Jazeera 2020). Indeed he had announced such ‘freezes’ before (Ravid 2009).

In any case, Trump was clearly no advocate for Palestinian or Arab rights. He had broken with previous US regimes by giving his blessing to Tel Aviv’s annexation of both East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, disregarding international law (BBC 2019). Disgraced in the region, the UAE was simply acting as Washington’s puppet. That is the collaborator’s reward.

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References

Al Jazeera (2014) ‘Biden ‘apologises’ to UAE for ISIL remarks’, 6 October, online: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/10/uae-says-amazed-joe-biden-syria-remarks-20141058153239733.html

Al Jazeera (2020) ‘Netanyahu says West Bank annexation plans still ‘on the table’’, 13 August, online: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/netanyahu-west-bank-annexation-plans-table-200813183431066.html

Anderson, Tim (2019) Axis of Resistance: towards an independent Middle East, Clarity Press, Atlanta GA

Anderson, Tim (2020) ‘Trump’s ‘Caesar’ Style Siege on Syria, A Sign of Impending Regional Failure’, American Herald Tribune, 12 June, online: https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/syria-crisis/4218-trump-caesar-style-siege.html

BBC (2019) ‘Golan Heights: Trump signs order recognising occupied area as Israeli’, 25 March, online: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47697717

Cafiero, Giorgio (2020) ‘The Caesar Act and the United Arab Emirates’, TRT World, 29 June, online: https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/the-caesar-act-and-the-united-arab-emirates-37702

Khalil, Zein (2020) ‘Annexation frozen before UAE deal: Israeli minister’, 16 August, online: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/annexation-frozen-before-uae-deal-israeli-minister/1943528

Lewis, Paul; Julian Borger and Rory McCarthy (2010) ‘Dubai murder: fake identities, disguised faces and a clinical assassination’, The Guardian, 16 February, online: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/feb/16/dubai-murder-fake-identities-hamas

Maskanian, Bahram (2014) ‘Vice President Joe Biden stated that US key allies in the Middle East were behind nurturing ISIS’, YouTube, 2 December, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25aDP7io30U

MEMO (2020) ‘US threatens UAE with Caesar Act, due to support for Assad regime’, 19 June, online: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200619-us-threatens-uae-with-caesar-act-due-to-support-for-assad-regime/

Ramani, Samuel (2020) ‘Foreign policy and commercial interests drive closer UAE-Syria ties’, Middle East Institute, 21 January online: https://www.mei.edu/publications/foreign-policy-and-commercial-interests-drive-closer-uae-syria-ties

Ravid, Barak (2009) ‘Netanyahu Declares 10-month Settlement Freeze ‘To Restart Peace Talks’’, Haaretz, 25 November, online: https://www.haaretz.com/1.5122924

Rothman, Noah (2014) ‘Dempsey: I know of Arab allies who fund ISIS’, YouTube, 16 September, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA39iVSo7XE

Rudoran, Jodi (2013) ‘Israel’s Prisoner X Is Linked to Dubai Assassination in a New Report’, New York Times, 14 February, online: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/world/middleeast/israels-prisoner-x-linked-to-dubai-assassination-in-new-report.html

Santucci, Emily (2020) ‘The Caesar Act might alter the UAE’s normalization policy with Syria’ Atlantic Council, online: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/the-caesar-act-might-alter-the-uaes-normalization-policy-with-syria/

SJAC (2020) ‘The Caesar Act: Impacts and Implementation’, Syria Justice and Accountability Centre’, 20 February, online: https://syriaaccountability.org/updates/2020/02/20/the-caesar-act-impacts-and-implementation/

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معارك تحرير الشرق… من تل مندو إلى عرسال [1/2]: فجر المقاومة بين عصرَين

الاخبار

فراس الشوفي الخميس 27 آب 2020

معارك تحرير الشرق... من تل مندو إلى عرسال    [1/2]: فجر المقاومة بين عصرَين
الهجوم على قارة شهدَ أوّل دمج للتشكيلات بين المقاومة والجيش السوري (هيثم الموسوي)

ثلاثة أعوامٍ مرّت على طيّ صفحة تهديد لبنان من الشرق، والبلد مثخنٌ بالجراح من تهديدات الداخل والخارج. هي سنوات صعبة منذ 2011، قدّم فيها ثلّة من اللبنانيين دماءهم ووقتهم وأحلامهم في مواجهة أعتى المقاتلين التكفيريين مدعومين من الولايات المتّحدة الأميركية وأتباعها الغربيين والإقليميين الذين سرعان ما اقتتلوا فيما بينهم، فتعددّت المشاريع والحروب والمصالح والأجندات. لكن، بقيت وجهة المقاومة الوحيدة هي حماية لبنان من شرقه وضرب المشروع التكفيري في مهده، من حمص إلى حلب ودير الزور. ولئن كان لبنان منقسماً كما دائماً، ولا يتّفق أهله لا على عدوٍ ولا على صديق، لم ينتظر المدافعون إجماعاً، بل كانوا حيث يجب أن يكونوا، في اللحظة الحاسمة، حاملين معهم روح الإبداع والإيمان. وبدل أن تكون الظروف تهديداً فحسب، تحوّل التهديد إلى فرصة، ونهلت المقاومة من معرفة الاختبار والميدان، فتغمّست الخبرة بالدّم وأنتجت قوّةً حوّلت المقاومة إلى جيش متكامل من القوّات الخاصّة المدرّبة التي يعصى على أقوى المجتمعات والدول تشكيلها. في مناسبة الذكرى الثالثة لتحرير كامل الجرود الشرقية، أجرت «الأخبار» مقابلة مع ضابط رفيع المستوى في المقاومة، أبو حسن، سرد فيها الأخير سلسلة المعارك التي خاضها حزب الله خلال أربع سنوات، من 2013 إلى 2017، مع تركيز كبير على الجانب العسكري من الأحداث. وتحفل المقابلة بتفاصيل عسكرية مثيرة، تعكس مدى التطوّر الذي وصلت إليه المقاومة على الصعيد البشريّ واللوجستيّ والتقنيّ والتسليحيّ. إلّا أنّ هذه المكتنزات، تصبّ في خلاصة واحدة: تحوّل المقاومة إلى مصدر تهديد عسكري استراتيجي لجيش العدوّ الإسرائيلي، يفوق بأضعاف ذلك التهديد الذي أسقط مقولة «الجيش الذي لا يُقهر» في هزيمتَين عسكريتَين عام 2000 و2006. ويستخلص أبو حسن من روايته الخاصة للمعارك، أن «تشكيلات حزب الله هي تشكيلات دفاعية بالأصل وتنفّذ عمليات خاصة ذات طابع هجومي، لكنّ تجربة سوريا أعطتنا حافزاً لتنفيذ العمل الهجومي بتشكيلات كبيرة وواسعة وأساليب جديدة ودمج أسلحة مع بعضها». فحزب الله، يتألف من مستويات عدّة في التشكيلات (النخب/ النظامي/ التعبئة). «كنّا نهاجم بقوات التعبئة مثلاً»، يقول أبو حسن، «استفدنا من الفرصة، وحوّلنا هذه التشكيلات من شبه عسكريّة إلى هجوميّة، وهذه النخب تتطلّب لدى الجيوش جهوداً كبيرة لإنتاجها. بينما نحن، الطبقة الأدنى لدينا من المقاتلين، هي تشكيلات هجومية قتالية أثبتت فعاليّة في الميدان ضدّ أشرس مقاتلين يمتلكون إرادة الحرب، وبظروف مناخية صعبة من 50 درجة فوق الصفر إلى 20 درجة تحت الصفر، مستفيدين من أسلحة ووسائل لم تكن موجودة بين يدينا في السابق». في المقابل، يبدو جيش العدو الإسرائيلي، وإن كان مدرّعاً بأحدث الأسلحة، حفنة من الجنود، لم يخوضوا اشتباكاً حقيقياً منذ 14 عاماً على الأقل، وجنرالاتهم اليوم هم أبناء هزيمة حرب تموز 2006 ولجنة «فينوغراد» الشهيرة. تحرير السلسلة الشرقية، إعلان فجرٍ جديد للمقاومة، بين عصرين من الحرب: عصر قتال إسرائيل في لبنان وعصر قتال إسرائيل في فلسطين المحتلة.

بعينين مُتَّقدَتَيْن، وصوتٍ عميق، يفرد القائد العسكري الرفيع المستوى في حزب الله، أبو حسن (اسم مستعار)، أمام «الأخبار»، استعادة لبعض جوانب وأسرار المعارك التي خاضتها المقاومة إلى جانب الجيش السوري ولوحدها، ضدّ الجماعات الإرهابية، منذ بدء القتال في حوض نهر العاصي وتل مندو في 2013، وحتى تحرير آخر شبرٍ من سلسلة جبال القلمون والسلسلة الشرقية اللبنانية في آب 2017، بعد مرور ثلاث سنوات على هذا الحدث التأسيسي.
سنوات مريرة ومضنية بالدم والدموع، ودّع فيها الضابط المقاوِم قافلة من الشهداء، من إخوته وزملائه وأساتذته وتلاميذه، كان يُفرِج خلال المقابلة عن أسمائهم شهيداً تلو الآخر، مع كلّ غيمة من حريق سجائره، ومع كلّ مفصلٍ في معركة، تطلّب النصر فيها تقريب الأجساد الفانية.
لكن، كان للجلجلة مقصد، وهو الدفاع عن سوريا ولبنان بكل القوّة والإرادة، بتكتيكات عسكريّة فرضتها ظروف المعارك وغذّتها العقول المشتعلة إبداعاً، والقلوب الفيّاضة بالشجاعة والإيمان. حتى تحوّلت التجربة إلى مستوى جديد ومتقدّم من العلوم العسكرية الهجينة، أكسَبت المقاومة معرفةً ونضجاً، يؤهّلها لخوض أعتى الحروب، كقوّة «خاصة» بأكلمها، ذات تدريب وتسليحٍ عالٍ، يهابها أعداؤها، ويأنس حلفاؤها إلى قدراتها وتفوّقها.

تل مندو البداية
من حمص، يبدأ القائد العسكري روايته، وهو يُؤَشر بيده نحو شاشة على الحائط تعكس خارطة عسكرية. «من اختار حمص لتنطلق الحرب منها ذكيّ جداً»، يدلّ أبو حسن: «هي أكبر المحافظات، وامتداد من شرق سوريا إلى غربها، أي الوسط والقلب، مع قيمة استراتيجية تصل الشمال بدمشق، ومنها مع ريف دمشق يمكن حصار العاصمة وعزلها عن لبنان والساحل السوري. وفي بُعدها الخارجي تلاصق لبنان والأردن والعراق، ومن خلالها يصل الإرهابيّون إلى البحر لاتصالها بالحدود اللبنانية. وفوق ديموغرافيتها الواسعة والمتنوّعة، تضم حمص أبرز المطارات العسكرية الشعيرات/ T4 (التّياس)/ تدمر/ الضبعة، ومخازن السلاح الأساسيّة والاستراتيجيّة للجيش السوري».
أمّا القصير، فهي عقدة العقد لـ«ملاصقتها الحدود اللبنانية ووادي خالد وأكروم، تحوّلت في 2013 إلى قاعدة رئيسية لاستقبال المقاتلين الأجانب، وطبعاً نذكر زيارة أحمد الأسير إليها، لأنّ المطلوب كان تظهير هذا الجانب. كانت القصير مركزاً كبيراً للتدريب وتجميع وتوزيع المقاتلين والسلاح، أي خلفية لوجستية لكلّ العمل العسكري للمعارضة، والأهمّ أنها أُعِدّت لتكون القاعدة الأساسية لمذهبة الحرب في سوريا، وكانت تتزوّد من معابر التهريب المفتوحة من الحدود اللبنانية».
لماذا شعرت المقاومة بالخطر واتّخذت قرار التحرّك؟ يقول الضابط إن «المجموعات المسلّحة التي بدأت بالتشكّل في منطقة حوض العاصي أظهرت تطوّراً لافتاً، ومارست في 2011 و2012 اعتداءات عديدة ضد سكّان الحوض، وبعض هذه القرى تقطنُها غالبية لبنانية أيضاً. ونحن أحدثنا وجوداً دفاعياً صغيراً في قرى مثل الحمّام وصفصافة والحوش لمساعدة أهلها». لكن كانت «السيطرة على تل مندو في آذار 2013 نقطة التحوّل وخطوة مهمة في تطوّر المشروع المعادي. إذ يرتفع التل ذو الحيثية التاريخية حوالى 70 متراً عن محيطه السهلي الشاسع، مع طولٍ مقدّرٍ بـ 450 وعرض حوالى 250 متراً، ما يمنحه إشرافاً على كامل المنطقة المحيطة بـ360 درجة. ويؤمّن مع القصير إشرافاً على الخطوط المفتوحة من البادية إلى الساحل، وعلى مساحات واسعة من حدود لبنان، ويسمّى عسكرياً عارضاً حساساً مفتاحياً للمنطقة». سقوط تل مندو «أضاء مؤشّر الخطر لدى قيادة المقاومة، فتم اتّخاذ القرار بالانتقال من الدفاع إلى الهجوم، وكانت قوّات العدو مؤلّفة حينها من فصائل ما سُمي بالجيش السوري الحرّ وكتائب الفاروق مع امتداداتها إلى حماه وحلب والجنوب، وكان على رأس قيادة المدينة المدعوّ موفق الجربان، الملقّب بأبو السوس (انتقل إلى تنظيم داعش لاحقاً)».
عملية تحرير تل مندو، هي «عمل هجومي ذو طبيعة خاصّة قاتلت فيه تشكيلات المشاة، مع تشكيلات قليلة من الدعم الناري، وكان القتال أفراداً مقابل أفراد». الصعوبة في هذه العملية، أن التلّ يتوسّط مسطّحَين من الماء متفرّعَين عن نهر العاصي، ويقدّر أقلّ عرض بـ 24 متراً، ما يشكّل مانعاً لتحرّك أيّ قوة عسكرية باتّجاهه». ومنذ اللحظة التي اتّخدت فيها المقاومة قرار استعادته، «قمنا بمحاولتين، في الأولى غرق شاب واستشهد، أما في الثانية فلم يسقط أي شهيد. العقبة التي واجهناها أن المسلحين فجّروا الجسر الرابط بين التل والبرّ، واستعملنا جسوراً متحرّكة للجيش السوري لكن لم تكن كافية. وهنا دخل الإبداع عبر تصنيع جسور عائمة لتحمل المقاتلين واستخدام آليات صغيرة لنقل الذخائر والأعتدة».
ويتابع أبو حسن أنه «بعد التسلّل والسيطرة على التلّ، استفاد المسلّحون من إمكانيّاتنا المحدودة كتشكيلات صغيرة ومن قرار متخّذ في قيادة المقاومة بالسيطرة على التلّ فقط وعدم التوسّع حوله، فزجّ بحوالى 400 مسلح بهجوم مضاد. لكن هذا الهجوم كانت كلفته عالية عليهم: قُتِل 50 مسلّحاً حاولوا التقدّم بثمانية أنساق هجومية بقيادة أبو أحمد عماد جمعة الذي ألقى الجيش اللبناني القبض عليه لاحقاً وإثر ذلك حصلت معركة عرسال. صحيح أنه سقط لنا 8 شهداء في معركة الدفاع عن التلّ، لكنّ الثمن الذي دفعه المسلّحون كان مرتفعاً مع خسارتهم أبرز قادة العمل الهجومي بالالتحام والقتال المباشر مع مقاتلي المقاومة».
ومع استعادة تل مندو، ردّ المسلّحون بالسيطرة على مطار الضبعة، «ما يعني سيطرتهم على غالبية منطقة شمال وغرب النهر، ومن بحيرة قطينة إلى حمص. وهنا اتُّخذ قرار بعمليّة هجومية للدفاع عن التلّ من خارجه، بتشكيل يوازي 3 سرايا قتال على 3 محاور. وصار الهجوم يتوسّع شيئاً فشيئاً حتى اتُّخذ قرار تحرير كامل منطقة غرب النهر، والاستعداد للانتقال إلى شرقه، وهكذا كان».

من شرق العاصي إلى القصير
الغاية الرئيسية لعمليّة شرق النهر بحسب أبو حسن، كانت «حماية بلدة ربلة، وإيجاد موطئ قدم باتجاه منطقة القصير، عبر تحرير وتحصين قرى جوسيه والزرّاعة والعاطفية والعبودية. والغاية الثانية هي قطع خطوط الإمداد من المعابر التي تصل القصير بعرسال، والتي تمرّ حكماً من منطقة جوسيه وقراها، وبهذه العملية تمتّ السيطرة على 22 قرية بمساحة حوالى 130 كلم مربّعاً، سقطت جميعها بـ48 ساعة من الهجوم».
ويعلّق الضابط على هذه المعركة، شارحاً خلفيتها العسكرية، والتجربة الجديدة التي خاضتها المقاومة، «استفدنا بأقصى شكلٍ مُمكنٍ من مجموعة الأسلحة الجديدة، وعملنا على عدةّ محاور وبعدة أساليب ومناورات، وهذا ما يحتاج إلى الكثير من الضبط والسيطرة والتنسيق. يعني تعدّد أنواع المناورات: مناورة جبهوية/ مناورات اختراقية/ مناورات التفافية/ مناورات إحاطة، كان لدينا قتال بالمشاة، وكذلك بدأنا الاستفادة من وجود المدرّعات. بدأت المعركة مع صلاة الظهر وانتهت عند صلاة المغرب، في أحد أيام نيسان 2013».

تحرير القصير بداية سقوط المشروع
خلال الحديث عن تحرير القصير، يكشف أبو حسن أنّ «قيادة المقاومة كان لديها فكرة عن القيمة الاستراتيجية للقصير، لكن خلال المعارك اكتشف الإخوان حجم هذه القيمة التي تدفع باراك أوباما (الرئيس الأميركي السابق للاتصال بميشال سليمان (الرئيس اللبناني السابق)! وتستنفر كل الشخصيات الأخرى من رجب أردوغان وحمد بن جاسم والقرضاوي إلى وليد جنبلاط».
يجزم القائد أن عملية الهجوم على القصير لم تبدأ قبل أن تأكّد قادة العمليات من خروج المدنيين منها. في بداية المعركة، كان «هناك محظور يمنعنا من الاستفادة من سلاح الطيران، فالسؤال هو هل يوجد مدنيون، أم لا يوجد؟ وهذا النقاش أخذ وقتاً وتأجّلت العملية يومين، وقام الطيران السوري برمي المناشير التي تطلب مغادرة المدنيين، ولم يتم العمل الهجومي إلّا بعد أن أبلغَنا السوريون بأن الناس خرجوا عبر المعابر».
عسكرياً، تبلغ مساحة القصير حوالى 15 كلم مربعاً، وكان في داخلها بضعة مواقع للجيش السوري معزولة أو محاصرة وتتعرّض لهجمات انتحارية يومية، من قِِبل «كتائب الفاروق» وتشكيلات جديدة من «جبهة النصرة» وما سميّ بـ«مغاوير بابا عمرو»، الخارجين من الحي الحمصي بعد استعادة الجيش السوري السيطرة عليه.
يقول القائد الميداني إنه «قاتلنا آلاف المسلّحين في القصير، وعبد الجبار العقيدي (قائد الجيش الحر) قال بعد هزيمتهم إنهم سحبوا 10 آلاف مقاتل، نحن نعتقد أننا قاتلنا 6 آلاف مقاتل في معركة طاحنة. استفدنا أوّلاً من وجود نقاط للجيش فأدخلْنا التشكيلات إليها بصورة سريّة، وعند بدء الهجوم فُتحت محاور اختراقية منها في وسط المدينة، وهاجمنا نحن من 8 محاور بهجوم رئيسي من الجنوب باتجاه الشمال، مستخدمين المناورات الالتفافية، والإ¥حاطة لتأمين المحيط. ومع بدء المعركة سيطرنا في اليوم الأول على 45% من المدينة مع كلفة بشريّة عالية علينا. هذه كانت المرّة الأولى التي تستخدم فيها المقاومة هذا النوع من القتال في المدن».
ويختصر القائد العسكري مراحل العمل في المدينة بأربع: مرحلة الهجوم الواسع (السيطرة على حوالى 45 %)، السيطرة على «خطّ السكّة»، مرحلة القضم حيث كان يتمّ القيام بعمليات قضم لمبانٍ أو بيوت بدل الهجومات الواسعة بـ«عمليات معقّدة جداً لمهاجمة كلّ مبنى على حدة، وخلالها تكون التحضيرات مستمرّة لعمليات هجومية واسعة». أمّا المرحلة الرابعة فهي «العمليّة الهجومية النهائية للسيطرة على هدف واحد وهو القصر البلدي في المدينة، الذي سقط بمجرد سيطرتنا عليه. وهذا الأمر حاولنا فعله في اليوم الأول من الهجوم بعملية اختراق معقّدة أيضاً وكانت واحدة من المناورات الناجحة نسبياً. نجحنا في الوصول إلى قرب المبنى لكن لم نستطع التثبيت، إلى أن أنجزنا ذلك في الهجوم الأخير».
ويلفت أبو حسن الانتباه إلى شراسة المعارك في القصير، «فنحن لم ندخل إلى بيت إلّا وخضنا فيه اشتباكاً، حيث دخلنا إلى ميدان يعجّ بالمقاتلين على امتداد حافة طولها حوالى 4 كلم وبخط متعرّج حوالى 6 كلم. وخلال المعارك أُدخل مسلّحون من أسود الشرقية، والقائد العسكري في المعارضة عبد القادر صالح (حجي مارع) والعقيدي (العقيد المنشقّ عن الجيش السوري) و 300 مسلّح من حلب».
وتلك التعقيدات في القتال، دفعت باتّجاه الإبداعات العسكرية في معركة القصير، «مثلاً أحضرنا شاحنات كبيرة وملأناها بالرّمال وقطعنا بها الطريق، فعرض خط السكة حوالى الـ 60 متراً، ومقاتلو المقاومة مضطرون إلى قطعه مشياً تحت نيران القنص. وفّرنا دماء كثيرة بهذه الطريقة، ونجحت العملية حتى خرج المسلحون ليلة سقوط المدينة تحت أعيننا بحوالى 600 آلية، وطبعاً لم نتعرّض لهم مع أنه كان بالإمكان إبادة القوات المنسحبة. حتى إن مجموعة من حوالى 40 مسلّحاً جريحاً، طلبت من مختار إحدى القرى أن يتمّ إسعافها، وعندما وصل الأمر إلى سماحة السيّد حسن نصر الله أمر بمساعدتهم، وقمنا بنقلهم وتسليمهم إلى الصليب الأحمر الدولي الذي أدخلهم لبنان وعالجهم. طبعاً كانوا يشتمون حزب الله فوق ذلك. لكن على إثر سقوط القصير سقطت كل المنطقة من حوض العاصي إلى مدينة حمص، وغالبيتها من دون قتال».

التهديد من السلسلة الشرقية
مع انتهاء معركة القصير، انتقل التركيز إلى قرى وبلدات سلسلة جبال القلمون، أي يبرود وفليطة وقارة والسحل وعسال الورد والجبة وراس المعرة. بحسب القائد، «تمركز مسلّحو السلسلة الشرقية على معابر الجبال، في سلسلة تمتدّ من جوسيه شمالاً حتى جبل الشيخ جنوباً، يقطعها وادي طريق الشام. وكذلك الأمر تمركزوا في الزبداني واستفادوا من المعابر الطبيعية إلى أقصى حدود».
أمّا على مستوى قيادة المقاومة، فقرار التوغّل في السلسلة الشرقية والسيطرة على بعض المرتفعات الحساسة فيها، اتُّخذ بعد هجوم متقطّع استمر 28 يوماً خلال كانون الأول 2013، ضدّ مواقع المقاومة في جوسيه، و«تم حسم المعركة لصالحنا ليلة رأس السنة 2014، وبدأنا التخطيط والعمل باتّجاه المرتفعات، وعندها سيطرنا على بعض التلال على ارتفاعات بين 1470 و1500 متر، وتمركزنا فيها وأحبطنا الهجوم نهائياً، بظروف مناخية قاسية جداً في ذلك الوقت من العام فوق السلسلة الشرقية». ولم تكن السلسلة وقتها سوى معبر للمسلحين، يُستفاد منه عسكرياً في تهديد مواقع المقاومة والجيش السوري، وأمنياً بزعزعة لبنان عبر السيارات المفخّخة التي بدأت تخرج من يبرود وعرسال عبر إصبع الطفيل، نحو بريتال والداخل اللبناني».

الهجوم على القصير لم يبدأ قبل أن تأكّد قادة العمليات من خروج المدنيين منها


وتطوّر الأمر أيضاً، حين قام المسلحون في كانون الثاني 2014، بالهجوم على مخزن قارة الاستراتيجي، وأثناءها «كنا نجري مناورة قتالة لجميع التشكيلات في القصير، فطُلب منا حماية المخزن، وأدركنا أنه لا بدّ من السيطرة على المرتفعات، وهكذا انفتحنا على العمل باتجاه البادية أيضاً».
ومع تزايد المخاطر العسكرية، كان العدو يتطوّر، فـ«لم نعد نواجه كتائب الفاروق أو الحرّ، بل بتنا نواجه جبهة النصرة بقيادة أبو مالك التلّي، لأن صدمة القصير دفعت بالمشّغلين إلى الاعتماد على تشكيلات تكفيرية أكثر تطوّراً، وهذا أيضاً توسّع نحو الجنوب السوري وفي الشمال باتجاه حماه، حيث شنّ أبو محمد الجولاني هجوماً ضد المطار، وقام الجيش السوري بصدّه واستعادة المناطق القريبة».

دمج تشكيلات بين المقاومة والجيش السوري
في مرحلة تحرير قارة، يهتمّ أبو حسن، بالإشارة إلى أن «كلفة الهجوم كانت شهيداً واحداً من المقاومة بانفجار قذيفة معادية، لكن الأبرز هو أن «هذه العملية الهجومية شهدت دمجاً للتشكيلات بين المقاومة والجيش السوري». كذلك قام المسلّحون بطلب الدعم، فوصلت قوات من المهزومين في القصير، وكان لاستخدامنا أجهزة الاتصال المفتوحة إيجابية كبيرة، حيث تعرّف هؤلاء إلى نداءاتنا فتراجعت الروح المعنوية لديهم، وكثير منهم لم يلتحق في القتال، وهذه تداعيات غير مباشرة لهزيمة القصير، كما أن الجيش السوري تمكّن سريعاً بعدها من استعادة تل كلخ ثم منطقة قلعة الحصن، وكذلك القريتين في البادية».
ومنذ ذلك الحين، تمّ خوض معارك بلدات القلمون، «بتشكيلات هجينة من الجيش السوري والمقاومة في تجربة جديدة، وكانت غاية العمليات اقتلاع جذور الإرهاب وتفكيك معامل الموت والسيارات المفخخة التي استهدفت العمق اللبناني». وفي ذلك الوقت أيضاً، «بدأنا نشهد تهديداً عسكرياً باتّجاه الداخل اللبناني بعد التهديد الأمني، انطلاقاً من السلسلة». وتوّج هذا التهديد بالهجوم على مراكز الجيش في عرسال، في آب 2014، و«نحن نعتقد أنه لولا تنفيذ هذه العمليات الخاطفة لكان المسلّحون توسّعوا في تهديد بعلبك وزحلة والمصنع، وتالياً يتهدّد لبنان بأكمله، لأن هذا كان جزءاً من مشروعهم أصلاً».

قائد عسكري في المقاومة: هزمنا ستة آلاف مسلّح مدرّب في القصير خلال أقل من شهر


في خلاصة الجزء الأوّل من الرواية، يرسم أبو حسن إطاراً لتطوّر العمل العسكري وأساليبه لدى المقاومة، «في تل مندو قاتلنا في طبيعة مع موانع مائية ضخمة ومنطقة سهلية مكشوفة، وتعلّمنا وطورنا قدراتنا ومهاراتنا، وفي معركة شرق النهر وغربه، قاتلنا في بيئة من الأشجار المثمرة الكثيفة والأحراش، وفي مدينة القصير قاتلنا في بيئة عمرانية متراصّة، ثم انتقلنا ظغلى القتال الجبلي المعقّد تحت ظروف مناخية وجغرافية صعبة. وفي كل هذه المراحل هجّنت المقاومة عملها وطوّرته، مستفيدة من المزج بين قتال العصابات ووسائل وأدوات الجيوش النظامية».


البحر هو الحلم الدائم
على مراحل زمنيّة متعدّدة، لم يغِب حلم الوصول من البحر إلى الداخل السوري عبر شمال لبنان، عن تفكير العصابات المسلّحة، باختلاف أشكالها، من «الجيش الحر» و«الفاروق» إلى «النصرة» و«داعش». وهذا الحلم، هو واحد من أبرز أسباب سعي المسلحين إلى الوصول إلى العمق اللبناني. «المسلحون وعدونا بقتالنا في الضاحية، لكن الطموح الاستراتيجي هو الوصول إلى الضنية من البقاع، ثمّ إلى طرابلس»، يقول القائد العسكري في المقاومة. ويؤكّد أن «لدينا وثائق وهي موجودة عند القوى الأمنية، أن مشروع داعش هو فصل قضاء الهرمل والوصول إلى الضنية ليكون له وصول إلى البحر». وهذه المعلومات أكدها قائد الجيش السابق العماد جان قهوجي، في غير مناسبة، إضافة إلى وزير الخارجية البريطاني الأسبق، ديفيد كاميرون، الذي صرّح بذلك علناً في آب 2014.


محاولة تفجير «الكلور» في العاطفية

(هيثم الموسوي)


أثناء حديثه عن معركة شرق النهر، يستذكر القائد العسكري في المقاومة، حادثةً مهمّة، وهي أن أول عمليّة قام بها حزب الله بتشكيلات صافية في سوريا، كانت استعادة الموقع 14 التابع للجيش السوري قرب معبر جوسيه، وسقط شهيد للمقاومة.
وكان أول احتكاك لقوّات المقاومة مع القصير في بلدة العاطفية، حيث اتُّخذ قرار استعادة منشأة المياه. ودافعت العصابات المسلّحة عن المنشأة لأكثر من 24 ساعة، قبل أن تسقط ظهر اليوم التالي على بدء الهجوم. لكن الحادث الأبرز في هذه العمليّة، هو قتل رجال المقاومة لأحد المسلّحين المكلّفين تنفيذ عمليّة انتحارية داخل المنشأة، بهدف تفجير مستوعبات تضمّ آلاف الليترات من مادة الكلور، لكنّه قُتل قبل القيام بتنفيذ مهمّته.

SYRIAN FORCES ARE HUNTING DOWN ISIS TERRORISTS IN DESERT

South Front

South Front

The military situation in Syria continued deteriorating in the recent days.

On August 21, the Syrian Army and its allies increased their anti-ISIS raids in the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor-Al-Mayadin triangle. According to pro-government sources, these efforts are being actively supported by recently deployed reinforcements from the Iranian-backed Liwa Fatemiyoun armed group.

On August 20, ISIS claimed responsibility for the recent attack on Russian troops in the province of Deir Ezzor.  The attack, which took place on August 18, killed Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Gladkih and injured two other Russian service members. In a statement released by its news agency, Amaq, ISIS claimed that a number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which had been planted by its terrorists east of the town of al-Sukhnah in eastern Homs, struck a Russian patrol that was combing the region.

Earlier, the Russian military said that the incident took place near the al-Taim oil field, which is indeed located to the east of al-Sukhnah, in the western Deir Ezzor countryside. These details play into the hand of the ISIS propaganda. According to Syrian government sources, a few hundreds of ISIS members take shelter in the Homs-Deir Ezzor countryside. These terrorists pose a notable security threat to pro-government forces, but they claim that the full elimination of the ISIS cells in the desert is not possible as long as the US occupies the al-Tanf area.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, the Iraqi pro-Iranian group, is reinforcing its military positions in the southern countryside of Syria’s Deir Ezzor, according to pro-government sources. Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters are currently building fortifications around their positions in the outskirt of the city of al-Mayadin.

The situation is also tense on the contact line between the army and militants in southern Idlib. According to pro-militant sources, at least 2 opposition fighters were killed in Syrian Army strikes in al-Bara and other areas in the al-Zawiya mount.

The string of assassinations of former rebel commanders continues in southern Syria. An attack with an improvised explosive device killed Issa Al-Janati, a former rebel commander in al-Quneitra. The IED attack took place near the commander’s house in the town of al-Zubaidah in the al-Quneitra countryside on August 17. Al-Janati died of his wounds, while his wife was slightly injured. Al-Janati, who is known by his nom de guerre “Abu Wassim,” used to be a senior commander in the Free Syrian Army. In 2018, he joined the reconciliation process. Nevertheless, he refused to enlist in the Syrian Arab Army or any pro-government faction.

This was the first assassination of a former rebel commander in al-Quneitra. Such assassinations take place in Daraa province on a regular basis. Local sources link them with the increased activity of Israeli special services that are not happy to see how their former proxies are changing their public position.

Related

Beirut Explosion Video from More Angles, Dozens Still Missing, Beirut Devastated

August 5, 2020 Arabi Souri

Beirut Port Explosion
Beirut Port Explosion – 04 August 2020

New video clips emerged on social media taken of the explosion that shook the beautiful city of Beirut turning it into an officially declared devastated city within minutes, hundreds feared killed, the latest toll stood at 73 dead and over 3000 injured.

A number of Ships docked at the Beirut Port have caught fire, many people were thrown into the sea, an entire wharf went under the water, the facade of all the buildings facing the port is damaged, much material damages inside almost half of the city, hundreds injured in neighborhoods as far as 5 kilometers from the site of the explosion, cars smashed, people in Cyprus reported hearing the explosion, so did people as far as 80 kilometers south of Beirut.

The new video clips show the volume of the explosion was beyond anything seen in any explosion anywhere since the US bombing of the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, many are calling this incident as Beirutshima in reference, and this is not exaggerating.

https://videopress.com/embed/HMANsRIp?preloadContent=metadata&hd=1The video is also available in BitChute.

Pray for Lebanon - Beirut Blast - Beirut Port
Jordanian Earthquake Monitoring Center recorded the power of the explosion as 4.2 degrees on the Richter scale.

We’ve detailed much about the presumed cause of the explosion in our previous post yesterday, not much new known since. However, one retired Lebanese army general suggested that the insane quantity of 50 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate stored in the port and caused the explosion and orange air is the quantity confiscated by the Lebanese authorities onboard the Lutf Allah ship. This ship was carrying the material used in explosives for the Syrian FSA (Free Syrian Army) ‘moderate rebels’ back in 2012. His story needs corroboration, the more circulated story speaks of a shipment of Nitrate Ammonium confiscated from the MV Rhosus which was heading from Georgia to Mozambique and had an unscheduled stop at Beirut back in 2014.

Oddly enough, merely 4 months ago and after all these years a report by the Lebanese General Security Agency warned of the dangers of storing this substance now in unstable conditions at the port. The level of incompetence due to the political corruption in the country led to no actions taken to hand over the highly explosive Ammonium Nitrate in that massive quantity to the Lebanese Army who has better expertise and is much more qualified and legally tasked to handle any explosive material, the report was neglected. Coincidences rarely happen in the dark world of intelligence wars and yes I’m suggesting this might be an act of sabotage based on this information.

This explosion occurred a couple of days prior to the final decision, scheduled on the 7th of August, of the International Tribunal for the killing of Rafic Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister who was killed in a blast that shook Beirut back in February 2004 and his trial was highly politicized including by his own son Saad Hariri who inherited the post from his father and fabricated false witnesses testimonies to first accuse Syria of the crime, later exonerated, then moved to accuse Hezb Allah, with no evidence at all, instead, all the evidence point to Israel, but we will not know the reality, despite the anticipated report by the International Court, as the US officials will do all their best to benefit from the trial.

Many countries offered help, notably among them were Syria and Iran, the two countries sharing the Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ efforts to destroy the livelihood of their people. Syrian President Bashar Al Assad sent a telegram to his Lebanese counterpart Michelle Aoun offering all help Lebanon needs within Syria’s capabilities, a very generous and honorable gesture knowing the hardness Syria is going through due to the US-led ‘War of Terror‘, ‘Economic Terrorism‘, and ‘War of Attrition‘ waged against the Syrian people. Worth noting that many Lebanese officials boycott Syria, including the Lebanese president and the prime minister, upon US instructions.

Similarly, Iran offered all help it can possibly deliver to Lebanon. Those same Lebanese officials boycotting Syria are also refusing any help offered from Iran for the same reasons: obeying the US instructions.

The embattled US Trump suggested the explosion is due to a bombing of some sort and offered help to Lebanon, naturally, the US officials instantly know very well causes of large mostly mysterious disasters targeting other countries of such, yet the US officials fail to address natural disasters of any scale in their own country, be it a tsunami, a wildfire, or a seasonal storm, even a pandemic.

The Turkish madman Erdogan took the advantage of the disaster and offered help; the Turkish pariah has been waiting for any opportunities to set his feet in the country, similar to other countries like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and others, to revive his Ottoman Sultanate, the most hated buried empire in the history of the region. Turkish ‘intelligence’ agents have been working hard to influence local parties in the Lebanese northern city of Tripoli in preparation for intervention when needed.

The Beirut Port, now totally destroyed, was Lebanon’s main port of trade with the world handling up to 70% of the country’s demands, the other 30% comes from Syria. Lebanese officials, mentioned above, were trying to block that 30% through Syria completely, now it’s their only hope, and Syria offered help and continue to supply Lebanon with much of the electric power it consumes, despite the hardship Syria itself suffers from Trump stealing its oil and gas northeast of the country and his terrorists bombing Syria’s electric power stations and the country’s main refinery.

All wheat stored in the silos at Beirut Port has been spilled and spoiled due to the explosion. Lebanon facing a US-made economic crisis now needs food to compensate for this unexpected loss.

Lebanon needs sincere prayers, sincere humanitarian help and help to find whoever was behind this act if it’s an act of terrorism and bring them to justice, the last thing it needs is more evil acts from the same criminals who were pushing the country into the abyss for years, especially the USA and its Israel.

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Syrian Diaries: 9 Years of War

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

It’s now the tenth year since protests turned into war in Syria. Veterans and a TV cameraman look back on how they first got caught up in a conflict they didn’t understand. They share with RT Documentary the memories of bullets and explosions they live with, the losses they’ve experienced, and how their homeland has been changed by violence.

Trump’s Kurdish SDF Criminals: More Ethnic Cleansing in Qamishli

Source

July 12, 2020 Miri Wood

Bomb detonated in front of Virgin Mary Church - Qamishli - Hasakah Syria

The Trump regime’s SDF mercenaries continue to engage in the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Syrians from the Qamishli area of the Levantine republic. Local news has reported another attempted bombing of the Church of the Virgin Mary along with two other, unnamed churches, and the closure of fourteen Christian schools in the northeastern region of the country, under the protection of American illegal military troops.

Though the NATO-armed SDF (Arabic acronym, Qasad) militia is claimed to be Kurds yearning to breathe free, the traitorous separatists have merely been cannon fodder under an umbrella gang of foreign wetworkers from various NATO countries, under the protection of war criminal US military. The murderous fodder against Syrians were originally the YPG, but as this gang of thugs is on America’s terrorist list, Pentagon leaders under Obama declared a new name was required, to better market these thugs who have kidnapped Syrians, torched Syrian wheat fields, slaughtered Syrian law enforcement. In short, these terrorists are attempting to ethnically cleanse native Syrians from their land.

qamishli, syria
Liters of blood of the Syrian martyrs in Qamishli, slaughtered by US SDF. [Archive, September 2018]


On 1 July, as a preemptive threat against the probability of Russia and China thwarting an extension of the new Sykes-Picot UN/NATO Treaty, Trump’s ambassador Kelly Craft warned of [more] mass graves in the S.A.R. should the NATO dictum not be accepted. Almost immediately upon the expiration of Security Council Resolution 2504 (2020), news came of another impending false flag chemical attack by al Qaeda operatives occupying Idlib, along with a strange blackmail attempt by certain al Qaeda factions against American illegal Bilal Abdul Kareem — the release of his degenerate, naked selfies (which the friend of child beheaders subsequently referred to as family photos) — the same terrorist faction which recently abducted Tauqir ‘Tox’ Sharif, Brit illegal from a Syrian home which he and his also English wife had been occupying.

afp
Al Qaeda FSA/Zinki branch kidnapped a child & proudly videoed themselves carving off his head.

Demonstrating the utter arrogance western colonialism — even while NATO countries hypocritically decry US racism, and westerners continue to feign concern over the brutal murder of George Floyd, using his death as a cover story to break from the COVID-19 lockdown — imperialist pathogenic illegals in Syria claim that the church was bombed by ISIS.

That there is no such place as Rojava is of no concern when it comes to the rancid white man’s burden to impose empire on nation-states. A gaggle of NATO operatives — represented by a Brit, an American, and a Frenchie — have been squatting in northeast Syria since 2018, and have created the imperial Rojava Information Center, a NATO independent “media bridge” from the separatist, Israelized, Kurds, to the “outside [NATO] world” (because ordinary Syrian Kurds could never run their own newspaper, without NATO operatives).

The war criminal hypocrisy of such humanitarian bastards is a bottomless pit of depravity. Ignoring the fact that the US armed SDF previously blown up vehicles near the Church of the Virgin Mary, that they have stolen Syrian homes and kidnapped Syrian children, forcing them into criminal conscription, this NATO-sponsored gang under the protection of the Trump regime illegals in the SAR, have ironically claimed that the US-created ISIS committed the bombing in Qamishli to disturb the Garden of Eden enjoyed by the US-created SDF and Muslim Arabs and Arab Christians trying to break free of their native country. The vicious sadism of this colonial criminality is further flouted in the incestuous reporting on the ‘RIC’ by the Defense Post/Global Post NATO independent sites created by a Turkish student who allegedly came to the US to study but decided to stay.

Let the western world not be fake concerned over domestic racism while flouting support for peak colonialism.

Let Trump’s imperialism in Syria be brought to an end.

— Miri Wood

Idlib Terrorists Plot Chemical False Flag after US Diplomat Chirps about ‘Mass Graves’

Source

July 9, 2020 Miri Wood

OPCW manipulated Douma chemical attack report - mass grave

A new false flag chemical attack plan in the al Qaeda haven of Idlib has been uncovered, days after American diplomat Kelly Craft warned of (threatened?) “mass graves” in Syria, unless UNSCR 2504 was extended by the Security Council, and one day after part of the new Sykes-Picot project was vetoed by Russia and China.

Security Council Resolution 2504 (2020) was a 6-month extension on 2449 (2018) which was an extension on 2165 (2014).

Trump’s top diplomat at the Security Council of the UN was threatening with an outbreak of COVID 19 in the areas the terrorists control (link above), seems there is also a plan B, and maybe more for false flags; ‘all options on the table’ as the US warlords prefer to say.

Via 2165 (2014), poisoned vaccines were brought into Syria from Turkey.

As reported in SANA, the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim announced that under the direction of European special intelligence operatives illegally in Syria, terrorists “are preparing to stage a false flag chemical attack in a number of towns in Idleb countryside.”

chemical-attacks
White Helmets and the UN – OPCW

Intelligence sources informed the Coordination Center that fifteen “explosive devices filled with unknown toxic materials” were produced in a laboratory in Sarmada, with plans to explode them in Sfouhen, Fatira, and Flaifel in order to blame the Syrian Arab Army and the government of using chemical weapons.

Is it some stunning coincidence that a new false flag chemical attack comes on the heels of Craft’s warning/threat of imminent mass graves, given that the previous false flag — thwarted when the incompetent al Qaeda terrorists injured themselves — was in early March, when Craft, Raab, Jeffrey, and Lowcock were in Turkey, to give moral support to Madman Erdogan, for his war crimes against Syria?

How utterly bereft of human decency is the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, practically salivating over the fantasy of ”mass graves.” One might wonder if she enjoyed “The War of Terror Through Forensic Medicine.”

How utterly bereft of human decency is this diplomat, sadistically implying that the UN’s NATO Klan has a backup plan to unleash COVID into the Syrian Arab Republic — because burning wheat fields, and attempting to starve the population via criminal Caesar and stealing Syrian oil is not enough war criminal activity.

This is a precarious time for another false flag chemical attack against Syria. The world’s human garbage that has been dumped into the Levantine republic are at each other’s throats. Foreign terrorists in Idlib are now kidnapping each other and someone has just released pervy nude selfies of the American illegal Bilal Abdul Kareem, the degenerate who legitimized the beheading of 12 year old Syrian-Palestinian Abdullah Issa by the al Zinki division of the FSA, and who has glorified the butchery of savages on the US Treasury SDN list.

Such a false flag would also give Trump a bit of respite from ongoing media attacks. After all, the transatlantic warmongering NATO stenographers did give him a standing ovation when he bombed Syria for al Qaeda, on 7 April 2017.

— Miri Wood

UPDATE:

On cue for another false flag to legitimize another war criminal bombing of the SAR by NATO colonialists, the contemptible OPCW has entered with another round of vicious Goebbels Lies. As Syria News has meticulously dissected several of its previous propaganda missives, this author refers our readership to them.

The organization betrayed its noble cause when it ejected Jose Bustani per the demand of Dick Cheney, via his lapdog, the neocon’s neocon, John Bolton — now deified by Operation Mockingbird liberals.

Related:

Trump Threatens Syria for al-Qaeda Occupiers of Idlib

https://www.syrianews.cc/trump-threatens-syria-for-al-qaeda-occupiers-of-idlib/embed/#?secret=4P6V6AsRiT

On Tuesday’s Massive Criminal Chemical Weapons Lies against Syria

https://www.syrianews.cc/tuesdays-criminal-chemical-weapons-lies-syria/embed/#?secret=GoiFtgQ7f9

Nobody Noticed Trump Followed CNN against Syria?

https://www.syrianews.cc/nobody-noticed-trump-followed-cnn-against-syria/embed/#?secret=vshQgBy8Bz

True History of FSA Chemical Weapons Threats against Syria

https://www.syrianews.cc/true-history-fsa-chemical-weapons-threats-syria/embed/#?secret=RP3jP0wTsC

The War of Terror on Syria Through Forensic Medicine – GRAPHIC

Schizophrenic Erdogan Condemns Himself in a Summit with Putin and Rouhani

Source

July 1, 2020 Arabi Souri

Russian Putin Iranian Rouhani Turkish Erdogan - Video conference on Syria

The joint statement issued after the video conference meeting between the Russian President Mr. Putin, the Iranian President Mr. Rouhani, and the head of the Turkish regime the madman Erodgan today 01 July 2020 stated:


The Presidents:
Rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.”

Does Erdogan understand that ‘rejecting all attempts to create new realities on the ground’ includes the Turkification of the lands under the Turkish illegal occupation northwest and northeast of Syria?

Did Erdogan read the statement? Does he understand the meaning of ‘standing against separatist agendas aimed to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria’, that it includes illegal incursion into Syria’s territories by his military and his terrorists?

The joint statement adds:

“Expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to the Syrian Arab Republic.”

That this also includes the oil seized and stolen by the Turkish-backed FSA (and all the terrorist organizations under its banner including ISIS and Nusra Front and others)?

“Reaffirmed the determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, while ensuring the protection of the civilians and civilian infrastructure in accordance with the international humanitarian law.”

All of these entities named in this paragraph are sponsored directly by the Turkish regime, they receive all their logistic support and all the protection they need from Turkey and the al-Qaeda terrorists were even embedded with the Turkish Army TSK in their attacks against the Syrian Arab Army on Syrian soil…!

Erdogan stealing Syrian Wheat - Burning Syrian Wheat Fields
Erdogan stealing Syrian Wheat – Burning Syrian Wheat Fields – Cartoon by @Natali_AlA

The statement adds that The Presidents:

“Reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and underscored the necessity to maintain calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib.

Expressed grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Syria and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rejected all unilateral sanctions which are in contravention of international law, international humanitarian law, and the UN Charter, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasized, in this regard, the critical need to ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Syria in order to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, and, called upon the international community, particularly the UN and its humanitarian agencies, to increase their assistance to all Syrians without discrimination, politicization, and preconditions.”

A safe and unhindered humanitarian access means not controlled or targeted by al-Qaeda, Nusra Front, Grey Wolves, Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, Turkestan Islamist Party, and all other FSA groups sponsored by Turkey. The UN and its humanitarian agencies do not include as well the Nusra Front’s ‘first responders’ aka the White Helmets.

“Reaffirmed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. Emphasized in this regard the important role of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, created as a result of the decisive contribution of the Astana guarantors and the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Welcomed the agreement to hold the third meeting of the Constitutional Committee in August 2020 and reaffirmed the readiness to support its work through continuous interaction with its members and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen, as facilitator, in order to ensure its sustainable and effective work.”

The statement clearly says: ‘Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process,’ which means without Turkish interference to influence or insert members of the Turkish regime and on its payroll.

“Highlighted the need to facilitate safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria, ensuring their right to return and right to be supported.”

This literally means not to use the refugees to threaten Europe with, or to push them into despair and have them join Erdogan’s military and terrorist adventures in Libya, Yemen, and Qatar, and elsewhere as well.

“Reaffirmed the necessity to respect universally recognized international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council Resolution 497 and thus condemned the decision of the US Administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which constitutes a grave violation of international law and threatens regional peace and security. They consider Israeli military attacks in Syria as destabilizing and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country and intensifying the tension in the region.”

Condemning the US decision on the occupied Syrian Golan means bringing up the topic with both the Israelis and Donald Trump’s regime of war and terror, not to be part of the ‘Greater Israel Project‘ as tasked by George W. Bush and continue to do so many years later until this very day.

And considering Israeli military attacks in Syria as violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity also means not to allow the Israelis safe passage to bomb Syrian facilities in Aleppo from the north!

I’m speechless, the Turkish Madman Erdogan is known to be opportunistic, a backstabber, and a hypocrite, but his ability of acting and appearing like a decent human being is really astonishing, well, unless there are two different Erdogans with totally opposite manners?!

Video report:

Hearing is Not Like Seeing: NATO’s Terrorists Burning Syrian Wheat Crops – Video

Why Is This Even a Story: Russians Allegedly Paid Afghans to Kill US Soldiers?

Source

June 29, 2020 Arabi Souri

Taliban Mujaheddin fighters in Afghanistan - Russia USSR USA

The New York Times is pushing this story, denied by Trump and his war ministry the Pentagon and his ‘intelligence’ services publicly, that Russia is running a plot paying bounties to Afghan recruits of Taliban and others to kill US troops in Afghanistan.

What were the Afghan Taliban and most of the Afghan fighters doing all the past 19 years exactly? Maybe distributing flowers to the US occupation troops who were giving them chocolate in return!

The New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US troops
The New York Times Breaking News on an alleged Russian bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US troops.
This comes after Trump made some vague announcement on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And, of course, the mainstream media jump to spread the explosive news that were uncovered by the ‘exceptional’ work of the New York Times:

Mainstream Media Hype on New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers
Mainstream Media hype on New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers story

That’s one side, what if Russia actually paid Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers? What’s wrong with that? Didn’t the US overtly arm the same Afghan fighters to kill Soviet troops in Afghanistan including with surface to air missiles paid for by the Saudis and the US taxpayers to shoot down Soviet planes and copters killing Russians?!

US President Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen plotting to kill Soviet Troops
US President Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen (later to be al-Qaeda) plotting to kill Soviet (mainly Russian) troops
Afghan Mujahideen al Qaeda US Surface to Air Missiles to Kill Russians and USSR Soldiers
Afghan Mujahideen al Qaeda US Surface to Air Missiles to Kill Russians and USSR Soldiers

Just a reminder to the USAians: Afghanistan was directly on the Soviet Union southern borders; the USA is across the planet, like literally on the other side of the planet, if you look at the globe and find the USA just look at the other side of the globe and you’ll find Afghanistan. Flat-Earthers: The USA is a 1 full day, that’s 24 hours trip from New York (the closest city on the eastern US coast) to Afghanistan!

The USA considers Venezuela and all of Central America and South America as their backyard and they share borders only with Mexico, Russia is 4 hours flight from Afghanistan and that’s from Kabul to Moscow, not the distance between two border cities and not the closest two points…

New York to Kabul flight - google search
New York to Kabul flight – Google search

Also a reminder to USAians, during her confirmation hearings Clinton bragged that the US created al Qaeda and armed al Qaeda and that this was a good idea.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dqn0bm4E9yw

It’s only because the US presidential elections race has started and they want to confirm that Trump is a Russian asset, the thing they failed to prove in their lengthy costly ridiculous Muller investigations that revealed so many other things except this one. And this is not to defend Trump, he’s a lunatic war criminal, rather fearing he will impose more sanctions on Russia and push the already tense relations into further escalation to prove he’s not a Russian asset, just like how they played him all the past almost 4 years on every single subject they wanted him to act as tough on, remember his orders to withdraw from Syria?

image-A 70 Years Old President of the USA Donald J. Trump
A 70 Years Old President of the USA Donald J. Trump

Can we talk about the direct and indirect overt and covert aid the USA and all its stooges and lackeys (Turkey, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Australians, Gulfies, Canada, Denmark, Israel…) gave to terrorists of Al-Qaeda and all its derivatives (FSA, Nusra Front, HTS, ISISFaylaq RahmanMaghawir Thawra, Khalid Army, Jaysh Al-Islam, Turkestan Islamist Party……..) to kill and maim Syrian soldiers and Syrian civilians in Syria? Iraqis in Iraq? Lebanese in Lebanon? Libyans in Libya? Iranians in Iran? …. in ….?

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

THE CAESAR ACT: THE LATEST WESTERN ATTACK ON SYRIA DIDN’T DROP FROM A PLANE

Source

Eva Bartlett

As Syria struggles to recover from over a decade of US-imposed conflict, it faces a new deadly threat in the form of sweeping sanctions under the Caesar Act.

by Eva Bartlett, June 19th, 2020, Mint Press News

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Wounded Syrian soldiers, Talib Mu’alla (left) & Inad Ahmed (right)

Talib Mu’alla served as a soldier in the Syrian Arab Army before he was wounded in Aleppo in 2014. As he described the multiple shots he took to his body, I thought it remarkable that he survived.

“A shot (bullet) to my chest, a shot to my stomach, three shots in my spine. My chest, stomach, and intestines ruptured, and I lost a kidney. I was also shot in the right side of my face,” he recounted. “I fell into a coma for 25 days, then woke for a few days and fell back into a coma for another 16 or 17 days. It took two years for me to be able to walk again.”Talib was discharged from the army after his injuries and has since joined an auxiliary of the army. “From  2011 until now, I haven’t taken off my uniform. And I won’t take it off until the war is finished,” he said.

The media’s monsters

As a consequence of the war on Syria, there has been immeasurable loss: the destruction of historic places like Palmyra, Maaloula (the ancient Aramaic village northeast of Damascus), Aleppo’s souqs; and the destruction of city districts in the fight against terrorism. Aleppo’s souqs were being carefully restored when I traveled to Syria in March. Yet, there is still much rebuilding to do and thanks to the Caesar Act, that just got harder.

More appalling than the destruction of Syria’s historic places is the human loss, civilian and military alike. Regarding the latter, little concern is meted out by Western press over the deaths and maiming of members of Syria’s national army. On the contrary, the Syrian Arab Army is portrayed in Western media and by Western politicians as murderers and thugs personally belonging to President Assad and not to Syria.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and indeed countless videos and anecdotes of Syrian soldiers putting their lives on the line in order to protect and save civilians from terrorists are available for any who wish to see them. The army is a conscript army but also includes career soldiers and men and women who voluntarily joined in order to defend their country.

Last August, I interviewed the Syrian Arab Army’s Head of Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan. He noted that the Syrian army “includes in each of its formations, soldiers from all Syrian governorates, with no exception.” This defies Western media’s portrayal of the Syrian army as “Assad’s army” or their claims that those fighting “rebels” (terrorists) are only from the Alawi sect. These types of claims are put forth in an attempt to create the illusion that in Syria, it has been President Assad and “his forces” against disenchanted Sunnis, an utterly false claim.[Read: A Syrian Leader Tells His Country’s Story: An Interview with SAA General Hassan Hassan ]

This sectarianism exists largely in the minds of those backing terrorism in Syria, be they Saudi, Turkish, Qatari, or Western leaders.

When I asked General Hassan to speak more on the army, he replied:

The two greatest armies in modern history have failed to achieve what the Syrian Army has accomplished. In Afghanistan, fewer than 10 percent of the number of terrorists in Syria were able to defeat two armies: the Red Soviet Army and the U.S. Army.

But, the Syrian Army defeated such terrorism. The Syrian Army fought battles that can be classified as new in military science. The Syrian Army fought above ground and underground battles in addition to their battles against the media war, intelligence war, information war, economic war, gang and street-to-street wars. Despite all of that, the Syrian Army achieved victory. Therefore, can we imagine the magnitude of the sacrifices made in this respect by the Syrian Army?”

On various trips to and around Syria over the years I’ve encountered Syrian soldiers in hot zones where terrorists linger nearby and in liberated areas, at checkpoints and in hospitals. Many are young, and others are grey-haired, proud to be serving in the defense of their country and citizens.

Palmyra, July 2016
Aleppo, November 2016

Many drive taxis in their off-hours to compensate for the meagr salary they receive, a salary that doesn’t compare to the hefty salaries paid to members of Gulf and Turkish-backed armed militants.

Together, and with the help of Syria’s allies, they staved off some of the most heinous and powerfully-backed terrorists the modern world has known, but at a great price.

The numbers of wounded soldiers, particularly critically-wounded, are not published, so it is hard to gauge just how large their numbers are. However, given that the war on Syria has raged for nearly a decade, with soldiers fighting well-armed terrorists from around the world–terrorists with the backing of the U.S.-led coalition in Syria — the numbers of martyred and maimed can only be tragically-high.

Wounded veterans prepare for life after war

Given that the U.S. government frequently criticizes the government of Syria for not taking care of its citizens, it’s worth reflecting on the shameful manner in which the U.S. neglects its own veterans of war. But in Syria, a myriad of associations work with war-wounded soldiers to provide prosthetic limbs and rehabilitate them after their injuries, giving them life skills to work or start their own businesses.

Jerih al-Watan (The Wounded of the Homeland), is a veteran support program founded in 2014 by the Syrian Presidency with the support of the Syrian Trust For Development and medical experts. The aim of Jerih al-Watan, according to its Facebook page, is “providing adequate care and appropriate rehabilitation to secure a decent life for the wounded,” from the army, popular defense forces, and internal security forces.”

Jerih al-Watan focuses on physical rehabilitation, social and psychological support as well as vocational training for jobs ranging from construction to food production.

The latter is what I saw last week when I traveled to the Qardaha region in northwestern Syria. A region I had not previously visited, Qardaha is a paradise that the average person may not associate with Syria, as many mistakenly imagine the country to be all desert. It is not, of course.

Traveling a familiar route from Damascus to the coast, I passed rows of greenhouses and the citrus and banana trees that are prevalent in the Tartous and Latakia region and finally moved up along a road lined with pine trees and wildflowers, winding up through the mountainous hills of Qardaha. Photos of martyred soldiers appeared when passing through Qardaha itself, as they do all over Syria.

I reached the training point, where, in the evening, a gorgeous pink sunset descended over the layered hills, the sea in the distance.

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Soldiers were receiving training in the skills of cheese and yogurt making, staples of the Syrian diet. They were first shown how to make the products, then had a hand at making them themselves. The final results were the delicious spice-colored yogurt balls and black-sesame-laden cheeses that are ubiquitous in Syria’s restaurants.

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With these skills, the soldiers are able to start a small enterprise and support their families.

In between training sessions, wounded soldiers sat chatting in the shade. With their permission, I spoke with some of them about their injuries and feelings about having served in the army. With injuries ranging from vision and speech impairments to difficulties walking or loss of hands, I was struck by the graceful confidence of the injured soldiers.

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Instead of wallowing in their injuries, they looked to future prospects, improving their knowledge to improve their lives.

A reservist in the army, Ayet Yusef was wounded in 2013 while serving in Aleppo. “We were attacked at 2 am by armed terrorist gangs. A clash occurred, during which I was wounded by shrapnel in my left eye. I lost sight in that eye. But after treatment, it is now fine.” Yusef, like most wounded soldiers I’ve met, is proud of having served, and even prouder of his injury. “We raise our heads to the sky. We were in the Syrian Arab Army and that is an honor for us. And if they now asked me to serve again, no problem,” he said.

Another soldier, 30-year-old Du’a Ijna, had difficulty speaking as he explained how he was injured in 2011. “We were on patrol in Khan Sheikhoun (Idlib),” he recalled, “A terrorist group attacked and I was wounded by shrapnel to my brain. That affected my hands, legs, and speech. I was paralyzed for a month and a half, but after physiotherapy, it got a little better.”

Jaafar Badran was injured in 2016 while serving in Aleppo. His injury left him without his right hand or left leg. “We resisted the terrorism, and there will be martyrs and wounded among us, and that’s okay. What matters is the country returns to stability.”

Inad Ahmed was injured while serving in Tulul al-Himr, al-Qunaytra. “I was shot in my spinal column, and for three years I couldn’t walk.” Ahmed now walks with a severe limp but speaks with a smile. “I have to be optimistic about what I’m going through and keep looking ahead. What happened happened.”

Just beyond the training location, a beautiful sunset burst out and I thought about the many wounded soldiers, some whose lives were disrupted forever, others who overcame major injuries to the point they could walk, or at least hobble, again. They were all gracious. Some on the shy side, others — including men whose injuries were the worst — gregarious and humorous. Spending time with them was humbling, but also reaffirmed what I already knew about the army: they are some of the most courageous people I’ve met and those who write lies about them should hang their heads in shame for being so far from the truth.

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Post-training photo of the group of soldiers who received vocational training. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Initiatives like this, teaching and encouraging economic self-reliance, are more critically-important than ever these days in Syria. After over nine years of war and relentless sanctions on the country, Syria’s economy is as shattered as the cities formerly occupied by terrorist groups. Neither would be devastated had the U.S. and allies not launched its clandestine war against Syria, but they did, and the economic war on Syria will only worsen.

The Syrian Trust, a nonprofit national development organization headed by the first lady of Syria, has been quietly helping soldiers with rehabilitation and prosthetics as well as giving them training, even supplying machinery and other equipment needed for small businesses.

In November 2016, after having visited Aleppo for the fourth time just weeks before the city was finally liberated from the array of terrorist gangs occupying its eastern and southern regions, freeing the people of the hell on earth they’d endured for years — I was back in Damascus and visited the Hamish Hospital in Barzeh, where Jarih al-Watan was manufacturing prosthetic limbs performing physiotherapy for wounded soldiers.

There, I saw many soldiers going through differing degrees of physiotherapy and rehabilitation after having been injured. Many were without one or both legs, others missing hands and arms.

I met Ali, a 30-year-old soldier who lost both his legs in a mine blast a year prior on the Khanasser road to Aleppo. The first time I went to Aleppo in July, the taxi driver told me that Da’esh (ISIS) routinely creeps onto the road at night to lay mines and the SAA in the morning has to clear them so the road is safe for civilians and transport trucks.

Ali was a slight young man, and emblematic of the stoic, strong nature of Syrians fighting this war against terror and for their country. Ten days after losing his lower legs, Ali was walking on artificial ones. When I met him, he was finishing physiotherapy and wants to go back to defending Syria.

I am discharged from the army but I want to go back. We want this war to be over.”

He isn’t the only gravely wounded soldier I’ve met who wanted to return to service. In May 2018, Syrian soldier and incredible photographer Wassim Issa was gravely injured in a terrorist landmine blast that blew off both his lower legs and left him in a coma for two days. When I visited him in the hospital three days after his injury, he was sitting up in bed wearing a huge smile at my visit. Although I already knew him to be a courageous and gentle man, I was surprised at how upbeat he was, having just escaped death and lost his ability to walk.

In subsequent visits over the years, Wassim maintained his positivity that he would walk again. Indeed, by October 2018 Wassim had been fitted with prosthetic limbs and done the needed physio in order to walk again.

On one of my visits, he told me: “I don’t need money, I don’t need a house, I just need peace for my country.”49115126_10161491800425651_446505113624772608_n

A screenshot from a news report shows Wassim Issa in January 2019 via the Facebook page, “Here Lattakia

I met Captain Ali, a Syrian pilot and soldier who was injured five times (more, actually, but he only counts the major injuries), several times in Latakia in July and August of 2016. He was shot by a sniper, the bullet going through his arm, sniped through his hip, shot in his head (requiring 26 stitches), received shrapnel in his chest, and finally lost his left leg to a Da’esh suicide bomber.

Captain Ali was awarded the Russian Medal of courage for his work in the Latakia countryside. He also had stories of the helicopter he was flying being hit on three different occasions but not being downed.

His personality was a mixture of humility, confidence, humour.

Captain Ali in Latakia hospital, 2016

*Meeting with Captain Ali in a Latakia hospital in 2016. Photo | Eva Bartlett

And in Aleppo this past March, I met Ahmed Abo Alkef, 29, in then recently-liberated al-Zahra’a, Aleppo. Alkef joined the army in June 2010 and was close to fulfilling his conscription service when he was shot in the head by a terrorist sniper, leaving him in a coma for several months.

He is now paralyzed on one side of his body, the bullet still in his skull. Like other soldiers I’ve spoken with, Alkef without hesitation to my question replied he is proud of serving in the army and proud of his injury, life-shattering as it is.

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Ahmed Abo Alkef, half-paralyzed by his injury after being sniped to his head.

In the Barzeh Center physiotherapy training hall, Ali walked with a young man who appeared to be around the same age, also missing his lower legs.

At the prosthetics factory, the Director, Dr. Yousef Sarraj, stressed that in his experience 25 percent of those patients they treat request artificial limbs specifically with the intent of returning to the battlefront to defend Syria, including the ten officers who are currently waiting for limbs so they return to the battlefront.

While there, the power briefly went out and roughly 20 seconds later, the generators kicked in. Dr. Sarraj noted: “We can overcome problems of power, but we can’t overcome the problem of getting raw materials for the prosthetics.”

Unsurprisingly, Western sanctions on Syria include prohibiting key materials needed in prosthetic limbs manufacturing, including (among many things) resin, the primary material used in the manufacture. According to Dr. Sarraj, to acquire 100 kg of resin would take around one year.

Meeting the needs of sanctions-ravaged Syrians

In addition to its work with injured soldiers, the Syrian Trust For Development also focuses on providing micro-credit, assisting disabled Syrians, supporting children with cancer, rural development, supporting families of missing persons, supporting victims of sexual violence, culture, and heritage, and children’s and women’s issues.

In October 2016, I visited a community center in Barzeh, Damascus, supported by the Syrian Trust. The community center manager, Ahmad al-Khodr told me the center had opened in 2015 and served a diverse community.

“There is a lot of political and religious diversity here in Barzeh, as many people from all over Syria left their homes, due to the war, and settled here in Barzeh. In this community center, you’ll see a small glimpse of Syrian communities around the country. Every day there are more than 400 beneficiaries here, between children, men, and women.

Barzeh and nearby Aysh al-Warwar had big battles. The FSA (Free Syrian Army) was there for a long time. In 2014, there was reconciliation here between the Syrian army and the FSA. This community center is very near the region under truce. So this place is more diverse than other regions of Damascus (in terms of political leanings).”

He explained the Trust’s approach to assisting those in need:

We study the cases to know what are the needs of the people here. We visit their houses. We don’t implement any plan without knowing what is needed and knowing that the plan will meet their needs.

We have a law department which, among other things, helps people who have lost their identity papers during the war.”

Vocational training is offered at the center, including teaching women to sew and men to paint homes.

Sewing training at Barzeh community centre

We also support them with courses on how they can start their own businesses, how to market their products and business. After the workshop we provide them money to start their own businesses, some are loans and others they don’t need to repay. After the courses, we connect the beneficiaries with factories or places of work. And others start their own small businesses.”

Khodr explained that psychological support is offered to women whose husbands were martyred or kidnapped by the FSA or other terrorist groups and to victims of domestic violence. “We teach them to know their rights,” he said.

Children also received psychological support, and for children who have left school because of the war, the Trust gives them special classes to get caught up enough to return to schools.

“This applies to children up to baccalaureate level. We also have classes for people who never studied, elderly who don’t know how to write or read. They receive a certificate from the Syrian government.”

I asked about the women whose husbands might have been members of the FSA or other terrorist groups. “Aren’t you worried that the women will earn money and give it to their husband, to the fighters?”

Khoder replied, “The people who live here are very poor, very in need. They want to live, eat, sleep in peace, they won’t be giving their money to fighters, they need it simply to live. Here we work with beneficiaries as people, not numbers. Other NGOs (UN etc) you’ll see them working in high-class clothing. Here we work with them as brothers and sisters. We work with them whatever their religious or political view. We work with them as humans. They are our brothers and sisters in Syria.”

This last point, about how the Trust deals with those it helps, I saw for myself when Trust employees were talking with the injured soldiers receiving vocational training. They indeed took an interest in the soldiers’ lives, engaging with them as fellow Syrians, to the point that when it was learned that it was the one year birthday of a soldier’s daughter, a cake was procured and we visited the family.

Over the tabbouleh and kibbeh the family offered, as the birthday girl wobbled around the room charming all, the grandfather, himself having served many years in the army, spoke with pride about his wounded son’s service. The personal insights gleaned from conversations and from seeing the state of homes helps the Trust to assess their needs, even needs not mentioned by recipients themselves.

More misery from the West: increased sanctions

In 2020, it’s no secret, and no longer debatable, that the misery Syria’s people have faced for almost a decade—the relentless, savage, terrorism of civilians and military alike—is a product of Western, particularly American, covert and overt meddling.

Western countries use forums like the United Nations as well as government-funded media to further their goals and distort the reality about events on the ground in Syria. The West supports terrorist gangs who have slaughtered and pillaged since the war on Syria started in 2011. In fact, the West and its Gulf allies instigated the non-revolution, flooding money and weapons into Syria before the first protests even emerged.

AsI wrote in 2015:


In 2002, then-Under Secretary of State John Bolton added Syria (and Libya, Cuba) to the “rogue states” of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil,”…meaning Syria was on the list of countries to “bring democracy to” (aka destroy) even back then.

Anthony Cartalucci’s “U.S. Planned Syrian Civilian Catastrophe Since 2007” laid out a number of pivotal statements and events regarding not only the war on Syria but also the events which would be falsely-dubbed the “Arab Spring.” Points include:

  • General Wesley Clark’s revelation of U.S. plans to destroy the governments of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
  • Seymour Hersh’s 2007 “The Redirection” on NATO and allies’ arming and training of sectarian extremists to create sectarian divide in Lebanon, Syria and beyond.

The 2009 Brookings Institution report, “Which Path to Persia?,” on plans to weaken Syria and Lebanon, to later attack Iran.

Further, asreported:

  • U.S. funding to the Syrian opposition began flowing under the Bush administration in 2005.
  • Since its founding in October 2011, the Syrian National Council has received $20.4 million from Libya, $15 million from Qatar, $5 million from the UAE.

Former French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Roland Dumas, in aJune 2013 TV interview spoke of his meeting (two years prior) with British officials who confessed that:

Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned….”


The Caesar Act

The recent passage of the Caesar Act is the newest level of criminality targeting Syria, even the name of the act is based on a lie. An implementation of yet further brutal sanctions against the people of Syria, it will cause immense suffering, all under the premise of targeting Syria’s leadership and helping Syria’s people. The flawed and hypocritical logic is one which the U.S. has applied to tens of nations who have refused to cower to its hegemony.

Even U.S. envoy for Syria James Jeffrey has acknowledged America’s intentional destruction of Syria’s economy, allegedly stating recently that the sanctions, “contributed to the collapse of the value of the Syrian pound… the Syrian regime is no longer able to manage an effective economic policy… due to the economic crisis that is also affecting Lebanon. ”

In the same statement, Jeffrey claimed the sanctions will “protect” Syrians, a comment far from reality.

Recall that after the sanctions-induced murder of between one million-one and a half million civilians in Iraq, the Western narrative of sanctions as merely targeting leaders of nations has long been exposed for the malevolent lie that it is.

The website Sanctions Kill notes that “Sanctions are imposed by the United States and its junior partners against countries that resist their agendas. They are a weapon of Economic War, resulting in chronic shortages of basic necessities, economic dislocation, chaotic hyperinflation, artificial famines, disease, and poverty. In every country, the poorest and the weakest – infants, children, the chronically ill and the elderly – suffer the worst impact of sanctions.”

In Venezuela, sanctions led to the deaths of 40,000 Venezuelans in 2018 alone.

Heavily-sanctioned for years, Syria faces the same risks.

As Syrian-American activist, Johnny Achi, told me:

The sanctions on Syria have been imposed since I could remember. Firstly in 1979, when the U.S. first designated Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism for its roll in support of the PLO and the Palestinian cause.

‏In 2004, a new set of sanctions was imposed by Bush the son after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and after Syria refusing to kneel to the demands of the new world order.

Since the so-called “uprisings” began in March 2011, the Obama administration intensely pursued calibrated sanctions to deprive the Syrian government of the resources it needs to quell the terror and violence inflicted on the Syrian population by Obama’s supported Nusra and ISIS terror groups, and to pressure the Syrian president to give in and resign, “to allow for a democratic transition as the Syrian people demand.” Which could not be further away from the truth, since President Assad, by most Western reports, continued to enjoy no less than 70% popularity amongst all Syrians.

All these sanctions up to the new Caesar Act were bearable since Syria has always pride itself of being self-sufficient economically and never needed help from the international community, and refused to be in debt to the IMF or the World Bank.

The Caesar Act of 2019 came in direct response to the series of victories by the Syrian Army against terrorists across the whole country, setting the stage to the final battle of Idlib, the terrorists’ final hotbed.”

Under the sanctions levied by the Caesar Act, Syria cannot import vital medications or the materials to produce them, including for cancer, hypertension, and other critical ailments. Sanctioning Syria’s ability to import medicines, medical equipment, and among many other things, materials for rebuilding, is criminal and an act of terrorism.

As I wrote in a December 2019 editorial for RT:


When I was in Syria last October, a man told me his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but because of the sanctions he couldn’t get her the conventional treatments most in the West would avail of.

In 2016, in Aleppo, before it was liberated of al-Qaeda and co, Dr. Nabil Antaki told me how –because of the sanctions– it had taken him well over a year to get a simple part for his gastroenterology practise.

In 2015, visiting Damascus’ University Hospital, where bed after bed was occupied by a child maimed by terrorists’ shelling (from Ghouta), a nurse told me:

“We have so many difficulties to ensure that we have antibiotics, specialized medicines, maintenance of the equipment… Because of the sanctions, many parts are not available, we have difficulties obtaining them.


In 2018, Syria’s Minister of Health told me that Syria had formerly been dubbed by the World Health Organization a “pioneer state” in providing health care.

“Syria had 60 pharmaceutical factories and was exporting medicine to 58 countries. Now, 16 of these factories are out of service. Terrorists partially or fully destroyed 46 hospitals and 620 medical centers,” he told me.

I asked the minister about the complex in Barzeh, targeted with missile strikes by the U.S. and its allies in April 2018. It turns out that it was part of the Ministry of Health and manufactured cancer treatment medications as well as antidotes for snake or scorpion bites and stings, the antidote also serving as a basic material in the manufacture of many other medicines.

Syrian-American doctor Hussam al-Samman told me about his efforts to send chemotherapy medications to Syria for cancer patients in remission. He jumped through the various hoops of America’s unforgiving bureaucracy to no avail. It was never possible in the first place.

We managed to get a meeting in the White House. We met Rob Malley, a top-notch assistant or adviser of Obama at that time. I asked them: ‘How in the world could your heart let you block chemotherapy from going to people with cancer in Syria?’

The U.S. and allied Western countries imposing the sanctions on Syria should be imprisoned for their crimes against humanity and their support of terrorism in Syria. Yet, there is never justice and the criminals run the show.

Fares Shehabi, a Syrian member of Parliament from Aleppo, highlighted the attack on his country’s economy in 2011:

…when EU backed “rebels” began a systematic campaign of burning & looting thousands of factories in Aleppo, including my own!” The EU, he continued, “sanctioned the Syrian economy to make things worse for our people!”

The latest round of sanctions against Syria, which came into effect on June 17, will target not only the people but also Syria’s ability to rebuild the country. This includes rebuilding the city of Raqqa, utterly destroyed by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria, whose presence is in violation of international law and of Syria’s sovereignty.

“Sanctions Kill” also notes, that, “Currencies are devalued and inflated when sanctions are levied. Countries are pressured to stop doing business with targeted countries. The first sectors affected are generally medicines, cost of food, power, water treatment and other essential human needs. Sanctions violate international law, the UN charter, Geneva and Nuremberg conventions because they target civilians by economic strangulation, creating famines, life threatening shortages, and economic chaos.”

According to the World Food Program, “7.9 million Syrians are food insecure – an increase of 22 percent in just one year. Syria is in the grip of a severe economic crisis, and this is driving levels of food insecurity. Rising food and fuel prices and a depreciating informal exchange rate are making it more difficult for families to access the food they need.”

This is precisely what is occurring in Syria, which, with the help of its allies, is attempting to rebuild. US sanctions will hinder the rebuilding process.

The other day I was chatting with a college student, Naji Kaskas, about how this new round of heightened sanctions affects him. He said:

I started working this year, my savings are in Syrian pounds. Now, they’ve lost half their value, or more. This Caesar Act, what it already has done to us is to contribute to the collapse of the Syrian currency.

We’re unable to buy food like chicken and meat, now, they’re way too expensive. Even milk. We’re not living a normal life, we have anxiety because our future is not stable.

Before, 500 Syrian pounds were equal to US$1 (Note: before 2011 it was around 50 Syrian pounds to the dollar). Now, it has reached 3,000 Syrian pounds, so our salaries are much less now.”

Jordanian political figures denounced the heightened sanctions appropriately as “economic terrorism”, calling them “one of the most dangerous types of crimes against humanity.”

Syrian-American activist Johnny Achi has been back to Syria countless times during the war, including since early 2011. He has seen the effects of the war and also the effects of the sanctions. He told me:

These final sanctions have broken the back of Syrians, whom after 10 years of war are exhausted, resources depleted, and simply put, were looking forward to the rebuilding process and the economic recovery. And that is precisely what these sanctions are meant to stop. Any country, or entity that attempts to help Syria gets back on its feet, will too become a target of the brutal US sanctions.

In a nutshell, what they could not take from us by force, they’re trying to take by punishing and starving an entire population.

But we will always remain resisting. After all that we’ve been through, and all the sacrifices we paid, we have no choice but to continue to live free or die free.”

Indeed, the people of Syria are fighting for their country, families and future, at great personal expense. Meanwhile, the US does everything in its power to destroy their future, country and livelihoods.

Who is really the terrorist state here?

VIOLENCE AND CHAOS SPREAD IN TURKISH-OCCUPIED PART OF SYRIA

South Front

Turkish-backed militant groups continue fighting each other in northern Syria.

On June 2, clashes broke out among members of the Sultan Murad Division, the al-Hamza Division and Ahrar al-Sharqiya in the villages of Bab al-Khair and Um Ushba in the province of al-Hasakah. According to local sources, the tensions erupted when militants failed to settle their differences over the looting of the fields of crops, which they had seized from the locals.

A separate incident happened in the town of al-Bab in the province of Aleppo early on June 3. The so-called Free Syrian Police (FSP) confronted their counterparts from other Turkish-backed groups after the FSP had detained a woman supposedly linked to ISIS. Last weekend, several civilians had already been injured in a firefight between the FSP and other armed groups.

Another problem is the regular occurrence of assassinations and bombing attacks happening in the Turkish-occupied area. On June 3, an explosion of a booby-trapped motorcycle in the village of al-Beshar injured one person and caused a fire in local wheat and barley fields. A day earlier, a civilian was killed and at least 3 others injured in a supposed IED explosion in the border town of Jarabulus. A car bomb also exploded in the village of Jenderes.

The total death toll from infighting among Turkish-backed militants and from various security incidents is over a dozen civilians in the past week alone.

At the same time, Syrian government forces have been putting extensive effort into securing the civilian areas that they have liberated from militants. Late on June 2, government troops announced that they had found and dismantled over 700 landmines and explosive devices in the area east of the town of Salamiya in Hama province.

Units of the Syrian Army also conducted a new anti-ISIS raid in the countryside of Palmyra. This time they were able to detect and destroy an ISIS position southeast of the ancient city. An active search operation is ongoing near the village of Maadan in Raqqa province after a supposed ISIS cell staged an IED attack there.

The contact line between the Syrian Army and militants in southern Idlib remains in a stable instable situation. Recently, clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the army have been reported north of Hantutin and west of al-Jaradah.

Meanwhile, on June 2, the Turkish Army and the Russian Military Police held a 14th joint patrol along the M4 highway. The patrol started east of Saraqib and reached the western entrance to Ariha amid protests by supporters of Idlib radicals. Videos and photos from the Ariha entrance also showed lots of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham flags confirming that the town is currently in the hands of the terrorists. Further patrols to the area west of Ariha are not possible as long as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham maintains its positions there.

Related News

Amb. Jaafari to UNSC COVID Meeting: Stop Terror Virus against Syria

May 16, 2020 Miri Wood

unsc meeting covid 19 - Syria

Syria’s Ambassador Bashar al Jaafari addressed the UNSC ‘humanitarian bastards‘ meeting, 29 April, calling on the NATO P3 al Qaeda supporters to end savage unilateral economic coercion and reminding them that their terror virus needed more attention than their cover story of COVID concern.

Given a lengthy bathetic title, the meeting was held via video conference, reputedly as a precaution against contagion, though anonymous sources have the UN building had been completely sanitized by the numerous time it was flooded with the crocodile tears wept by the countries which have armed the criminally insane terrorists in Syria.

Leading with their bathetically artificial concern for COVID in Syria, the tripartite aggressors added neocolonial demands for compelled reopening of the al Yarubiyah crossing, lamentations over hospitals that do not exist, and ceasefire to their collective howling.

COVID
NATO stenography media pretend this is normal.
COVID
UN unindicted war criminals lead in coronavirus statistics, 15 May. Syria’s death total remains at 3.
Physician, heal thyself should come to mind.

As every honest diplomat knows, there can be no ceasefire without a formal declaration of war. In the unique situation of Syria — in which the filthiest of the filth, those countries which have dumped their human garbage into Syria, which have armed their human garbage in Syria, and whose media have written odes to the human garbage dumped into Syria and armed — there can only be a cessation of hostilities. Translating their Newspeak into reality-based language, the mobster gang demands that Syria cease protecting its citizens against NATO supported al Qaeda factions and cease to think of liberating up to three million Syrians entrapped in al-Qaeda’s last strong haven in the Idlib province by the Turkish madman Erdogan’s army and terrorists.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, His Excellency Vasily Nebenzya drolly explained to the NATO klan its collective error in use of “ceasefire.”
UNSC Video meeting on COVID 19 and sanctions against the Syrian people
A partial break from the P3’s Greek Chorus came via the Representative of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines [second from top, right] who called for the removal of unilateral coercive measures imposed on the SAR. She stopped short of reminding her colleagues that these are a breach of the UN Charter because a Security Council Resolution for sanctions is required to starve a member country.

One upon another, all of the P3 NATO klan and their tap-dancing House Servants functioned as hired mourners, in wailing, in gnashing of their teeth, and in rending their garments whilst suffering intractable grief for the Afrin carnage one day earlier, the spread of COVID — including the donning of the white man’s burden garb to rescue the Arab country, while their own are destroyed by the virus — and Syria’s “war-ravaged health care system.”

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Reported oil tanker detonation near Afrin market has killed & injured dozens in fire.

The NATO klansmen outed themselves as “the grandsons of Sykes-Picot who want to redo what their grandfathers did and divide further what was already divided and tear apart further what they can tear apart.

COVID
Syria before the Roman occupiers began the carving. The last major imperial hacking was by the Sykes-Picot vermin, but their NATO grandsons want more.
COVID
The proud, imperial, UN P3 grandsons want to further carve off more chunks of Syria, today. This time they use their fake concern for COVID.

Not one of the P3 klansmen, nor any of their underlings, mentioned that Afrin, Syria, has been under NATO Madman Erdogan’s troops and assorted al Qaeda mercenary occupation, which is a breach of International Law and of the UN Charter; the NATO tribesmen flout both during their every important anti-Syria Security Council event.

Syria News reminds our readers that when the P3 criminals against humanity mention hospitals and health care, they do not include actual hospitals and clinics, They have never held emergency Security Council meetings to condemn the terrorist destruction of al Kindi University Cancer Hospital, nor the FSA bombings of al Watan Hospital, nor the partial destruction of the Jisr al Shughur National Hospital.

US-sponsored terrorists bombed al-Kindi Hospital in Aleppo December 2013
US-sponsored terrorists bombed al-Kindi Hospital in Aleppo December 2013

When the world leaders in war crimes– France, US, UK — occupying the UNSC say “hospital,” they actually mean unhospitalUnhospitals are any places — stolen homes, tunnels, caves, abandoned buildings, ancient ruins, CGI’s — that al Qaeda savages, illegals (including Mengele-types bragging about practicing medicine without licensure, and surgeries without anesthesia) and assorted human detritus claim to be medical facilities, and it is about these that the UN fake humanitarians criminally identify as “health care” facilities.

Ancient ruin declared a bombed hospital by NATO media.

The US, UK, and French unindicted war criminals did not mention that Syria is war-ravaged because they have dumped their human pathogens into the Levantine republic, and armed them with NATO weapons, and fueled their depraved, joint, psychosis with Captagon. Nor did they mention that they, the humanitarian bastards have also created the humanitarian crisis in Syria, with their illicit, draconian, economic terrorism they call sanctions which actually require a UN Security Council Resolution, which means these criminals are in breach of the UN Charter to which they are signatories.

flags
These terrorists left their flags outside, not wanting to soil them with the blood of the Syrian women they slaughtered.

While flooding the building with crocodile tears under the white man’s burden of protecting Syrian Arabs from COVID, the Axis of Evil P3 Devil’s Ambassadors — and their tap-dancing, Greek Chorus House Servants — renewed their paraphilia-like obsessive demands for the imperialists’ forced opening of the Yarubiyeh crossing from Iraq, under the scam of providing humanitarian aid for Syrians whose country has been destroyed by these same imperial NATO thugs.

As memories have been intentionally shrunk by the onslaught of NATO stenography journalists who got perfect scores their Operation Mockingbird course, we must refresh the human mind with reality dating way back to July 2014, in order to expose the ongoing Goebbels Lie regarding the continuing paraphiliac obsession and fake COVID – related need to crush Syria’s sovereignty by opening its borders to the rat pack.

We offer two screengrabs from the same Reuters writer – the Reuters that was established before the births of most of the great-grandparents of our readership — flouting liarship impunity. On 22 February, Reuters pimped the P3 demand to reopen the al Yaarubiyah crossing from Iraq, and arrogantly lied that “Russia and China blocked the world body from using a crossing point on the Iraqi border to provide help.”

Reuters implementation of the Goebbels Big Lie, 22 February.

UNSCR 2504 was passed on 10 January, in what may be the largest Pontius Pilate abstention votes in the history of the United Nations: The US, UK, Russia, and China all withheld their votes. At the UN, abstentions are counted as “yes” votes.

This vote predated the COVID pandemic in NATO countries.

Reuters re-ran its lie to coincide with the 29 April NATO humanitarian bastards flooding the building with their crocodile tears and their colonial cross-bearing to fraudulently protect Syrians against COVID in the SAR, while their own people suffer under draconian lockdown, food shortages, criminally enforced isolation — which can quickly become desolation — shortages of PPE, destruction of health care infrastructure.

Reuters repeated its lie when reporting on the invisible WHO report that has not been made available to us mere mortals. This service, by the way, appears to occasionally put spies on its payroll.

The Pontius Pilate passage of UNSCR 2504 (2020) was a colonial compromise, both a watered-down version of UNSCR 2165 (2014) and a six-month extension given to NATO supported terrorists in Idlib.

Thought the UN Charter is clear on the inviolability of sovereign rights of member states, UNSCR 2165 (2014) and extensions UNSCR 2393 (2017), UNSCR 2449 (2018) all violated Syria’s territorial integrity.

Beginning with 2165, these resolutions permitting breach of Syrian sovereignty have provided terrorists with weapons — including of a chemical nature — finance, and the ability to smuggle out Syrian oil, artifacts, and property; Jabhat al Nusra terrorists occupying Idlib, have received their life line from Turkey, especially.

Not long after the passage of UNSCR 2165 (2014), Turkey celebrated the breach of Syria’s territorial rights by transporting poisoned measles vaccines to human garbage in Idlib — via the Bab al Hawa fake humanitarian corridor — which were used to murder approximately fifty Syrian children. Bab al Hawa is the Turkish route that Press TV journalist Serena Shim reported used for transporting weapons and terrorists in convoys covered by the World Food ProgrammeShim subsequently was killed in a convenient vehicular accident.

A conspicuous section of UNSCR 2165 (2014) shows the affinity to Yaarubiyah crossing pre-dates the phony COVID concerns by almost six years.

The author provides another four maps to explain that the spawns of Beelzebub paraphilia to Yarubiyah has nothing to do with COVID, but everything to do with Sykes-Picot idolatry.

From the still opened Bab al Hawa crossing, Madman Erdogan can continue to transport weapons and terrorists into Idlib, and into Aleppo countryside. The caliph-wannabe launched aerial and ground bombings of Hasakah governate in early October, all of which were either ignored or cheered by the NATO klan mob at the UN. Similarly, the phony Trump haters have been struck dumb over his ongoing military incursions into Qamishli since 7 August.

The illicit Erdogan regime troops have criminally occupied part of al Hasakah post-October bombings. The illicit Trump regime troops come and go as they please (except when chased by very tall Syrians who tear the criminal flags from the criminal tanks).

These maps are provided to show the malignant intention of the UN NATO club plot to hack off another chunk of the Levantine republic, so that Madman Erdogan might get his criminal annexation. The creative chaos of the phony Trump betrayal of traitor/separatist/Obama-created SDF Kurds and Erdogan’s hatred of the separatist Kurds is more readily grasped in the study of these maps which demonstrate how the two unindicted war criminal regimes are working for the same Sykes-Picot updated for the neo-imperialists.

In the early days of the foreign war of terror against Syria, the Obama State Department gave frequent press conferences in which the criminal attacks against the State by the YPG would be cheered. Given the YPG is ‘military arm’ of the PKK which is actually on the US terror list, United States Special Forces Commander Gen. Raymond A. Thomas declared the name change was required (the various flags of the many armed terrorists against Syria, here. They include photos of US-approved terrorists with US-unapproved terrorists.)

The re-marketed, YPG-cum-SDF Obama regime creation was such a hit with western colonial serfs that they missed the fact that Obama actually put together a NATO wetworker run SDF — advertised as a ‘minority’ fighting against the also the US – created ISIS terrorists.

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Bab al Hawi humanitarian bastards corridor.
Note the colonial appropriation of the map-maker: Ain al Arab is the Syrian town in which the German “Kobane” company built a station.
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Al Walid crossing used by Trump regime troops to illegally enter the Syrian Arab Republic, in military convoys.
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Al Yaarubiyah crossing that every rabid dog of war in the UN has screamed to reopen, since it was closed by UNSCR 2504 (2020). How many foreign PMC’s are in Erbil?
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Trump regime illegal American troops have used al Walid crossing for entry into Qamishli since 7 August 2019.
Turkish madman and caliph wannabe Erdogan
Erdogan holding his annexation map at the recent UNGA meeting. There were no complaints from the west on this plan to breach international law.

The audio for the video conference on the phony concern for COVID in Syria was inconsistent in volume, a problem exacerbated by the struggle to understand enough of the non-native English speakers to have wished that French were still the lingua franca of diplomacy.

The involvement of the draconian Treaty of Versailles in diplomatic language was a painfully ironic coincidence, given that Germany has become one of those House Servants against Syria. For those needing a reminder in Germany’s unindicted war crimes against Syria, see here, & here.

There is an expression about being able to trust a thief, but not a liar, which is an appropriate introduction for Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and first to address the most recent cover story of the NATO gang for humanitarian excuses, COVID. As he has been previously exposed before the Council as a liar, there is no need to discuss the liar’s COVID concerns.

Syria UN Jaafari Humanitarian Aid Delivered by SARC Syrian Arab Red Crescent - السفير بشار الجعفري حول المساعدات الإنسانية المقدمة من الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري - مجلس الأمن الدولي
Addressing Mark Lowcock’s “falsified” stats at UNSC, Ambassador Jaafari shows documentation for SARC convoys in 2018. [Archive]

The UN Spec Envoy, Norwegian Geir O. Pedersen, affixed to Syria via some preposition (on? above? around? at?) remained stoic whilst claiming that COVID 19 and its ramifications will become a multiplier of humanitarian needs in Syria. Essentially his speech was the same as the one he gave in March, when the UN held a tutorial on applying the philosophy of Goebbels to re-colonizing Syria. Norway continues its draconian lockdown of its citizenry and of its borders while audaciously declaring its self-appointed right to enter the Syrian Arab Republic.

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Syria’s COVID statistics 28 April.

The 29 April anti-Syria Sykes-Picot Award should go to Estonia’s deputy diplomat, Gert Auväärt. Perhaps he should also receive the Aesop’s Fable The Young Crab & His Mother Award for smarmy hypocrisy. Despite Auväärt’s Estonia — population a tiny 1.328 million — not doing too well in the COVID battle, sealing off its borders, and imposing a draconian lockdown on its people, this gentleman did not choke on his demands that Syria opens its borders, and its jails, on account of COVID.

Estonia, by the way, is in the bottom rungs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, which should not come as a shock, given the income disparity in his little forest, where the top 20% of the most affluent make five times more than the bottom 20% of the least affluent. It is not, therefore, a surprise that this deputy diplomat stated his satisfaction with the illicit economic terrorism against Syria.

Those countries that break out from the former eastern block become more radical in their enmity to their former allies in order to submit their papers of acceptance to the new club: NATO, EU, the U.S.F.S.: United States Faithful Servants, and the International Monetary Funds slaves.

estonia-map

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has officially (and wrongfully) called for a ceasefire in Syria, and has officially complained that the al Yaarubiya crossing was closed. He has not condemned the war crimes against Syria by NATO countries. This photographs show his moral character.

chemical-attack
Guterres with Tony Blair at the 1999 Socialist International conference.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, H.E. Bashar al Jaafari addressed the NATO clan’s “pretentious care and lethal affection” regarding the artificial concern for COVID in the SAR, while engaged in a “sinful war against my country.”

— Miri Wood

History And Role Of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) In Syrian War

See Video here


Source

14.05.2020 

The analysis below was originally released by SouthFront in January 2018. Nonetheless, it remains useful to understand the situation in the militant-held part of Syria’s Greater Idlib region as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) is still the most powerful armed group there.


History
Jabhat al-Nusra, originally Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-ahli ash-Sham min Mujahideen ash-Shām fi Sahat al-Jihad or “Victory Front for the People of the Levant by the Mujahideen of the Levant on the Fields of Jihad”, was founded in January 2012, when military operations between the government forces and groups of armed Syrian opposition were in full force. Jabhat al-Nusra arose with the direct support of the Iraqi cell of al-Qaeda, the “Islamic State in Iraq”, which was at that time led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. At the outset, the leaders of al-Qaeda tried, with the help of their Iraqi ally, to strengthen friendly Jihadist groups in Syria and to unite them into one militant organization.
Abu Muhammad al-Julani, a member of the al-Qaeda branch in Iraq – “the Islamic State in Iraq”, was chosen by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to establish an al-Qaeda branch in Syria under the name of the “Al-Nusra Front for the People of Al-Sham.” Abu Muhammed al-Julani entered Syria from Iraq and began a series of meetings in Homs, Ghouta of Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor. The first cells of Jabhat al-Nusra were established in the northern Homs countryside, western Ghouta of Damascus, and in al-Bukamal on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
On January 23, 2012, Abu Muhammad al-Julani officially announced the establishment of the “Al-Nusra Front for the People of Al-Sham” and small groups began to carry out terrorist acts against civilians, attacked the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and later began conducting clashes along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and ISIS.
In a short time, Jabhat al-Nusra under the leadership of Abu Muhammad al-Julani achieved a number of military successes and gained fame as one of the most efficient units in the north, north-west and northeast of Syria. A pivotal moment occurred at the end of 2012, when Jabhat al-Nusra seized many military facilities, arms and military equipment in western part of Aleppo. After the movement’s detachments were thus strengthened in the western and eastern parts of the province, the main routes of communication between the economic capital of Syria and the Syrian-Turkish border fell under Jabhat al-Nusra’s control, which forced other detachments fighting in opposition to Bashar Assad to establish relations and coordinate their actions with the organization.

Main operations and spheres of influence
In the Homs province, Jabhat al-Nusra, along with the al-Qaeda branch in Lebanon, Fatah al-Islam, was one of the most powerful fighting factions alongside the Al-Farouq battalion of the FSA, most of whose militants publicly or secretly joined al-Nusra or Fatah al-Islam.
Jabhat al-Nusra led many attacks in the old Homs area, Khalidiya and Baba Amro between 2011 and 2012, and led a large-scale attack on January 29, 2012 to capture the towns of Rastan and Talbisah in the northern Homs and succeeded in that operation.
In the south of Syria, especially in the Daraa province, Al-Nusra managed to form large forces rapidly, and led the attack on Daraa city on March 14, 2012. Within months, it managed to capture most areas within the city of Daraa.
On July 15, 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra participated in their first attack on the capital city of Damascus along with the FSA and Jaish al-Islam. Within days, they managed to capture most areas of eastern and Western Ghouta along with several districts close to the center of the capital Damascus, such as the districts of Jubar and Al-Maydan. Later the SAA managed to recapture most of these areas.
On July 19, 2012, Jabhat al-Nusra participated in the attack on Aleppo city along with groups of the FSA, the most important of which was the “Northern Storm Regiment”. Within days they managed to capture the eastern area of Aleppo. Later, Jabhat Al-Nusra’s influence expanded. At one point al-Nusra became the sole ruler of opposition-controlled Aleppo, especially after large numbers of the FSA jointed its ranks by the end of 2012 and after it took ISIS out of the city in 2014.
Since 2013, Idlib has become the main center of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and the headquarters of its leadership. Jabhat al-Nusra managed to strengthen its influence further in the beginning of 2014 after the departure of ISIS from the province as a result of a number of disagreements between the groups.
Jabhat al-Nusra participated alongside Ahrar al-Sham in the attack on Raqqa city and managed to capture it on March 6, 2013, 3 days after the attack began. Later, in July 2014, ISIS took over control of Raqqa city. Some members of Jabhat al-Nusra decided to join ISIS while the rest refused to fight it. As a result, al-Nusra withdrew from the city.
From the beginning, Jabhat al-Nusra lead battles against the SAA in the Deir-ez-Zor countryside and in Deir-ez-Zor city. By 2013 al-Nusra seized most of the oil fields in the city’s countryside and along with the FSA, started an illegal oil trade with Turkey.

At the beginning of 2014 with the escalation of ISIS influence in Iraq, al-Nusra began to reduce its presence in Deir-ez-Zor city. After some minor clashes, most of al-Nusra’s fighters withdrew from Deir-Ez-Zour to Aleppo and Idlib, while large numbers of al-Nusra foreign militants joined ISIS.
It is believed that on April 6, 2014, the remnants of the FSA detonated a VBIED in the old Homs area with the aim of killing the commanders of Jabhat al-Nusra. The suicide attack was a success, and after the death of the commanders of Jabhat al-Nusra, an evacuation agreement was reached on 2 May 2014.
On March 24, 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra led an attack alongside the US-backed Free Syrian Army factions to capture Idlib city and were able to do so within 4 days. This operation was successful largely due to US support through intelligence and advanced weapons such as the TOW missiles, which reached the hands of al-Nusra militants.
By 14 June 2015, Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies from the FSA had managed to capture the entire western Idlib countryside, including the strategic town of Jisr al-Shughour, and carried out a series of massacres against the pro-government population, expelled even the pro-opposition population from the city, and blew up and demolished most of its buildings.
With Russian military intervention in Syria and the bombing of the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo, Idlib and the northern Homs countryside, both the “moderate” and radical Islamist opposition began to lose strategic initiative in the civil war in Syria. There was a lot of pressure from supporters of Jabhat al-Nusra, Turkey and Qatar, on the leadership of the movement, to disengage from and disavow Al-Qaeda.
After the great advance of the SAA in Aleppo and its success in besieging the eastern districts, Abu Muhammad al-Julani announced on July 28, 2016, the official disengagement of al-Nusra from al-Qaeda and announced the formation of the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. He stressed that the objectives of the al-Sham Front are the same as those of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in Syria. In an ironic twist, al-Qaeda leader “Ayman al-Zawahiri” praised al-Julani’s decision and declared his support for the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, prompting everyone, including the United States, to consider the move as a formality. The Jabhat Fatah al-Sham maintained its terrorist classification in all countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
On October 28, 2016, Jabhat al-Nusra with its allies from the Free Syrian Army launched a large counterattack south and west of Aleppo city to break the siege of the SAA in the eastern districts; however, the attack failed two weeks later when Jabhat Fatah al-Sham could not hold the points it had taken over.
On 28 January 2017, Jabhat al-Nusra changed its name once again, this time to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). On March 21, 2017, it launched the offensive of the northern Hama countryside along with the FSA factions supported by the CIA, most notably are Jaish al-Izza, Jaish al-Nasr and the Idlib Free Army. These were considered the most important allies of Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib and a major source of its weapons. The aim of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s advance was to recapture the settlements it lost in 2016. The active phase of fighting continued until the end of April 2017. For more than a month, neither side had a decisive advantage, and in fact, prolonged fights began, during which a number of settlements repeatedly changed hands.
Having accumulated enough reserves in the area and with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the SAA launched a counter-offensive against the positions of the Islamists in mid-April and recaptured the territories it had lost at the beginning of the month.
On September 19, 2017 HTS, along with the units of the Turkestan Islamic Party and the FSA, once again made an attempt to advance on the position of the SAA in the northern part of the province of Hama.. The aim of HTS was to take revenge for their defeat in the April 2017 offensive. While fighting went back and forth, with settlements being occupied by both sides several times, the struggle continued until the end of September and ended in a stalemate, with neither side able of winning a convincing victory, with each side remaining in their original positions. As time went on, the situation in the province was further complicated by the appearance of the IS militants in early October 2017, as a result of which armed conflict erupted between all opposition groups in the region, which continues at varying degrees of intensity to this day.
In late November and early December, the SAA carried out a number of operations against HTS in northern Hama and southern Aleppo and achieved some success creating the prerequisites for a push towards the Abu al-Duhur air base. Taking the air base under control will allow government troops to expand the buffer zone adjacent to the road going to Aleppo and cut the front line to the west of Khanaser.
The intensification of the activities of the Russian Air Force in the region in the first half of December 2017 gives grounds to conclude that the preparation of the SAA for an attack on the position of radical Islamists is underway. This offensive is likely to have the goal of delivering a decisive blow to HTS, since it currently presents a greater threat than the IS.
In January 2018, the SAA liberated a large area from HTS in southern Idlib advancing towards the Abu al-Duhur air base.
At the present time (January 2018) the main area of ​​deployment of the armed units of HTS is in the province of Idlib. In addition, the units of Jabhat al-Nusra partially occupy the north-eastern part of the province of Hama, and the western and south-western part of the province of Aleppo. After al-Nusra finally broke off relations with Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most battle-worthy movements in Syria, they gained control of practically the entirety of the province of Idlib.
Structure
The movement avoids publications concerning the structure of the organization, the real names of commanders of its large units and the work of its main bodies. It is known that the advisory body Majlis al-Shura, consisting of 12 people, is at the head of the movement. Based on information surveyed and interviews, HTS operates through eight divisions, namely military, security, services, religious law, courts, media, finances, and politics. For each of these divisions, there is an office for the Shura Council.
In fact, since its inception, Jabhat al-Nusra / HTS was a coalition of armed formations.As a result of the rebranding conducted in January 2017, HTS includes such groups as “Jabhat Ansar al-Din”, “Nur al-Din al-Zenki”, “Liwa al-Haqq”, and “Jaysh al-Sunna” . According to information from the organization’s website, the new formation also includes groups: Tawhid Wal-Jihad, Ar-Rashid, Ibn Taimiyya, Liva Abbas, Sukur al-Izz, Al-Sahabat, Kuwafal Shuhada, Usud al-Harb, Liva Ahrar al-Jabal and others. Several large groups withdrew from the Ahrar al-Sham and swore allegiance to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham : Surya al-Aqsa, Liva Ahrar al-Jabal, Ansar Homs, and Kurdish paramilitary groups which together comprised of more than five thousand soldiers. The process of breaking and mending relations is constant and there is an alternate structure of the movement as of April 2017.
The auxiliary functions are performed by Qism al-Ighatha (Department of Relief), Idarat al-Khidarat al-Ammah (Public Services Administration), Idarat al-Manateq and al-Muharara (Liberated Districts Administration). In the so-called “liberated areas” where Jabhat al-Nusra has filled the power vacuum, it has created, along with other jihadist organizations, a system of justice and law enforcement called the Shari’ah Authority (Al-Hay’ah al-Shar’iyyah). The Shari’ah Authority operates its own police force called the Shari’ah Authority Police (Shurtat al-Hay’ah al-Shar’iyyah).
The military structure of the groups varies depending on the geographical location of the fighters in Syria. In Damascus, where the partisan tactics of fighting were employed, the divisions were divided into separate detachments, while in Aleppo, military operations were conducted by full-fledged military formations, consolidated into brigades, regiments and battalions.
The movement actively recruits groups of militants, formed on the basis of national and religious grounds.  There are units of militants from Ajnadal-Kavkaz, Caucasus Emirate (natives of Chechnya), and the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria (Uyghurs and natives of the Central Asian countries of the former USSR). From a military point of view, this is convenient for management and interaction, since there is no language barrier between the fighters and the commanders. Upon returning to their host country, such a detachment is practically a ready-made cell with combat experience, in which each member knows one another, trusts his commander and is ready to act in the interests of the parent organization. Western experts estimate that in less than 2 years of its existence, there were almost 5,000 people from 60 countries who fought for the movement.
The core military formations varied in their numbers and at times amounted to up to 30,000 people. Together with the added paramilitary groups of like-minded people, the total number reached 70,000. At present, the number of formations is smaller and the core of the grouping, according to the estimates of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces as of August 2017, consists of up to 15,000 men. Together with units of radical Islamists from other groups, it amounts to a total of 25,000.
The armament of the movement consists of small arms, artillery and tanks seized from the SAA, from various anti-Assad forces, and equipment received from foreign sponsors from the Gulf countries through the jihadist movements with direct or indirect US assistance. In addition, according to reports, the movement has chemical weapon reserves. In December 2012, at the SYSACCO chemical production plant (30 km east of Aleppo), the al-Nusra units captured about 200 tons of chlorine. In May 2013, Turkish special services arrested insurgents of al-Nusra on the border with Syria for attempting to acquire sarin components.
An indicative example of direct or indirect U.S. support is the use of the American ATGM BGM-71 TOW by the al-Nusra forces. These units were transferred to the armed formations by the “moderate” opposition, for example, FSA units (Harakat Hazzm). Subsequently, the ATGM systems were either voluntarily supplied, or forcibly taken from other groups by HTS. At the end of September 2015, the “30th division” of the opposition, supported by the US government, surrendered to the units of al-Nusra and handed over a large number of ammunition, small arms and artillery weapons and a number of light vehicles. The same happened with the FSA’s “13 Division” in March 2016, which directly received American weapons.
Rebranding
At the end of June 2016, the leaders of the Syrian opposition (primarily from Ahrar al-Sham) conducted negotiations and consultations in light of Russia’s actions against al-Nusra, which also threatened other groups. As a result of such meetings in the western part of the province of Aleppo and in Idlib, it proposed to either dissolve al-Nusra into a new association, which would be headed by Ahram al-Sham or to tear it away from al-Qaeda. The situation was such that a third of al-Nusra, first of all the ethnic Syrians, were ready to break with al-Qaeda and join a new group.
Then the leadership of al-Nusra undertook a rebranding, which, on the one hand, was to save it from a split, and on the other, in the eyes of the Syrians, to root it in the Syrian revolutionary movement. As a result, al-Nusra became known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Front of the Conquest of Syria) and proclaimed its formal departure from al-Qaeda. After this, the leadership of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham attempted to unite with Ahrar al- Sham and other factions; however, this would have led to the inclusion of all participants of this union on the list of internationally recognized terrorist groups. As a result, the attempt to create a “Syrian Islamic Commission” at the end of 2016, in which A. Giulani wanted to play a key role, failed.

There are other reasons why al-Nusra began to act under a new name.
First, it allows sponsors and leaders of the movement to avoid sanctions, since al-Nusra periodically gets on the “Consolidated List of Legal Entities Affiliated with or Associated with al-Qaeda Organization”, compiled by the UN Security Council. Updating the list, in light of objective reasons, is not keeping up with the evolution and expansion of al-Qaeda and its subsidiaries.
Second, it is more convenient for Western special services to deal with groups not listed on the list of the UN Security Council and/or on the American or European list of terrorist organizations. Instead, they prefer to deal with “rebels” who declared their secession from al-Qaeda.
On January 28, 2017, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham conducted another rebranding and was named Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Organization for the Liberation of the Levant). This coincided with increased pressure on opposition groups in Syria and with a turning point in the Syrian war – the liberation of Aleppo. The military defeat near Aleppo, where Jabhat al-Nusra lost the bulk of its most trained fighters and much of its technology, was a turning point in reducing its influence.
Relations and relationships with other groups
Military successes in the first years of the civil war declined to the point where, starting from 2014, the movement started to systematically weaken and accept “moderate” groups, which represented secular and national opposition.
In November 2014, Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the “Syrian Revolutionary Front”, a large association that fought under the banner of the FSA and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and received assistance from the United States and its allies. Its leader, Jamal Ma’ruf, was forced to flee to Turkey. Then the jihadists attacked the camps of the movement “Harakat Hazzm”, which the US planned to thoroughly train and supply with weapons and which many American analysts viewed as the most acceptable variant of the moderate opposition.
As a result, Jabhat al-Nusra at the end of October 2014, seized the base of the Hazzm Movement in Idlib, and in January 2015 displaced it from Aleppo, effectively forcing it to dissolve and merge with other militant groups. At the end of September 2015, al-Nusra attacked the 30th division of the FSA, forcing some of the fighters along with their arms to cross over to their side. The jihadists particularly intensified the fighting against the “moderate opposition” after the US and its allies began to conduct air strikes at the end of September 2014, not only directed against the positions of the IS, but also targeting “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Thus, the movement played an important role in the failure of the US project to create a “secular military opposition” in Syria.
Since 2012, the FSA’s relations with Jabhat al-Nusra have been excellent. The FSA and the US-backed factions supported Jabhat al-Nusra financially and most importantly with the weapons supplied to them by the CIA and Turkey. However, al-Nusra did not hesitate to turn its weapons against the FSA or hesitate to eliminate any group that opposed its will, especially in the province of Idlib and in Aleppo countryside.
As for the relationship of Jabhat al-Nusra with Ahrar al-Sham, one of the largest groups in the north of Syria, while Ahrar al-Sham obey the orders of Jabhat al-Nusra and treat its leadership with respect, Jabhat al-Nusra takes firm action with Ahrar al-Sham and has not hesitated to use its weapons against it in 2017. It has even issued a statement calling the militants of the Ahrar al-Sham “infidels” after clashes with the 46th regiment in the northwest Aleppo countryside. However, the militants of Ahrar al-Sham, despite a number of them being killed or wounded by al-Nusra tanks, refused to return fire on the al-Nusra militants.
It is also believed that Jabhat al-Nusra pushed Ahrar al-Sham into a losing battle in Aleppo in order to weaken it. The final gulf between the two-armed movements formed in July 2017. The reason for the conflict, in addition to purely ideological differences, was the fact that the Ahrar al-Sham group controlled the Bab al-Hawa border crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border, which was an important transport corridor, as well as a source of finance and the replenishment of the military formations of the “moderate” opposition. Perhaps the most important reason for the conflict was the issue of control over the “civil administration” of the province of Idlib.
The disagreement of Jabhat al-Nusra with ISIS began at the end of 2013, when al-Nusra separated its link to the Islamic State in Iraq – now ISIS – and the controversy increased in 2014 when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formation of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the separation from al-Qaeda and the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate. Al-Julani rejected Abu Bakr’s allegiance to the Caliphate. The basis of the controversy is that Jabhat al-Nusra believes that the Caliphate should be established after capturing the whole of Syria and Iraq, while ISIS believes that the Caliphate should be established in any area under its control. Although there was a great deal of talk about clashes between the two parties, clashes were rare, short-lived. Jabhat al-Nusra withdrew from Deir-Ez-zour and Raqqa, while ISIS withdrew from Aleppo and Idlib, with large numbers of militants from Al-Nusra changing their allegiance to ISIS.
Al-Nusra developed a difficult relationship with the movement of Nour al-Din al-Zenki (numbering 7,000 militants in 2017). In 2015 and 2016, both sides participated in clashes against each other; however, in January 2017, the Nour al-Din al-Zenki group in Idlib joined with al-Nusra. In the second half of July 2017, there was a conflict between the leadership of Nour al-Din al-Zenki and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham  because of a statement, made by an authority figure from Nour al-Din al-Zenki, saying that there is no Sharia rule in the territory controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Since HTS strategy is aimed at cooperating with local Islamist organizations that recognize the main goal of establishing an Islamic state and Sharia in Syria, such an approach does not allow Syrian Islamist groups, including Jaysh al-Islam, to oppose Al Qaeda in Syria in the face of Jabhat al-Nusrah / HTS. Both groups profess Salafi Islam and both groups raise the issue of overthrowing the existing power.
According to a former leader of Jaysh al-Islam, Muhammad Zahran Allush, there was a fraternal relationship between his organization and Jabhat al-Nusra, and the existing insignificant ideological differences could be resolved through the discussion and application of Shariah norms. In his interview, Zahran Allush said that he personally met with one of the leaders of “Jabhat al-Nusra” Abu al-Qahtani, and found no difference between the Shari’ah of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Shari’ah of “Jash al-Islam”.
In 2013, Jaysh al-Islam, together with Jabhat al- Nusra, organized a bloody massacre in the city of Adra, directed mainly against minorities, most notably the Alawites. After the death of Muhammad Zahran Allush as the result of an airstrike conducted on December 25, 2015, the new leadership of Jaysh al-Islam soon began to disagree with the leadership of Jabhat al-Nusra. This took place in light of the fact that the Islam Army has taken a strong stance in favor of negotiations, with Zahran Alloush’s cousin and close companion, Mohammed Alloush, heading the opposition diplomats in Geneva.
Participation of various groups of “moderate opposition” in the Syrian settlement under the patronage of Turkey, Iran and Russia led to a “split” in the ranks of these groups, which significantly weakened their position in the country.  In this respect, the case of the Jaysh al-Islam movement can serve as a prime example. Since the movement formally participates as a group and represents the “moderate opposition”, it had to sever its ties with HTS. In practice, the situation is quite different.
Jaysh al-Islam has several regional branches: Eastern Ghouta, Eastern Qalamoun, Daraa, and Idlib.
Eastern Ghouta – Jaysh al-Islam, HTS, Ahrar al-Sham and al-Rahman Corps are the most influential groups in this area near Damascus. All of them, in spite of some tensions, actively cooperate against the SAA. The peak of Jaysh al-Islam’s participation in the fight against HTS was when the group allegedly did not come to the aid of HTS during the battles in the area of ​​Jobar (Guta district). However, the truce in the region is very controversial. Not long ago, Ahrar al-Sham conducted a series of major attacks against the army in the area south of the Duma – the area of the Army Armored Vehicles Base.
Eastern Qalamoun – the militants did not show much activity here and before negotiations in Astana, there was a truce.  In fact, Jaysh al-Islam is forced to share resources and interact with HTS in this region.
As a result, it turns out that the leaders of this “moderate” opposition did not actually do anything of substance in constructively participating in the Astana process and limited themselves exclusively to vague formal gestures (such as sending delegations and making loud statements in the media).
Therefore, one can make the disappointing conclusion that the real influence of the Astana format on the situation in Syria is of much significance than originally thought, and the format is not very effective. Statements of the high-ranking officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry about successful negotiations are not accurate. To date, the moderate opposition does not want peace. It continues fighting, repeatedly delays negotiations, and awaits the intervention of other countries.
The Idlib de-escalation zone
Separately, it is necessary to focus on 4 zones of de-escalation in Syria, the boundaries of which were determined by the agreements in Astana on September 16, 2017. The agreement established the boundaries of de-escalation zones, where, as agreed, military operations between government forces and forces of the armed opposition groups which have already joined the truce or will join it in the future, are to be halted. To prevent incidents and clashes between various sides along the borders of zones, security bands were created. They include observation posts and checkpoints for the movement of unarmed civilians, delivery of humanitarian aid and facilitation of economic activities. The work of the checkpoints and observation posts, as well as the management of the security zones, is carried out by personnel from Russia, Turkey and Iran. This begs many questions, chief among them: Why is there is no mention of withdrawal of heavy weaponry nor the surrender of weapons inside the zones?
The most extensive zone of de-escalation is located in northern Syria. It contains the province of Idlib, as well as the bordering northeastern parts of the province of Latakia, the western provinces of Aleppo and the northern regions of the province of Hama. It is worth noting that the province of Idlib is one of the most problematic. It is here that the main forces of the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra / HTS are based, and it was here that the Syrian authorities brought militants and members of their families from Aleppo.
According to Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Russia will provide security outside of Idlib while Turkey will ensure security inside of Idlib. Turkey had the right to deploy in Idlib, via a small group of troops, whose task is to organize observation posts, but they are not to form a full-fledged army group. However, by October 13, 2017, about 50 units of armored vehicles and 200 servicemen crossed the Turkish-Syrian border. The pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak claimed that 25,000 Turkish soldiers were mobilized to carry out military operations in Syria.
Thus, in the northern part of the Idlib province, the so-called free zone from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham  is created under the auspices of Turkish forces. The area will host the forces of the “moderate” opposition and Turkish troops. In the south, the province of Hama will host Russian observers. The forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham will be moved to a zone located in the middle. This way HTS will be deprived of any possibility of reaching the border.
Meanwhile, in the zones controlled by radical Islamists, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham  blames the “moderate” opposition, for abandoning the war against the Assad government and entering into peace agreements. At the same time, the movement, aside from fighting battles against the SAA, is actively engaged in attacks against factions of the “moderate” opposition.
Financing and communication with external sponsors
“Jabhat al-Nusra” is considered to be one of the most well-equipped and well-armed formations fighting against government troops. According to some estimates, before the conflict with the Islamic State (January 2012-April 2013), half of ISIS’ budget was sent to Jabhat al-Nusra. At the same time, the group received significant funds from Syrians with sympathies for radical Islam. From April, 2013 to the end of 2014, the budget of the movement was largely replenished by the illegal trade of oil acquired from the east and northeast of Syria. When the oil prices dropped, IS exerted control over these oil fields, and the movement lost this source of financing.
From the end of 2014 until the present, al-Nusra’s main source of financing comes from external sources. Most of the funding comes from the charitable Salafi foundations in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and from high-ranking clerics and wealthy businessmen who sympathize with the ideas of Salafi Islam of Jordan and Turkey. Hamid bin Abdallah al-Ali is an example of a person who sympathizes with the ideas of the movement. He is an influential Salafi cleric in Kuwait. He has facilitated the transfer of funds, weapons, supplies and fighters to and from Syria for Jabhat al-Nusra,
Shafi Sultan Mohammed al-Ajmi is a native of Kuwait. He is included by the UN Security Council in the list of persons sponsoring al-Qaeda and related organizations. Together with his assistants, he raised funds and gathered weapons under the pretext of charity. He personally delivered the collected funds to various groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra.
Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaimi is a Qatar-based terrorist financier and a facilitator who has provided money, material support and conveyed communications to al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria. In 2013, Naimi ordered the transfer of nearly $600,000 to al-Qaeda via al-Qaeda’s representative in Syria, Abu-Khalid al-Suri.
Ali bin Abdallah al-Suwaidi is the general manager of Mu’assasat ‘Eid bin Muhammad Aal Thani al-Khayriyya (the Eid bin Muhammad al Thani Charitable Society). In this role, Ali al-Suwaidi manages the budget and directs the activities of the charity, including its work with organizations that have been tied to al-Qaeda. According to media reports, Ali al-Suwaidi worked with US sanctioned al-Qaeda financier Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaimi to transfer funds to jihadist militants in Syria, including al-Nusra.
Social networks are another important source of financing. Recruiters in social networks are urging a transfer of money for the aid of militants fighting in Syria. Given that financing terrorism is prosecuted in many countries, the fee is made in disguise to a bank account of an intermediary. The sponsors transfer sums not large enough to attract the attention of bank employees and law enforcement officials. The intermediary then sends money to a foreign bank – to the owner of a money transfer office in Turkey or Jordan for example. He informs his colleague in Syria that the money has come, provides the name of the recipient and gives a password. Money is given from a cash register. Such transactions leave no traces and are hidden from those who are fighting to interdict and disrupt the funding of terrorism.
In addition, the group continues to actively engage in kidnapping, extortion, and collection of taxes from citizens and businesses in controlled areas.
The group also developed a scheme to collect funds from small and medium-sized businesses in territories which are not directly controlled by HTS, but territories that host enough HTS emissaries and combat groups to the extent that those groups can facilitate racketeering.
Al-Qaeda, as the lead organization which promotes the idea of ​​ultra-radical Islam, is in financial crisis. It receives less and less financing from sympathetic individuals and from so called charitable foundations, to carry out its terrorist activities. This necessitated some optimization of costs. The movement had to change its tactics and constructed a new model, aimed at interacting with self-sufficient extremist organizations which do not require support from the lead organization. In this format, al-Qaeda plays a dual rule. First, it acts as a military adviser and mediator for radical Islamist groups. Secondly, it sends authoritative clergymen to various war zones. Al-Qaeda also provides local groups with their own schemes for the transfer of funds, facilitates the creation of enterprises, and provides information to support local organizations.
Loss of influence after the battle for Aleppo and the role in Syria after ISIS
When Aleppo was captured by government troops in late 2016, the appearance of HTS signaled a new phase of restructuring of the radical opposition in Syria. Yet another attempt to rebrand was nothing more than a formal effort by al-Qaeda to dissociate itself from its supporters in Syria, as well as its desire to withdraw moderate Islamists from the negotiation process on the future of Syria in Astana. The leadership of HST wanted to overpower and if that failed, to destroy the entities that are part of Ahrar al-Sham. They sought to become the single center of Sunni militarism in Syria. This caused a split among the opposition, and the most radical of its representatives moved to the newly created Hayat Tahrir al Sham, which marked the beginning of a conflict between the two largest groups in Idlib.
To support its strategy, HTS operates through four main bureaus: General Administration of Services; Military and security operations wing; Dawah and Guidance Office; and Sharia courts.
There are 156 Local Councils operating in the Idlib province with the following administrative divisions: 9% City Councils, 30% Town Councils, and 61% Municipal Councils. Of these Local Councils, 86 operate in HTS-controlled areas—14% City Councils, 39% Town Councils, and 47% Municipal Councils.
In August 2017 a conflict arose between the local city council of Idlib and the General Administration for Services, which is connected with HTS. The latter began the process of making unilateral decisions. The General Administration for Services issued circulars for local councils, informing them that it was the only body with the authority to monitor their work and required the transfer of the relevant council departments to the specialized agencies of the movement. In particular, this affected services which supply water and bread as well as transport. The city council rejected the request and on August 28, 2017, HTS units stormed the city council building of Idlib and ordered all those who disagreed with the policy to leave the building. In this way radical Islamists gained control over administrative services of the city.
The process where smaller formations join or leave the grouping is not static. On November 14, 2017, representatives of the group “Ajnad al-Sham” announced through twitter that they are joining Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Ajnad al-Sham militants participated in earlier clashes with the Syrian Arab Army in western Aleppo, in the north part of the province of Ham and in the province of Idlib. In late October, there was information that the central division of the FSA, Faylaq al-Sham, and Jaysh al-Izza also joined Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham also conducted operations against smaller militant groups, who then sought support from Ahrar al-Sham. For instance, the group “Jash Mujahideen” was attacked by terrorists of Hayat Tahrir al- Sham in January 2017. At this time the radical Islamists seized warehouses with weapons. After that, part of Jash Mujahideen’s forces were forced to join Ahrar al-Sham, while the other part joined HTS.
Be that as it may, year after year HTS leadership adamantly follows its goal – the unification of all jihadist organizations in Syria under its leadership and the construction of the emirate. Radical Islamists are strongly established in the province of Idlib, and will do all they can to prevent the creation of a de-escalation zone.
Conclusion
The following conclusions and analysis can be drawn from all the information presented thus far. After the defeat of the IS in Iraq and Syria, the most effective group that stands to oppose Assad’s regime remains Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. This movement has the necessary number of trained militants in its ranks to confront the government army, it has a rather positive image when compared with the IS, and advocates the idea of opposing “the betrayal of the interests of the people of Syria.” Meanwhile, the conflict between the factions within the movement itself, the conflicts with other armed groups, the reduction of logistical support, and problems with financing, all lead to a gradual degradation of HTS. We can conclude that to overcome these problems, the leadership of the movement may hold another re-branding. This conclusion is based on the fact that, at a turning point in its existence, al-Nusra / HTS is able, in words, to abandon the ideas of radical Islam in order to preserve their ability for an armed struggle, and to establish itself as a legitimate and independent force in the ongoing war . It seems that there is a desire on the part of HTS to become a Sunni version of Hezbollah. In this effort, the group could receive support from some concerned foreign parties.
The clashes and reluctance to compromise with the moderate opposition, continued conflict with the increasingly capable government army, and the never ending struggle for resources – have all reaped poor results for the group, and highlight the poor choice of strategies adopted by HTS thus far. Without external help, HTS will not be able to confront, for any extended periods of time, the SAA and the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Trump Creates a New Terrorist Group Northeast of Syria to Loot the Oil

April 25, 2020 Arabi Souri

US Trump forces unwelcome by locals in northeast of Syria East of the Euphrates

Donald Trump has authorized the creation of a new terrorist group northeast of Syria, east of the Euphrates, to protect US mercenary forces looting Syrian oil.

The new ISIS-like group will most likely be financed from the spoils of war and from the US taxpayers with a few millions of dollars a year as salaries, and tens of times of that amount in weapons and logistics.

The new Trump terrorist battalion consists of 800 members all of youth Syrians who spent the best of their lives in constant fear from one US-sponsored terrorist group to another, starting with the terror inflicted upon them by the ‘peaceful protesters’ who were torching public buildings, farms, sniping and kidnapping villagers to force them into ‘protests for democracy’, to the terror by the FSA, assorted Gulfies terrorist groups like the Kuwaiti terrorists who massacred 61 women and children and one elderly cleric in Hatla, to later be intimidated and terrified by al-Qaeda, its Nusra Front derivative, followed by ISIS and not lastly by the Kurdish separatist militias of the SDF and Asayiesh. The Turks came later bringing back with them the remnants of the FSA and beefing them with new anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood radicalized pathogens brought in from all sides of the planet.

Taking advantage of the increased poverty and fear of other US-sponsored terrorist groups, the US taxpayers will generously pay each member of this newly found Trump group a monthly salary of US$ 350, which is a considerable amount in a country that the cost of living is less than US$ 100 a month for a whole family.

More in this report by the Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen news channel:

Transcript of the English translation of the above video report:

An American project that attracts hundreds of young Arabs in an armed faction east of the Euphrates, a faction that is reportedly tasked with facing the growing activity of ISIS, includes more than 800 members.

An attempt to go beyond what is stated to distribute the American military presence after a partial withdrawal which followed the Turkish offensive in October of last year.

Muhammad Al-Mashaali – Syrian MP for Deir Al-Zour: The Americans made this step by giving money or rather material temptations and I was told that the amount reaches $ 350 a month for those who volunteer with the American army.

The project is in line with US plans to establish new points in the vicinity of the Omar Fields, Koniko and the Jbeisah Gas Plant, while local sources confirmed to Al Mayadeen that the Americans are concerned about the growing state of civil resistance against their patrols and convoys in the Hasakah countryside.

Muhammad Al-Mashaali: The Americans recently found that there is an awakening from the Arab tribes to resist this occupier, whether Turkish or American or others, they want to stay and they do not want to fight us by themselves, they want tools, as previous tools were made they are now making new tools.

The American plans were met by a Russian move on the ground to cooperate with the tribesmen in Hasakah, in light of confronting American patrols in Khirbet Amo, Tal Ahmed, Boweir, and Hamu in the vicinity of Qamishli.

Resorting to a local force in the protection roles, whatever attempts to justify it, indicates an American predicament east of the Euphrates, a dilemma embodied by a number of titles, the most prominent of which is the growing popular rejection of the American forces and the steady increase of the Russian military presence reaching to Qamishli.

Report by: Muhammad Al-Khader – Damascus, Al-Mayadeen

End of the transcript.

Instead of simply withdrawing the troops from Syria which presence in the country is illegal and unfeasible taking in consideration the prices of crude oil lately, Trump doubles down on his anti-American anti-elections promise agenda, simply following the steps of his idol Barack Hussein Obama and the idols of the Oval Office all the way back to the first war criminal selected ‘democratically by the US people’ to serve their enemies on their account.

Turkish occupation and its mercenaries target residential areas in Hasaka northern countryside

Mr.Zero problems blames Erdogan himeself for the current events in north Syria

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

Even Trump is Smarter than Erdogan: 37 More Turkish Soldiers Killed in Idlib

27 US-Sponsored Terrorists Surrender to the SAA from Tanf Area

الاستدارة الكاملة لأبو ظبي نحو دمشق

وفاء العم


مسألة الانفتاح الخليجيّ على دمشق لن تطول، ولا شك في أن الإمارات ستقودها.

وضع ملف مرحلة إعادة إعمار سوريا على طاولة محمد بن زايد لدراسته

تعتزم الإمارات عزماً غير قابل للتأويل على إعادة علاقاتها مع دمشق إلى ما قبل العام 2011، بل إلى أكثر من ذلك في السياسة والاقتصاد، فالإمارات أيضاً ما قبل 2011 ليست كما بعده، وهي الحاضرة في معادلة اليمن ومنطقة شمال أفريقيا والقرن الأفريقي، والتي تؤدي دور رأس الحربة في مواجهة مشروع الإخوان المسلمين بقيادة تركيا وقطر في المنطقة.

في السياسة، كانت أبو ظبي قبل إعادة فتح سفارتها في دمشق تضع نصف قدم لدى الحكومة السورية ونصف قدم مع المعارضة. وقد دعمت قوى سياسية معارضة بعينها، كتيار “الوعد” السوري على سبيل المثال، كما دعمت فصائل مسلّحة داخل ما عرف باسم “الجيش الحر”، أهمها فصيل “الجبهة الجنوبية” المدعوم من “مركز العمليات العسكرية” في الأردن، المعروف بغرفة عمليات “الموك”، واستخدمت هذه الفصائل لمواجهة فصائل أخرى إسلامية، صُنفت إرهابية، وكانت مدعومة من تركيا وقطر.

ولكن في مرحلة لاحقة، وتحديداً ما بعد القطيعة مع قطر في العام 2017، ومع إصرار الأخيرة على الإبقاء على قاعدة “الريان” العسكرية التركية في أراضيها، والتخطيط لبناء قاعدة عسكرية ثانية في الخريف القادم، ناهيك بإصرار الدوحة على المضي قدماً في تحالفها مع أنقرة من دون تراجع، رغم كل الضغوط الخليجية، كل ذلك دفع الإمارات إلى إعادة قراءة تحالفاتها، والاتجاه نحو الانفتاح أكثر على دمشق، على اعتبار أن الدولة السورية تحولت إلى عصا في خاصرة المشروع التركي في المنطقة.

 يقول أحد المقربين من دوائر صناعة القرار: “أثبتت دمشق أنها كانت عصية على العثمانية الجديدة”. عموماً، اتخذ القرار في العام 2018، وتمت إعادة العلاقات الدبلوماسية.

على سكة العلاقة مع دمشق، اتخذت أبو ظبي خطوات جريئة، لن يكون آخرها اتصال ولي العهد محمد بن زايد بالرئيس السوري بشار الأسد. تنسحب الإمارات من دعم المعارضة السورية، أو بشكل أدق تبحث عن شكل جديد للمعارضة يناسب ما يمكن تسميته “الاستدارة الكاملة” نحو دمشق، كما تحضّر لسلة من الدعم المالي والاقتصادي. وإذا احتاج الأمر إلى دعم لوجستي عسكري، فلن تتردد في دعم دمشق لموجهة التركيا.

وفي المعلومات، وضع ملف مرحلة إعادة الإعمار على طاولة محمد بن زايد لدراسته.. خطة طموحة واستثمارات كبيرة، وفود كانت قد وصلت، ووفود ستصل قريباً إلى دمشق.

تعرف أبو ظبي كيف تطوّع التحديات، وتتمرَّس في فنون الاستثمار، وعينها على قطاعات البناء والنقل والتجارة. في العام 2018، استأنفت الإمارات التجارة البرية مع سوريا، وأرسلت أول قافلة تجارية متجهة نحو الأراضي السورية عن طريق معبر “نصيب”. وفي العام 2019، تسارعت وتيرة النشاط التجاري مع سوريا عبر ميناء “جبل علي” الذي استقبل مئات الشحنات لنقلها براً إلى سوريا. 

طبعاً، يأتي ذلك ضمن مشروع موانئ دبي العالمية، بإنشاء ممر توريد بطول 2500 كيلومتر بين المنطقة الحرة في دبي ومعبر نصيب – جابر الحدودي، لتسهيل الحركة التجارية في هذه المنطقة.

بالتوازي، تبادلت وفود تجارية الزيارة بين البلدين في العام 2019، رغبة في استئناف الأعمال التجارية والاستثمارية. وهنا، لا بد من التذكير بأنّ الإمارات أدارت مشاريع كبرى وضخمة في سوريا قبل الأزمة بمليارات الدولارات.

ربما يجدر السؤال هنا عن وتيرة الانفتاح الاقتصادي، لاعتبارين الأول مسارات الوضع الأمني، والآخر استمرارية العقوبات الأميركية، وما قد تمارسه الأخيرة من ضغوط للحيلولة دون ذلك، ناهيك بما تفرضه مرحلة كورونا، وتأثيرها في الاقتصادي العالمي، والانهيارات في أسعار النفط العالمية، ولكن ذلك لن يغير من واقع تحوّل السياسة الخارجية الإماراتية نحو سوريا.

هذه السياسة ربما تثير أجواء من عدم الارتياح لدى الرياض، التي ترى أن الإمارات ذهبت منفردة في الانفتاح على دمشق. بالنسبة إلى الرياض، ليست الإشكالية في خطوة الانفتاح، وإنما في التوقيت، كما أنها تضع في الحسبان التنسيق مع واشنطن المستاءة أصلاً من الإمارات، غير أن الأخيرة لن تنتظر في ظل احتدام الصراع بينها وبين تركيا من جهة، وفي ظل سيطرة أجواء عدم الثقة بسياسة واشنطن من جهة أخرى. 

وفي المجمل، إنَّ مسألة الانفتاح الخليجيّ على دمشق لن تطول، ولا شك في أن الإمارات ستقودها.

Crisis in Syrian Idlib Has Firmly Put Turkey Back into NATO’s Sphere

Global Research, February 13, 2020

Syria was the very reason why relations between Turkey and the United States deteriorated as the latter openly backed the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), that Ankara considers a terrorist organization. Although Turkey has always been a loyal ally and member of the U.S.-led NATO, the Syrian War saw relations between Ankara and Moscow flourish despite an initial speedbump when Turkey downed a Russian jet in Syria in 2015, leading to the murder of the pilot by Turkish-backed terrorists. Russia not only improved relations by selling Turkey the powerful S-400 missile defense system, but sympathized with Turkish concerns against the YPG and partnered with Turkey in Syria-related discussions through the Astana and Sochi formats. The S-400 sale triggered the wrath of NATO, and many within the political establishment in Washington considered the option of kicking Turkey out of the Atlanticist organization.

It appeared that with Russo-Turkish relations strengthening, Turkey would join the new Multipolar World System. However, at the end of January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had an outburst against Russia, revealing his frustration by stating “Russia is not abiding by Astana or Sochi” as Moscow refused to discourage their Syrian allies from fighting Turkish-backed terrorist forces operating in Idlib province in Syria’s northwest. However, the Astana and Sochi agreements allow for operations against terrorist organizations – the Syrian Army are battling against Al-Qaeda affiliated formations like the Turkestan Islamic Party and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

With Russia refusing to step away from backing its Syrian ally, Turkey has escalated the situation in Idlib by mobilizing thousands of soldiers to illegally occupy large swathes of the province. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wasted no time and during a press discussion yesterday after the first day’s session of the Meeting of NATO Defense Ministers, he announced that NATO is giving support to Turkey against Syria in Idlib. This came when on the same day U.S. Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey said in an interview with the Turkish news channel NTV that Turkish soldiers that are currently stationed in Idlib have the right to defend themselves and that Washington and Ankara have a common geostrategic goal in Syria and Libya.

Effectively, as Russia and Turkey find huge differences in not only Idlib, but also in Libya, both NATO and the U.S. have pounced at the opportunity to bring Turkey firmly back into its camp and away from Russia – Ankara has been more than happy to oblige. As Turkey occupies a strategic space in Eurasia, serving as the bridge between East and West, while also controlling the Bosporus and Dardanelles, the straits where Turkey holds huge leverage against the Great Powers.

There is little doubt that the Syrian Army’s offensive in Idlib has deepened the rift between Russia and Turkey, so-much-so that Erdoğan, emboldened by support from Stoltenberg and Jeffrey, claimed that “most of the attacks carried out by the [Syrian] regime and Russia in Idlib target civilians rather than terrorists.” Of course, he had no evidence to back this claim and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the charge.

Ankara claims that it is deeply concerned by the danger posed by a new wave of refugees and its concerns for Syrian civilians in Idlib. However, the de facto currency of Idlib is no longer the Syrian pound, but rather the Turkish lira. This is in conjunctions to the installation of Turkish communication systems in the province, duty free Turkish goods flooding in and Syrian industry dismantled and taken into Turkey. These actions would suggest that Turkey is planning to permanently control the region. Syrians remember when its Hatay province was stolen by Turkey in 1939 and also remember when the northern portion of maritime neighbor Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in 1974. In the minds of Syrians, a permanent Turkish occupation of Idlib is not an exaggeration as many officials in Ankara openly proclaim their dreams for a neo-Ottoman Empire and a Syrian jihadist leader even said on Turkish television that the so-called Free Syrian Army will fight “wherever jihad is” and for the “Ottoman Caliphate.”

As Turkey has been insubordinate to NATO over the YPG issue and strengthened relations in Russia as a reaction, both NATO and the U.S. have jumped at the opportunity to bring Ankara out of Moscow’s orbit. This was an inevitable result as Russia would not abandon its Syrian ally or accept a permanent occupation. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed in 2016 that “every inch of Syria” would be liberated, and Moscow has always supported the notion that full Syrian sovereignty must be restored and the country not Balkanized. As Turkey’s long-term goal to replace Assad with a Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish-sympathetic leader has failed, it is likely that the occupation of Idlib is Plan B as a consolation prize towards the neo-Ottoman Empire project. As Washington desperately wants Erdoğan back within its sphere of influence, it is willing to allow Turkey to occupy Idlib and perhaps even annex the region. As NATO and Washington have given their blessing for Erdoğan to military engage in Idlib, something that Russia has condemned, there is little doubt that the Idlib crisis has put Turkey firmly back into the NATO sphere and away from Russia.

*

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

Syrian Journalist Wafaa Shabrouni Wounded by Erdogan Terrorists in Idlib

January 29, 2020 Miri Wood

Wafaa Shabrouni RT Arabic Syria وفاء شبروني سورية
Wafa’a Shabrouni severely wounded by NATO weaponry via Erdogan’s terrorists.

Wafaa Shabrouni, Syrian journalist for RT, was seriously wounded in newly liberated Maarat al Numan, Idlib countryside. She and her crew came under attack while reporting on the Syrian Arab Army’s military campaign against the remaining Erdogan-run mercenaries and other al Qaeda factions.

Shabrouni was taken to the Hama State Hospital for surgery to remove shrapnel from her face and her jaw.

Wafaa Shabrouni RT Arabic Syria وفاء شبروني سورية
Wafaa Shabrouni, Syrian journalist for RT Arabic.

Also at the time of this writing, there have been no reports from western media about the wounding of Shabrouni by NATO armed savages.

This history of Syrian journalists being kidnapped and murdered by the terrorists dates back to the early days of the crisis. The journalist martyrs got little or no western news coverage; how could they, given western reporters are NATO stenographers who support the murderers armed by NATO countries.

In August 2011, TV journalist Yara Saleh was abducted by members of the moderate criminals, the FSA, who moderately murdered a member of her crew.

femicide -TV journalist Yara al Saleh & her crew were rescued by the SAA.
TV journalist Yara al Saleh & her crew were rescued by the SAA.

Syrian journalist Maya Nasser was murdered by a moderate FSA sniper, while reporting live on PressTV, from Damascus, 26 September 2012.

Yara Abbas was martyred when her Ikhbariya TV crew was fired upon also by moderate FSA snipers, while covering the advances of the Syrian Arab Army, on 27 May 2013 (coincidentally, this was the weekend American illegal John McCain was meeting with kidnappers and cohorts of al Nusra in Syria.).

Yara Abbas
Martyr Yara Abbas, Syria’s Ikhbariya TV Reporter

Khaled al Khatib was on assignment with RT TV, covering Syrian Arab Army operations in the eastern countryside of Homs, when his crew was hit by an anti-tank missile, 30 July 2017. He was martyred immediately.

al-khatib
Syrian journalist Khaled al Khatib, martyred 30 July 2017.
khartabil
Khaled al Khatib’s mom carries her son’s coffin.

Less than one month later, 26 August 2017, soldier-journalist Mohammad Salman Nasser was martyred in the southern countryside of Raqqa. He was both defending his homeland from NATO terrorists, and reporting on the SAA operations.

nato-terrorists
Soldier-journalist, Mohammad Salman Naser, 1982-2017.
Soldier-journalist Mohammad Salman Naser with his family

On 8 March 2018, Syrian journalist Hassan Ali Badran was martyred by NATO armed terrorists in al Ghouta, prior to the liberation of the suburb of Damascus, by the Syrian Arab Army.

alghouta
Hassan Ali Badran.
Hassan leans over the coffin of his father, Brig. Gen. Ali Badran, martyred in Harasta.

There is a well-respected, allegedly impartial, New York City based NP/NGO, that claims to support “press freedom and defends the rights of journalists.” It is the Committee to Protect Journalists, and its massive, colonialist bias is seen on its website. Type in all of these names of Syrian journalists martyred or wounded in their home country. Some are not mentioned; some have a burp. Then, use the site to search any of the illegal westerners killed in Syria, those masquerading as journalists or actual journalists — such as illegal Marie Colvin — and you will find kilometers and kilometers of reports.

Wafaa Shabrouni is reported to be in stable condition.

— Miri Wood

NATO Terrorists Kill More Syrians; US Dogs of War Demand More Syrian Blood via ‘Caesar’

December 22, 2019

Miri Wood

Civilians killed in explosion in Tal Abiad - Raqqa Countryside - Syria

NATO terrorists are on another rampage in Syria, celebrating the passage of criminal legislation by warmongers on Capitol Hill, massacring nine civilians in two towns.

Nineteen persons were injured. Wednesday’s atrocities follow the passage by US Congress and Senate of another round of illicit sanctions against Syria, named for Qatar’s Caesar psyop hoax.

On 18 December, four persons were murdered when “a mine exploded inside a car near al Bawabeh al Hudeidiya in Tal Abyad city in Raqqa” governate. As two children were among the martyred, it is likely this was a family massacre. NATO terrorists of the Turkish variety of mercenaries who currently occupy this region of Syria. Four others were injured.

NATO terrorists also exploded a booby-trapped vehicle near to a popular restaurant in the town of Mabruka, near to Ras al-Ayn, Hasaka countryside, almost at the same time. Five civilians were murdered, and fifteen people were injured. The explosion was severe enough to cause major damage to the restaurant, surrounding homes, and other cars. This region of Syria is also occupied by NATO terrorists of the Turkish variety of mercenaries.

Trump regime occupation forces, on 18 December, transported 200 ISIS concubines and their abused children, from al Hol camp, in Syria, into Iraq, somewhere. Though al Hol is in Syria, it took the Syrian government almost three years, to gain freedom for the kidnapped child, Alvin, to repatriate him with his father, in Italy.

Such nightmares are courtesy of the American taxpayer.

Land mines and other explosives have been a deadly problem since the onset of the NATO Spring against Syria. Despite hundreds of deaths and dismemberments, the UN has not engaged beyond a Memorandum of Understanding to clear mines buried by NATO terrorists, and the occasional census on deaths and amputations.

Marcaillou's census was so impressive, she probably could have written the Book of Numbers.
UN Mine Action Service Director Agnes Marcaillou keeps excellent statistics.

On 19 December, NATO terrorists murdered 5 Syrians, and wounded 11 others, by blowing up a car near the Municipal Building in Tal Half, west of Ras al Ayn city, Hasaka countryside. Ras al Ayn is occupied by the Erdogan faction of NATO terrorists, who are mostly busy kidnapping civilians, forcing their displacement, appropriating their homes and businesses, and inserting hundreds of mercenary militiamen, as part of Erdogan’s plot of demographic changes, in preparation for criminal annexation.

NATO terrorists car bombing in Tal Half. Five civilians were martyred, eleven others, injured. 19 December.

This was a busy day for NATO terrorists, who also fired four rocket shells on a 3,000 unit apartment complex, in al Humadanyia, Aleppo governate. Three persons were injured, and massive damage was inflicted on the apartments. This followed Monday’s rocket attacks on a residential neighborhood of al Zahra town, also in Aleppo governate.

We remind our readers that rockets and mortars are bombs, bombs of the ground-to-ground variety, used by the savages to murder Syrians, to destroy their homes, the schools of their children, and their children.

This is a photograph of what some ground to ground rocket launchers look like. Note that these bomb launchers are stationed in a schoolyard, appropriated by the mass shooters. The original photograph was taken in a Homs schoolyard in 2013. It was later appropriated by the US-funded AMC, and shown as a schoolyard in Aleppo. Western journalists have used these images, as part of the propaganda campaign to normalize the horrors committed against Syrian children.

white-helmets-organ-traders
The original photo was taken by terrorists that stole a schoolyard in Homs, in 2013.
monsters-of-congress
Though AMC affixed logo to this photo of experts having stolen a children’s schoolyard, it was originally from a schoolyard in Homs, stolen by other experts.

NATO stenographer-journalists have not reported on this recent wave of atrocities against Syrian civilians, in residential Syrian neighborhoods, and during the time when most Syrian civilians are enjoying the Christmas season.

NATO stenographer-journalists have been too busy high-fiving Capitol Hill for finally passing the Fake Caesar bill, to report on this carnage by NATO terrorists. In their Freudian sadism over another opportunity to punish the Syrian Arab Republic for not capitulating to the will of empire, they neglected to mention failed attempts to pass obscene legislation based on fraudulent propaganda: The rabid war dogs had to pull their Caesar bill after the 2016 election because that portion which related to immigration sounded too much like Trump’s immigration plans.

Did this part of the Fake Caesar bill sound too much like Trump's Executive Orders on immigration?
Did this part of the Fake Caesar bill sound too much like Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration?

They did not mention that Caesar was previously stuffed into the S. 1 bill, the bill which still flounders.

S1 (2019) US legislation

Though the cheerful NATO media did mention the Caesar hoax was passed with the renewal of the National Defense Authorization Act, they neglected to mention despite two previous failures, Caesar was inserted somewhere within the 3,488 page NDAA, which the House had a whopping 19 hours to review, and which most Congress members voted to pass, nonetheless.

CNN — dubbed terrorists most trust name in news when it gave al Qaeda in Syria a makeover in 2016 — shed the most bathos when reporting the hoax being codified. Let us not forgot that CNN has consistently sided with “armed opposition” — NATO terrorists — since the early days of the crisis.

In August 2011, Anderson Cooper interviewed Syria’s UN ambassador, Bashar al Jaafari. Cooper challenged the diplomat’s veracity in stating that foreign invaders were slaughtering his countrymen.

It was of no consequence when CNN’s Clarissa Ward won awards for interviewing foreign terrorists when she was illegally in the SAR; warmongering media doubles down in the field of arrogance.

international-women's-day
CNN’s Clarissa Ward, right, has illegally entered the SAR multiple times, embedding herself with foreign takfiri.

Kate Bolduan co-authored the breathless news via CNN. She is the reporter known for dripping crocodile tears, on a live broadcast, over the White Helmets FX production of Omran. None noticed her ghastly silence when 12-year-old Abdullah Issa was kidnapped from a hospital and had his head cut off with a kitchen knife, by friends of the photographer who became famous for taking the photo of Omran.

omran
See Kate. See Kate cry.

CNN claims that Qatar’s Caesar Fraud — that miraculous ghost who has been on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, at the Holocaust Museum, whose identity continues to remain a secret — is now relieved that the warmongers who fund and arm NATO terrorists, have passed a new draconian measure of economic terrorism against his alleged country.

Qatar-owned, fake defector/ psyop Caesar before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, 2014. Mouaz Moustafa was his ‘translator.’

Bolduan threw kudos to Moustafa, the boy wonder who has been working the Hill since his twenties, who claims to have advised Obama on Libya, via being the ”Executive Director of the Libyan Council of North America,” despite not being Libyan. Moustafa is also the head of the “Syrian Emergency Task Force,” a taxpayer-supported charity through which the Arkansas-based The Wisdom House funds stunning projects in Idlib, such as painting little girls to look as though they are about to be marketed.

WisdomHseSyria Tweet Idlib Children Make up
The tweet explaining that cosmetology students were tested for skills with make-up and skin care products using very little Syrian girls, in al Qaeda occupied Idlib.

In 2013, Moustafa helped smuggle John McCain illegally into Syria, where they met with kidnappers and supporters of Jabhat al Nusra terrorists.

nicaragua
US Senator John McCain with Syrian FSA commander & Nusra supporter Salim Idris and terrorists responsible for kidnapping Lebanese pilgrims in Syrian border town of Bab al-Salam, near Turkey on 27 May 2013. Idriss has called ISIS “brothers” of the FSA.

The wunderkind, in turn, threw bouquets at a handful of congressmen, with the CNN report choosing to quote Adam Kinzinger, whose notoriety grows from his anti-Syria grandstanding:

It took a few years, but the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act will finally make its way to the President’s desk to become law. And for the Syrian people, this means there will finally be some justice brought to the evil Assad regime….

crimes-against-peace
President Assad, among the Syrian people.

As NATO stenography media considers their audience to have short-term memory deficits, Syria News reminds our readers that Kinzinger’s altruistic concerns for the Syrian citizenry has always been on the side of the ”armed moderate opposition;” he was hashtagging #SaveDaraa when the White Helmets were abusing corpses of Syrian soldiers murdered by those deranged moderates.

Trump
Monsters of congress support terrorists in Syria

Let us also never forget with whom he met, in Turkey, in 2014.

astana-fsa-opposition-delegates
Former Ambassador Ford with al Qaeda/FSA/JaN terrorist Abdel Jabber all Okaidi

It was Abdel Jabar al Okaidi, the traitor who took up arms against his country, and who, in 2013, made it clear to the world that he considered ISIL his “brothers,” complained that Jabhat al Nusra should not be on the US terror list, and was videoed with ISIS/ISIL takfiri who screamed their support of al Baghdadi, threatened to “slaughter” a minority population, and that the Islamic State is here to stay.

Somehow, Kinzinger and other congressmen and senators who pushed the Caesar hoax bill, missed these facts, facts straight from the horse’s mouth.

The Orwellianly named Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 is the epitome of arrogant colonialism. It applies more draconian, illicit, coercive, economic terrorism against the Syrian people, relief from which can only be given if Syria stops bombing foreign terrorists occupying parts of it; it empties its jails of all criminals and terrorists; it removes its elected president. It provides for a new round of anti-Syria propaganda within 180 days, when warmongering congressional committees will meet to lie that the Central Bank of Syria has no purpose except laundering. The entire scam has cost the US taxpayer a large fortune, in tax exemptions for: think tank ‘charities’ which pimp war porn; tax exemption for ‘charities’ such as the Arkansas-based ”The Wisdom House;” the cost of flying Kinzinger and entourage into Turkey, housing them, feeding them, and them holding meetings with supporters of al Baghdadi; tax exemption (and free Federal land) for the Holocaust Museum, which has shown the Caesar fraud photos; costs of flying terrorists — including drug addicts and convicted felons — into the US to lie on Capitol Hill and at the UN; paychecks for ‘translators’ and ‘lecturers;’ and, of course, the costs of the massive weapons provided to NATO terrorists in Syria. Details of this massive, incestuous fraud, here.

Trump signed the criminal Caesar Hoax Bill into law, on Friday, along with $738 billion ‘defense’ budget, and with full authorization of funding for the wall on the US-Mexico border, because double standard dicta of imperialism prohibit illegal entry of foreigners into the US, while US criminally deploys its military inside Syria, and gives away portions of the country to third party occupiers.

NATO media cheering the Caesar Hoax Bill have neglected to report that virtually all congress members in support of the Impeachment Schitt Show, have voted for the wall, the wall that they had previously condemned.

 US war crimes are consistently bipartisan. US legislation that promotes war criminal propaganda is also consistently bipartisan. The bipartisanship extends to collective, convenient amnesia when the rabid dogs of war engage in the geopolitical version of Freudian projection; when the lawbreakers bray that the Syrian government bombing civilians and destroying its own infrastructure, they are actually describing themselves.

It was the US-led fascist coalition that bombed al Raqqa, city of 800,000, into oblivion.

syrian-democratic-forces
CNN cheers destruction as far as the eye can see. This is al Raqqa, courtesy of the US-led war criminal coalition.

It was the government of Philadelphia that bombed a residential neighborhood, dropping an incendiary explosive from a helicopter.

It was the US government that fire bombed Waco.

Also on Friday, NATO terrorists suffered a setback, when China and Russia thwarted the plot of the P3 to extend the UN mandate which breached the sovereign rights of the Syrian Arab Republic, under the guise of fraudulent delivery of ‘humanitarian aid.’

As UNSCR 2449 (2018) does not expire until 10 January 2020, the American taxpayer can rest comfortably, secure in the likelihood that NATO terrorists will have a large influx of more weaponry, before the expiration date.

syrian-democratic-forces
US weapons gifts entered via Erdoganstan

— Miri Wood

Recommended:
https://www.syrianews.cc/monsters-congress-launch-new-syria-hating-caucus/

Major Development: SAA Reopens Vital Aleppo – Hasakah M4 Artery

Syrian Arab Army SAA Reopens Aleppo - Hasakah Highway M4

 

The Syrian Arab Army has reopened the most vital Aleppo – Hasakah Highway M4 for people traveling and for economic convoys securing the whole path from terrorist groups, separatist militias, and foreign invaders.

Thanks to the heroism and bravery of the Syrian Armed Forces and the massive sacrifices of the Syrian people, M4 highway is back to life after years of control by terrorist groups the likes of Al-Qaeda and all its variants: FSA, Nusra Front, ISIS, and later by separatist Kurdish militias, and attempts by foreign NATO invaders of the Trump and Erdogan regimes.

The following video report by the Syrian Ikhbariya News Channel adds more info:

 

The video is also available on Bitchute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/n1yoWeliGP1F/

Erdogan forces of Al-Qaeda FSA have tried desperately to control this road to cut off the northern region from the rest of the country, despite claims of the Turkish madman of respecting Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other empty talks, the Syrian Arab Army empowered by their duty to protect their families and people have managed to deploy fast and from several axes, especially after cornering Erdogan’s most loyal terrorists of Nusra Front in Idlib and after the separatist Kurdish SDF militia were abandoned by their sponsors.

The transcript of the English translation of the video report:

After completing the deployment of the Syrian Army on the International Road of Hasakah- Aleppo M4 and securing villages and areas on the axis of the road, the road was opened to residents, travelers, and commercial convoys, reducing the burden and travel and reducing the time for travelers.

Syrian Arab Army Officer: We declare to our fellow citizens, economists and all segments that this road has become safe and everyone can use this road and restore human and economic life as it was, especially that Syrian Arab Army units coming from the city of Hasakah reached the west of Silos by 5 km and met with units from The City of Ain Issa.

The M4 international route is the only artery for commercial convoys and travelers arriving in the eastern region after the U.S. coalition destroyed bridges on the Euphrates River, all roads except the road between Hasakah and Aleppo were cut off.

Army units had begun deploying in the vicinity of the road from the south in order to secure it and protect civilians in the surrounding villages from the town of Tal Tamr to Aalieh silos as a first stage, the army continued to deploy and reinforce its points towards the administrative border of Raqqa province to the village of Al-Tarwazia.

The International Road of Hasakah-Aleppo runs along the northern and eastern region of Syria and connects the north of the country to the west, and reaches the Iraqi border at its home country of Yarabiya.

mmmmmmmmm

End of English transcript.

نص التقرير باللغة العربية

بعد استكمال انتشار الجيش العربي السوري على الطريق الدولي الحسكة – حلب وتأمين القرى والمناطق على محور الطريق، تم فتح الطريق أمام الأهالي والمسافرين والقوافل التجارية ما خفف أعباء وعناء السفر واختصر الوقت للمسافرين

ضابط في الجيش العربي السوري: نعلن للأخوة المواطنين وللاقتصاديين ولكافة الشرائح بأن هذا الطريق قد أصبح آمناً ويستطيع الجميع سلوك هذا الطريق وإعادة الحياة البشرية والاقتصادية كما كانت وخاصة أن وحدات الجيش العربي السوري القادمة من مدينة الحسكة وصلت إلى غرب الصوامع ب 5 كيلومتر والتقت مع الوحدات القادمة من مدينة عين عيس

ويعتبر الطريق الدولي الشريان الوحيد الذي تسلكه القوافل التجارية والمسافرين القادمين إلى المنطقة الشرقية بعد أن دمر التحالف الأمريكي الجسور على نهر الفرات والذي تسبب بانقطاع كل الطرق باستثناء الطريق الواصل بين الحسكة وحلب

وكانت وحدات الجيش بدأت الانتشار في محيط الطريق من الجهة الجنوبية بغية تأمينه وحماية المدنيين في القرى المحيطة به انطلاقاً من بلدة تل تمر وصولاً إلى صوامع عالية كمرحلة أولى واستمر الجيش بانتشاره وتعزيز نقاطه باتجاه الحدود الإدارية لمحافظة الرقة وصولاً إلى قرية التروازية

ويمتد الطريق الدولي الحسكة – حلب على طول المنطقة الشمالية والشرقية من سورية ويربط شمال البلاد بغربها، ويصل حتى الحدود العراقية عند بلده اليعربية

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