Lebanon Allows Hundreds of Syrian Refugees to Return Home

ARABI SOURI

Lebanon finally allowed hundreds of Syrian refugees to return to their home country, Syria after years of abusing their suffering as a pressuring card against the Syrian state.

Hundreds of Syrians returned to their home country coming from neighboring Lebanon through a number of border crossings between the two countries, they were immediately received with the love and care they lacked for long years.

All of the returnees received immediate health checkups at the borders, were given medicine, the children were given the vaccines they missed during their exile, and were provided support to help them on their journeys to their hometowns.

Al Ikhbariya news channel met some of the refugees at border crossings:

The video is also on Rumble, and BitChute,
Syrian refugees retruning from Lebanon عودة النازحين السوريين من لبنان

Transcript

Al-Zamrani border crossing with Lebanon in Damascus countryside

Easing the process of securing and inspecting trucks entering Syrian territory, successively, now, convoys cross and carry many Syrian families with their children entering Syrian territory. As you can see, this convoy is now entering with perhaps about 329 people on board. The first trucks have now arrived at the Al-Zamrani crossing.

The process is going to conduct the inspection process by both the Syrian and Lebanese sides, as well as the insurance process for all cars, in order for both sides to ensure that there are no security breaches that might disturb the process.

This process is going under direct and single supervision between the Syrian and Lebanese sides without any entry or supervision by UN organizations. On the contrary, there were local organizations on both sides following up on the affairs of refugees who return to their homes and villages after about 10 years of displacement in Lebanon.

Dabousiyah border crossing with Lebanon in Homs countryside:

A new batch of displaced people return to Syria via the Dabousiyah border with Lebanon after years of displacement under the pressure of terrorist groups. Homs Governorate has taken all necessary measures to receive them and deliver them to their liberated areas.

– I call on all those present (displaced persons) in Lebanon to return to the homeland, praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds, that peace has prevailed in the homeland and, God willing, it will return as it was before and better than that.

– The procedures are very good, may God give you wellness, the children get vaccinations, and they received us very nicely.

– I returned to my country, no matter how far I went, I returned to my country to serve my country and my country because there is nothing more warm-heartedness than the homeland.

– Frankly, the first thing is that the displacement from the country is very difficult, and now that we are back in Syria, we are very happy.

Jalal Fakhoury, representative of Homs Governorate: All logistical and moral support has been provided, even buses, medical care, and all supplies are currently secured, and full facilities will be provided for their return to their homeland and homes.

Muslim Atassi – Director of Homs Health: The returnees were fully examined and asked about the elderly about chronic heart diseases, diabetes, stress, or other diseases, and for children, the parents were asked about the vaccines they received and what they lacked.

Fadi Issa, Director of the Dabousiyah Border Crossing: In turn, we, Dabousiyah Border Crossing authority provide all requirements and provide facilities, whether in the field of health or civil records and all transactions as simple and easy as possible.

The process of returning the displaced to Syria continues according to the set plan, with all facilities being provided for their return to their areas after years of displacement.

From the Dabousiyah crossing in the western countryside of Homs, Osama Dayoub for the Syrian News.

End of the transcript.

A spokesperson for Damascus Countryside Governorate confirmed that all the returnees have arrived at their homes after the medical examinations and receiving the needed medicine and vaccines for those who needed them.

Many of the Syrians who sought refuge in Lebanon after their towns and villages were invaded by the US-sponsored moderate rebels of head-choppers, suicide bombers, and rapist subhumans, thought they’d be treated with the same hospitality the Lebanese were treated in Syria every time Israel bombed their country in the past, they were wrong.

Not only have the Lebanese authorities under the US and Saudi influence forced the poor of them to live in poor conditions, over-charged the wealthier of them high rentals and fees, and stole in total billions of dollars from the very wealthy Syrians who chose Lebanon as a temporary refuge, the Lebanese authorities were allowing thugs to physically harm the Syrian workers, kill many of them, and worse, prevent them from returning to their home country for political reasons.

Now, that the utterly failed presidency of Michel Aoun was ending (it ended on 30 October), the Lebanese authorities started relaxing their restrictions over the return of Syrian refugees to Syria, Aoun was instrumental behind the US Congress’s so-called Syria Accountability Act of 2003 which led to the series of increased severe economic measures by the US-led western world against the Syrian people.

Radical Lebanese have also torched the camps of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon on several occasions the last of which was yesterday in the town of Arsal in eastern Lebanon.

Syrian refugees camp in Arsal Lebanon on Fire

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Saad Hariri and the collapse of Lebanon

The Syrian regime-change war and Lebanon’s economic collapse happened under Saad Hariri’s watch, but the Future Movement leader is seldom mentioned for the pivotal role he played in Lebanon’s unravelling

Photo Credit: The Cradle

September 12 2022

By William Van Wagenen

In 2005, US neoconservatives centered around then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s office began collaborating with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, defected former Syrian Vice President Abd Al-Halim Khaddam, and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to topple the Syrian government.

Washington did so as part of an effort to topple the governments of seven countries in five years, including Libya and Iran, using the so-called ‘War on Terror’ as a pretext.

However another crucial, though overlooked collaborator in the regime change effort was pro-Saudi Lebanese politician Saad Hariri. And his actions would soon see massive repercussions unfold in his own country.

The dynastic Hariris

In 2005, Saad’s father, former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, was assassinated in a massive car bombing, which a highly-politicized UN-backed court pinned on two individuals affiliated with Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah. In the wake of Rafiq’s death, Saad came to head not only the Saudi-supported Future Movement – Lebanon’s leading Sunni political party – but also the multi-billion-dollar Hariri business conglomerate established by his father in Saudi Arabia.

Initially, the US, French, and Israeli governments quickly blamed Syria for Rafiq’s killing. Presumably, Saad was motivated to participate in the US-led regime change effort in Syria as a result.

But business interests also played a role as Saad wished to gain control over Syria’s telecommunication sector. This is something his father had previously tried, but failed to accomplish.

As French journalist Georges Malbrunot details in his book The Road to Damascus, Syria first launched its mobile phone industry in the early 2000’s, and Lebanon’s prime minister at the time, Rafiq Al-Hariri, wanted to invest in one of the two Syrian companies that had just been created for this purpose.

But Rami Makhlouf, cousin of Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad and the dominant investor in the sector, blocked Rafiq’s efforts. Malbrunot notes further that according to a lawyer close to the Syrian government, “there was an immediate veto from the intelligence services against Hariri.”

While the Baath Party may have considered the telecommunications sector to be of strategic importance – and therefore not open to outsiders – Assad would have also been concerned about Hariri’s direct role in bribing top Syrian officials, including then-Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, prior to his defection, among a broad slate of other grievances.

In the wake of Rafiq’s assassination, Saad was quick to pick up his father’s baton. At the time the Christian Science Monitor reported that:

“[Saad Hariri] may be a newcomer to Lebanese politics, but Hariri is no neophyte. He ran his father’s massive construction company, Saudi Oger, for over a decade and has extensive financial interests in telecommunications in the Middle East. He is ranked at 548 in Forbes Magazine’s annual list of billionaires with an estimated fortune of $1.2 billion. His father was ranked 108th with $4.3 billion. Hariri has adopted his father’s globe-trotting existence, holding talks with Jacques Chirac, the French president and a close family friend, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Middle East leaders.”

Saad’s support of Salafi-jihadists

In addition to running his deceased father’s business conglomerate, Saad was active in protecting Al-Qaeda affiliated militant groups in Lebanon.  Journalist Seymour Hersh notes that according to a 2005 International Crisis Group (ICG) report, Hariri had helped release four Salafist militants from prison who had previously trained in Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and were arrested in Lebanon while trying to establish an Islamic state in the north of the country.

Hariri also used his influence in parliament to obtain amnesty for another 29 Salafist militants, including seven suspected of bombing foreign embassies in Beirut a year prior. Hersh notes that according to a senior official in the Lebanese government, “We have a liberal attitude that allows Al-Qaeda types to have a presence here.”

In the wake of the radical Fatah Al-Islam’s 2007 battle with the Lebanese army, which destroyed the Nahr Al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, Charles Harb of the American University of Beirut (AUB) observed that Saad was giving “political cover” to “radical Sunni movements” that could be directed and employed against the Resistance Axis of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Harb also noted the involvement of Saudi intelligence in cultivating these groups. He explained that “Several reports have highlighted efforts by Saudi officials to strengthen Sunni groups, including radical ones, to face the Shia renaissance across the region. But building up radical Sunni groups to face the Shia challenge can easily backfire.”

Start of the ‘Syrian Revolution’

In early 2011, US planners exploited dissatisfaction among certain segments of Syrian society – not only pro-western liberals but also the country’s Salafi community – to spark initial ‘Arab Spring’ type protests in the country.

Saad Hariri’s interest in gaining control of the Syrian telecommunication network via any successful regime-change operation was hinted at during the first protest in Daraa, a predominantly Sunni governorate, on 18 March, 2011.

As Syrian sociologist Muhammad Jamal Barout revealed, protestors in Daraa chanted against Rami Makhlouf and demanded that his businesses be expelled from the province (recall that Makhlouf held the dominant position in Syria’s telecommunications sector).

Salafist militants, including from Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), quickly began attacking Syrian security forces under the cover of the early protests. US planners facilitated these attacks (with the help of Prince Bandar), in the hope of unleashing a sectarian civil war on the country comparable to that which had destroyed Iraq starting in 2003.

The Future Movement and Salafi terror

Prominent opposition and human rights activist Haitham Manna provided evidence that elements close to Saad Al-Hariri were among those funneling weapons to the Salafist militants in Syria, including in Daraa, in part to secure financial interests.

According to Muhammad Jamal Barout, Manna’ publicly disclosed in an interview on Al-Jazeera on 31 March, 2011, that “he had received offers to arm movements from Raqqa to Daraa three times by parties he did not identify in the interview.”

Barout additionally writes that, according to Manna, there were secret communications between some Syrian businessmen abroad who found themselves bent on revenge against the Assad government because their interests had been harmed by the network of the pro-government businessman Makhlouf.

Furthermore, these groups were willing to fund and arm opposition movements throughout the country. Barout notes that these businessmen apparently had relations with professional networks capable of delivering weapons to any location in Syria and that some members of the Future Movement in Lebanon were among those arranging these weapons shipments.

One name pops up more than others: Okab Sakr, the MP from Hariri’s Future movement made infamous in phone conversations leaked to Lebanese media outlet Al Akhbar, in which he directly discusses large weapons transfers to Syrian militants.

Writes The Guardian of Hariri’s close confidant: “Every time Okab is in town the weapons start to move across the border,” said a rebel colonel from the Jebel al-Zawiya region, who calls himself Abu Wael.

Sakr eventually fled the country to avoid repercussions for his illicit activities, and admitted to his role in arming the Syrian conflict, which dragged Lebanon into the messy and dangerous fray.

Within no time, Fatah Al-Islam and other militants previously under the protection of Hariri and Saudi intelligence in Lebanon were soon identified on the battlefield in Syria. Dr. Haytham Mouzahem, director of the Beirut Center for Middle East Studies explained that, “When the uprising in Syria began in 2011, many of the remaining Fatah al-Islam members crossed the border and joined groups in the Free Syrian Army [FSA].”

This provided one indication among many that the FSA – as it was known then – was not secular, democratic, or comprised primarily of army defectors, as is often claimed, but rather consisted primarily of Salafist militants, including many affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

The role of Al-Qaeda militants from Lebanon came further into focus in the summer of 2011, when Der Spiegel reported that a prominent Salafist cleric in Tripoli was sending fighters into Syria as early as summer 2011 because, in his view, “Assad is an infidel” and “There is a holy war in Syria and the young men there are conducting jihad. For blood, for honor, for freedom, for dignity.”

According to one of the fighters interviewed by the German magazine, around 60 percent of the Lebanese fighters crossing the border from Tripoli to Homs had previously fought in Iraq.

Syrian fallout: Refugees flood into Lebanon

As the months and years passed, more and more jihadists flooded into Syria. As they did, and as fighting with the Syrian army and its allies intensified and became more brutal and sectarian, more and more Syrian civilians flooded into Lebanon to flee the conflict back home.

With the onset of war in Syria in 2011 and subsequent US sanctions, the Syrian economy began to massively contract, which in turn caused the closely connected Lebanese economy to gradually slow as well.

Given that Lebanon is a small country facing its own disastrous economic crisis, it has been unable to provide decent living conditions for even its own 5.5 million residents, let alone for the 1.7 million Syrian refugees present in the country.

Because US planners, along with their many regional collaborators including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon and others, launched a dirty war on Syria in 2011 causing millions of Syrians to flee their homes and seek refuge in bordering states, it is the US and its close allies that bear most of the responsibility for the current refugee crisis Lebanon now faces.

Accommodating such a large number of refugees would always be difficult, but this became near impossible after the October 2019 Lebanese banking crisis, which in turn caused what the World Bank described as a “brutal” economic contraction of a magnitude “usually associated with conflicts or wars.” Even relatively prosperous and middle-class Lebanese were plunged into poverty, losing most of their life savings, as the Lebanese lira quickly plunged.

A Hariri legacy: Lebanon’s economic collapse

The origins of the crisis can be traced to the creation of a banking infrastructure based on efforts to maintain a currency peg between the Lebanese lira and US dollar.

This system was established by Lebanese central banker Riad Salameh in the 1990’s in the wake of the Lebanese civil war, presumably to restore economic stability needed after the wild currency swings seen throughout the conflict.

Then-prime minister Rafiq Hariri had appointed Salameh – his personal money manager at US brokerage firm Merrill Lynch – as governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank.

To maintain the peg, Salameh effectively established a Ponzi scheme that enriched wealthy Lebanese as well as the bankers themselves. As the New York Times explained:

“Lebanon’s Central Bank promised that 1,507 Lebanese lira would be worth exactly $1 and that Lebanese banks would always exchange one for the other. That policy brought stability, but it also required Lebanon’s banks to hold a large store of U.S. dollars . . . so the banks could make good on the promise to exchange 1,507 lira for $1 at any point. Lebanese firms also needed dollars to pay for imported goods, a large part of the economy in a country that produces little of what it consumes. . . . To keep dollars flowing in, the head of Lebanon’s Central Bank developed a plan: Banks would offer very generous terms — including an annual interest of 15 percent or even 20 percent — to anybody who would deposit dollars. But the only way for banks to make good on these terms was by repaying the initial depositors with money from new depositors. Of course, there is a name for this practice: a Ponzi scheme.”

The receipt of such high interest rates on deposits allowed wealthy Lebanese both at home and abroad to slowly loot the country. Commercial bankers benefitted as well, by receiving a handsome spread on the interest rate paid by the central bank and forwarded to depositors. The Hariri family benefited directly from the system, both as owners of huge US dollar deposits as well as owners of their own commercial bank, Bankmed.

Riad Salameh personally benefitted from the system as well, setting up a brokerage firm with his brother, Forry Associates, that took some $330 million in fees for brokering the sale of government bonds between 2002 and 2015, $200 million of which were allegedly transferred to Salemeh’s personal accounts with various Lebanese banks, including with Hariri’s Bankmed. These transfers led to the ongoing investigation of Salemeh by European officials on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.

As the protracted Syrian war – aided by Hariri and his allies -across Lebanon’s only viable land border tore into Lebanon’s fragile economy, and the flow of new US dollars entering the Lebanese banking system also began to slow, Salameh’s Ponzi scheme became unsustainable, and finally began to collapse in October 2019.

Lebanese banks began to restrict US dollar withdrawals for small depositors to minor amounts, while secretly allowing wealthy and connected clients to pull out huge sums for transfer abroad. Soon, small depositors, who had themselves deposited dollars, were restricted to withdrawing an unreasonable equivalent in Lebanese liras instead.

The value of the lira quickly dropped by some 90 percent, wiping out the life savings of many and causing mass poverty as prices of everything, including essential goods, skyrocketed. According to banker and political commentator, Ehsani, the total losses for depositors amount to roughly $111 billion.

According to Syria’s President Assad, some $40 billion of those frozen deposits may be of Syrian origin, with huge negative ramifications for the country’s finances and reconstruction efforts.

The October 2019 economic collapse was accompanied by wide-spread protests expressing anger against Lebanon’s broader political class, pressuring Saad Hariri to step down as prime minister.

Despite the key role played by the Hariri-Salameh political clique in establishing, benefitting from, and finally collapsing the Lebanese banking system, and subsequently the entire economy, both Hariri and Salameh continue to enjoy diplomatic and political support from their backers in Washington.

In February 2020, amidst criticism of Salameh’s role in precipitating the crisis, US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea suggested to Lebanese TV it was “a mistake to scapegoat any one person or institution for Lebanon’s economic collapse” and that Salameh, still “enjoys great confidence in the international financial community.”

The reason for this was provided, at least in part, in April 2019 when Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar published minutes of a meeting between the US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism Financing and Financial Crimes, Marshall Billingsley, and the (former) Lebanese Economy Minister, Mansour Bteish. The minutes cite a US official saying:

“We need a governor of the Banque du Liban [central bank] and a deputy governor who we can trust, and who is sensitive and with whom confidential information about terrorist financing and money laundering can be exchanged. The situation today is that we trust Governor Riad Salameh and (former) Deputy Governor Muhammad Baasiri.”

As US planners have not been fighting terrorism, but rather funding and arming al-Qaeda affiliated groups to use as proxies in their war against Syria between 2011 and 2017, this suggests Salameh continues to enjoy US protection to avoid details of terrorist financing, in particular Saad Hariri’s role in arming terrorist groups in Syria on behalf of US planners, from coming to light.

It is difficult to imagine that Lebanon can emerge from its current crisis, or deal with corruption and poor governance plaguing the country, while US influence over Lebanese affairs remains dominant and oppressive US sanctions against Syria remain in place.

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

AIRSTRIKES HIT ISIS CELLS IN CENTRAL SYRIA AS GOVERNMENT FORCES CONDUCT LARGE-SCALE OPERATION (VIDEO)

 21.05.2022 

A Russian Su-24 strike aircraft in the sky over the Khmeimim airbase in Syria. Photo: Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti

South Front

On May 21, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a series of eight airstrikes on ISIS’s areas of influence in Syria’s central region.

The airstrikes were carried out in support of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and other pro-government formations who are currently conducting a large-scale operation against ISIS cells in the central region.

The operation, which began on May 20, is meant to secure vast parts of the central region, from the eastern Homs countryside all the way to the eastern Hama countryside, the southern Aleppo countryside and the southern Raqqa countryside. The SAA’s elite 25th Special Mission Forces Division, also known as the Tiger Forces, is leading the operation.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the 25th Special Mission Forces Division and other SAA units deployed large reinforcements in the eastern Hama countryside to support the operation on May 21. The London-based monitoring group said that the reinforcements included dozens of battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, howitzers, multiple rocket launchers as well as hundreds of troops.

So far, there have been no reports on ISIS losses. The terrorist group’s cells are likely laying low in remote parts of the central region to avoid a confrontation with the SAA and its allies.

The operation will likely heat up in the upcoming few days as the SAA and its allies push deeper into the heart of the central region. The operation, which is the largest to target ISIS cells in the region in years, may take a few weeks or even more than a month.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

RUSSIAN FIGHTER JETS, SYRIAN ATTACK HELICOPTERS STRIKE ISIS CELLS IN HOMS, HAMA & RAQQA

26.01.2022 

Illustrative image.

On January 26, fighter jets of the Russian Aerospace Forces and attack helicopters from the Syrian Arab Air Force targeted hideouts, equipment and personnel of ISIS in different parts of Syria’s central region.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 50 Russian and Syrian airstrikes targeted the following areas:

  • The outskirts of the town of Ithriyah in the eastern Hama countryside;
  • The outskirts of the town of al-Sukhnah in the eastern Homs countryside;
  • The outskirts of the town of al-Resafa in the southern Raqqa countryside.

The Russia and Syrian airstrikes were likely a response to a recent attack by ISIS cells’ that targeted a convoy of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the ancient city of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs.

During the attack, which took place on January 24, a vehicle-borne explosive improvised device prepared by the terrorists targeted the convoy. Seven service members of the SAA were killed and 24 others were wounded. A tank and seven light military vehicles were also damaged.

ISIS insurgency in central Syria, which began around four years ago, will not likely end soon. The group’s terrorists have been allegedly surviving off supplies bought from US-backed fighters based in the southeastern area of al-Tanf.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Merchant Ship Caught Fire at Latakia Port Triggers NATO Propagandists

ARABI SOURI 

Merchant ship caught fire at Latakia Port - Syria

A fire broke out on a merchant ship docking at the Latakia Port during maintenance work, the fire was soon under control, unlike the NATO propagandists who unleashed their imaginations and used their professionalism in doctoring news to spread panic.

The Chief of the Latakia Fire Department stated that the fire in one of the commercial ships in the Latakia Port was under control and two injuries were recorded.

Latakia Port Director Mr. Amjad Soleiman said in a statement carried by the Syrian news agency SANA: ‘the ship headed to the Latakia Port for maintenance and during the maintenance operations, a limited fire broke out, which was put out by the ship’s crew and the Latakia Fire Department.’

Talking Syria’s Presidential Elections, With Laith Marouf & Myself (in Damascus)

 

Eva Bartlett

Brief conversation I had last night with geopolitical analyst Laith Marouf about yesterday’s Syrian presidential elections. I visited eastern Ghouta towns yesterday and saw jubilation among Syrians on the streets, including in Douma, singing and dancing.

No matter what the lame corporate media is saying about the elections, Syrians wanted them and are still celebrating today. Hell, in 2014, a week after the elections, I saw a party raging in Homs, what the pro-“revolution” crowd used to call the “capitol of the revolution”.

Laith:

“Syrians in the US went to the embassy at the UN and voted. That was a direct challenged to American hegemony, since the Americans closed the Syrian embassy in DC. But there is still a Syrian embassy at the UN, and that they can’t touch, the Americans. So many people showed up at the UN headquarters, waiving flags, and so on. The other two countries that host the majority of Syrian refugees or immigrant populations, Germany and Turkey, again the blocked the Syrian votes from happening.

At the same time, countries that were responsible for the war in Syria, like the UAE, opened the embassy, allowed Syrians to vote.

Last week in Lebanon, tens of thousands of Syrian residents of Lebanon went to Syrian embassy in Beirut. The fact on the ground is that Syrian people are out in the millions voting in these elections.”

IRANIAN ROCKETS BECOME EVEN MORE POWERFUL AS ISRAEL LACKS OPTIONS TO CONTAIN TEHRAN INFLUENCE

South Front

Despite Israel’s best efforts, Iran’s influence and presence in the Middle East, and in Syria specifically is spreading.

One could blame that on the Biden administration’s halt in the “maximum pressure” campaign, but that influence was increasing even when Donald Trump sat in the White House.

Currently, Iran is furthering its interests and there is little to truly deter it.

On February 1st, Iran carried out its first successful missile launch since Joe Biden became president.

The missile is the Zuljanah, Iran’s newest domestic built satellite-carrying rocket. It is hailed as Tehran’s “most powerful rocket engine” and it can either carry a 220-kilogram satellite, or up to 10 smaller ones.

The Trump Administration, and also Israel have repeatedly accused Iran of using such tests as a way to develop capability for ballistic missiles with a nuclear warhead.

On the very same day, Iran also notified the US that it couldn’t simply rejoin the Nuclear Deal, that the sanctions had to go.

Currently, the Biden Administration appears to be considering its actions, and is not undertaking any further movements to antagonize Tehran.

This stillness is something Israel is discontent with, as it provides Iran and its proxies to operate rather freely.

Tel Aviv is likely feeling a sense of urgency, as even Hezbollah launched an anti-aircraft missile at its drone. That is a rare occurrence.

The Iron Dome was also recently updated and tested out against advanced drones and smaller missiles. That is something both Iran and its proxies are quite adequate at employing.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) arrested a shepherd who cross from Syria into soil occupied by Israel and was apprehended. Threats are all around, and the paranoia is growing.

The concern and need to dig in and protect its own is also apparent in the Juniper Falcon exercise that began on February 4th. It is a join cooperation between the IDF and US European Command.

The drill focuses on improving cooperation, and improving the joint ability to defend from external threats.

Defending both the Israeli and US interests in the Middle East from external threat may become reality sooner, rather than later.

One of the battlegrounds where the US-Israeli bloc feels itself threatened is Syria. On February 4th, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) announced that it had secured the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway. The next operation may take place in the Hama-Aleppo-Raqqa triangle.

The SAA, together with Russian aerial support, and likely some Iranian assistance are making progress.

When ISIS activity goes down, as a result of these operations, Israel will potentially need to be more careful in its raids and activities, because its adversaries may have their hands mostly untied.

Any neutral observer would easily notice that, currently, Iran and the Damascus government are achieving success in their endeavors. And that happens in spite of the actions of ISIS, Israel, Turkey and the US.

When the Revolution Council in Homs Governorate participates in the Tripoli fires عندما يشارك مجلس الثورة في محافظة حمص في حرائق طرابلس!

**Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original **

When the Revolution Council in Homs Governorate participates in the Tripoli fires

Paris  Nidal  Hamada

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-71.png

Lebanese security forces have released two leaders of  takfirist fighting groups who entered Lebanon under the cover of a journalist and were arrested in Tripoli during  demonstrations Thursday night and Friday.

It is not known how these fighters in the Al-Faruq Brigade  in Qusayr and in the neighbourhoods of Homs were allowed to enter Lebanon, although we knew from their Facebook pages that the Samir Kassir Center intervened to release them, i.e. the U.S. Embassy in Aoker and The Arab TV of Azmi Bishara.

The Information Branch arrested Anas Idris, a former spokesman for the Revolutionary Command Council in Homs province, Fadi Gargouz, a fighter of the Farouk Brigades in Qusayr and one of the founders of the Al-Qusayr Media Center, which belonged to this  brigade, and the two reside in Gaziantep, Turkey.

In a quick browsing of the page of the Revolution Council in Homs Governorate on the social networking site for short tweets «Twitter» in the years when Anas Idris was his official spokesman, we find Anas Idris promoting and supporting:

  • Killings and terrorist operations,
  • sectarian incitement
  • Support for the Zionist enemy strikes on Syria
  • And an explicit declaration in the fight against Hezbollah,
  • Using expressions of Nusra and ISIS describing Hezbollah, as the party of Satan.

Though calling Lebanon a corrupted state, under pressure from the US embassy and the Qatari embassy in Beirut, the security forces released him yesterday, Friday.

Anas Idris and Fadi Gargouz are leaders of armed groups that fought the Syrian army and the Lebanese  resistance for years in Syria and Lebanon, bombed Lebanese villages and towns with rockets, and sent  dozens of car bombs into Lebanon, which killed hundreds of Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians in the streets of Lebanese cities, entered and left Lebanon without being held accountable.

We are content with publishing some of the tweets of the Revolutionary Council in the Homs governorate during the period when Anas Idris was its official spokesman, so that the Lebanese know what kind of people were in Tripoli on the night of the great riot, and how these people left Lebanon without anyone asking them one question about the crimes they committed.

It is an issue similar to releasing Criminal Amer al-Fakhouri.

Related

عندما يشارك مجلس الثورة في محافظة حمص في حرائق طرابلس!

باريس ـ نضال حمادة

أفرج الأمن اللبناني عن قياديّيْن اثنين في الجماعات التكفيرية المقاتلة دخلا الى لبنان بغطاء صحافيّ، وتمّ توقيفهما في طرابلس أثناء التظاهرات ليل الخميس – الجمعة.

ولا يُعرَف كيف سُمح لهذين المقاتلين في لواء الفاروق في القصيْر وفي أحياء حمص بدخول لبنان، وإنْ كنا عرفنا من صفحتيهما على «الفيسبوك» أنّ «مركز سمير قصير» تدخّل لإطلاق سراحمها، يعني السفارة الأميركيّة في عوكر والتلفزيون العربي التابع لعزمي بشارة.

وفي التفاصيل أنّ فرع المعلومات أوقف كلاً من أنس إدريس الناطق الرسمي السابق في مجلس قيادة الثورة في محافظة حمص، وفادي قرقوز أحد مقاتلي كتائب الفاروق في القصيْر ومن مؤسسي مركز القصيْر الإعلامي الذي كان يتبع لهذا اللواء، ويقيم الإثنان في غازي عنتاب في تركيا.

وفي تصفّح سريع لصفحة مجلس الثورة في محافظة حمص على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي للتغريدات القصيرة «تويتر» في الأعوام التي كان فيها أنس إدريس ناطقاً رسمياً باسمه نجد ما يدين أنس إدريس بالترويج والتأييد لأعمال قتل وعمليات إرهابيّة، فضلاً عن تحريض طائفي وتأييد للعدو الصهيونيّ في ضرب سورية، وإعلان صريح في قتال حزب الله، واستخدام تعابير النصرة وداعش في وصف الحزب بحزب الشيطان. وللمفارقة اتهام بالفساد للدولة اللبنانية التي قامت أجهزتها الأمنيّة يوم أمس الجمعة بإطلاق سراحه، كما بضغوط من السفارة الأميركيّة والسفارة القطريّة في بيروت.

أنس إدريس وفادي قرقوز قياديان في جماعات مسلحة قاتلت الجيش السوري والمقاومة اللبنانيّة سنوات في سورية ولبنان، وقصفت قرى وبلدات لبنانية بالصواريخ، وأرسلت عشرات السيارات المفخّخة الى لبنان التي قتلت مئات اللبنانيين والسوريين والفلسطينيين في شوارع المدن اللبنانية دخلا لبنان وخرجا منه من دون أن يحاسبهما أحد، ونحن هنا سوف نكفي أنفسنا وقرانا عناء البحث ونقوم بنشر بعض تغريدات مجلس الثورة في محافظة حمص خلال الفترة التي كان فيها أنس إدريس ناطقاً رسمياً باسمه حتى يعرف اللبنانيون نوعية الأشخاص الذين كانوا في طرابلس ليلة الشغب الكبير، وكيف أنّ هؤلاء خرجوا من لبنان من دون أن يسألهم أحد سؤالاً واحداً عن الجرائم التي ارتكبوها.

إنها قضيّة يمكن وضعها في مصاف قضية عامر الفاخوري.

مقالات ذات صلة

IRAN EXPANDS INTELLIGENCE NETWORK NEAR JORDAN AND ISRAEL

South Front

 19.01.2021

The situation in Syria’s Idlib appears to be, once again, on the brink of escalation, with the US preoccupied with what’s happening at home, and Turkey attempting to push towards Ain Issa, while being targeted by its own proxies.

The terrorist threat is far from removed, and attacks are common, moments of calm in the country’s east and northwest appear to be few and far between. The situation that’s transpiring is, to a large degree, due to Turkey’s actions and its policies.

Ankara, too, is suffering from it, since the many of the groups that it backs, officially or otherwise, seem to be eager to bite the hand that feeds. On January 16th, Turkish troops in observation posts in Idlib were targeted by sniper fire from a group that calls itself “Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq”. According to the group itself, three Turkish soldiers were shot. One appears to be in critical condition.

This is the group’s third attack against Turkey, with the first taking place in November of 2020, and then in December of 2020. The December attack resulted in one Turkish soldier’s death. Other reports of Turkish proxies attacking Ankara’s armed forces occasionally take place.

The Turkish military maintains more than 60 posts, camps and bases throughout Greater Idlib. Most of them are located in terrorist-controlled areas, and attacks on them are rather infrequent due to Ankara’s close ties with terrorists operating in the area. Nonetheless, as the recent attacks show, this policy has some weak sides for the Turkish personnel deployed.

Ankara is attempting to encroach near the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-controlled area, attempting to establish an observation post near Ain Issa. A push on SDF positions is expected, but there will be a defense.

Meanwhile, Iran has been expanding its presence in Syria despite the endless Israeli-US attempts to oppose this. Tehran’s forces deployed a signal intelligence system along Syria’s border with Jordan. This may be used to either spy on the US forces deployed in Jordan, or even on Israel.

Iran has ample opportunity, Tel Aviv is likely to be on the back foot, since the US’ Biden administration is likely to support Israel less than that of Trump. This provides Tehran with a chance to dig in and reinforce its position and prepare an asymmetric response to its geopolitical opponents.

There is likely to be an advent of a new round of confrontation in the conflict zone, with the Syrian Arab Army still struggling to get rid of ISIS cells in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert, Turkey focused on the SDF and being targeted by militants in Idlib, and Iran attempting to focus on its opponents.

Both Ankara and Tehran are likely taking a chance to improve their positions in Syria due to the lull in American activity in the face of the unprecedented chaos in the United States. At the same time, the new US administration would not likely support the Trump-announced troop withdrawal effort. So, Washington still has a word to say.

MYSTERIOUS AIRCRAFT POUND TURKISH OIL SMUGGLERS IN SYRIA. US SUPPLY CONVOYS ARE BLOWN UP IN IRAQ

South Front

The first month of 2021 was marked by a new round of violence in Syria. The situation was especially complicated in Greater Idlib, northern Aleppo and in the central desert.

On January 8, ISIS terrorists launched a large attack on government forces in the eastern countryside of Hama. After a series of clashes with the Syrian Army and pro-government militias, terrorists captured a number of positions near the towns of Rahjan and al-Shakusiyah. As of January 12, ISIS cells retreated from these positions under pressure from the army. Nonetheless, at least 19 government troops and 12 ISIS members were killed in the clashes.

Meanwhile in the eastern countryside of Homs, ISIS cells destroyed a pickup of the al-Quds Brigade, a Palestinian pro-government group, with an improvised explosive device. According to pro-opposition sources, at least 44 pro-government fighters have been killed in the clashes in the desert area since the start of the year. The number of the eliminated terrorists is reportedly over 35.

Sources affiliated with Russia-linked private military contractors claim that the deterioration of the security situation in western Deir Ezzor is a result of the withdrawal of a majority of Russian specialists from the area.

At the same time, Iranian-backed forces continue their work to expand the Imam Ali Base near al-Bukamal. The base, operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is allegedly designed store precision-guided missiles in a network of underground tunnels in the area. The base was repeatedly targeted by Israeli and even US strikes in 2019 and 2020. Despite this, the strikes did not cause any major impact as the base’s military infrastructure has been steadily expanding.

January 9 also became the first day of 2021 when the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out strikes on terrorist targets in Greater Idlib. Strikes hit several hills in outskirts of the town of Kabani, which is known for being stronghold of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkistan Islamic Party. A day earlier, forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham shelled Syrian Army positions in northern Lattakia injuring several soldiers.

These developments coincided with some strikes by some ‘mysterious aircraft’ that once again bombed Turkish-linked oil smugglers in northern Aleppo. This time the infrastructure of the smugglers was destroyed near the village of Tarhin.

The situation in neighboring Iraq is also not stable. Just on January 9, 3 supply convoys of the US-led coalition became targets of IED attacks in the central and southern regions of the country. These attacks are a logical continuation of the ongoing standoff between the US-Israeli bloc and the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance. Iranian-backed forces in Iraq conduct these attacks as a part of their campaign to force the US to withdraw its forces from the country.

While some expect that a Biden administration would be less interested in an increase of confrontation with Iran, there are no indications that the sides can fully settle their contradictions in any way in the nearest future. Therefore, the entire region will remain a battleground for the warring blocs.

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RUSSIAN FORCES ESTABLISH PRESENCE ON SYRIAN-IRAQI BORDER

South Front

Over the past weeks, the Syrian Army and its allies have intensified their operations against ISIS cells hiding in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert.

According to pro-government sources, during the past few days, Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militias carried out a series of raids to the south of the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway and southeast of al-Mayadin. Pro-militant media outlets clam that over 10 Syrian soldiers and 15 ISIS members died in these clashes.

The Russian Aerospace Forces also resumed their strikes on ISIS targets in the desert region. Pro-opposition sources say that the Russians delivered over 100 airstrikes. Indeed, the intensity of this campaign demonstrates that the regularly resurfacing ISIS cells, which actively exploit the state of chaos on the Syrian-Iraqi border, pose a notable security threat.

Just a few days ago, the Russian Military Police established a local HQ and several positions in the Syrian town of al-Bukamal, which lies on the border with Iraq. Local sources link the increased Russian presence on the border with the recently resumed anti-ISIS operation there.

Given the de-facto collapse of security in the area on the Iraqi side of the border, the Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian-backed forces deployed near al-Bukamal and al-Qaim are now the major factor deterring the terrorists operating there. At the same time, Israel and mainstream Western propaganda argue that al-Bukamal is just the base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and thus must be destroyed.

While the presence of Iranian-backed forces there is an open secret, attacks on them and their allies, which were repeatedly conducted by Israel and even the US-led coalition, have in fact supported the ISIS agenda.

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Syria: The complicated scene

By Abir Bassam

November 24, 2020 – 10:49

It is a dirty war that has been going on in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Almost nine and a half tragic years have passed. The three countries were subjected to all kinds of terror and brutally destroyed. Actually, what has been going on is a world war! All weapons were used and tested and many countries were involved.

It was a real dirty war, in which the West and the Americans and their allies in the region have used the worst kind of men: a group of collaborators and barbaric terrorists. 

The worst kinds of mercenaries from all over the world were sent to Syria. They practices the ugliest inhumane deeds: they decapitated heads, literally ate hearts, and burned people alive to death. 

These groups were directly led by generals from the U.S., France, and Turkey. This information was supported by different informed resources that reported capturing French, British, and Turkish officers since 2015, in particular, during the invasion of Idlib. The district was invaded by a tenth of thousands of terrorists from Nusra, especially its group Fateh al-Sham which is directly supported and trained by Turkey, and Ahrar al-Sham which was directly supported by the Americans. The invasion was directly led by the Turkish tank battalions and the NATO alliances. 

By December 2015, the northeast of Syria was also invaded by another terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. ISIS was created with the utmost attention of Hilary Clinton, during Barak Obama’s administration. This was revealed by Donald Trump during his election campaign in 2016. ISIS swept over the al-Jazeera region and extended to Palmira through the Syrian Desert and occupied Homos, the biggest Syrian district. It was directly protected by the American extending military bases in northern Syria and the eastern base in al-Tanf. ISIS attacked both the Syrian government forces and the opposition factions. 

The plan was to allow ISIS invasion of northern-eastern Syria territories and western-northern Iraqi territories in order to terminate the opposition factions in the region. It was carefully planned by Obama’s administration and in particular his vice president Joe Biden, the new president of the United States of America.

Under the pretense of fighting terrorism, the Americans were back in Iraq and restored bases in Iraq, built new ones in Syria and reestablished new militia groups in the area of the northeast, mainly Kurdish groups. They were trained and equipped by the Americans. For the U.S., it was a necessary step to launch a Kurdish federalism on the Syrian territories.  

Nonetheless, the U.S. had set the return plan before withdrawing from Iraq in 2010. Upon its departure, the American administration empowered the al-Qaeda group in Iraq, and supported its existence, as Trump declared and accused Hillary Clinton of being the mastermind behind it. ISIS was basically the American approach to siege Syria, and eventually, apply the plan of division in the region and establish a Kurdish state. 

Saying that may seem to be naive and simple. However, executing the plan required initiating “revolutions” in other Arab countries, recruiting media specialists, recruiting special personnel to initiate eruptions by social media, and consuming billions of dollars in the process, of which the Saudi kingdom and Qatar were the main contributors.

In 1992, I was on a visit to al-Hassaka and al-Qamishli. I was just a young beginner in journalism. I was conducting an investigation report about the Yazidis. At that stage, a large number of Yazidis and Kurds were immigrating to Syria. They escaped the biased and brutal treatment of Saddam Hussein and the fanatic Turks. These Kurds were building a wide network in Europe. They bought sympathy and support to establish a federation in Iraq in 1996. The process was facilitated by the Americans after the second Persian Gulf War in 1991 as Saddam’s power was fading.

The idea of having a similar kind of federation in Syria became appealing to both the Americans and Israelis. The size of Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad’s presence in the Iraqi Kurdistan is not a secret anymore. It is an established fact. The Americans also facilitated the Israeli presence in northeast Syria, especially those who came with American nationality to work in the oil fields.

The Turkish president Erdogan was one of the supporters of the American plan to dismantle Syria. Erdogan was able to recruit Qatar to the best interest of Turkey. Both countries were discontent with the Syrian government’s refusal to allow building the Qatari gas pipeline to Turkey through its territories. Syria saw that a move that would discomfort its allies in Russia and Iran. However, Erdogan had bigger plans in Syria. In the northwest region, Erdogan mainly saw the Idlib and Aleppo districts as the extent of Turkey, and a head starts to initiate the Ottoman dream. 

This dream vanished to thin air when Syria started liberating the area occupied by ISIS in West Euphrates, and al-Gab plain after cleaning the Damascus area, Homos, and the center of Syria from terrorism with unlimited support from Russia. The second shock Erdogan received when the Americans started supporting the establishment of the Kurdish federation in al-Hassaka. 

The Kurdish militia was founded in October 2015 under the name Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]. SDF in its formation includes Kurds from Syria and others who came mainly from Turkey and other countries, most of them do not speak Arabic, unlike the Syrian Kurds. 60% of the militia includes Arab Syrians, according to the Pentagon. There are other nationalities included among the formation of SDF, who are Turkmens, Armenians, Circassians, and Chechens, who came from all over Asia.

In 2016, SDF updated its constitution from a separate federal state into an Autonomous Administration of Northern and East Syria [NES] and declared SDF as its official defense force, which complicated the Syrian political scene, furthermore. Now NES or SDF are cooperating with the official American forces in east-north of Syria and serve as “the Southern Lebanese Army, [SLA]” in South Lebanon during the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon. As SLA has tried to establish an independent state in South Lebanon, SDF or NES is trying to acquire the same course. 

Since 2018 the Syrian army, with the help of allies – Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah- has been able to liberate most of the occupied lands. However, the liberation coincided with the rise of economic pressure on Syria. The price of the Syrian lira if compared to the American dollar dropped and its purchasing value decreased. It was due to the economic sanctions that were imposed on Syria, and lately “Caesar Law” which was activated in the mid of June 2020. 

In 2018, the American troops withdrew from the north of Syria and were redeployed in the al-Hassaka district around the Syrian richest oil fields. The American companies, in particular ARAMCO, are now draining the Syria oil to the interest of NES and financing the American troops stationed in the northern-eastern area of the Euphrates in Syria. Actually, Syria is facing an internal problem with the lack of petroleum resources. The hard winter is coming and the lines for buying the diesel needed for heating the houses will be crowded as much as the lines for gasoline.

After burning and stealing the wheat plains in the al-Jazeera district by the Americans and the Turks, the bread prices went 25% higher. Shortage in bread supplies was triggered by the government’s decision to set the bread rations. The Americans were literally applying Kissinger’s policy which states that nations are ruled by bread, not by arms. The shortage of bread and petroleum products is new to the Syrian population; therefore, the successive Syrian governments are facing major challenges since the beginning of 2019. 

Caesar Law added additional pressure on the countries that may establish economic and commercial deals with Syria. The law was imposed at a time in which the world is suffering from COVID-19 epidemic, which spread in Syria as well. In addition, Syria needs to deal with the issue of the Syrian refugees. It is a dilemma that needs to be dealt with appropriately. The refugees’ dilemma is used as a political card to force the Syrians to submit to the American political demands, which are set on two levels: national and international.

On the national level, the international community wants to pressure the Syrian government into implementing a new constitution based on the sectarian division of power, just like Lebanon, which would diminish the presidential authority and redistribute it, as it happened in Tunisia and Sudan, which would divide the power of the head of the state. The second issue is related to the question of the forcibly disappeared people, who were kidnapped or killed by the rebel groups, and treating the killers and kidnappers as political opponents without subjecting them to trials. This issue will be a matter of conflict, and will not be accepted by those whose families and friends were kidnapped or killed. This fact was revealed a few days ago by the new Syrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Feisal Muqdad. 

On the international level, the requirements of the international community, i.e. the U.S., have become common knowledge.  Since 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. secretary of state, Colin Powell, came to Syria and laid down the U.S. demands: dismantling Hezbollah arms, ending Syrian support to the resistance groups in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq, and ending cooperation with Iran in the region. The end means, as usually explained, is ensuring the security of Israel. 

Naturally, the Syrians refused American demands. Therefore, we should make no mistake and assume that what had happened in the Arab region under the pretense of “Arab Spring” was meant for the destruction of Syria in order to dismantle it into minor sectarian states that can be easily controlled to the best interest of “Israel” and America.

Hence, Syria requires two essential needs to start its reconstruction process: the first is lifting the sanctions imposed on it; and the second is to end the American occupation in the northeast area. However, the West insists on linking lifting the sanctions to the political process. But when it comes to the achievement of the liberation from the Americans this process cannot be realized unless the national resistance would be highly activated in the northeast of Syria. It is America that we all know. It did not end its occupation of Vietnam, Korea, and eventually Iraq in 2010 until the number of causalities becomes unbearable in the American community.

Syria’s essential needs were clearly stated by its president Bashar Al-Assad on two occasions, the first was during a video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the 10th of November. The second time was in his speech at the opening of the International Conference on the Return of the Refugee in Damascus [ICRRD] on the 11th of November.

During his visit on the 5th of November to the exhibition “Producers 2020” in “Tekia Sulaymaniyah” in the capital, Damascus. It was attended by producers from the Aleppo governorate whose facilities, workshops, and shops were damaged during the war. President al-Assad talked about the economic impact of the issue of shortage of oil supplies and burning the wheat fields in northeastern regions. 

He also explained that the economic problem was clearly becoming worse when the banks in Lebanon blocked the Syrian deposits. President al-Assad said that there is vagueness about the Syrian deposit’s estimations. Its assessment ranges from 20 billion dollars to 42 billion dollars. The blockade has been going on for years. He added the crisis began years before the Caesar Law and began years after the siege. It coincided with the money disappearance in the Lebanese banks. Furthermore, al-Assad declared that we do not know what the real number is, and this figure for an economy like the Syrian one is a frightening number.

Al-Assad’s declaration became one week before ICRRD to which Lebanon was invited. Was this a message to Lebanon? It could be, although many observers have denied it. The denial is basically based on Syria’s previous special treatment of Lebanon. Lebanon in the Syrian considerations are two contradictory facts: the first, Lebanon is an opening to the western world with bipolar swings. The first swing expressed in the historical Arab and regional ideology.

And the second swing is expressed in the lining towards a Western ideology, with the tendency to sign normalization agreements with “Israel”. The second group was of great concern to the Syrians since the creation of Lebanon. It is known as the right-wing groups, who allied with the Americans and the Israelis. 

The second fact, Lebanon as a state is based on providing services and tourism. It is considered to be the lung that Syria needs to breathe with. However, this lung health became worse since 2011, when the United States accused the Lebanese Canadian Bank of laundering terrorism money. And then again in 2016, since many banks faced the same accusations and were prohibited to deal with customers that the U.S. listed them as Hezbollah members.

Accordingly, the Lebanese banks froze several balances for many customers and in particular the Syrian customers that were importing goods to Syria through Lebanon after imposing an embargo on Syria. It is clear for the Syrians, regardless of the unique relationship with Hezbollah, it is about time that Lebanon should release these balances, and pay its debts to Syria, especially the debts that have been accumulating since 1990, which are the revenues from selling electricity.

Syria, as President al-Assad explained, will need its money in the process of rebuilding the country’s main infrastructure and vital installations, which were destroyed during the liberation war against the terrorist groups. It is a call for Lebanon to join forces with Syria to demand lifting the embargo and to be excluded from Cesar Law consequences because Lebanon needs to open up to Syria for commercial trades towards the east, in particular, to Arab countries, or Lebanon will be demanded to pay back its debts. 

The Americans were pushing Syria and the region since 1973 towards peace and normalization treaties with “Israel”. However, Syria has proven that such an agreement would be difficult to execute unless it was a “peace for land” agreement, which would ensure the right of return of the Palestinian people. An equation, nor the Israeli, neither the Americans are willing to sign for. In addition, Syria’s main condition, during the negotiations held in Oslo in 1992, was the return of all occupied Arab territories. However, the series of recognitions Trump has approved throughout his reign made the return to the negotiation table almost impossible. It also pushed into more complications with the relation between Syria and Lebanon since the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005. The need to separate the Syrian-Lebanese course in the peace process is becoming a must for the Americans. A need until today could not be achieved.

Syria now is subjected to American pressure that requires its approval to initiate peace and normalization agreements with Israel. This goal so far was difficult to achieve, especially after Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Even Syria’s allies, in particular Russia, cannot force the Syrians to give up part of their land. Syria’s war on terror has spared all its allies the tragedy of dragging this war into their own territories. 

Hence, Syria prepaid in blood for the security of its “friends” now. History will, sooner or later, reveal this fact. Syria’s insistence on the unity of its land, and its refusal to have any divided authority is now a fact. The Syrians cannot compromise it, and the allies cannot go against it. The course of negotiations the allies led in Astana and Sochi has affirmed it. However, this fact has complicated the Syrian scene furthermore. It might even force the Americans to lead directly the war in the region, whether in arms or diplomacy, since the proxies have proven their disabilities.

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US SENDS M2A2 BRADLEY IFVS TO CHALLENGE RUSSIAN FORCES IN NORTHERN SYRIA

South Front

US Sends M2A2 Bradley IFVs To Challenge Russian Forces In Northern Syria
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The US military has reinforced its troops, supposedly mostly withdrawn from Syria, with a new batch of military equipment, this time M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

In an official comment released on September 18, the US-led coalition said that mechanized infantry assets, including Bradley IFVs, were positioned to Syria in order to “ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS”, “ensure the protection of Coalition forces” and “provide the rapid flexibility needed to protect critical petroleum resources”.

The M2A2 Bradley is armed with a 25 mm chain gun, a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and a dual TOW anti-tank guided missile launcher. This makes the IFV the heaviest weapon deployed by the US on the ground in Syria.

As of September 21, the newly deployed armoured vehicles were already spotted during a coalition patrol in al-Hasakah province, where the US has a network of fortified positions and military bases. US forces regularly conduct patrols in the area. Another area of US interest in Syria’s northeast are the Omar oil fields on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Washington reinforced its troops deployed there with M2A2 Bradley IFVs in October 2019.

The main difference is that, according to local sources, the vehicles deployed in al-Hasakah province will most likely be involved in patrols in the area and thus regular confrontations with the Russian Military Police and the Syrian Army.

Just a few days ago, Russian attack helicopters chased US Apaches after they had tried to harass a Russian Military Police patrol. Earlier, the US military claimed that US troops sustained “mild injures”, when a Russian vehicle rammed a US MRAP in the al-Hasakah countryside.

The US-led coalition regularly tries to limit the freedom of movement of Russian and Syrian forces in the northeast of the country and faces an asymmetric response. Now, US forces will have an additional argument in securing what they see as their sphere of influence.

Syrian government forces have suffered even more casualties from ISIS attacks in the provinces of Homs and Deir Ezzor. On September 19, at least five members of Liwa al-Quds, a pro-government Palestinian militia, died in an explosion of an improvised explosive device near the town of al-Shumaytiyah. On September 20, an explosion hit a vehicle of the Syrian Army near al-Mayadin reportedly injuring several soldiers. Also, a field commander of the National Defense Forces was killed in clashes with ISIS terrorists west of Deir Ezzor.

As of September 21, the Syrian Army, Liwa al-Quds and their allies continue a combing operation to clear the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert from ISIS cells. However, the strong ISIS presence is still a notable threat for the security situation in the central Syrian desert.

In Greater Idlib, the Russian Aerospace Forces continue their air campaign targeting training camps, weapon depots, HQs and fortified positions of Turkish-backed terrorist groups. The interesting fact is that with the resumption of active Russian strikes on targets across Idlib, terrorists have decreased the number of attacks on the Syrian Army and civilian targets along the contact line. It would appear that the airstrike diplomacy has all chances to become an integral part of the Idlib ceasefire.

Massive fires engulf Syria’s western region

By News Desk -2020-09-05

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:40 P.M.) – Syria is witnessing an increase in temperatures of up to 11 degrees higher than the average, which contributed to the occurrence of a number of large fires in several areas in Latakia, Hama and Homs.

According to the agency Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), temperatures are 9 to 11 degrees higher than average in most areas, which is leading to wide-spread fires.

In addition to the high temperatures, the General Directorate of Meteorology predicted in its bulletin this morning that the weather will be between clear and partly cloudy in general, and hazy and dusty in the eastern regions.

The big fires broke out in the forests of Latakia, as well as in Hama near Wadi Al-Ayoun and Aiy Al-Kroum, in addition to the countryside of Homs Governorate, all of which the Syrian fire brigades managed to extinguish, but only after they engulfed many forests.

For its part , the Homs Fire Brigade was able to put out a fire that broke out in the woodlands of the town of Baiyoun in the western countryside of Homs, on the Lebanese-Syrian border near the southern Al-Kabeer River.

Yesterday, Homs firefighters put out several fires in Homs and its countryside, including oil residues, forest and fruit trees and herbs.

IRANIAN RESISTANCE AXIS STRIKES BACK. CONVOYS WITH US EQUIPMENT BLOWING UP IN IRAQ

Iranian Resistance Axis Strikes Back. Convoys With US Equipment Blowing Up  In Iraq
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On September 3, an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy with equipment of the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar. Iraqi troops that were escorting the convoy suffered no casualties. According to local sources, no significant damage was caused to the equipment. Following the incident, security forces detained 2 suspects near the explosion site. The investigation is ongoing.

However, it is no secret that the attack was likely conducted by one of multiple pro-Iranian Shiite groups that surfaced in the country following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi commanders by a US strike in Baghdad in January.

Earlier, the Guardians of Blood (also known as Islamic Resistance in Iraq) released a video showing an IED attack on another convoy with US equipment. The attack took place near Camp Taji, north of Baghdad on August 23. During the last few months, such attacks became a regular occurrence across Iraq.

Pro-Iranian forces not only created a wide network of active cells that carry out these operations, but also successfully track movements of US forces and their equipment. According to local sources, a large number of Iraqi security personnel involved in the guarding of US forces and facilities in fact support the Iranian-backed campaign against the United States as well as the public demand of the full US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Despite loud statements and the handing over of several US bases to the Iraqi military, Washington is not reducing its military presence in the country. Rather it’s regrouping its forces and strengthening the security of the remaining facilities. Tensions are on the rise not only in Iraq.

On September 3, Israel’s ImageSat International released satellite images showcasing the impact of the recent Israeli strikes on Iranian-linked targets near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and in the province of Homs. The report claimed that the strike on the Damascus International Airport destroyed a headquarters and a warehouse used by Iranian forces. The same area was the target of an Israeli attack in February. The strike on the T4 airport in Homs damaged the main runway and an apron. As a result, the air base was temporary placed out of service.

A few days earlier, the Israeli Defense Forces claimed that they had hit approximately 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in August. This supposedly included 35 hits on Hamas weapons manufacturing sites, along with 30 underground sites, 20 observation posts and 10 sites linked to the group’s aerial capabilities such as drones. According to the Israeli side, these strikes were a response to rocket and other attacks from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian groups claim that they just retaliate to permanent pressure and acts of aggression from the Israeli side.

Taking into account the war in Yemen, a large part of the Middle East has been turned into a battleground of the conflict between the Israeli-US bloc and the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance.

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

الاخبار

فراس الشوفي الخميس 27 آب 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


محاولة تفجير «الكلور» في العاطفية

(هيثم الموسوي)


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

SYRIAN FORCES ARE HUNTING DOWN ISIS TERRORISTS IN DESERT

South Front

South Front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related

Authorities Confiscate Large Stash of Weapons and Munition Heading to Idlib

Authorities Confiscate Large Stash of Weapons and Munition Heading ...

July 31, 2020 Arabi Souri

The law enforcement authorities discovered and confiscated a large quantity of weapons and munition heading to the NATO-sponsored Al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib.

In its ongoing intensive work and thanks to the ever-vigilant Syrian security personnel and with the help of locals, the law enforcement units in Homs monitoring smuggling networks found one of the storing places used by the smugglers at the Homs – Hama administrative borderline packed with a large number of assorted weapons and their munition on its route to terrorists in the Idlib province further in the northwest.

This seizure included automatic rifles, medium machine guns, shoulder-fired missiles, RPGs, various-caliber mortars, a mortar, grenades, and a large amount of light and medium ammunition.

Authorities Confiscate Large Stash of Weapons and Munition Heading ...
Authorities Confiscate Large Stash of Weapons and Munition Heading ...
Authorities Confiscate Large Stash of Weapons and Munition Heading ...

Just a week earlier on the 22nd of July, Syrian law enforcement authorities confiscated a shipment of a large number of weapons and munition heading to the terrorists in northern Idlib countryside. That shipment included mainly medium and light ammunition, machine guns, ammunition, RPGs, medium machine guns, and propellers.

Due to the huge quantities confiscated by the Syrian law enforcement agencies all over the country, the Syrian Arab Army’s engineering unit has to destroy the found quantities as it ran out of storage places. Weapons and munition need to be stored in specially-designated high-security depots. Almost weekly, the engineering corps carry out such a procedure to destroy these weapons all over the country, they also have to notify the public beforehand and make sure the destruction site is as much far as possible from residential or farming areas.

See also:

SAA Units Discover a 20 Meters Depth Tunnel in Hama Countryside

https://www.syrianews.cc/saa-units-discover-20-meters-depth-tunnel-hama-countryside/embed/#?secret=OFr6CNGuWk

SAA Units Find Weapons, Caves & Tunnels in Cleanup; Erdogan’s Terrorists Breach CoH 19 Times

https://www.syrianews.cc/saa-units-find-weapons-caves-erdogans-terrorists-breach-coh-19-times/embed/#?secret=Y0zrHdTzeJ

NATO terrorists do not only rely on the direct supply route they have with NATO member state Turkey providing them with personnel, weapons, and logistics essentials, they have a number of supply networks established during the years when they were controlling much larger territories throughout the country. Routes from Lebanon, from the open Syrian desert connecting with Iraq and Jordan in the east and south, and naturally through the very long borders with Turkey in the north.

Our question to the citizens of the NATO member alliance, especially when a country like Germany, the locomotive of the European economy, fails to pay its dues to the NATO alliance which lead to Trump withdrawing a big number of his forces from there, wouldn’t investing in more useful things in your own countries, say healthcare, education, infrastructure, research and development…etc., be more beneficial to you and your children than investing in these terrorist groups killing and maiming Syrians? Just think about it, weapons and also its munition are not cheap, let alone the billions spent by the Pentagon and each of the NATO war ministries from your tax money as part of their contribution to the invading and destruction of other countries.

SAA Seizes 2 Shipments of NATO Weapons to Al-Qaeda Near Damascus

https://www.syrianews.cc/saa-seizes-2-shipments-nato-weapons-al-qaeda-near-damascus/embed/#?secret=Za0C2S9Z9s

Large Quantities of Weapons and Drugs Left behind by NATO Terrorists in Southern Syria

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

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

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

Related News

Large quantity of weapons and ammunition seized in Homs intended to be smuggled to terrorist groups in northern Idlib countryside

Source

Sunday, 05 July 2020 

The special authorities in Homs seized a large quantity of weapons and ammunition intended to be smuggled to the terrorist groups deployed in the northern countryside of Idlib.

The competent authorities, through constant and accurate follow-up of the activities of arms and ammunition smuggling networks, for the third time during the past few days,seized  a large and diverse amount of weapons and ammunition  while it was on the way to being smuggled to the northern Idlib countryside, SANA correspondent in Homs stated, indicating that the members of the network were arrested.

The seizures included large quantities of medium and light ammunition, hand grenades, ammunition, automatic weapons, anti-armor missiles, medium and PKC machine guns, in addition to “RPGs” and shells.

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