Turkey-sponsored Al Qaeda Commander Droned with Some Sheep

JANUARY 27, 2023

A NATO Turkey-sponsored Al Qaeda commander was killed along with some sheep in a bombing by a drone in a village in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, north of Syria Wednesday, 25 January 2023.

Local sources in Al Bab city in the eastern countryside of Aleppo said that so far, nobody claimed responsibility for the killing of the Al Qaeda commander Saddam Al Mousa aka Abu Adi, and at least 2 sheep near his house in the village of Al Hadath in the early evening hours of Wednesday.

The bombed terrorist had earned many enemies throughout his terrorist career, and any of those enemies are capable of drone-killing him with the sheep.

Some of the local sources in Al Bab said the terrorist was eliminated after refusing to share the spoils he extorted from the Syrian locals crossing at the Al Hamran makeshift checkpoint in the same area where he was killed with another NATO Turkey-sponsored terrorist group dubbed the National Army, one of the dozens of the Turkey-sponsored terrorist groups operating in northern Syria who are constantly fighting over territories and spoils of war.

Al Qaeda Levant commander Saddam Al Mousa killed by drone attack in northern Syria
Al Qaeda Levant commander Saddam Al Mousa killed by drone attack in northern Syria

Other local sources said the terrorist might have been killed by the Turkish ‘intelligence’ for refusing to hand over the checkpoint to another Turkey-sponsored terrorist group.

Among the jobs this killed terrorist had during his criminal life was as an investigator at the infamous makeshift Jarabulus security prison, he later joined the fight against the US-sponsored ISIS terrorists over some territories in Al Bab city in 2016. The last post the terrorist had was the commander of the ‘Ahrar Aolan Brigade’ of the ‘Ahrar Al-Sham’ organization, an affiliated group with the so-called HTS aka Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda Levant.

Reactions among the terrorists in the different branches, affiliated groups, offshoots, and rivaling factions of Al Qaeda in northern Syria over the killing of this Al Qaeda commander varied between delighted and extreme anger, some of the terrorists were considered colleagues of the terrorist and others were already eyeing the checkpoint he was controlling.

In general, one less terrorist from any of the groups working for NATO countries Turkey or the USA, or for other terror-sponsoring countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel, is a blessing for the Syrian people, the sad part is the sheep who were killed with this one as collateral damage.


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Mossad and CIA are Training Christian Extremist Militia in Lebanon

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Covert training camps in the Jordanian desert are currently the site of British and American trainers developing young Lebanese men, loyal to the Christian warlord, Samir Geagea, according to chief editor of Al Mariah magazine, Fadi Abu Deya.  In an interview given to Al Jadeed TV, Abu Deya claimed Geagea is sending fighters to Jordan for military training which is supported by the US and UK.  Gegea’s media office has denied this allegation and has threatened to file a lawsuit against Abu Deya. The militia is allegedly tasked with attacks on Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group.

However, from a reliable source inside Lebanon, Israel’s Mossad are training fighters loyal to Geagea in his headquarters at Meraab, Baalbek, and Dahr Al Ahmar.

In May 2008, Geagea told the Lebanese media Al Akbar that he had 7,000 to 10,000 fighters ready to face off with Hezbollah, and was asking for US support. Lebanon continues to be one step away from a new civil war along sectarian lines.

Geagea is supported by Saudi Arabia who demand Hezbollah to be demilitarized.  The US shares this view with Saudi Arabia and Israel, who view the group as a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia is willing to help Lebanon with their financial recovery, but their condition is that Hezbollah must be weakened.

Geagea is one of the most powerful politicians in Lebanon, despite being sentenced to life in prison for murder in 1995. He killed his political opponents, and blew up a church full of worshippers, even though he is Christian to whip up sectarian hatred.

Recently, he came under scrutiny for a new militia called “God’s Soldiers” who are located in Ashrafiah, a neighborhood of Beirut. These are young Christian men who most often work as security guards and look like they are professional body builders or wrestlers. Defenders of the group claim they are simply a neighborhood watch group protecting property from robbery. However, Geagea has a past history of heading a group known as “Young Men” who were fighters during the civil war.

Hezbollah is not only a defense force, which has prevented a second Israeli invasion of south Lebanon, and a resistance force demanding the withdrawal of Israelis from the occupied Shebaa Farms, they are also a political party with a sizable elected membership in parliament in the free democratic elections held in May. Most Lebanese, regardless of their support of Hezbollah, agree that Hezbollah has been the only defense force capable of defending the southern border.

Lebanon is now referred to as a failed state. Once called the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East” for its private and secure banking services, and its winter ski resorts in the mountains, it began a financial collapse in 2019 which has seen the country hit rock-bottom currently. Wealthy Arabs from the Persian Gulf used to flock to Lebanon for their famous nightclubs and Casino. The tourists are gone from Lebanon amid the financial collapse which has seen Lebanese migrants leaving in small boats to find a better life in Europe.

Protesters began street violence in 2019 demanding the ruling political elite step down. These politicians included remnants of the war-lords of the 1975-1990 civil war, like Geagea.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, has been discovered to have run the bank for decades in a Ponzi scheme, which wiped out hard currency, and caused the banks to freeze accounts. Some Lebanese became so desperate to access their own money, they resorted to armed hold-ups to get their own funds released.  In several cases, the funds were needed for emergency medical care as there are no public hospitals in Lebanon.

European countries began issuing arrest warrants for Salameh on charges of money laundering, corruption, and personal enrichment of public funds.  He has remained free, and still holds his position in charge of all the public funds for Lebanon, while enjoying the protection of the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy C. Shea who has said removal of Salameh is a ‘red line’.  European charges relate to billions of dollars that Salameh and his brother have deposited abroad. Recent rumors floated that the US was promoting Salameh to become the next president.

In 2016, Salameh hosted a conference at the US Embassy in Lebanon. The Financial Action Task Force was set up to stop money laundering to safeguard the integrity of the banking sector. Salameh was the fox in the henhouse.

The US-NATO attack on Syria began in 2011 for regime change. The US and their western allies, including Israel, wanted to break the political alliance between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah. In 2012, the CIA began a covert training operation in the Jordanian desert, and in 2013 President Obama signed approval of the operation which trained young men to fight in Syria.

In 2013, former deputy CIA director Michael J. Morell said in a CBS interview that the most effective fighters on the battlefield in Syria are the Radical Islamic terrorists. “And because they’re so good at fighting the Syrians, some of the moderate members of the opposition joined forces with them,” he said.

The Syrian refugee camp Zatari in Jordan was the home base of the fighters, who would train with the CIA and slip over the border into Syria and later return to their families safe in the camp.

In 2017, President Trump shut down the $1 Billion CIA program in Jordan.  From the beginning, many advisors had cautioned that the weapons the US was supplying to the ‘rebels’ would later fall into the hands of terrorists following Radical Islam, such as Al Qaeda, Jibhat al-Nusra and ISIS. Their warning became reality, after the ‘rebels’ became partners with the Radical Islamic terrorists who did not fight for freedom, or democracy, but for the goal of establishing a government in Damascus following the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  Obama had promoted the MB in the US, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. The political platform of the MB is identical to Al Qaeda. The big difference is that ISIS carries black flags and the MB wear suits and ties. Eventually, the Obama-backed MB was defeated in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. In Libya, the MB control the Tripoli administration backed by the UN. The armed conflict in Syria finished by 2017 with the US supported Al Qaeda affiliate, Jibhta al-Nusra, only in control of an olive growing province, Idlib.

Jordan’s King Hussein was one of the first Arab leaders to call for the Syrian President to step down. Jordan is one the largest recipients of US foreign aid, which was a reward for their peace treaty with Israel.  King Hussein supported the US-NATO attack on Syria and hosted the terrorist training camps in the desert as well as a huge Syrian refuges camp which was used to house and feed the wives and children of the terrorists being trained. But, the US-NATO attack on Syria failed. In September 2021, the border crossing between Syria and Jordan re-opened. On October 4, 2021 the King spoke with Assad by phone in the first phase of a reconciliation between Amman and Damascus, similar to the repair in relations between Syria and Bahrain and UAE. Turkey is now in the same process, and reports suggest Saudi Arabia may follow.  Arab leaders realize that they must not blindly follow orders by Washington to start or support wars in the Middle East which end up in failure.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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Leaked files: How Britain trains Jordan to spy on its citizens

January 24 2023

The British government covertly trained Jordanian security services in techniques known as “digital media exploitation” which has been used to monitor, manipulate, and disrupt dissent in the kingdom.

Source: The Cradle

Photo Credit: The Cradle

ByKit Klarenberg

By Al Mayadeen English 

Leaked documents reviewed by The Cradle reveal that Britain secretly trained Jordanian security services in techniques used by the notorious UK security and cyber agency GCHQ, which provides signals intelligence to the British government and its armed forces.

Over three intensive, week-long, Foreign Office-funded training sessions conducted between June 2019 and March 2020, members of the Public Security Directorate’s shadowy Special Branch, handpicked by the British Embassy in Amman, were taught the finer points of “digital media exploitation.”

In theory, the purpose of the exercise was to assist “evidence gathering agencies in Jordan to effectively extract data from digital devices” to enhance their investigative capabilities, and improve the standard of prosecutions, particularly in the field of terrorism.

This would in turn enable enhanced sharing of evidence between Amman and London, “and lead to increased operational cooperation.”

Tried and tested tactics

As readers of The Cradle will well-know by this point, the officially stated noble objectives of Whitehall’s assorted security support and reform programs in West Asia may not align with the underlying reality of these efforts.

For example, this outlet has previously revealed how British operatives and technology are placed in Lebanon’s intelligence services under the guise of teaching them how to use digital forensic tools. This allows London to closely monitor their activities – and Lebanese citizens.

Those programs are delivered by British government contractor Torchlight, a company staffed by UK military and intelligence veterans with high-level security clearances. The same company was also behind the training provided to Jordan’s Special Branch.

According to its submissions to the Foreign Office, based on a “comprehensive on-site visit” in 2018, the Directorate’s operatives were already “satisfactorily equipped in terms of hardware and software” to conduct “digital media exploitation.”

Spying on citizens

However, Torchlight felt that they were not “adequately trained to fully exploit the potential of the equipment they possess.” Given the resources available to the Directorate, this “potential” could be highly concerning.

For example, Torchlight has noted that Special Branch uses Cellebrite’s suite of digital intelligence products. Cellebrite, an Israeli company with clients including multiple repressive governments, produces technology capable of breaking into encrypted devices and extracting and analyzing all data within it.

While the firm has helped solve murky murder cases, overwhelmingly it is deployed to monitor the activities of human rights activists, journalists and dissidents.

The professional backgrounds of Torchlight staffers involved in the Jordanian training project raise additional concerns. It was led by the company’s Head of Digital Intelligence, Andy Tremlett, a cyber and electronic warfare specialist who spent over a decade in senior positions at GCHQ.

Along the way, he was “charged with the provision of support to the most specialized and discreet areas” of British Special Forces operations, and responsible for expanding the agency’s “overseas footprint” and “potential delivery platform.” These positions granted him “vast experience in how to use and exploit digital material,” and integrating different forms of intelligence in broader espionage operations.

‘Destroy, deny, degrade and disrupt’

Further details of Tremlett’s ability to “exploit” the private data of targets aren’t offered, although he is said to have “spent a significant portion of his career within the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG).” The existence of this unit was exposed by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2014, and the details of its operations are truly shocking.

JTRIG’s explicit mission is to employ a variety of dirty tricks to “destroy, deny, degrade and disrupt” enemies and “discrediting” them, by planting “negative information” about them online, and manipulating discussions on internet forums and social networks.

leaked presentation on JTRIG’s covert activities shows this harassment extends to changing an individual’s social media profile pictures to take their paranoia “to a whole new level” or simply deleting their online presence, writing anonymous blog posts “purporting to be [by] one of their victims” to damage their reputations, emailing and texting their work colleagues, neighbors and friends, and arranging “honey trap” stings.

“A great option. Very successful when it works,” the presentation states in regard to the latter strategy. “Get someone to go somewhere on the internet, or a physical location to be met by a ‘friendly face.’ JTRIG has the ability to ‘shape’ the environment on occasions.”

Writing incriminating blog posts was said to have “worked on a number of different ops,” with “Iran work” cited as a particularly effective example, although this is not expanded upon. Elsewhere, it is disclosed that JTRIG “significantly” disrupted the Taliban’s communications network by bombarding them with phone calls, texts and faxes “every 10 seconds or so.”

Evidently, it was not digital forensics with which Torchlight’s training modules were primarily concerned. In fact, JTRIG operations related to “digital media exploitation” were, per the leaked presentation, primarily concerned with placing information on “compromised” electronic devices, including “damning information, where appropriate.”

Protecting the British-installed monarchy

In Jordan, criticism of King Abdullah II – a member of the Hashemite dynasty installed on thrones across West Asia by the British following World War I, and himself a British Army veteran – and government officials and institutions is a very serious crime.

Journalists are routinely subject to harassment, arrest and prosecution by authorities for even mildly critical reporting or social media posts. And protests over rising hardship among the general population are becoming more frequent.

The prospect of Amman’s secret police being proficient in JTRIG’s malicious methods is therefore disturbing by definition. The ease with which they could be abused to ruin the lives of objectors, and/or jail them on bogus charges, is clear.

Britain’s willingness to export these techniques to Jordan is not surprising. The strict and widely criticized Cybercrime Law, which restricts freedom of expression online and citizens’ right to privacy, makes the country a perfect staging ground for London’s nefarious activities elsewhere in West Asia, and helps keep their presence and intentions secret.

For example, from the early days of the Syrian crisis, Britain operated a site located 45 minutes from Amman where fighters in the proxy war were trained. Leaked files related to the project predicted that some of these individuals would go on to join Al-Nusra and ISIS and that equipment would be stolen and used by them.

Despite this, the Foreign Office was unconcerned about these prospects, likely because there was little risk that they, or the training program more generally, would ever be publicly exposed.

By Kit Klaernberg

A Moscow Meeting Shatters Fantasies of a Syrian ‘Confederation’


January 11 2023

Photo Credit: The Cradle
A geopolitical writer and journalist who previously worked at leading Lebanese daily As-Safir.

Malek al-Khoury

Russian-brokered Syrian-Turkish rapprochement will bury prospects of a divided Syria, with the potential for opposition factions to be co-opted into the armed forces.

The newly-initiated Syrian-Turkish rapprochement talks are headed in Damascus’ favor and the “Turkish concessions” derided by opponents are just the start, insiders tell The Cradle.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already abandoned his dream of “praying in the Umayyad Mosque” in Damascus. But sources say this will be swiftly followed by further concessions that will throw a wrench into the ambitions of Syria’s opposition factions.

An undivided Syria

There will be no “federalism” or “confederation” – western codewords for the break up of the Syrian state – at these talks, but rather a “Turkish-Russian” acceptance of Damascus’ conditions.

For starters, Ankara plans to open the strategic M4 highway – which runs parallel to the Turkish border and connects all the vital Syrian cities and regions – as a prelude to opening the legal border crossings between Syria and Turkiye, which will re-establish trade routes between the two countries.

This move, based on an understanding between Damascus and Ankara, will essentially close the door on any opposition fantasies of breaking Syria into statelets, and will undermine the “Kurdish-American divisive ambition.”

It is not for nothing that Washington has sought to thwart communications between Ankara and Damascus. Under the guise of “fighting ISIS,” the US invested heavily in Syrian separatism, replacing the terror group with “Kurdish local forces” and reaped the rewards in barrels of stolen Syrian oil to help mitigate the global energy crisis.

Now Turkiye has closed the door to that ‘federalization’ plan.

A Russian-backed proposal

The Syrian-Turkish talks in Moscow on 28 December focused mainly on opening and establishing the necessary political, security, and diplomatic channels – a process initiated by their respective defense ministers.

While resolving the myriad thorny files between the two states is not as easy as the optimists would like, it is also nowhere as difficult as the fierce opponents of rapprochement try to suggest.

The Moscow discussions centered on mild, incremental solutions proposed by Russia. The Kremlin understands that the minefield between Ankara and Damascus needs to be dismantled with cold minds and hands, but insists that the starting point of talks is based on the political formulas of the Astana peace process that all parties have already accepted.

On the ground, Moscow is busy marketing satisfactory security settlements for all, though those on the battlefield appear to be the least flexible so far. The Russian plan is to “present security formulas to the military,” intended to be later translated into the integration of forces – whether Kurdish fighters or opposition militants – into the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

This will be achieved via committees led by both Syrian and Turkish intelligence services, a Russian source involved in coordinating the talks tells The Cradle.

Occupied areas of Syria, in 2023

Co-opting the Kurds

The Russian proposals, according to the source, rely on two past successful models for reconciliation on the battlefield. The first is the “Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood model in northern Aleppo,” an area once controlled by Kurdish forces who began to coordinate with the SAA after the sweeping 2016 military operation that expelled opposition militants from the eastern neighborhoods of the city.

The Russian source says that the “Sheikh Maqsoud” model succeeded because of “security coordination,” revealing that “Syrian state security is deployed at the entrances to the neighborhood with checkpoints that coordinate with the Kurdish forces inside – in every way, big and small.” This security coordination includes “arresting criminally wanted persons, and facilitating administrative and service services” in coordination with Damascus.

The second reconciliation model used by Russian forces in Syria succeeded in bringing together the SAA and Sheikh Maqsoud Kurdish militias in a joint military maneuver conducted near the town of Manbij in the countryside of Aleppo last August.

While the Russian source confirms that the experience of “security coordination” between the SAA and the Kurdish forces was “successful,” he cautions that these models need “political arrangements” which can only be achieved by “an agreement in Astana on new provisions to the Syrian constitution, which give Kurds more flexibility in self-governance in their areas.”

Opposition amnesty

A parallel proposal revealed to The Cradle by a Turkish source, approaches ground solutions from a “confederation” angle, anathema to the Syrian authorities. According to him, “Damascus must be convinced of sharing power with the qualified factions of the (Turkish) National Army for that.”

While the Turkish proposal tried to move a step closer to Damascus’ aims, it seems that Russian mediation contributed to producing a new paradigm: This would be based on the tried-and-tested Syrian “military reconciliation” model used for years – namely, that opposition militants hand over their arms, denounce hostility to the state, and are integrated into the SAA.

Turkiye’s abandonment of its “demand to overthrow the regime” applies also to its affiliated military factions inside Syria, as the latter’s goals have dwindled to preserving some areas of influence in the north of the country. This is the current flavor of Turkiye’s reduced “confederation” ambitions: To maintain Turkish-backed factions within “local administrations” in northern areas where Turkiye has influence. This, in return for giving up on Ankara’s political ambition of “regime change” in Damascus and redrawing Syria’s northern map.

The solution here will require amending the Syrian constitution, a process that began several years ago to no avail.

From the Syrian perspective, officials are focused on eliminating all opposing separatist or terrorist elements who do not have the ability to adapt to a “unified” Syrian society.

Therefore, Damascus rejects military reconciliation proposals for any “sectarian” separatist or factional militias. Syrian officials reiterate that “the unity of the lands and the people” is the only gateway to a solution, away from the foreign interests that promote “terrorism or secession” – a reference to the Turkish and American role in Syria’s war.

Reconciliation on Damascus’ terms

There is no “confederation” in the dictionary of the Syrian state, and it is determined to stick hard to the principle of Syrian unity until the end. Damascus is intent on one goal: Reconciliations based on surrendering arms in the countryside of Latakia, Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa, Hasakah, Qamishli, and al-Tanf, which are the areas that are still outside the control of the state.

According to the Turkish source, Syria refused to discuss anything “outside the framework of reconciliations and handing over weapons and regions,” which he says “makes it difficult for Ankara to undertake its mission,” especially in light of the fact that the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front controls large parts of these target areas.

A Syrian source tells The Cradle that the “Qamishli model” of military reconciliation is the closest one that applies to this case: Wherein “the SAA and national defense forces (the majority of which are pro-Damascus Kurds) coordinate fully.”

He makes clear that Damascus has already provided ample self-governance mechanisms for Kurds in the country’s north:

“The (Kurdish-run) Autonomous Administration in Syria already exists. It deals directly with Syria’s Ministry of Local Administration (in Damascus) and has multiple agencies that work through local representative councils to implement government plans in terms of security, tax collection, and services,” and of course it consists of the people of the region – Kurds.

The recent statement of top Erdogan advisor Yassin Aktay may throw a wrench in those works. His insistence that Turkiye should maintain control over the city of Aleppo – Syria’s second most populous, and its industrial heart – did not come out of nowhere.

Ankara considers that its repatriation of three million Syrian refugees should start from “local administrations run by the (Turkish-backed) Syrian National Army (a rebranded version of the opposition ‘Free Syrian Army),” says the Turkish source.

He is referring to Idlib, Aleppo, and their countrysides, and the areas in which Turkiye launched its “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield” military operations. These locales in Syria’s north include the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo, including Azaz, Jarabulus, al-Bab, Afrin, and its environs.

Turkiye may consider gradually handing over these strategic zones to its allied Syrian militias, he says.

“Call it confederation or not, these areas should be controlled by the Syrian National Army factions instead of the Al-Nusra Front – in order to ensure the safe return of the refugees.”

Steady progress

In short, the Russian mediation to bring Damascus and Ankara closer is moving slowly, but according to the Turkish source, “it is closer to reconciliation because the Syrian Ministry of Local Administration is beginning to take charge of regional affairs after holding new local council elections – in compliance with plans forged in the Astana process.”

Regarding Astana, the Turkish source says, “Let the Syrians treat the Kurdish and opposition areas as one, if the Kurds agree to dismantle their factions and join the Syrian army within a certain equation, the opposition factions will also accept.”

Regarding the complicated geopolitics of Syria’s east – currently occupied by US troops and their proxies – a high-ranking Syrian official who recently visited Saudi Arabia and Cairo, proposed “Arab intervention with the Syrian tribes to disengage tribe members in the Al-Tanf region from the US forces.” But according to the official, this would be subject to “the progress of relations between Damascus, Riyadh, Cairo, and possibly even Jordan.”

A few days ago, a video message was sent by Nusra Front leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani, in which he thundered: “Where are the armies of the Muslims?” It is a topical message from Al Qaeda’s Syria boss, who is angling to maintain his sectarian “area of ​​influence” in northwest Syria – strategic Idlib on the Turkish-Syrian border. Julani’s destructive narrative may be the last barrier to break for Damascus, Ankara, and Moscow to strike a deal on the ground.

Time Running Out to Save the Kurds in Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Steven Sahiounie

The Kurds in northeastern Syria have established their semi-autonomous administration which they call “Rojava”. They are now under threat of an increased invasion and occupation by Turkish ground troops, which could end in ethnic cleansing and mass casualties.

Turkish President Erdogan has demanded for years that the US must stop supporting the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) and their armed wing the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) which serve as the army of “Rojava”.

Although Turkey and the US are partners in NATO, and long-term allies, with a US military base in Turkey, the two sides have diverged sharply over the issue of the Kurds establishing an administration independent of Damascus in northeast Syria.

The Turkish view the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK, which is an internationally outlawed terrorist group, responsible for about 40,000 deaths in Turkey over three decades.  Yet, the US partnered with the SDF and YPG in their joint attack to eradicate ISIS from Syria.

The Kurds have never been the majority of the population in northeastern Syria; however, they have a very sizeable community there, and in recent years they have carried out ethnic cleansing in the region with Syrian Arabs and Syrian Christian populations having been displaced.

The administration of “Rojava” is carried out by officials, such as Ilham Ahmed and General Mazloom Kobane, who follow the communist political ideology of the founder of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan.  Despite the American hatred of communism, the 30 years of US combat in Vietnam to eradicate communism there, and the current US antagonism with communist China, Washington, and the Pentagon put their hands firmly with the communist leadership of “Rojava”.

Syria is 10,000 years old and is home to multiple religions, and ethnicities. The Kurds are only one of many ethnicities, and before the outbreak of the conflict in Syria in 2011, the Kurds were full Syrian citizens with legal rights under the secular and socialist government in Damascus.  The current narrative, used to defend their separatist aims, is that the Kurds were oppressed by the Damascus central government.

The US-NATO attack on Syria for ‘regime change’ beginning in 2011 presented an opportunity for the Kurds to use the chaos and destruction carried out by the terrorists following Radical Islam, to establish an Islamic government in Damascus.  The terrorists attacking Syria were funded by oil-rich Arab Gulf countries, but the weapons, training, and logistics were supported by Washington through offices of the CIA in Turkey, which were finally shut down in 2017 by President Trump.  With the US military and intelligence services already on the ground in Syria, the Kurds presented themselves as a military partner and fulfilled the long-term goal of the US to split Syria into smaller units, following the age-old military rule of “divide and conquer”.   Idlib was divided from Damascus by the Al Qaeda branch in Syria, Jibhat al-Nusra, now branded as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).  HTS is supported by Turkey and the UN and other charities feed the terrorists, their families, and other civilians living there.  The northeastern region was divided from Damascus by the Kurdish administration of “Rojava”, which is supported by the US.

The US partnered with the Kurds in ‘Rojava’, but never promised them support in their ultimate goal of a homeland for the Kurds.  The US has consistently told the Kurds they need to seek to repair their relationship with Damascus to protect themselves from the threat of extermination at the hands of the Turkish government, and the HTS which are mercenaries for Turkey in Syria.  The US has not had any plan to solve the suffering of the Syrian people and allow them to repair homes and lives. Instead, over the past years, the US has supported a status quo in Syria with the US, Turkey, Russia, and Iran all acting in various regions, but without a unified plan for recovery from a decade of war.  The current US policy is to keep US-EU sanctions in place which prevent Syrian civilians from recovering.

Syria was self-sufficient in oil resources and wheat production. The Kurds in ‘Rojava’ stopped that by seizing control militarily and occupying those areas in cooperation with the US military occupation forces. Now, the main oil field of Al Omar and Conoco are producing oil which is shipped in tankers by the US Army to Iraq and processed in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region (KRI), an autonomous region in Iraq comprising the four Kurdish-majority governorates.

The Baghdad government of Iraq has asked the US military to leave, but the US refused to end their occupation of Iraq and Syria.  The US is directly connected to the Kurds in both countries. In Syria, the US objective is to prevent the Damascus government from benefitting from its oil resources, which has kept the Syrian people without electricity, home heating fuel, and gasoline. Some homes are without electricity, and others across Syria receive from one to four hours per day.

The largest wheat fields in Syria are under the occupation of the Kurds and the wheat is used for local consumption in “Rojava” and the rest is sold to the European Union or other buyers.  Damascus has said it is running low on wheat supplies and cannot import. During the conflict years, the terrorists stole huge wheat supplies in Syria. They trucked them to Turkey, where Erdogan’s government re-sold the stolen wheat to the EU to produce French croissants and Italian pasta.

With the suffering of the civilians in Iraq and Syria, it is no wonder the people hold intense hatred towards the US.  This hatred of Washington is not considered by the White House and Capitol Hill as American lawmakers are insulated in the hubris of a super-power, with no thought of generations to come, or the crumbling demise of the American Empire.

The world is watching violence and deaths in Iran in what appears to be an increasingly popular uprising against the Islamic government.  The young woman who died was Kurdish and her death has sparked unrest in the western Kurdish region of Iran, which shares a border with the Kurdish region in Iraq, which in turn shares its border with “Rojava” in Syria.  Looking at a map, we can see a straight line through northeast Syria, to northern Iraq and culminating in the west of Iran.  The Kurds in Iran now have weapons, which were smuggled into Iran from the Kurds in Iraq, and the US military partners in “Rojava” in Syria.  The increasing armed uprising in Iran will need more weapons and they will be supported by the US which has long sought a ‘regime change’ in Iran.

Israel has offices in Erbil and has conducted business openly with the Kurdish administration there. The Israeli offices there have come under attack presumably by Iranian forces. Iran has long been viewed by Israel as a prime threat. The recent change of government in Israel to an extremist right-wing alliance may produce increasing support for weapons smuggled from Erbil to Iran to fuel the revolution.

Turkey and Syria have a common enemy, the Kurds.  Both countries are opposed to Kurdish independence, and both want to see the US break their alliance with the Kurds in Syria. With the new opportunity for ‘regime change’ in Iran, both Israel and their ally the US will want to stay on the ground to support the transfer of weapons into Iran through Iraq.  Turkey may invade northeast Syria massively to upset the US-imposed status quo. Turkey may find old friends in Damascus to shore up their southern flank once the bombs start falling.  The negotiations to save the Kurds in “Rojava” may see General Mazloom Abdi in Damascus asking for salvation at the same table as Turkey.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist and political commentator.

The worst scenario awaits the Kurdish forces and northern Syria
America and the cover of fighting terrorism for hegemony and stealing the wealth of peoples

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Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan’s big new game in Syria

November 27, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors a Syria invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia

There’s another Special Military Operation on the market. No, it’s not Russia “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine – and, therefore, it’s no wonder that this other operation is not ruffling feathers across the collective West.

Operation Claw-Sword was launched by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as revenge – highly emotional and concerted – for Kurdish terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens. Some of the missiles that Ankara launched in this aerial campaign carried the names of Turkish victims.

The official Ankara spin is that the Turkish Armed Forces fully achieved their “air operation objectives” in the north of Syria and in Iraqi Kurdistan, and made those responsible for the terror attack against civilians in Istanbul’s Istiklal pedestrian street pay in “multitudes.”

And this is supposed to be just the first stage. For the third time in 2022, Sultan Erdogan is also promising a ground invasion of Kurdish-held territories in Syria.

However, according to diplomatic sources, that’s not going to happen – even as scores of Turkish experts are adamant that the invasion is needed sooner rather than later.

The wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors an invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia – which encompass a large geopolitical and geo-economic arc.

He well knows that Moscow can apply all manner of pressure levers to dissuade him. For instance, Russia at the last minute annulled the weekly dispatch of a joint Russo-Turkish patrol in Ain al Arab that was taking place on Mondays.

Ain al Arab is a highly strategic territory: the missing link, east of the Euphrates, capable of offering continuity between Idlib and Ras al Ayn, occupied by dodgy Turkish-aligned gangs near the Turkish border.

Erdogan knows he can’t jeopardize his positioning as potential EU-Russia mediator while obtaining maximum profit from bypassing the anti-Russian embargo-sanctions combo.

The Sultan, juggling multiple serious dossiers, is deeply convinced that he’s got what it takes to bring Russia and NATO to the negotiating table and, ultimately, end the war in Ukraine.

In parallel, he thinks he may stay on top of Turkey-Israel relations; a rapprochement with Damascus; the sensitive internal situation in Iran; Turkey-Azerbaijan relations; the non-stop metamorphoses across the Mediterranean; and the drive towards Eurasia integration.

He’s hedging all his bets between NATO and Eurasia.

‘Close down all of our southern borders’

The green light for Claw-Sword came from Erdogan while he was on his presidential plane, returning from the G20 in Bali. That happened only one day after he had met US President Joe Biden where, according to a presidential Erdogan statement, the subject had not come up.

“We held no meeting with Mr Biden or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin regarding the operation. They both already know that we can do such things at any moment in this region,” the statement said.

Washington not getting briefed on Claw-Sword mirrored Erdogan not getting invited to an extraordinary G7-NATO meeting in Bali, on the sidelines of the G20.

Then-US vice president Joe Biden (L) speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul. Photo: AFP / Bulent Kilic

That meeting was called by the White House to deal with the by-now notorious Ukrainian S-300 missile that fell in Polish territory. At the time, no one at the table had any conclusive evidence about what happened. And Turkey was not even invited to the table – which profoundly incensed the Sultan.

So it’s no wonder Erdogan, mid-week, said that Claw-Sword was “just the beginning.” Addressing AKP party lawmakers in Parliament, he said Turkey is determined to “close down all of our southern borders … with a security corridor that will prevent the possibility of attacks on our country.”

The ground invasion promise remains: It will begin “at the most convenient time for us” and will target the regions of Tel Rifaat, Mambij and Kobane, which the Sultan called “sources of trouble.”

Ankara has already wreaked havoc, using drones, on the main headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, whose commanders believe the main target of a potential Turkish ground invasion would be Kobane.

Significantly, this is the first time a Turkish drone targeted an area extremely close to a US base. And Kobane is highly symbolic: the place where the Americans sealed a collaboration with Syrian Kurds to – in theory – fight ISIS.

And that explains why the Syrian Kurds are appalled by the American non-response to the Turkish strikes. They blame – who else? – the Sultan for stoking “nationalist sentiments” ahead of the 2023 elections, which Erdogan now stands a great chance to win despite the catastrophic state of the Turkish economy.

As it stands, there is no Turkish troop buildup near Kobane – just airstrikes. Which brings us to the all-important Russian factor.

Manbij and Tel Rifaat, west of the Euphrates, are much more important for Russia than Kobane, because they are both vital for the defense of Aleppo against possible Salafi-jihadi attacks.

What may potentially happen in the near future makes the situation even murkier. Ankara intel may use Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadis – which have already taken over parts of Afrin – as a sort of “vanguard” in a ground invasion of Syrian Kurd territory.

Selling stolen Syrian oil to Turkey

The current fog of war includes the notion that the Russians may have sold out the Kurds by leaving them exposed to Turkish bombing. That does not hold – because Russia’s influence over Syrian Kurd territory is negligible compared with the US’s. Only the Americans could “sell out” the Kurds.

The more things change, the more they remain the same in Syria. It could all be summarized as a monumental impasse. This gets even more surrealist because, in effect, Ankara and Moscow have already found the solution for the Syrian tragedy.

The problem is the presence of American forces – essentially protecting those shabby convoys stealing Syrian oil. Russians and Syrians always discuss it. The conclusion is that the Americans are staying by inertia. They do it because they can. And Damascus is powerless to expel them.

The Sultan plays the whole thing with consummate cynicism – in geopolitics and geo-economics. Most of what is unresolved in Syria revolves around territories occupied by de facto gangs that call themselves Kurds, protected by the US. They traffic Syrian oil to resell it mostly to … Turkey.

And then, in a flash, armed gangs that call themselves Kurds may simply abandon their “anti-terrorist” fight by … releasing the terrorists they apprehended, thus increasing the “terrorist threat” all over northeast Syria. They blame – who else? – Turkey. In parallel, the Americans increase financial aid to these armed gangs under the pretext of a “war on terror.”

The distinction between “armed gangs” and “terrorists” is of course razor thin. What matters most of all to Erdogan is that he can use the Kurds as a currency in trade negotiations linked to bypassing anti-Russian embargoes and sanctions.

And that explains why the Sultan may decide to bomb Syrian territory whenever he sees fit, despite any condemnation by Washington or Moscow. The Russians once in a while retake the initiative on the ground – as happened during the Idlib campaign in 2020 when Russians bombed the Turkish military forces that were providing “assistance” to Salafi-jihadis.

A view of the site after attacks carried out by Assad regime in Syria on the city center of Idlib on September 7, 2021. Photo: Izzeddin Kasim / Anadolu Agency

Now a game-changer may be on the cards. The Turkish Army bombed the al-Omar oilfield north of Deir ez-Zor. What this means in practice is that Ankara is now destroying no less than the oil infrastructure of the much-lauded “Kurdish autonomy.”

This infrastructure has been cynically exploited by the US when it comes to the oil that reaches the border with Iraq in Iraqi Kurdistan. So in a sense, Ankara is striking against Syrian Kurds and simultaneously against American robbery of Syrian oil.

The definitive game-changer may be approaching. That will be the meeting between Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad, (Remember the decade-long refrain “Assad must go”?)

Location: Russia. Mediator:  Vladimir Putin, in person. It’s not far-fetched to imagine this meeting paving the way for those Kurdish armed gangs, essentially played by Washington as useful idiots, to end up being decimated by Ankara.

Erdogan Sent 800 al Qaeda & ISIS Terrorists to Ukraine from Idlib

ARABI SOURI 

The Turkish madman Erdogan sent hundreds of mercenaries of his most loyal terrorists of al Qaeda, ISIS, and their derivatives and affiliated terrorists from the Syrian province of Idlib under NATO Turkish occupation to Ukraine to fight the Russians.

Semi-official recruitment offices in Idlib were established in recent weeks and managed to send 800 terrorists with the help of Al Qaeda Levant (HTS – Nusra Front – Jabhat Nusra) to help the NATO-sponsored regime of Zelensky in Ukraine fight against Russia, news report.

Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel quoted Sputnik Arabic news in this report:

The video is also available on Rumble and BitChute,

Transcript

Sources in Idlib told Sputnik news agency that the transfers (of terrorists) occurred during the past two weeks in the town of Sarmada and the Bab al-Hawa crossing with Turkey, in coordination with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, adding that most of the militants hold Syrian nationality and belong to pro-Turkish factions.

The sources indicated that Idlib’s semi-announced offices were set up to attract mercenaries to Ukraine in return for a monthly salary of up to US$5,000.

End of the transcript.

The Turkish madman Erdogan commands, with his sponsors in Washington and Tel Aviv, the world’s largest army of terrorists comprising tens of thousands of anti-Islamic suicide bombers and head-choppers of what western officials and mainstream propagandists dub ‘moderate rebels.’

Imported from all sides of the world, trained, armed, financed, and protected by NATO officers in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other places and deployed to Libya, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Nagorno Karabach between Azerbaijan and Armenia, these terrorists are the backbone of NATO, an alliance of countries living off the resources plundered from weaker countries around the world.

The recycling of these terrorists occurs, sadly, with the acquiescence and direct participation of governments willingly or unwillingly under pressure from the USA, some officials in these countries think it is wise to rid their countries of the underprivileged uneducated brainwashed citizens to kill innocent people in other countries, those officials in these countries fail to comprehend one of the golden rules proven by history: whoever raises a monster, the monster will eventually eat him.


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Thank you in advance.

Videos| 6 Killed, Dozens Injured in Istanbul Blast

 November 14, 2022

Ambulance vehicles and emergency services rush to scene of blast in Istanbul (Sunday, November 13, 2022).

At least six people were killed and 81 others were wounded in an explosion in a busy area of central Istanbul, Turkish authorities have said on Sunday.

The blast happened at about 16:20 local time (13:20 GMT) on a shopping street in the Taksim Square area, the Turkish city’s governor Ali Yerlikaya said.

The area, in the Beyoglu district of Turkey’s largest city, had been crowded as usual at the weekend with shoppers, tourists and families.

Vice-President Fuat Oktay said the blast was thought to be a terrorist attack carried out by a woman.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said before his departure to the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Indonesia that the perpetrators would be punished.

Speaking at a news conference in Istanbul, he condemned what he called the “vile attack” and said “the smell of terror” was in the air.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told Turkish media a woman had sat on a bench in the area for more than 40 minutes, leaving just minutes before the blast took place.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.

Government minister Derya Yanik wrote in a tweet that a government ministry employee and his young daughter were among the victims.

Source: BBC and Reuters

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Syrian and Russian Armies Eliminate 93 al Qaeda Terrorists in Idlib

 ARABI SOURI

Syrian and Russian armies carried out a retaliatory attack against the NATO/ Turkey-sponsored al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib countryside killing 93 of them including commanders and injuring 135 with serious wounds, both Syrian and Russian militaries stated.

The qualitative coordinated retaliatory bombing of al Qaeda (Nusra Front – Jabhat Al Nusra – al Qaeda Levant) training camp and underground facilities in the ‘Ashkhani Takhtani’ area between the towns of Murin and Kafr Jalis in the northwestern countryside of Idlib yesterday, 6 November morning, came after the NATO proxy terrorists launched a massive drone attack targeting the Syrian army’s positions and killing five Syrian soldiers violating the de-escalation agreement, aka Idlib agreement, signed by their political leader the Turkish madman Erdogan.

A Syrian military statement carried by Sana read:

“As a result of the continuous violations of the de-escalation agreement in Idlib countryside and the repeated attacks by armed terrorist organizations on the safe areas and the sites of our armed forces, which recently led to the rise of a number of civilian and military martyrs, units of our valiant armed forces, in cooperation with the friendly Russian aerospace forces, carried out a qualitative operation targeting the command headquarters and training camps of these terrorist organizations.”

The video is available on Rumble, and BitChute

The Syrian military statement also spoke of the intensive monitoring of the targeted site before the Syrian Arab Army, SAA’s artillery delivered a salvo of its missiles on the site while the Russian Aerospace fighter jets were pummeling the sites from the sky.

Terrorists who fled the bombing were monitored and subsequent missile and air strikes destroyed the shelters they fled to leading to the elimination and wounding of a large number of terrorists, the military statement added and named among the eliminated terrorists: Abdel Moneim Muati (most likely Egyptian), Radwan Hussein Mihania, Abu Daoud Al-Filistini (Palestinian), Muhammad Ali Al-Quddour, Abu Hussein Raddad, Abu Hajar Al-Chadi (from Chad in Africa), Amr Abu Laith Al-Iskandarani (from Alexandria – Egypt), and Muhammad Suleiman Al-Ali.

On its part, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Hmeimim, Lattakia quoted its deputy chief Oleg Yegorov in a statement carried by the Russian news agency Tass:

“Syria’s missile and air forces delivered a strike at the facilities of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group in response to a massive drone attack staged by terrorists on the positions of Syrian government troops near Salma in the Idlib de-escalation zone, which claimed the lives of five Syrian soldiers.”

The Russian statement detailed the facilities destroyed by the retaliation strike as: “a training camp, a drone workshop, a mobile radar station, and up to 40 ready-to-use combat drones,” and named al Qaeda field commanders so-called Saddam al-Dedali and Abdullah al-Ahmed among the eliminated terrorists in the strike.

Meanwhile, the al Qaeda propaganda arm, the so-called White Helmets issued a statement claiming instead that the target of the Syrian and Russian armies’ strike was a refugees camp in Idlib countryside, they showed a couple of destroyed shelters in their statement and alleged that those killed in the strikes were 9 civilians including 3 children and a woman in addition to injuring 70 others.

Usually, lying has a limited period of time, a limited time of repetitions by the liars before they render untrustworthy, and a scope for the lies, however, throughout our very long experience with western audiences, the consumers of propaganda circulated by western mainstream media and their proxies, the western public prove time and again they can be easily lied to no matter how absurd the lie is and how much blinding and deafening the truth exposing that lie is.

Yesterday’s bombing of al Qaeda’s quarters in Idlib countryside and the killing and wounding of 228 al Qaeda terrorists delivers an unmistakeable message to the Turkish madman Erdogan and his handlers, the best way for madman Erdogan is to withdraw his forces, the Turkish army, and the various al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists from northern Syria in implementation of the Idlib agreements he signed and was supposed to implement over 3 years ago.


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Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs.You can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.
Thank you in advance.

Washington warns against reconciliation between Hamas and Damascus

The resumption of ties between Hamas and Syria is a symbolic victory for the resistance, as relations were strained for years following the start of the war

October 21 2022

GAZA CITY, THE GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE – 2018/12/16: A masked Palestinian seen holding a flag during the rally. Palestinians take part in a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas’ founding, in Gaza City. (Photo by Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

On 20 October, the US denounced and warned against the current reconciliation process between Syria and Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, stating that the group’s communication with Damascus will reinforce its “isolation” and undermine the interests of Palestinians.

“The Assad regime’s outreach to this terrorist organization only reinforces for us its isolation,” State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told media.

“It harms the interests of the Palestinian people and it undercuts global efforts to counterterrorism in the region and beyond,” he said, adding that Washington will “continue rejecting any support to rehabilitate the Assad regime, particularly from designated terrorist organizations like Hamas.”

Relations between Damascus and the Palestinian resistance group took a sour turn in 2012, a year after the start of the US-backed war in Syria, when Hamas publicly denounced the Syrian government and announced its solidarity with the opposition that had by that time already become aligned with extremist elements.

In 2013, Hamas operatives fought alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions and Jabhat al-Nusra against Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during the battle of al-Qusayr, in western Syria near the Lebanese border.

The ties between Hamas and the axis of resistance were strained for years after the group’s involvement in the Syrian war. Regardless of this, Hezbollah never condemned Hamas for what was seen by many as a huge betrayal, and in 2013 held meetings with the group’s representatives in a bid to ease tensions.

In recent years, Hamas made a number of attempts to resume ties with the Syrian government, despite the non-compliance of Damascus. On 25 July, however, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah revealed to Al-Mayadeen his personal interest in bringing the two together.

Relations between Hezbollah and Hamas had already thawed at this point, especially in light of the high-level coordination which took place between the two groups during the 2021 Sayf al-Quds battle fought between the Palestinian resistance factions and Israel.

In June of this year, a Hamas delegation reportedly visited Syria and met with officials in a bid to rebuild their relationship.

On 15 September, Hamas disclosed in a press statement that it has officially resumed its relations with Syria after ten years of tension. A month later, President Bashar al-Assad received a Hamas delegation and held a “warm” meeting in Damascus.

“The meeting with Assad is a glorious day, and from now on, we will resume our presence in Damascus to work alongside the Syrian people to regain the country’s stability,” the group’s deputy leader, Khalil al-Hayya said at the time, denouncing all aggression and threats against the country’s territorial integrity.

The reconciliation between Hamas and Syria signifies the return of Damascus into the regional fold, and is expected to be met with further criticism and rejection by Washington and its allies, particularly Israel.

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Can Syria ever forgive Qatar?

While, one by one, regional states are restoring relations with Syria, Qatar will likely be the last welcomed back in Damascus

October 03 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Firas Al-Shoufi

After more than a decade of a foreign-backed regime-change war, exploitative Turkish and US occupation, and repeated Israeli attacks on its territorial integrity, Syria has come a long way from the regional and international isolation intended to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Of the Arab states that suspended diplomatic relations with Damascus 11 years ago at the start of the war, most have since re-established their envoys in the Syrian capital, such as Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman, or have re-established security and political dialogues, as in the case of Saudi Arabia.

Going against the grain

However, a notable exception to this current of normalization with Syria has been Qatar. The tiny, resource-rich Persian Gulf state was the first Arab country to shutter its embassy in Damascus and has consistently opposed the idea of Syria’s re-admission to the Arab League following its suspension in the early days of the war.

This unwavering stance has been recently reiterated by Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in light of efforts by Algeria to include Syria in the upcoming Arab League summit in November.

Nevertheless, the invitation extended by Algiers was politely turned down by the Syrian government so as to “to unite the Arab ranks facing the challenges posed by the current situation,” according to Algeria’s foreign ministry.

The feeling is mutual

It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a single Syrian official eager to talk about relations with Doha. This, in spite of Syria’s policy of maintaining open communication with Arab states, including with Saudi Arabia which funded opposition militants in the Syrian war.

Yet Damascus has been adamant that it has no intention or desire to restore relations with Qatar, considered to be a hostile country by the Syrian authorities for its continued support for Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and other terrorist organizations in northern Syria.

Qatar was one of the first foreign entrants into the Syrian conflict, bank-rolling armed factions in coordination with the CIA, including the precursor to Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra.

Doha’s role was even acknowledged by the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which stated In 2016 that the Nusra Front “probably received logistical, financial and material assistance from the elements of the Turkish and Qatari governments.”

These allegations can be traced to the ruling House of Thani. In 2020, Issam al-Hana, a Moroccan leader of al-Nusra arrested in Iraq revealed that Qatari Sheikh Khaled Suleiman was financing the group with more than a million dollars a month.

Qatar also found itself implicated in a high-profile British court case in 2021, in which the state’s ruling elite and institutions had allegedly “funnelled millions” of dollars to al-Nusra.

In May 2022 fresh charges were made in the US against prominent Qatari institutions accused of wiring $800,000 to an ISIS “judge” who ordered the beheading of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.

Cooperation or containment?

From President Assad’s ascension to power 22 years ago, up until the March 2011 onset of the Syrian crisis, Syrian-Qatari relations had made great political and economic strides. This, in stark contrast to the strained ties between Damascus and Riyadh, particularly after the assassination of the Saudi-backed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

During the height of relations between Syria and Qatar, senior officials made frequent visits, the two sides exchanged diplomatic and political support, joint companies were established, and the Qataris opened more than one bank in Damascus.

Qatar was not alone in working hard to develop its relations with Syria. Turkey, another key supporter of the Syrian militancy whose troops currently occupy the Syrian north, also enjoyed positive commercial and political relations with the Assad government prior to 2011.

Bassam Abu Abdallah, former cultural attache at Syria’s embassy in Ankara, and current Al-Watan columnist, told The Cradle that:

“It turned out that all the steps of Qatari and Turkish rapprochement before the war were part of an American plan to contain Syria and pass the Qatari gas pipeline through its territory to Turkey and then Europe, which is what President al-Assad was aware of. After the US discovered the difficulty of containing Syria, the decision was taken to overthrow the regime and divide the country, and this is one of the reasons for the war. Unfortunately, Qatar, with its money, media, and support for terrorist groups, spearheaded this conspiracy, and still is.”

The Muslim Brotherhood

An informed Syrian official told The Cradle about a meeting in November 2011 between then-Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem and three senior Syrian Foreign Ministry officials (Deputy Minister Faisal Al-Miqdad, Chancellor Buthaina Shaaban, and Ambassador Yousef Ahmed) and the then-Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

“Throughout the meeting, the emir sat like an emperor, legs spread, preaching about reforms and democracy, and what Syria should do, and in the end he spoke of a partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood in power. It was a very bad meeting,” the official explained.

The official added that after the meeting, the scene in Damascus became clear:

“The Americans placed the Syrian file in Qatar’s custody in the first phase of the war. Al-Jazeera engaged in a media war, Qatari money flowed to the armed opposition, and Doha opened its hotels to host the Syrian opposition. The Qataris believed that with the money they could bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the entire Arab world, and they bear a great responsibility for the destruction of many Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.”

However, an Arab diplomat who asked for his identity not to be revealed, shares a different view, telling The Cradle that:

“The bad relationship between Qatar and Syria began when the Syrians did not know how to benefit from the Qatari role, did not listen to advice, and refused to involve the Muslim Brotherhood in power. The Qataris have repeatedly tried to open a dialogue between the regime and the opposition, but President al-Assad did not want to make any reforms and concessions.”

The diplomat points out that “Qatar supported the Syrian opposition within an international and Arab coalition.”

Continued hostility

To date, the Qataris have not shown any hint of goodwill toward Damascus. For Syrian officials, the hostile Qatari role continues, albeit at a slower pace after it became clear that its regime-change project had failed.

Former Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, in more than one television interview about Doha’s role in the war on Syria, described it as “prey over which a group of hunters are fighting.”

Columnist Abu Abdallah says “it is sufficient to listen to Hamad bin Jassim’s confessions that Qatar paid $140 billion to finance the war, to realize the great Qatari role in destroying Syria and killing its people.”

He points out that the Qatari media war against Syria continues unabated, and Doha still hosts opposition television stations and digital media platforms that incite violence against the Syrian state.

Who is really isolated?

It should be noted that Syria’s intensity of hostility toward Qatar applies neither to the rest of the Persian Gulf states, nor to security or political contacts with Ankara. “Turkey is a big country and a major player in the region, while Qatar is a puppet of the Americans,” says Abu Abdallah, also a founder of the Syria-Turkey Friendship Movement.

“Relations with the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman were not cut off in the first place, and they have returned to normal with Bahrain, and there are security and political contacts and talks with Saudi Arabia,” he said, explaining:

“Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a meeting with a senior Syrian official that he was not responsible for the [Saudi] policies of the past, and that he was ready to restore relations. The desire of the two sides to communicate, in addition to the Russian role, helped break the ice, and one of the results of that was the end of the Saudi-armed and funded Jaysh al-Islam militant group in Syria. But it is certain that the hard-line US position towards Syria and the Qatari role is what hinders progress in relations with Saudi Arabia.”

On the other hand, according to the Arab diplomatic source, Qatar is benefiting from the US and its western allies’ position – and “even from the Saudi position” – to put some brakes on the Arab push toward normalization with Syria.

He claims that “the Saudis, and not only Qatar, do not want to develop the relationship with Damascus. It is difficult to accept Syria as it was without significant changes and without the implementation of international resolutions.”

In the past years, some third parties have tried to mediate between the Syrians and the Qataris – at whose behest is unclear: “The Iranians and the Russians tried. But President Assad is very strict on this matter, and they understand the rightness of our position,” another Syrian official reveals.

Can we witness a transformation in Syrian-Qatari relations soon? “Nothing is impossible in politics – and in light of rapid international and regional changes,” he muses. “But nothing is currently in sight. This is a very complicated issue and depends on the steps taken by the Qataris, starting with stopping support for terrorism, followed by other necessary steps towards Syria.”

At present, Doha’s normalization with Damascus remains unlikely. The recent momentum toward rapprochement with Syria by Hamas and even Turkey – if successful – would leave their mutual ally Qatar as the only regional state without a pathway back to Damascus.

Only Doha can judge whether its continued hostility is worth the cost of shunning a historic Arab giant. The longer the rift, the higher the price of return.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

HTS attacks Church in Syria leaving 2 dead, 15 wounded

24 Jul 2021

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Two people have been killed and 15 others were injured in an attack on a church in Hama, Syria, reportedly launched by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.

The site where the missile landed in Hama, Syria on July 24, 2022

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on Sunday attacked a religious celebration in Hama, Syria, killing two people and injuring 15 others.

“A suicide drone armed with a missile fell near a gathering during a religious celebration marking the opening of the Hagia Sophia. This was followed by another UAV falling down in the same location,” local sources reported.

“Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham launched two UAVs equipped with cameras and small-sized missiles that directly targeted the religious gathering,” the sources added.

Footage showing the first drone falling down on the attendees gathered near the church was circulated on social media.

The sources revealed that the Syrian air defense force dealt with several UAVs flying overhead in the city, shooting several unauthorized drones down.

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قمّة طهران تثمر في إدلب: تحضيرات تركيّة لفتْح «M4»

الجمعة 22 تموز 2022

تعمّد أردوغان خلال قمّة طهران ذكر إدلب والتشديد على ضرورة الإبقاء على الهدوء فيها (أ ف ب)

سوريا 

علاء حلبي 

لم تكد ساعات تمضي على انتهاء قمّة طهران، التي احتلّ الملفّ السوري حيّزاً رئيساً منها، حتى بدأت تركيا سلسلة خطوات على الأرض تمهيداً لفتح طريق حلب – اللاذقية، ضمن مقايضة أوّلية تشمل تسليماً جزئياً لمنبج وتل رفعت للجيش السوري. وعلى رغم تواضع الإجراءات المتّصلة بتلك المقايضة إلى الآن، إلّا أن من شأنها، إذا ما آلت إلى نهايتها، ولم تفلح الولايات المتحدة في عرقلتها، أن تُحقّق انفراجة جزئية في الملفّ الإدلبي الشائك، وأن تؤدّي إلى إعادة تشغيل أحد أبرز الطرق الاستراتيجية (M4) في سوريا

دمشق | تُعتبر إدلب، أكبر المعاقل التي تتجمّع فيها الفصائل المتشدّدة في سوريا في ظلّ سيطرة «هيئة تحرير الشام» (جبهة النصرة) عليها، أحد أكثر الملفّات إشكالية بين كلّ من تركيا من جهة، وإيران وروسيا من جهة أخرى. وقد حاولت أنقرة، على مدار الأعوام الأربعة الماضية، المماطلة في معالجة هذا الملفّ، وتثبيت أمر واقع لصالحها، بالتوازي مع عمليات تبييض لصفحة «جبهة النصرة» تستهدف إعادة تصديرها على أنها فصيل معتدل، ضمن معادلة تشابكت فيها مجموعة من العوامل. وتفرض اتفاقات سوتشي الموقَّعة بين روسيا وتركيا عام 2018، ومتمّمتها عامَي 2019 و2020، على أنقرة، فتح طريق حلب – اللاذقية (M4)، وعزل الفصائل الإرهابية، مقابل إبعاد «خطر الأكراد» في الشمال والشمال الشرقي من سوريا مسافة 30 كلم عن الحدود التركية، وهو ما تعهّدت روسيا بتنفيذه. غير أن التسويف التركي في تنفيذ تلك الالتزامات، التي ظلّت محدّدة بجدول زمني واضح بعد كلّ لقاء بين الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين ونظيره التركي رجب طيب إردوغان، دفع الروس إلى الردّ بالمثل والمماطلة في حلّ قضية الأكراد، على الرغم من تنشيط دوريات المراقبة المشتركة.

وتعمّد الرئيس التركي، في كلمته التي ألقاها خلال قمّة طهران وفاقت بطولها كلمتَي الرئيس الروسي ونظيره الإيراني، ذكر إدلب في أكثر من موقع. كما تعمّد التشديد على ضرورة الإبقاء على الهدوء فيها، مشيراً إلى أن بلاده «تتفهّم مخاوف جميع الأطراف حول الوضع هناك، لكنها تبذل جهوداً كبيرة في المنطقة وتقدّم الدعم للنازحين على الحدود من دون دعم من دول أخرى». وسبق لإردوغان أن جادل، خلال لقاءات سوتشي السابقة، بالمسائل نفسها، وعلى رأسها وجود أكثر من 1500مخيّم تضمّ مئات آلاف النازحين في ريف إدلب وقرب الحدود مع تركيا، الأمر الذي يمثّل، وفق الرئيس التركي، تهديدات بموجات لجوء جديدة إلى بلاده لا يرغب فيها، في الوقت الذي يحاول فيه أصلاً التخلّص من اللاجئين الموجودين لديه عبر بناء تجمّعات سكنية لهم قرب الشريط الحدودي، من أجل إعادة توطينهم.

ترى موسكو في فتح طريق حلب – اللاذقية خطوة مقبولة ضمن الظروف الحالية


وبالتوازي مع عقد قمّة طهران، وفي اليوم التالي لها، زار وفد أمني وعسكري تركي مناطق عدّة في إدلب، حيث أجرى سلسلة من اللقاءات، بعضها مع ممثّلين عن سكّان قرى على خطّ التماس في جبل الزاوية، حيث يمرّ طريق حلب – اللاذقية. وبحسب مصادر تحدّثت إلى «الأخبار»، فإن الوفد طلب من الأهالي الاستعداد للعودة إلى قراهم، وسط وعود بمنْع تدهور الأوضاع الأمنية والعسكرية خلال الفترة المقبلة، بالإضافة إلى أخرى بتحسُّن اقتصادي كبير، حيث سيتمّ فتح طريق «M4»، ومجموعة من المعابر الاقتصادية التي تربط بين إدلب بشكل عام ومناطق سيطرة الحكومة، مع ضمانات باستمرار وصول المساعدات إلى تلك القرى بدلاً من المخيمات. ونقلت المصادر أن الوفد أكّد أكثر من مرّة أن «ملفّ إدلب لن ينزلق إلى العسكرة»، وأنه «بات مرتبطاً بالحلّ السياسي»، لافتةً إلى أن الوفد أجرى لقاءات مغلقة مع «هيئة تحرير الشام»، تسرّب عنها وجود أوامر تركية واضحة لـ«الهيئة» بضبْط محيط الطريق، ومنْع أيّ محاولات من فصائل منفلتة لعرقلة الاتفاق، ومتابعة العمل على إزالة مظاهر التشدّد. وكان أبو محمد الجولاني، زعيم «النصرة»، بدأ، قبل مدّة، بهذه المهام بالفعل، عبر زيارات لقرى تسْكنها أقلّيات، آخرها زيارة لقرية تقطنها عائلات مسيحية لتطمين الأهالي وإزالة مخاوفهم من «الهيئة»، وذلك بالتوازي مع إدخال تعزيزات عسكرية تركية إلى نقاط تمركز القوات التركية في جبل الزاوية. غير أن الجهود التركية لا يبدو أنها تمكّنت حتى الآن من ضبط الأمن، حيث سُجّلت خلال الساعات الماضية عدّة خروقات لوقف إطلاق النار من طرف الفصائل المسلّحة، بالإضافة إلى محاولة شنّ هجمات بطائرتَين انتحاريتَين على قاعدة حميميم الروسية في جبلة.

ويبدو، حتى الآن، أن ثمّة قبولاً، على مضض، من قِبَل موسكو، التي ترى في فتح طريق حلب – اللاذقية، والمتأخّر نحو أربع سنوات عما اتُّفق عليه، خطوة مقبولة ضمن الظروف الحالية، في وقت ينصبّ فيه اهتمام الدول الثلاث (إيران وروسيا وتركيا) على زيادة الضغوط لإخراج القوات الأميركية من الشمال الشرقي من سوريا، وهي الأرضيّة المشتركة التي بنت عليها إيران قمّتها، وحاولت ترسيخها كونها قد تساهم في فتح الأبواب المغلقة بين دمشق وأنقرة. وبشكل عام، يمكن القول إن الرئيس التركي نجح، إلى حدّ ما، في تجميد ملفّ إدلب، وتجاوُز المعادلة الروسية التي تربط بين منبج وتل رفعت من جهة، وإدلب من جهة ثانية، عبر خطوات صغيرة في الأخيرة مقابل تسليم الأُوليَين للجيش السوري. ومن شأن ذلك أن يؤدّي، في حال تمّت الخطوات المتّفق عليها، ولم تنجح المساعي الأميركية القائمة في عرقلتها عبر الضغط على «قسد» ومنعها من تسليم المدينتَين، إلى تحقيق انفراجة جزئية في الملفّ الإدلبي الشائك، بالإضافة إلى فتح أحد أبرز الطرق الاستراتيجية (M4)، والذي يمتدّ من أقصى الشرق السوري مروراً بحلب وصولاً إلى الساحل السوري، علماً أن الخطّة الروسية، التي أبلغها قائد القوات الروسية في سوريا، ألكسندر تشايكو، لممثّلي «قسد»، خلال لقاء في القامشلي قبل يومين، تقضي بأن تنسحب قواتها من الشريط الحدودي إلى ما بعد الطريق، على أن يتسلّم الجيش السوري المنطقة بما فيها «M4».

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كرد سوريا.. في خدمة من؟

الأربعاء 15 حزيران 2022

حسني محلي

السؤال الأهم هو: لماذا تتخذ القيادات الكردية هذه المواقف المتناقضة؟ ولماذا لا تستخلص الدروس من كل أخطائها؟

بعد التهديدات التركية بالتوغل في الأراضي السورية شرق الفرات وغربه، بذريعة طرد مسلحي وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية من الشريط الحدودي مع تركيا، عاد الحديث من جديد عن حوارات كردية مع دمشق بهدف التصدي للجيش التركي في هجومه المحتمل.

قرار وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية لا يتخذ في القامشلي بل في جبال قنديل.

 ومع أن المعلومات ما زالت ضئيلة لجهة نتائج هذه الحوارات، إلا أن الجميع يعرف أن قرار هذه الوحدات لا يتخذ في القامشلي، بل في جبال قنديل، حيث قيادات حزب العمال الكردستاني التركي، الذي بات يسيطر على الحركة الكردية السورية بعد إقصائه الأحزاب والمنظمات والمجموعات الكردية الوطنية وغير الوطنية، بما فيها تلك الموالية لمسعود البرزاني؛ حليف الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان. 

ومع المعلومات التي تتحدّث عن تأجيل العمل العسكري التركي بعد زيارة وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف لأنقرة واعتراضه عليها، تراجعت في الوقت نفسه حدة التصريحات الكردية التي كانت تتحدّث عن ضرورة العمل العسكري المشترك مع الجيش السوري، وهو ما يعكس تناقضات القيادات الكردية بشقّيها: السوري أولاً، والتركي ثانياً. والشق الثاني هو الأهم بغياب إرادة الطرف الأول في اتخاذ القرارات التي تخدم الشارع الكردي السوري أولاً، والدولة السورية تالياً بتوجهاتها الجديدة إلى الحل الشامل لما يسمى القضية الكردية، فقيادات قنديل التي غادرتها بسبب القصف التركي المتوالي ترى في مسلحي وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية، وأغلبيتهم الساحقة من السوريين، ورقة مهمة تساوم بها كل الأطراف الإقليمية والدولية بعد انتكاسات الحزب المسلحة في تركيا.

وقد نجح الجيش وقوات الأمن التركيان المدعومان بآلاف المليشيات الكردية الموالية لها في إنزال ضربات مؤثرة في مسلحي حزب العمال الكردستاني، بعد أن استخدم الجيش طائراته المسيرة بكثرة، في جنوب شرقي البلاد وشمالي العراق، وعلى طول الحدود التركية مع العراق وإيران وسوريا. 

قيادات قنديل وبغياب زعيمها عبد الله أوجلان المسجون منذ شباط/فبراير عام 1999، يبدو أنها قد نسيت أو تناست أن من اختطف أوجلان من العاصمة الكينية نيروبي وسلّمه إلى تركيا، هو الاستخبارات الأميركية بالتنسيق مع الموساد الإسرائيلي.

 كما أنها نسيت أو تناست كيف ارتعشت خوفاً، عندما قال الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب في  29آذار/مارس من عام  2018″إن القوات الأميركية ستغادر سوريا قريباً جداً، وتترك الأطراف الأخرى تهتم بالأمر”، وقصد بذلك الحرب على داعش ثمّ التهديدات التركية باجتياح المنطقة. وهي نسيت كذلك أو تناست أن ترامب هو الذي أشعل الضوء الأخضر للرئيس إردوغان، الذي أمر الجيش التركي بالتوغّل، شرق الفرات، في التاسع من تشرين الأول/أكتوبر عام 2019، (وهو نفس اليوم الذي غادر فيه أوجلان سوريا قبل 19 عاماً بعد أن بقي فيها 15 عاماً)، لتسيطر على الشريط الحدودي، بين تل أبيض ورأس العين (نحو 100 كلم) وتطرد المسلحين الكرد من المنطقة. 

ونسيت كذلك أو تناست أن الجيش التركي كاد يسيطر على الشريط الحدودي السوري مع تركيا سيطرة كاملة، شرق الفرات، لولا تدخّل موسكو وإرسال القوات الروسية إلى المنطقة، وتسيير دوريات مشتركة مع الجيش التركي في المنطقة. 

وهي أيضاً نسيت أو تناست أنها السبب في اجتياح الجيش التركي في كانون الثاني/يناير عام 2018 منطقة عفرين والسيطرة عليها تماماً، بعد أن رفضت التنسيق والعمل المشترك مع الجيش السوري لمنع الجيش التركي من القيام بمثل هذا الاجتياح. 

ولم تستخلص كذلك الدروس اللازمة من حواراتها مع الرئيس إردوغان بهدف حل المشكلة الكردية في تركيا وسوريا معاً، إذ أخفقت كل هذه الحوارات، ليس في حل المشكلة الكردية وحسب، بل في تخلية سبيل زعيم الحزب، عبد الله أوجلان، وهو في سجن انفرادي في جزيرة إيمرالي القريبة من إسطنبول. 

ولم يكتف إردوغان بذلك، بل أمر بوضع الزعيمين المشتركين لحزب الشعوب الديمقراطي (الجناح السياسي لحزب العمال الكردستاني) صلاح الدين دميرطاش، وفيكان يوكساكداغ، وعدد آخر من قيادات الحزب، ورؤساء البلديات والآلاف من أنصار وأتباع وكوادر الحزب في السجون على الرغم من سيطرة هذا الحزب على الشارع الكردي.

وتبيّن استطلاعات الرأي أنه قد يحصل على 12٪ من مجموع أصوات الناخبين في تركيا، وعددهم نحو 60 مليوناً. 

وعودة إلى مواقف قيادات قنديل، يبدو أيضاً أنها قد نسيت أو تناست كيف نسّقت مع أنقرة للعمل المشترك، ما بين عامي 2013 و2015، حيث زار زعيم حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي الكردستاني السوري صالح مسلم تركيا مرات عدة، والتقى القيادات التركية التي طلبت إليه التمرّد على دمشق، فرفض ليكون ذلك الموقف الإيجابي الوحيد له ولرفاقه، ولكن بعد أن جاءت القوات الأميركية إلى شرق الفرات لتساعدهم في حربهم على داعش، وهو ما استغلته القيادات المذكورة لتدخله في حساباتها الخاصة، التي اعتقدت أنها ستساعدها في إقامة كيان كردي مستقل شرق الفرات.

وأياً كانت التسمية خصوصاً بعدما سارع عدد من العواصم الغربية ولا سيما باريس، وبرلين، ولندن، بل وحتى “تل أبيب” لدعمها وفق حساباتها الخاصة، ومنها تشجيع قيادات “قسد” الكردية على تكريد المنطقة، وتطهيرها عرقياً بسكوت وتواطؤ من القيادات العربية في “قسد”. ومن دون أن تستذكر القيادات المذكورة مواقف واشنطن والعواصم الغربية، التي اعترضت على استفتاء مسعود البرزاني على استقلال كردستان العراقي في أيلول/سبتمبر عام 2017، وهو ما اعترض عليه إردوغان “الحليف الإستراتيجي للبرزاني”.

ويبقى السؤال الأهم وربما الوحيد: لماذا اتخذت وتتخذ القيادات الكردية كل هذه المواقف المتناقضة؟ ولماذا لا تستخلص الدروس اللازمة من كل أخطائها، ومن تاريخ الحركة الكردية في تركيا وسوريا والعراق بل ومن إيران كذلك؟

يتذكر الجميع كيف كان الكرد وما زالوا ورقة تلوّح بها الأطراف الخارجية في تآمرها على دول المنطقة التي دعمت كرد الدول الأخرى، فيما حاربت كردها داخل حدودها. كما استعدى الكرد بعضهم بعضاً في هذه الدول الأربع، ودخلوا في صراعات مسلحة ودموية فيما بينهم، تارة من أجل المصالح والسلطة، وتارة أخرى خدمةً لأطراف خارجية، كما هي الحال في تحالف مسعود البرزاني مع أنقرة، تارة ضد الراحل جلال الطالباني، وتارة أخرى ضد حزب العمال الكردستاني التركي وزعيمه عبد الله أوجلان. ومن دون أن يخطر في بال البرزاني وأمثاله، أن العواصم الإقليمية والغربية لم تفكر، ولن تفكر في حقوق الكرد، بل استخدمتهم وتستخدمهم وستستخدمهم إلى الأبد لتحقيق أهدافها الخبيثة، التي تستهدف دول المنطقة وشعوبها برمتها، وفي مقدمهم الكرد، ومعهم العرب، والفرس، والأتراك، وغيرهم. 

وهذا ما تحقّق للعواصم الغربية والإقليمية بفضل الدور الذي أداه ويؤديه الكرد في العراق، والآن في سوريا التي لولا تآمر القيادات الكردية (الماركسية سابقاً) في شرقها مع المحتل الأميركي والأوروبي، لما وصلت الأمور إلى ما وصلت إليه في المنطقة وسوريا خصوصاً، ولولاها لما تذرعت تركيا بهم لتتوغل في الشمال السوري وتسيطر على 9٪ من مجمل الأرض السورية. 

كذلك فإن الواقع المفروض شرق الفرات بدعم أميركي، هو مبرّر كافٍ لأنقرة لتبقى في المناطق التي تسيطر عليها قواتها بالتنسيق والتعاون مع عشرات الآلاف من مسلحي ما يسمّى “الجيش الوطني” المعارض و”النصرة” وحليفاتها الإرهابية. 

وتتحدث المعلومات هنا باستمرار عن حسابات تركية للاستفادة منهم حين اللزوم ضد الكرد، سواء في داخل تركيا أو في الشّمال السوري، وقد يكون ذلك ما قصده ترامب عندما قال في آذار/مارس عام 2018 “سنغادر سوريا ونترك الأطراف الأخرى تهتم بالأمر فيما بينها”. وفي اتصاله الهاتفي بإردوغان في 24 من كانون الأول/ديسمبر عام 2018 قال: “لقد أنهينا مهمتنا وسوف ننسحب من هناك وسوريا كلها لك”!

ويبقى الرهان في جميع الحالات على التطورات المحتملة ليس في سوريا فقط وتوتّراتها مع تركيا، بل على الخريطة السياسية التي يراهن البعض عليها كنتيجة لزيارة الرئيس بايدن للسعودية في 15 من الشهر المقبل، ولقائه زعماء الخليج، ومصر، والأردن، والعراق، وهو ما سينعكس مباشرة على مجمل معطيات المنطقة، وأهمها: الملف النووي الإيراني، والوضع في سوريا وانعكاسات ذلك على كل الحسابات بصورة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة. فعسى ألا يكون الكرد مادتها الحارقة، التي ستحرقهم، وتحرق كل الذين عاشوا ويعيشون معهم منذ مئات السنين بكل أيامهم الحلوة والمرة. وعسى أن يستخلص حكام دول المنطقة بدورهم، وخصوصاً في سوريا والعراق وإيران الدروس الكافية من كل ما عاشته، وتعيشه دولهم والمنطقة عموماً، ويسدوا الطريق على الأعداء الذين يعرفهم الجميع، وخصوصاً الكرد ومنذ أكثر من مئة سنة على الأقل!

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

هل تغيّرت «القوات» عن الثمانينيّات؟

الخميس 2 حزيران 2022

 ناصر قنديل

كلما قام أحد بتذكير القوات اللبنانيّة بتاريخها في ثمانينيّات القرن الماضي، تردّ بأن هذا هو أسلوب التخوين، وأن اللبنانيين طووا صفحة الحرب الأهلية في اتفاق الطائف، وأن التذكير بماضي الحرب نكء كيديّ للجراح. وفي السياق ترفض القوات كل تذكير لها ولقائدها باغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رشيد كرامي، الذي تحلّ ذكراه اليوم، وتتذرع بقانون العفو الذي ناله سمير جعجع في السياسة، وعلق تنفيذ الحكم القضائي دون أن يستطيع العفو إلغاء الحكم القضائيّ، الذي لا يلغيه إلا حكم آخر، كان بيد جعجع التقدّم لنيله عبر طلب إعادة المحاكمة، لكنه لم يفعل، ورغم ذلك يفوز جعجع بالأحكام في القضايا التي يرفعها بوجه كل مَن يستعيد واقعة قتل الرئيس رشيد كرامي المثبتة بحكم قضائي، لأن القضاء الذي صفعته السياسة بقانون العفو، وأسقطت مفاعيل حكم أصدره كبار قضاة لبنان، بات مليئاً بالذين يرون العبثية في قيامهم بتحدي المتحصنين بمراكز القوة، طالما أن هؤلاء يحصلون في السياسة على كل ما لا يقبل القضاء بمنحهم إياه، وهذا ما حصل مع سمير جعجع.

تدّعي «القوات» أنها تغيرت عن الثمانينيّات فهي سلمت سلاحها، واصبحت حزباً سياسياً، ولا تقبل من أحد أن يزايد عليها بالعداء لـ«إسرائيل»، وهي تتصدر دعوات السيادة، فهل هذا صحيح؟ وهل يستقيم مع أولويات «القوات» اليوم؟

سنبدأ من أن لا معيار للسيادة يسمو على معيار العداء لـ«إسرائيل» ونقبل حكمه، ثم نتخيل أن «إسرائيل» تملك القدرة على تأسيس حزب كبير في لبنان، فماذا ستجعل له من أولوية، وسيأتي الجواب سريعاً، نزع سلاح حزب الله، وتحميل حزب الله مسؤوليّة خراب لبنان، ودعوة اللبنانيين للابتعاد عن الحزب وخياراته طلباً للحد الأدنى من مقوّمات الحياة. ومن ثم نسأل، أليس هذا ما تفعله القوات؟ ثم نسأل: ما هي العبر التي قالتها تجربة القوات في الثمانينيات، من زاوية خدمة الأهداف ذاتها، وليس من زاوية إعادة النظر بها؟ وسنكتشف أن القوات خسرت كل الحروب التي خاضتها، وأن قوتها العسكريّة عبء على مشروعها، وأنها جهة ناجحة في العمليات الأمنية، ومنها اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رشيد كرامي، وتتمتها اللاحقة عملية الغدر المبرمجة مخابراتياً التي نجحت بالاغتيال السياسي، الذي كاد يتحوّل الى تصفية جسدية، للرئيس سعد الحريري.

خطاب القوات العدائيّ نحو العروبة كانت ترجمته التوجه نحو العروبيين بالقول اذهبوا إلى البداوة الخليجيّة إذا كانت العروبة غرامكم، وكان العروبيّون هم الذين يدافعون عن الحضارة العربية الإسلاميّة بما فيها البداوة والمجتمعات الخليجية، بينما اليوم تقف القوات تحت سقف الدعوة لعروبة لبنان وبوابتها الخليج، فهل هذا تغيير؟

السؤال هو: مَن الذي تغيّر، الخليج أم القوات؟ فاذا كانت البوصلة هي الموقف من «اسرائيل»، فليس خافياً في زمن التطبيع أن حكومات الخليج هي التي تغيّرت. ومثله تبدو القوات التي كانت سابقا تناصب العداء العنصريّ لكل ما هو إسلامي، انها اليوم حليف قريب لعدد من القوى الإسلامية، لكن الا يتماهى هذا الموقف مع الوصف الذي أطلقه الاسرائيليّون على هذه القوى، فقالوا نأتمن النصرة على حدودنا مع سورية ولبنان، وردّد توصيف جماعاتها بالثوار بعض اللبنانيين، كما دعا جعجع أهالي بيروت عام 2006 والقاع عام 2014 لعدم الخشية منها، لأنها قوة حليفة؟

فلسفة الغيتو لم تتغيّر، وشعار من كفرشيما الى المدفون باقٍ، وحالات حتماً باقٍ أيضاً، لكن ضمن توليفة جديدة اسمها اللامركزية الموسعة، والفدرالية، بحسب المقتضى، وما تتيحه الموازين، والقتل هو القتل، وبدل بوسطة عين الرمانة، أحداث الطيونة.

سيبقى الرئيس الشهيد رشيد كرامي يطلب العدالة، وسيبقى القاتل معلوماً، كما أعاد التأكيد نجل الشهيد وولي الدم النائب السابق فيصل كرامي، ولا يستقيم أن يتحدّث أحد عن شهادة الرشيد ويقوم بتجهيل القاتل أو يحاول تبييض صفحته، ولعل صمت هؤلاء أفضل لهم ولذكرى الشهيد الرشيد، وقد قتل لأنه ركن بارز في جبهة الدفاع عن خط عنوانه العداء الحقيقيّ والعميق والجديّ والمبدئيّ لـ«إسرائيل»، وتم قتله تنفيذاً لطلبها.

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بانوراما اليوم – التكليف.. الاستحقاق التالي & الرئيس رشيد كرامي.. 35 عاماً على الجريمة

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NATO Proxy Terrorists Clash with Heavy Weapons in Northern Syria

ARABI SOURI

NATO proxies of the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists and the Turkey-sponsored Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups exchanged mortar shelling in the northern countryside of Aleppo, the fratricide is ongoing since yesterday evening and until the time of this report.

The artillery and mortar shelling caused material damage in the targeted villages without losses in lives, none reported by the belligerent parties, which could be to keep the morale of their personnel.

Propaganda outlets of the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists claimed that the villages of Samouqa and Umm Al Qura in the Al Shahba area in the northern Aleppo countryside were shelled with artillery by the Turkey-sponsored terrorists, 12 projectiles struck the villages today, Thursday 12 May.

The video is also available on Rumble and BitChute.

One of the Kurdish propaganda outlets provided a video report of what it said is a heavy shelling shortly after midnight by the Turkish army and its so-called ‘National Army’ proxy in the eastern countryside of Ain Eissa city in the northern Raqqa countryside.

The Kurdish SDF terrorists on their part shelled villages under the control of the Turkish-sponsored Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, the shelling targeted the village of Masha’ala in the northern countryside of Afrin, northwest of Aleppo,

Locals in the northern Syrian city of Jarabulus reported the artillery shelling by the Kurdish SDF terrorists against the city led to the injuries of two children, with no elaboration on the status of the two victims.

These clashes between NATO’s different proxy terrorist groups have been ongoing ever since NATO’s incursion in northern Syria first by the terrorist groups of the FSA followed by the Nusra Front (Al Qaeda Levant aka Nusra Front aka HTS) which ISIS took over from and then directly by NATO’s largest and second-largest armies, the US, and the Turkish, with their sponsored proxies.

The clashes between the foreign occupying forces in northern and northeastern Syria have resulted in much material damage, thousands of people killed, maimed, tens of thousands uprooted and displaced, and millions oppressed until this very day. NATO is working on its plan to Israelize the areas it currently occupies in Syria, mainly the areas where Syria’s main oil fields and the country’s food basket, by uprooting the local Syrians and replacing them with terrorists and their families sponsored by, and loyal to NATO.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Voting on Election Day Is A Message to All Those Conspiring Against the Resistance and Its Weapon

May 13, 2022

Video here

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech during the electoral festival the party is holding for the Beqaa area in Baalbek, Rayyak and Mashgarah.

Sayyed Nasrallah started by greeting and welcoming all the participants in the electoral festival Hezbollah is holding for the Beqaa area.

His Eminence hailed the people of Beqaa by asserting the fact that they “have defended and sacrificed in the path of Allah in the past times and in the modern history, as well as in current battle.”

Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the audience and said, “Your massive presence reflects your loyalty to the Resistance as you are the people of resistance, its strong hand, mind, eyes, heart, and emotions… your presence in this festival is clear evidence, and is both a message and an answer.”

The Resistance Leader tackled the subject of martyred Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and says that she “was a witness on the ‘Israeli’ enemy’s crimes and the injustice practiced against the Palestinian people.”

“The barbaric nature of the ‘Israeli’ enemy didn’t change given its massacres in Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt,” His Eminence continued.

Commenting on the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “The first who must feel ashamed are those who normalize ties with ‘Israel’ and attempt to convince our people that the presence of ‘Israel’ is something natural.”

“The strongest message about the martyrdom of Shireen Abu Akleh is that she is Christian,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained, adding that the message regarding her martyrdom is that “the ‘Israeli’ enemy killed Christians and Muslims [alike] and attacked their sanctities, and destroyed their houses.”

“The message about Shireen Abu Akleh’s martyrdom is that everybody is in danger due to the unchanging ‘Israeli’ regime’s apartheid and inhumane policies,” the Hezbollah Secretary General added.

In his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah condoled with the families of the Civil Defense Forces of the Syrian Army who were martyred today [Friday, May 15] at the hands of the Takfiri groups in Aleppo’s countryside.

Relatedly, His Eminence affirmed the importance of the Beqaa and its people as “an essential part of the resistance”.

“As Imam Sayyed Musa Sadr’s resistance started from Beqaa, so did the Islamic Resistance, where its foundations were laid,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

The Resistance Leader went on to say, “They want the people of Beqaa to abandon the Resistance and its weapon by targeting it politically, financially and media-wise.”

Relatedly, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified, “The operations [of the Resistance] started on the land of Beqaa until the western Beqaa was liberated.”

“For long years the youths of Beqaa and Western Beqaa from all towns and villages were present in all of the Resistance fronts in the Beqaa and South Lebanon,” the Secretary General said.

Addressing the people of Beqaa, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “Your dearest martyr Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi was martyred on the land of South Lebanon, and in the July War you were present… throughout history you’ve been with Hezbollah; Hezbollah is you.”

His Eminence further noted that “We must remember those who stood by the Resistance, atop of them is Syria, and those who stood by ‘Israel’.”

“Had the terrorist groups’ scheme been destined to triumph in Syria, they would have represented a danger to Beqaa and all Lebanon,” the Resistance Leader cautioned.

In a parallel platform, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the issue of politicizing the Lebanese Army by explaining how it “was banned, upon a political decision, to confront the terrorist groups in the battle of the outskirts.”

The Hezbollah Leader interpreted how “Some political sides supported the armed groups such as Daesh [Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’] and al-Nusra Front.”

“Those terrorist groups have committed horrible massacres against Sunni Muslims, and now they are carrying out daily terrorist attacks in Afghanistan regardless if the victims are Shia or Sunnis,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

Also in his speech, His Eminence reminded the crowd of martyred leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, saying, “As we enjoy safety and security away from car bombs, it is thanks to the martyred leader Mustafa Badreddine and the brothers in the Resistance.”

“You have to make the decision between those who held their arms to defend Beqaa and those who armed the militant groups to attack your houses,” the Resistance Leader said.

Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified the fact that Hezbollah doesn’t “gain money from the ministries we are in charge of; we spend money there instead.”

The Secretary General vowed to work to achieve a strategic project for Beqaa, which is the tunnel that links Beirut with the Beqaa area.

“The current minister of Public Works has tackled the project with several countries, and he will follow up this project with the ministers of Beqaa,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

The Resistance chief said that “Hezbollah will exert the efforts to improve the agricultural production and sales in Beqaa.”

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the voters and said, “I am addressing all those who will cast their votes on May 15 as we’ve been hearing very ridiculous and weird things, which point to the level of ethical and cultural decadence.”

“Some present themselves as leaders who want to build the state, one of them (Siniora) – name added by me- is responsible for the disappearance of $11 billion, another wants to liberate the Shia from Imam Hussein [AS], and the other one’s electoral aim is to dance and swim!” His Eminence exclaimed.

“They are ridiculously considering the people fool by terrifying them from Hezbollah,” the Secretary General added.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah rebuffed the aforementioned saying, “The arms of Resistance didn’t prevent anybody from fixing the electricity problem or building dams, nor did it cause the tragic financial policies over the past decades.”

Moreover, the Resistance Leader indicated that “Washington aided its groups in smuggling the money of the Lebanese depositors outside the country.”

His Eminence went on to say, “Those who formed their electoral lists in the US embassy have to ask Washington for returning the money of the Lebanese depositors after they were smuggled.” He added, “The US bans investments in Lebanon and works to starve the Lebanese people.”

More on the issue of the electoral campaigns, His Eminence explained, “We’ve witnessed in the electoral campaigns an unprecedented state of hatred in Lebanon.”

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by asserting that “Voting on the day of elections is a message to all those conspiring against the Resistance and its weapons, and those conspiring against the future of the Lebanese people.”

His Eminence ended his speech by once again addressing the people of Beqaa and telling them, “Hopes are high in your participation; we ask you on May 15 to vote and mark your honorable fingerprint with ink, not blood.”

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Related Articled

Rebranding Nazism

May 09, 2022

Source

by Roddy Keenan

As a teacher of history, the topic of Nazi Germany is always one which generates numerous questions from students. How were the Nazis able to convince the public to vote for them? How did they convince the people to go along with their fascist agenda and barbaric policies? How was the Holocaust allowed to take place?

Despite discussing the role of propaganda and censorship, as well as the fear of opposing the Nazi regime, one still finds students often somewhat bemused. Moreover, many invariably argue that nowadays, due to social media, the Internet, and other methods of communication, the evils of Nazism could never succeed in flourishing again.

However, that is about to change. One only has to look at the manner in which the Azov Battalion, a fully-fledged Ukrainian Nazi militia, with significant influence, has been whitewashed in the space of ten weeks. Whereas prior to February 24th 2022, they were recognised as a neo-Nazi battalion, these fascists are now being portrayed as valiant defenders of an oppressed people, fighting bravely against insurmountable odds.

In the past, we have become only too well aware of the role played by the media and big tech in propagandising and manufacturing consent. Whether it’s the mainstream media parroting establishment talking points, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube censoring dissenting views, or Paypal denying media outlets access to their own accounts apparently due to their political stances, Western disinformation full-spectrum dominance appears to be at its zenith.

Yet, the perennial Western purveyors of fake news, such as The New York Times, CNN and the BBC, declare themselves to be gatekeepers of truth, integrity and morality. And this, despite their lies which facilitated the slaughter and deaths of over a million men, women and children, in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

But still it goes on, right up to the present. From the Ghost of Kiev to Snake Island, the Collective Western media has acted as stenographers for the Western and Ukrainian regimes. The examples are too numerous to mention, but the media coverage of the air strike at a railway station in Kramatorsk provided a striking example of the overt and cynical propaganda role the western media has played throughout this conflict.

The missile strikes that killed over fifty people and injured more than one hundred were initially widely reported, with images on front pages across the Western media. However, within forty-eight hours the story had disappeared and barely received a mention. This was due to an Italian news team identifying one of the missiles as being of the type used by Ukrainian forces. The narrative of Ukrainians killing civilians obviously didn’t fit into the propaganda of the Collective West, and consequently, the dead and injured found instant irrelevance.

Now the Western media has turned its malevolent myth-making to the Nazi Azov battalion in the Ukraine. An overtly Nazi formation, descended from the Fascist Banderites of World War 2, it is now being staunchly defended by the Collective West.

Interestingly, it had been previously accepted that the Azov were a far-right, Nazi militia, and indeed, their presence and influence was widely viewed as a dark force within the Ukraine. It’s fascist rituals and regalia, worship of the fascist Stepan Bandera, and its adherence to Nazi ideology, left nobody in any doubt that these were committed fascists, and they were commonly described as neo-Nazis in numerous Western media outlets.

However, since February 24th there has been a stunning shift.

Now, the fact that the Azov battalion is a Nazi organisation is glossed over. The BBC, a propaganda arm of the British State, ran a nine-minute puff piece, arguing, almost pleading, that the Azov fighters were not fascists, but simply a battalion integrated into the Ukrainian army. Meanwhile, MSNBC interviewed Azov Nazis teaching elderly women how to use weapons, and newspapers from the Financial Times to the New York Times are now portraying the Azov as brave defenders of the Ukraine.

An obvious aim of this shameless media operation is to delegitimise the Russian claims of denazification, by arguing that there is no Nazi problem in the Ukraine. Even on the rare occasion that the media refers to the ideology of the Azov units, and indeed, the presence of other fascist and far-right groups such as C14, Right Sector and Svoboda, it claims they have minimal impact on the politics of the Ukraine, pointing to their weak electoral performances. What they fail to point out, is that the mainstream’ parties are implementing policies that the fascists support. Moreover, the notion that parliamentary representation is a metric of influence is absurd when one looks at the likes of Al Qaeda and Isis.

In fact, a leader of the fascist group C14, Yevhen Karas, described the 2014 Maidan coup as a ‘victory of nationalist ideas’. He went on to assert that without the influence of fascist groups, Maidan would have been nothing but a ‘gay parade’.

But this is now an inconvenient truth for the Collective West. Consequently, Azov and their fellow travellers are no longer Nazis or fascists. Instead, they are merely ‘misunderstood patriots’.

Of course, this is nothing new. When it comes to hypocrisy, the Collective West has it in spades. Whether it’s supporting the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, ISIS and AL Nusra in Syria, or the fascists in Ukraine, the Collective West has shown itself to be devoid of any morality when it comes to serving their own interests.

Now, just as Isis and Al Nusra are ‘moderate rebels’, the fascists of Azov are well-meaning nationalist warriors.

So, according to our so-called liberal democracies, even though there might be bad Nazis, there are also good fascists, whose adherence to Nazism is just an ideological quirk. Obviously, those who are on our side are the good Nazis. And it’s the Collective West that always gets to decide who is who.

But one thing is now evident – the blatant manner in which Nazism has been made palatable due to an unrelenting, systematic propaganda campaign, will answer those questions posed by students regarding how German Nazis were able to attain power in 1933 and to subsequently pursue the policies that they did.

‘Scratch a liberal and a fascist bleeds’, I was once told many years ago.

The events of the past months have proven just how accurate that old adage is.


Originally from Ireland, Roddy Keenan is a teacher and freelance reporter based in the UK. Roddy specialises in international politics and is the author of US Presidential Elections 1968-2008: a narrative history of the race for the White House’.

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC Briefing on the Political and Humanitarian Situation in Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°  

Mme.President,

We thank Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Geir Pedersen, Head of UN OCHA Martin Griffiths, as well as Assistant Secretary-General of the Leagues of Arab States Hossam Zaki for their insights.

We welcome the beginning of the 7th round of the Editorial Board of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. We are convinced that there is no alternative to Syrian-owned and Syrian-led political settlement under UN assistance that should be free of external interference and artificial deadlines, and should remain within the framework of UNSC resolution 2254.

We do hope that “methodological” reservations will not impede fruitful conclusion of this round, and the work will mainly focus on dialogue between the Syrian delegations and their readiness to come to an agreement on the issue of constitutional reform. We call on Geir Pedersen to concentrate on this without getting distracted by other initiatives.

Mme.President,

Progress of political settlement is in even greater demand now that the situation on the ground remains tense and potentially explosive. Main security threats to Syria have to do with the rise of activity of terrorists who found refuge at Damascus-uncontrolled territories in Idlib, cross-Euphrates area, and Al-Tanf. This problem can be solved if the uncompromising fight against internationally-recognized terrorist groups, first of all ISIL and HTS continues; illegal foreign military presence that violates Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is put an end to; and Israel’s arbitrary air strikes stop for good.

We believe the key reason creating this hazardous situation is the West showing indulgence towards terrorists and trying to use them for own purposes. Among the resent consequences of this dangerous stance we can name a large-scale terrorist attack on al-Sinaa prison in Hasakeh. When cleansing the prison and surrounding urban areas from militants, US aviation and armored vehicles were used. Measures for protection of civilians were ignored, which is richly illustrated by mass outflow of peaceful population from combat zone: more than 45,000 people by OCHA estimates.

Even though Washington poses its military presence as a counter-terrorism operation, we see no active fight against terrorists there. Besides, by available records, ISIL and other extremists from across the Euphrates are being transferred to other hotspots where spreading chaos is beneficial for the US. It is worth reminding that the United States and its allies repeatedly launched massive missile and bombing raids against Syria’s military and industrial infrastructure in violation of the international law and the UN Charter – on a far-fetched pretext of eliminating chemical weapons. Apparently, this is what West-promoted “rules-based order” looks like.

This being said, and also in view of the fact that the Secretary-General stepped back from conventional “neutral language” that is appropriate for an international civil servant in the context of Ukraine, we request A.Guterres to be consistent and give an assessment to whether the presence of the US and other forces in Syria meets the UN Charter. We count on him to call the names of those who illegally occupies the Syrian territory, first of all in Al-Tanf, and specify who is responsible for the situation in IDP camps that are out of control of Damascus. Otherwise we will have to perceive his silence as a manifestation of double standards.

We also remind the Secretary-General that we never heard him give an assessment to the US bombardments of Raqqa, Hajin, and Baghouz. By UN data, there was no single medical facility in Raqqa left unaffected by hostilities. At least 80 people (most of them women and children) died during the bombardment of Baghouz. After his emotional assessments of the developments in Ukraine that were based on unverified or even unverifiable data, Head of the United Nations is obliged to call things by their real names in the context of continuing US occupation of Syrian territories based on data that is confirmed by international agencies.

Mme.President,

At the humanitarian track, we share the assessments of M.Griffiths that the international community is failing Syrians from year to year. Implementation of UNSC resolution 2585 that is called to boost comprehensive humanitarian assistance to Syria is stalled. Planned cross-line convoys from Aleppo to Sarmada were blocked by militants in Idlib. According to the incoming reports, Nusra fighters openly say that they would not let through any internal convoys (that carry aid to approximately 43,000 people in need) until the renewal of the cross-border mechanism (CBM) in July, of which they are somehow convinced. There is also no access to the three other zones of Turkish operations – even COVID-19 vaccines cannot be delivered there.

In parallel to this, our Western colleagues try to connect member states’ obligations under the unanimously adopted resolution 2585 with political preconditions. While politicizing humanitarian assistance, Europeans and Americans keep suffocating Syria with unilateral sanctions that erode the humanitarian situation and seriously complicate efforts of specialized organizations, i.a. due to related chilling effect and overcompliance by banks, insurance companies and economic operators. Again, didn’t we make decisions defining hunger as an unacceptable method of warfare that contradicts the IHL?

We must not relax our attention to assisting Syrian IDPs and facilitating refugee return – this task remains on the agenda. Host countries – Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey do not conceal that there are limits to their accommodating capacities.

We believe we need to uphold the fundamental right of refugees to return, as stated in UNSC resolution 2254 and given scrupulous coordination of such efforts with Damascus.

Colleagues,

As we all know, the CBM mandate expires this summer. Of all provisions of the resolution, only one is being implemented at the moment – cross-border humanitarian deliveries. It seems no one is going to implement the other provisions. At the same time, Damascus has proven that cross-line deliveries to Idlib are possible and that peaceful population can receive humanitarian aid if it departed from the territory of Syria. We strongly call you to not forget this and not expect that we turn a blind eye to nonfulfillment of resolution 2585 that becomes more and more outspoken.

Thank you.

Terrorists from Syria Go to Ukraine to Fight Russia: Will Turkey Suffer?

March 09, 2022

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research,

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Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


Russian-Turkish diplomatic relations are quite complex, while some collaboration exists in several sectors, competition is dominant in other sectors and domains, particularly the security sector.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on February 27 urged foreigners to head to Ukrainian embassies worldwide in order to sign up to volunteer to fight Russia in Ukraine.  Now, Zelensky says that 16,000 foreign volunteers have arrived in Ukraine to assist in their fight against Russia.

The pro-Serb Democratic Front, the largest bloc in Montenegro’s governing coalition, called on the authorities to prevent the recruitment of Montenegrin fighters for Ukraine’s armed militia. “Such a call from the Ukrainian embassy is an obvious attempt to destabilize our country and the authorities must react. They must prevent Montenegrin citizens from fighting in foreign wars as this is also prohibited by law”, the Democratic Front said in a press release.  According to Interior Ministry data, some 31 Montenegrin citizens have fought in foreign wars since 2012, with 26 having fought alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The majority in Montenegro have strong sympathies for their fellow Orthodox Christian Russians, who have been targeted by Nazi militias such as the Azov Battalion in the Donbas.  Montenegro criminalized participation in foreign conflicts in March 2015, and those convicted face prison sentences of up to ten years. Montenegro joined NATO in June 2017.

Radical Islamic terrorists in Idlib/ Syria are among those foreigners seeking to reach Ukraine to fight the Russians.  Radical Islam is a political ideology that has been called Islamo-fascist, and shares commonalities with the Nazi militias in Ukraine.  Both the Nazis in Ukraine and the terrorists in Idlib are fighting the Russians.  The terrorists in Idlib have devised a plan to send fighters to Ukraine, while also fighting the Russians in Idlib, thus hitting Russia on two battlefronts.

Suhail Hamoud, a famed terrorist in Idlib, who is nicknamed Abu TOW for his skill in operating the American anti-tank missile BGM-71 TOW, recently offered assistance to Ukraine.  Hamoud said on Twitter, “There is a strong will I am in Idlib now and ready to go to support the Ukrainian army. I want to help someone”.  He is said to have more than 100 confirmed hits of Russian-made tanks in Syria during the battles against the Syrian Arab Army. Former President Obama had sent the TOW anti-tank missiles to Idlib.

War or Peace: Turkish backed Terrorists, Erdogan’s Decision on Idlib

Iraqi terrorist leader Maysara bin Ali, also known by Abu Maria al-Qahtani, said on Telegram that if a Muslim in Ukraine fights and defeats the Russians, he would be rewarded in heaven, and if he gets killed he would be a martyr, having died in a Holy War.

The most powerful terrorist force in Idlib is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a coalition of Islamist groups made up of Syrian and foreign fighters, and dominated by Al Qaeda affiliate known as Jibhat al Nusra.

“The main problem is the foreign fighters, they have nowhere to go,” said Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat and analyst with Carnegie Europe. Sending the terrorists to Ukraine is one solution that the US and NATO are using. Just as the Obama administration used the Al Qaeda terrorists to fight the Syrian government for regime change, those same terrorists can be utilized to fight the Russians in Ukraine and Idlib.

The UN envoy to Syria has said there are around 10,000 HTS terrorists in Idlib. Other terrorists are fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner. However, once President Erdogan of Turkey began sponsoring them, he changed their name to the “National Front for Liberation”. The US-NATO war on Syria for regime change used the Muslim Brotherhood partisans as boots on the ground in Syria.  The terrorists were originally named Free Syrian Army but were taken over by Al Qaeda, and finally morphed into ISIS.

Ankara considers the Kurdish militia in northeast Syria as terrorists but supports the Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Idlib. Turkey invaded Syria in several places, and Idlib was one of their occupation points. The Turkish military convoys pass freely amidst the terrorists in Idlib.

Ankara depends on its good relationship with Russia to control Idlib.  Russia controls the air space and performs military patrols near Idlib which holds together a fragile ceasefire between the terrorists, Russia, Turkey, and the Syrian government in Damascus.

In 2018, Russia and Turkey entered into an agreement in Sochi concerning Idlib. Turkey was to separate the terrorists from the innocent civilians and guarantee the safety of the M4 highway linking Latakia with the industrial capital of Syria, Aleppo. This plan was to prevent the Syrian Arab Army from attacking Idlib and clearing out all the terrorists. Turkey was desperate to sign the deal to prevent refugees in Idlib from fleeing to Turkey should an attack begin.  Idlib is thought to have about 3 million civilians and tens of thousands of terrorists.

Turkey has a dozen military posts in Idlib and said that it would isolate terrorists, but after almost four years Turkey has not lived up to its agreement. Idlib has remained a tense status quo, with no political settlement in sight or even discussed.

On February 27, Turkey declared the conflict in Ukraine a war. This invoked the 1936 convention concerning the waterway at Istanbul, the Bosphorus, and Turkey has now locked out Russian warships from the Black Sea, which include destroyers, a frigate, and one of Russia’s most advanced warship that carries cruise missiles.  These ships were to join a fleet of warships already assed outside of Odessa.

In 2017, Turkey signed a deal to buy the Russian-made S-400 air defense system against strong US objections. In 2019, the system was installed. Given the current fragile relationship between Russia and Turkey over Ukraine, Russia could turn off the system, like what the US did to Saddam Hussein of Iraq. In this process, the codes are known by the manufacturer of the air defense system and can make the S-400 worthless.

Russia is building Turkey’s first nuclear reactor, it has recently constructed a pipeline underneath the Black Sea to Turkey, and it is supplying the bulk of Turkey’s natural gas to stay warm. Turkey imports more than 90% of its energy and Russia is one of its main suppliers.

Turkey has been selling armed drones to Kyiv, and the Ukrainian military has already used them in Donbas against pro-Russian targets. Turkey is also a close ally of Russia, and a key trading partner, and Ankara have been careful not to step on Moscow’s toes in Syria. On March 2, Ukraine said it is getting more Turkish drones, despite warnings from Moscow.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has posted videos of Turkish-made drones targeting Russian forces. Last week, Moscow warned countries supplying Ukraine with weapons they would be held responsible for losses. Turkish-Russian ties are facing a critical test.

Erdogan has domestic problems as well as those with Russia.  His opposition is united against him and opinion polls show an anti-Erdogan majority. Turkey would pay a huge price in Syria if Russia turned against it over its stance on Ukraine.

Russia could retaliate against Turkey in Idlib. If the Syrian Arab Army were to begin an attack of Idlib against the Turkish-protected terrorists, it could create a panic among the civilians and unleash millions to cross the border into Turkey, which would further destabilize Turkey amid an economic downturn and growing anti-Syrian sentiment among the public.

Conversely, should Turkey perceive Russia weakening from the US-NATO position against it in Ukraine, Turkey may choose to step-up attacks against Russian and Syrian positions and assets in Idlib, and take even more territory in northwest Syria on the Turkish border. All eyes are on Ukraine now, but keep one eye on Idlib as well.

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This article was originally published on Al Mayadeen.

Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist, and Chief editor of MidEastDiscourse News. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Al Mayadeen

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, 2022

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