Syrian in Last 24 Hours: Syrian, Russian Armies Launch Heaviest Attacks on Terrorists in Hama, Idlib

Fri Mar 15, 2019

Syrian in Last 24 Hours: Syrian, Russian Armies Launch Heaviest Attacks on Terrorists in Hama, Idlib

TEHRAN (FNA)– The Russian and Syrian air force units heavily pounded the militants’ positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib in response to the offensives of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in the demilitarized zone.

“The Russian and Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes against the terrorists’ hideouts in al-Tamane’ah, al-Nayrab, Saraqib, Kafr Amim and Ma’arat Hormat in Southern and Eastern Idlib as well as their positions in Northern and Northwestern Hama,” the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over the past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army’s operations in several provinces across Syria.

Hama-Idlib

The Syrian and Russian air force units heavily pounded the militants’ positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib in response to the offensives of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at in the demilitarized zone.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes against the terrorists’ hideouts in al-Tamane’ah, al-Nayrab, Saraqib, Kafr Amim and Ma’arat Hormat in Southern and Eastern Idlib as well as their positions in Northern and Northwestern Hama.

Field sources described the Wednesday attacks as the heaviest airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian air force units since September, saying that a large number of terrorists were killed and wounded in the offensive.

Concurrent with the airstrikes, the Syrian army forces warded off the terrorists’ attacks from Kafr Naboudeh, al-Sakhar and Murak against the military points.

They also targeted the militants’ moves from the towns of Ma’arat, Hormat al-Khowin, al-Zarzour and al-Tamane’ah towards the military points in Southeastern Idlib with heavy missile attacks, leaving heavy damage on them.

The Syrian army units in response to the terrorists’ attacks on safe regions in Aleppo and Lattakia, launched strikes against their positions in al-Khalsah, al-Hamirah in Southern Aleppo and regions near Jisr al-Shaqour and Lattakia mountains.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Russian Aerospace Force has destroyed a weapons depot belonging to the Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at terror group in the Syrian province of Idlib.

A pinpoint airstrike was carried out on Wednesday in coordination with Turkey.

The air raid “targeted a weapons depot belonging to the Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at terror group in the city of Idlib,” the defense ministry added.

“According to information confirmed through several channels, militants earlier brought a large number of combat unmanned aerial vehicles to the facility, which they planned to use for attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim air base,” the statement read.

Dara’a

The Syrian army found a large number of weapons and military equipment, including Israeli-made arms, during purging operations in regions liberated from the terrorists in the Northern parts of Dara’a province.

The engineering units of the Syrian army discovered the military equipment and ammunitions in the towns of Ankhal and al-Hareh in Northern Dara’a on Thursday.

A military source said that the Syrian army found different types of assault rifles, machine-guns, RPGs, cannons, anti-tank missiles, grenades, night-vision systems and different types of communication systems, adding that a number of them were made in Israel.

Raqqa

Several Kurdish militants were killed in the popular forces’ attacks on a convoy of the US and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported on Wednesday that the popular forces in Raqqa detonated a bomb on the way of a joint convoy of the US and SDF forces in al-Haramiyeh district in Raqqa city.

It added that the blast occurred as the US forces and the intelligence units of the SDF have planted over 600 cameras in the streets and districts of Raqqa.

Meantime, the Arabic-language al-Baladi website reported that during the attack, 3 Kurdish forces were killed and 8 others were wounded, adding that the SDF has put its forces on alert.

Popular protests against the deployment of occupying American forces and the US-backed SDF in Raqqa have increased recently.

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Russian Aerospace Force Destroys Terrorist Weapons Depot in Syria’s Idlib

ST

MOSCOW- The Russian Aerospace Force has destroyed a weapons depot belonging to the so-called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terror group (also known as Jabhat al-Nusra  in the Syrian province of Idlib, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, according to Itar Tass.

A pinpoint airstrike was carried out on March 13 by the Russian Aerospace Force. The airstrike “targeted a weapons depot belonging to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) terror group in the city of Idlib,” the ministry said.

“According to information confirmed through several channels, militants earlier brought a large number of combat unmanned aerial vehicles to the facility, which they planned to use for attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim air base,” the statement adds.

A thing to note is that Russia’s military facilities in Syria have on numerous occasions been attacked with unmanned aerial vehicles.

Tass said that on January 6, 2018, militants carried out a large-scale drone strike on the Hmeimim air base and a naval facility in Tartus. The Russian military either destroyed or took control of the UAVs used in the attack. A Defense Ministry source noted at the time that “the programming of systems to control unmanned aerial vehicles and drop GPS-guided munitions requires completing engineering studies in a developed country.”

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said, in turn, that the drones involved in the January 2018 attack on the Hmeimim base were run from a US Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft. When the drones were confronted by Russian jamming systems, they went to manual mode controlled from the US aircraft.

H.M

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The CIA is using Turkey to pressure China

While Turkey has fostered economic links with China in order to solve its economic crisis, it has also publicly denounced the repression of the Uyghurs, basing its accusations on false information. Beijing sent a very cold reply. Everything is happening, now that Daesh has disappeared from Iraq and Syria, as if Ankara was once again running secret operations on behalf of the CIA, this time in Xinjiang.

 | DAMASCUS (SYRIA) 
JPEG - 49.7 kbChinese Uyghur jihadists in Syria.

For the last few weeks, the Turkish Press has been talking about the fate of the Uyghurs, the Turkish-speaking Muslim population of China. The political parties of the opposition, including the Kemalists, have been outdoing one another to condemn the Han repression of this minority and its religion.

This effervescence follows:
- The report by the Jamestown Foundation on the « 73 Chinese detention centres » [1] ;
- The Radio Free Asia campaign, which broadcast a number of interviews with ex-prisoners of the Chinese camps, and went so far as to pretend that China had outlawed the Coran (sic) [2] ;
- The campaign launched on 13 November 2018 by the United States and their allies of the Human Rights Council in Geneva against the repression of Islam in China [3] ;
- And the hearing, organised in Washington on 28 November 2018 by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, (CECC), on « the repression of religions by the Chinese Communist Party » [4]. Thus we learned that between one and three million Uyghurs are being submitted to electrical torture in the re-education camps. These accusations have been reprised by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

It was in this context that the spokesman for the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hami Aksoy, published a communiqué on 9 February 2019 officially condemning the « Chinesation » … of « the ethnic, religious and cultural identities of the Turkish Uyghurs » and the death in prison of the famous poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was serving an « eight-year » sentence of confinement for « one of his songs » [5].

The following evening, China published a 26-second video by the spurious dead man. In it, he declared : « My name is Abdurehim Heyit. Today is the 10th of February 2019. I am the subject of investigations into the suspicion of violation of national laws. I am now in good health and have never been abused ».

On the following day,11 February, the spokesman for the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, launched into a severe criticism of Turkey’s « errors » and « irresponsibility » [6].

While the imprisonment of at least 10,000 Uyghurs implicated in terrorist activities is attested, the number of between one and three million definitely is not.

Already by 1 June 2017 and on 13 December 2018, the Chinese had published two documents – one of them concerning Human Rights in Xinjiang, [7] and the other on The Protection of Culture and Development in Xinjiang [8].

JPEG - 40.5 kb
Islamist prisoners at the Deradicalisation Camp in Lop.

However, the Communist Party doesn’t really know how to manage political Islam. It analyses the question from the viewpoint of a particular past, that of the Cultural Revolution and the outlawing not only of Islam, but all religions. After having established freedom in this matter, it is now witnessing the rebirth of the divisions of the Civil War, and the multiplication of jihadist attacks [9]. On 1 February 2018, it launched a new religious policy aimed at assimilating Islam by suppressing certain identity practises [10]. The members of the Party are obliged to provide the example by refusing to eat halal. Nonetheless, 24,400 mosques are open in Xinjiang for the 13 million Muslims.

For twenty-five years, Uyghur organisations have been clamouring for the creation of an independent state, first of all secular and now « Islamic » (in the political sense, not religious according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s definition of the term), in Eastern Turkestan (according to medieval title of Xinjiang). They were immediately awarded CIA support against the Beijing authorities.

- In 1997, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) was created, and left the region to undergo training in Afghanistan with the Taliban and certain elements of Al-Qaïda. It quit political Islam and is directly funded by the CIA.
- In September 2004,a « government in exile for Eastern Turkestan » was founded in Washington by Anwar Yusuf Turani. It is a reconstruction of the alliance between the Kuomintang and Taïwan, in the prolongation of the Chinese Civil War (1927-1950).
- In November of the same year, in Munich, a world Congress of the Uyghurs was created, of which Rebiya Kadeer became President. It favours ethnic separatism.
The latter two entities are financed by the National Endowment for Democracy, an agency of the « Five Eyes » group [11].

Serious rioting broke out in Xinjiang, first of all in February 1997, then in July 2009. The demonstrators claimed that they belonged to the Uyghur separatist movement, Kuomintang Communism, and political Islam.

Beijing calmed the situation down by offering the Uyghurs certain privileges, for example, dispensing them from obeying the one-child policy (today abandoned) [12].

The US campaign against the repression of the Uyghurs seems to be compromised by the investment of Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, in the Xinjiang authorities [13]. Prince is not only the principal businessmen specialised in the creation of private armies, he is also the brother of Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s Secretary for Education. His security agents are apparently mercenaries working on behalf of Bingtuan, a Han militia in Xinjiang.

It so happens that during the 1990’s, when the present Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the head of the Millî Görüs and Mayor of Istanbul, he supplied a rear base for various Islamist terrorist movements, whether they were Tatars, Chechens or Uyghurs [14].

The question must therefore be asked – is the Turkish declaration against the Han repression of the Uyghurs a simple interior stance in order to avoid being over-run by the opposition parties, or is it a new state policy which conforms to the former responsibilities of President Erdoğan in the CIA terrorist strategy ?

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was very active during the war against Syria, with the support of the National Intelligence Organization (NİT). For many months, 18,000 Uyghurs (including at least 5,000 jihadist combatants) lived secretly in al-Zambari, a Syrian town on the Turkish frontier in the governorate of Idleb. They maintained their position with the help of the German and French special forces [15].

While President Donald Trump is preparing for a commercial struggle with Beijing, everything seems to be developing as if a reconciliation has occurred between the CIA and Turkey, aimed at planning further secret operations against China.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] “List of government bids related to re-education facilities”, Jamestown Foundation, May 15, 2017.

[2] “According to Washington, Peking has just banned the Koran (sic)”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 6 October 2017.

[3] “Western Campaign for the Rights of Chinese Islamists”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 18 November 2018.

[4] This Committee, created in 2001, is composed of 15 members : 5 from the Senate, 5 from the House of Representatives, and 5 from the federal government. The Trump administration has not yet named anyone to sit on this Committee.

[5] “Turkey condemns China”, Voltaire Network, 9 February 2019.

[6] “China responds to Turkey”, Voltaire Network, 11 February 2019.

[7] “Human Rights in Xinjiang – Development and Progress”, Voltaire Network, 1 June 2017.

[8] “Cultural Protection and Development in Xinjiang”, Voltaire Network, 13 December 2018.

[9] “Jihadists returning from Syria: already more than 150 dead in China”, Voltaire Network, 6 November 2014.

[10] “China revises regulation on religious affairs”, Voltaire Network, 7 September 2017.

[11] The « Five Eyes » is a military alliance founded during the Second World War, comprising Australia, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It also manages the Echelon interception system as well as the « promotion of democracy ».

[12] « Que se passe-t-il dans le Xinjiang ? », par Domenico Losurdo, Traduction Marie-Ange Patrizio, Réseau Voltaire, 12 juillet 2009.

[13] “Erik Prince invests in China”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 7 February 2019.

[14] During his alliance with Russia, President Erdoğan suspended his system for the support of Tatar and Chechen Islamists. See: « L’Ukraine et la Turquie créent une Brigade internationale islamique contre la Russie », par Thierry Meyssan, Télévision nationale syrienne , Réseau Voltaire, 12 août 2015

[15] “The 18,000 al-Qaeda Uighurs in Syria”, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 21 August 2018.

TURK BIGOTS CONTINUE TO SUPPLY TERRORISTS WHILE DEMANDING JUSTICE FOR UIGHERS IN CHINA; WAR OF ATTRITION IN NORTH HAMA; SAA FREES DOZENS OF HOSTAGES IN E. ALEPPO PROV.

Image result for recep tayyip erdogan

Turk psychopath, Recep Tayyip Erdoghan, has verbally attacked China for its aggressive policies towards that country’s Uigher population.  Turk Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hami Aksoy called China’s treatment of the Uighers:  “a great shame for humanity.”  Ankara also accused Beijing of killing the Uigher poet, Abdurrahim Heyit, while he was in state custody.  Words such as “genocide” have been bandied about in several Turk tirades over the treatment of ethnic Turks living in Xinjiang Province in the West of China.  Accusations, largely not denied by the Chinese, have included “concentration camps”, “indoctrination camps” and “forcible measures”.  The Chinese have responded to the charges with arguments going to “controlling terrorism” and tamping down militancy, the same issues with which Turkey has to deal in its never-ending propaganda war against the PKK.  And without saying so, the Chinese pointed indirectly at Turkey’s criminal support of terrorists in both Syria and Iraq.  Let’s not forget that ISIS descended upon Mosul from Turkey.

Your editor is always amused by open hypocrisy.  Erdoghan, who has promoted militant Islamism in Syria; given haven to some of the world’s most prolific decapitationists; armed and fed whole hoards of crypto-retardates from the Arab World’s cesspools of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, is now pointing fingers at a country which is also, like Syria, locked in a battle to the death with radical, global Islamism.  I am laughing as I write this post.

Image result for Uighurs

The so-called poet, Heyit, was shown to be alive by Chinese state media 2 days ago, thus, kiboshing Turkish blowhard Erdoghan’s erroneous claim that he was dead.  The physical appearance of Uighers resembles those of Mongol tribesmen.

NORTH HAMA AND SOUTHERN IDLIB:

Al-Khuwayn Town:  On February 12, 2019, the SAA repelled another boring attempt to infiltrate its lines in Southeast Idlib as the terrorists of Nusra received a complete drubbing by drones, artillery and snipers.  According to Wael, the number of rodents confirmed killed was 3 with scores injured.

Al-Janaabira Town:  Also on February 12, the SAA confirmed the destruction of a row of fortifications after grubs from Kataa`ib Al-‘Izza attacked an SAA position with machine guns in South Hama Province.  The terrorists reportedly performed some peekaboo maneuver trying to persuade the Syrian troops into moving out of their defensive positions, but, to no avail.  We have no detailed information about rodent casualties although trucks used to carry the dead and wounded were spotted in the aftermath of the fighting.

Khaan Shaykhoon:  On February 15, 2019, the SAA annihilated 4 HQs of Nusra (HTS) along with a row of revetments along the eastern side of the Ghaab Valley, Syria’s Bekaa, near the towns of Al-Huwayzand Al-Huwayja.  Spotters reported 4 rodents killed with many wounded.

More fighting was reported in Waadi Al-Dawraat east of Al-Lataamina; at Al-Sukayk east of Khaan Shaykhoon; Al-Tuwayna where the SAA deployed Katyusha rockets to obliterate an entire nest of rodents belonging to the Al-Hizb Al-Turkistaani.

 تدمير مقرات للارهابيين في أطراف بلدة خان شيخون بريف إدلب الجنوبي

A T-72 fires its holy round at scurrying cockroaches belonging to Nusra at Khaan Shaykhoon.  (Photo courtesy of SANA)

It appears that Russia is still trying to get Erdoghan on board.  He won’t budge and won’t be seen attacking his fellow Islamist murderers.

________________________________________________

ALEPPO:

(Photo:  SANA)

Dayr Qaaq:  The young men in the photo saluted the Syrian Army’s special operations tactical group for their release from the grip of the noisome filth of Nusra.  They were hostages of Abu Muhammad Al-Jawlaani and his Turk enablers.  The operation took place near Al-Baab where these young men, who refused to serve in any terrorist group, were tortured and brainwashed for months.  According to Monzer, they all begged for the opportunity to exact revenge by enlisting in the Syrian Army.

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – FEB. 14, 2019: US SETS UP NEW BASE ON IRAQI BORDER, ISIS THREAT GROWS IN DESERT

South Front

On February 13, the Syrian Air Force conducted a series of airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in the area of Kiribat al-Hosn in the Damascus desert. The airstrikes reportedly came in response to a recent increase in the activity of ISIS cells in this area.

The Damascus desert as well as the desert areas near the US-occupied al-Tanf zone are still a safe haven for a few hundred ISIS-linked militants. Just last week, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) eliminated a group of 6 ISIS members involved in a reconnaissance operation near the administrative border of al-Suwayda province.

The situation in the desert area may deteriorate even further if the SAA and its allies do not employ the measures needed to neutralize this threat.

Meanwhile, reports appeared that the SAA has sent reinforcements to southern Syria. The reason for the deployment givem by some pro-government outlets is the reinforcement of SAA positions near the Golan Heights, where Israeli strikes recently took place. However, the very same forces can be used to secure the countryside of al-Suwayda in the event of the growing ISIS threat from the desert.

In the Idlib de-escalation zone, the SAA conducted one of the most intense shellings of militant positions since the start of the year. According to pro-opposition sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies came under fire in al-Lataminah, Lahaya, Maarkaba, al-Buwaydah, Qalaat al-Madiq, al-Hwaiz, al-Twinah and al-Hurriyah in northern Hama as well as Sukayk, Khan Shaykhun and al-Tamanah in southern Idlib.

The Syrian state media said that the strikes were a response to violations of the ceasefire regime by militant groups. In turn, militants accused the Assad government of violating the de-escalation deal.

It should be noted that Russia has recently toughened its attitude towards the de-escalation zone issue. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov officially stated that that the Idlib agreement is only a temporary measure and “no agreement suggests the endless preservation of this terrorist nest in Syrian territory”.

The US-led coalition is working to establish a permanent military base in southwestern Iraq, near the country’s border with both Syria and Jordan, the Iraqi al-Maalomah news outlet reported on February 13 citing a source in the province of al-Anbar. This would not be the first attempt of the US military to fortify its presence in this part of the country. In November 2018, a commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units revealed that the coalition had tried to occupy the H3 airbase, known as Abu Rida al-Baldaui, in western al-Anbar.

These actions are a part of the wider effort to establish an infrastructure allowing the US military to control key highways linking Syria and Iraq. On February 3, US President Donald Trump openly declared that despite the Syria withdrawal, US forces will remain in Iraq in order to watch Iran.

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How Syria Won The Revolution; The Jihadi Factor

 

February 06, 2019

By Ghassan and Intibah Kadi

How Syria Won The Revolution; The Jihadi Factor

The “War on Syria” has had many unintended twists and turns that were unforeseeable at the time it began. The plotters had no reason to believe they were going to lose, and the defenders had no option other than doing all they could and risk and sacrifice all that was dear and precious.

However, as frontlines are now being redrawn in Syria in preparation for the final showdown, a recapitulation of the events of the last eight years reveals that Syria did in fact end up having a revolution, but the group that embarked on the initial alleged revolution, the Free Syria Army (FSA) is nowhere to be seen.

This brings us back to the initial “Anti-Syrian Cocktail” that I wrote an article about back in early 2011; http://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-cocktail-by-ghassan-kadi.html. The ring leader was Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, son of then Crown Prince Sultan, and the man who hoped he would be the first grandson of founding King Abdul-Aziz to become king. In two subsequent articles, “The Anti-Syrian Politics” (http://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-politics-by-ghassan.html) and “The Anti Syrian Vendetta”, http://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-vendetta-by-ghassan.html the articles focused on how Bandar tried to raise the largest army he could conjure, and with virtually bottomless funds, he put together a very loosely-united cocktail of groups who had nothing in common other than their hatred towards Syria.

In more ways than one, pre-King Faisal Saudi Arabia kept to itself. Founder, King Abdul-Aziz who died in 1953, had the doctrinal substance that would have exported Wahhabism to neighbouring Muslim countries, but his main concern was to bolster his domain over his new kingdom and give it a strong foundation that would secure its longevity. His successor son Saud was infamous for his orgies and debauchery. He capitalized on the spoils of the new-found wealth and did not have any agenda other than indulging in earthly pleasures. It wasn’t until he was deposed and replaced by his brother Faisal in 1964 that Saudi Arabia had a king who was a fundamentalist and also desirous of spreading Wahhabism to the outside Muslim World.

And when the “War on Syria” began, and long before the identity of the would be willing fighter was well defined, I predicted in the same above-mentioned articles that a widely diverse coalition of enemies of Syria were banding together, using Muslim fundamentalism as a recruitment drive, and as the fundamentalist factor became clear for all to see, it eventually transpired that Qatar became a new kid on the block in providing bigtime funding to a number of terror organizations operating in Syria.

They were all not only united by their hatred for Syria, but also specifically to the Assad legacy; particularly due the fact that the Assads are Alawites, and in their eyes, infidels. Their main objective was to topple President Assad and ensure that Syria was ruled by an anti-Iranian Sunni fundamentalist government.

Bandar had no qualms at all about uniting the ununitable. To Bandar however, it was not about a war of ideologies, and he was no strict Muslim. To Bandar, the “War on Syria” was about power and curbing Iran’s influence in the region. That said, he found in the already-existing numerous Jihadi armies excellent tools and pawns to use. In doing so, he did not foresee the many fault lines emerging in his fragmented army, let alone seeing any reason to worry about such cracks because, in the beginning he seemed to be going from strength to strength, with a seemingly huge chance of success. When he presented his plan to his American masters, he received the thumbs up.

Like all other early indigenous writers who supported Syria from day one of the onslaught, we all took the optimistic view and kept reiterating that victory was certain, but only a question of time. We were mindful of the importance of keeping spirits up and boosting morale, and being optimistic about turns in events and alliances that were to Syria’s advantage. In retrospect however, up until the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) first substantial win of the battle of Qusayr in mid 2013, more than two years into the war, the Jihadis, combined, were winning the war and closing in on key government positions right across the Syrian terrain; including the main cities.

So how did events turn around and how did the “War on Syria” turn against the plotters?

To be able to predict what was to happen was unthinkable in hindsight. It is only now that we can sit and make sense by harking back at the events of the last few years.

It would be virtually impossible to work out which came first, the chicken or the egg, but there is no doubt at all that the resilience of Syrian people and the SAA played the most significant role. But that role could have been reversed had the plotters been better able to play their game to their advantage.

Fortunately the plotters didn’t, but had they played down the role of Jihad and tried to capitalize on political reform, they would have perhaps been better able to achieve their insidious objectives.

Before the war, Syria was fraught with corruption and there were many reasons to call for reform. Agitators aside, was why the initial demonstrations in Daraa were conducted under this banner. It was under this guise also that the infamous FSA was formed as a splinter group of the regular SAA. Virtually all of the FSA officers and soldiers were SAA defectors.

For a while, a fair while, and long before ISIS and Al-Nusra came to prominence, the FSA was the major fighting force against the regular army (SAA).

During those initial months, it was very difficult to convince sympathizers of the so-called Syrian opposition that this was not a civil war, that it was not about reform, and that it was simply a conspiracy against Syria, planned and orchestrated by her regional and international adversaries, using and employing Islamist Jihadists and their supporting nations. The reason behind this difficulty was because those fundamentalist fighters were nowhere to be seen.

This was why many activists, including some prominent pro-Palestine Western activists, were adamant in their support of the “revolution” and genuinely believed that it was a popular revolt seeking reform and political plurality among other things.

In hindsight now, looking back at it all, had the mastermind plotters seen the benefit in the reform/freedom guise, had they had the wisdom and foresight in weighing out their benefits of overtly importing and arming fundamentalist fighters as against focusing their efforts on duping the public and generating real and genuine dissent amongst Syrians to their government, they might have succeeded in creating a revolution that served their agendas.

After all, it would have been conceivable for the plotters to promote misinformation and make it look plausible and endorsable. There is another chicken and egg scenario here. Did the plotters import Jihadi fighters because they weren’t able to mobilize enough Syrians against their government, or did Syrians support their government because the plotters brought in foreign Jihadi fighters?

Whichever one came first here, the chicken or the egg, neither one of them had to cross the road for the people of Syria to ask questions in order to see that what they were witnessing was not a revolution as touted by world media; especially the Western media and their Arab cohorts such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

Perhaps the plotters’ biggest failure was in being unable to hide their intentions and disguise in a manner that reflected to Syrians that there was indeed a popular and genuine reform-based revolution in their country for them to join.

 

In other words, by allowing the so-called civil war/revolution to show its brutal and ugly fundamentalist sectarian face, the plotters turned many Syrian sympathizers and many other would-be supporters against them. And this was how secular free-minded Syrians flocked together in support of their legitimate secular government; whether they believed that reform was necessary or otherwise. This was the reason why genuine supporters of reform and patriots who are in positions of political opposition to the government all banded together to fight the real enemy. This of course bolstered not only the government’s position, but also that of the SAA and this played a significant role in creating a much more resolute and united Syria.

The plotters also failed in being able to produce a charismatic figure head for the “revolution”. All the while secular Syrians looked up to President Assad and the First Lady; two figure heads charming in every way, and with the power to unite by leading by example.

Of significance also was the fact that the disunited “Anti-Syrian Cocktail” was bound to fragment sooner or later; not only on strategic and doctrinal lines, but also on matters of power sharing, loyalty, and splitting of spoils. To this effect, clashes between different fundamentalist organizations became daily events.

Later on, as the turn of events presented to the plotters and their henchmen that victory was impossible, especially after Russia entered the ground and sky, their infighting morphed into that of survival and hope for better positions on either reconciliation tables or on disengagement talks, or both. Those Jihadi versus Jihadi battles in latter times continued to rage culminating recently in a total takeover by Al-Nusra of all other terror groups in Idlib.

Whilst I have always reiterated in previous articles that there was hardly any difference at all between the numerous fundamentalist Islamic Jihadi organizations, the Wahhabi faction that is loyal to Saudi Arabia has lost abysmally to the Qatari/Turkish led Muslim Brotherhood (MB) faction which is now in full control of the last bastion left for terrorists west of the Euphrates, and specifically in Idlib and surrounds.

With this, Erdogan feels that he still has a finger in the pie before final negotiations commence about the future of the terrorist enclave. Whether those delay tactics work or not for Erdogan, whether they preclude the need for a military resolution is yet to be seen. Any such resolution however will give Erdogan a form of a consolation prize, a humble victory that he badly seeks in Syria after all of his initial gambles went terribly wrong.

At this juncture, we must pause and ask what became of the movement that allegedly represented the passion of Syrians for secular and democratic reform. Where is the FSA now?

If the news about Al-Nusra’s total control of the Idlib region is accurate, we must then assume that the FSA is no longer in existence, because prior to the recent upheaval between Al-Nusra and other brigades in the region, the presence of the FSA was restricted to this area.

Ironically, the FSA has had a late resurgence not too long ago before Al-Nusra wiped out all rival militia, but Erdogan seems to have pulled the plug on the FSA, but for some reason, there is nothing I can find in the news from the region, or anywhere for this matter, to confirm this conclusion or debunk it.

What is clear is that the FSA, the only dissenting player that had in the very early beginnings a miniscule semblance of secular Syrian dissent, perhaps the only player that could have potentially turned into a popular revolution, has been disempowered and dismantled by the same demonic forces that created it and funded it.

Either way, whether Erdogan has done the dirty on the FSA or not, the FSA lost its position and clout when its role was overtaken by the many Islamist terrorist organizations. It tried hard to maintain its presence even though many of its rank-and-file rejoined the SAA, whilst others changed uniform and joined Al-Nusra, but the short of it is that the FSA has become a spent force.

Syria had many problems before the war and continues to grapple with some of them. Wars of such devastating magnitude almost invariably leave behind not only a trail of mess and destruction, but also a countless number of corrupt officials and profiteers. Every dog has its day, and the cleanup will soon begin.

But the irony is that with the “War on Syria”, the lines have been drawn and Syrians now know well who is with them and who is against them, domestically, regionally and internationally. They know what alliances they need to nurture and which others to seek. They know what political system they want and which they totally refute. They have chosen and fought for a government they were told decades ago that it came to power by a popular revolution back in March 1963, and later on reformed by Hafez Assad’s “corrective movement” of November 1970, but the choice Syrians made from 2011 onwards was their own, and they upheld it with tears and blood.

Syria has gone the full circle against her enemies and against archaic and brutal dogmas. It seems that Syria has truly ended up having a revolution after all, a real revolution, and that real revolution has won. There is a great opportunity now to rebuild the nation, to rebuild it on wholesome, principled, virtuous and sound foundations.

So-called “White Helmets” Preparing to Film Staged Chemical Attacks in Idlib Hospitals: Zakharova

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Moscow is concerned over the fact that terrorists have not abandoned their attempts to stage chemical attacks against Syrian civilians.

The White Helmets have deployed equipment in several hospitals in the Syrian province of Idlib to film false flag chemical attacks and blame it on Damascus, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on Thursday, according to Sputnik.

“There are also serious concerns about reports that terrorists are not abandoning attempts to fake the use of chemical weapons against civilians. According to available information, a group of activists, the notorious pseudo-humanitarian organization, the White Helmets, have prepared the necessary equipment in several hospitals of Idlib to film such provocations”, Zakharova said at a briefing.

The spokeswoman elaborated that tensions were running high in the Idlib de-escalation zone, saying that Tahrir al-Sham militants are carrying out daily shelling of nearby areas and actively building up their forces near the contact line with Syrian government forces, Sputnik said.

Moscow and Damascus have on a multitude of occasions pointed out that the White Helmets have staged a number of provocations in Syria involving the use of chemical weapons in order to blame them on the Syrian government and provide Western countries with justification for intervention in the Arab Republic.

The notorious NGO has repeatedly been busted staging and filming false-flag attacks: last April, the group published footage featuring doctors in Douma hospitals treating patients that had suffered from an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian Arab Army.

Reports of the purported use of chemical agents in Eastern Ghouta surfaced on 7 April 2018 in some media, citing militants on the ground. A number of Western countries, including France, the US and the UK, quickly picked up the claims, and instantly accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of having dropped a chlorine bomb on civilians.

Damascus vehemently denied the allegations, denouncing the attack as a staged provocation to justify potential foreign intervention. Immediately after the purported incident, Moscow dispatched its chemical corps commission to inspect the site and determine whether there had been an actual chemical attack; the expert group, however, found no traces of chemical agents in Ghouta.

US Troop Pullout From al-Tanf

Speaking of the envisaged US withdrawal from Syria, Zakharova said that Moscow had urged Washington to immediately pull its troops out of the al-Tanf zone and transfer the area to Damascus’s control.

“We urge Washington to immediately withdraw its troops from At Tanf are and transfer control over this territory to the Syrian government, which could take care of its citizens as we see it can do”.

Zakharova also drew attention to the “plight of the inhabitants of Rukban camp for internally displaced persons”, which is located within the 55-kilometre security zone set by the Pentagon.

“The full responsibility for the depressing situation in the camp is borne, of course, by the United States, which illegally occupies this zone, and secondly, deploys its military base there, regularly providing material and technical support, while not contributing to the delivery of food and medicine to the residents of Rukban. It is necessary to immediately take measures to resettle the camp”, she noted.

H.M

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