The Syrian Russian Turksih Idlib Stand-Of – Erdogan’s Last Stand?

February 06, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Even though the Syrian Army, with the aid of its international friends and allies, especially Russia, has been able to score many victories and liberate most of Syria’s major cities from the control of terrorist groups, the fight is far from over.

Before the situation in the American-controlled North-East is addressed, the Western regions, including Idlib and its surrounds must be put back fully under the legitimate government control.

As a matter of fact, politically speaking, the situation now is perhaps more complex to deal with than nine years ago when the “War on Syria” took form. Almost exactly nine years ago, the enemies of Syria combined efforts to launch a joint attack. United only by their hatred for Syria, they had diverse agendas, but they combined efforts in order to capitalize on each other’s strengths. The Wahhabi version of Islamists, headed by Saudi Arabia, joined hands with the Muslim Brotherhood version headed by Turkey and financed by Qatar, and they all joined hands with NATO, Israel and Lebanese ultra-right militia among other vendetta groups, for the single purpose of deposing President Assad and replacing the legitimate secular Syrian Government with one that is sectarian and pliable to the will of the Western roadmap.

They failed.

They failed in achieving their combined objectives and some of the armies they created, such as Jaysh Al-Islam, headed by former Syrian Army officer Zahran Alloush, ceased to exist. Alloush was killed in a Syrian Army attack in December 2015, but the casualties also included conspirators who were sidelined and lost their careers; the most prominent of which is Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, who was perhaps the single biggest architect of the attack on Syria.

The tides began to turn in favour of Syria after the Syrian Army scored its huge victory in the Battle of Qusayr in mid-2013. This was a decisive battle that basically disabled the terrorists from linking the Damascus province with their northern supply lines. Without this victory, in retrospect, it would be arguable if Syria would have been able to earn much support from Russia; if any at all. Syria had to show a fighting spirit, resolve, determination and respect for her to reach such an echelon. After all, Russia does not only by tradition honour and respect those who stand up with dignity against all odds, but on the geopolitical scene, and after decades of being sidelined by the Western bloc, any Russian global move had to be fully and thoroughly assessed before any venture was to be undertaken.

It was crucial for Russia therefore, and for President Putin in particular, to ensure that the presence of Russian troops in Syria had very high chances of success.

The fragmentation of Syria’s enemies began to take form before Russian action in the skies and on the soil of Syria. The Saudi’s first and biggest disappointment was when the USA refused to level Damascus to the ground after Prince Bandar orchestrated the alleged Ghouta chemical attack in September 2013. That was Bandar’s last draw after the loss of Al-Qusayr and his attempts to blackmail Putin by threatening him to unleash Islamists in Chechnya.

From that point in time onwards, the Saudi role in the “War on Syria” dwindled and came to an end with the demise of Alloush. But as the tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia emerged in 2017, Qatar remained “represented” via its ally Turkey.

Erdogan was initially determined to victoriously pray at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus early in the piece. But he is still determined to get a bite of the cherry, a consolation prize, despite all the setbacks that his former camp has endured.

After Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 in November 2015, the relationship between Turkey and Russia reached its nadir. But the pragmatist Erdogan soon apologized to Putin and eventually reached an agreement about how to deal with the deadlock situation in Idlib.

But Erdogan is not coming clean about his commitment to what became to be known as the Sochi Agreement. https://thedefensepost.com/2019/10/22/russia-turkey-syria-mou/.

Erdogan defiantly continues to wear the hat of a fully-fledged NATO member, a close friend and ally of Russia, the leader of the nation that is desirous to enter the EU, an Islamist who wants to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, and a nationalist who is willing and able to deal with Kurdish issue. What he does not see is that whilst those antics gain him popularity amongst sympathetic Muslim supporters, on the international scene, he is increasingly making a mockery out of himself.

His clear-to-see contradictions seem mind-boggling, but to the pragmatic Erdogan who is trying as hard as he can to be Sultan, his mind is fixated on Islamism and nationalism, and he is performing as if he has found himself a Fatwa that permits him to dance to the tunes of the devil to reach his ultimate objectives.

Among other things, to Putin, Erdogan portrays himself as Russia’s friend who is reconsidering his alliance with the US and even wants to buy Russian S-400 defence missile systems. To America, he remains as a NATO member and an American ally who wants to buy America’s latest state-of the-art F-35 fighter jets. On one hand, he makes verbal attacks against Israel, but continues to opt to have strong diplomatic ties with that state. He pledges support for the Palestinian cause but offers no evidence to put his words into action.

If Erdogan truly deserves any recognition and respect at all, it would have to be for his ability to meander his way through and survive amongst all the contradictions that he has deliberately and systemically implanted along his path.

He could be running out of options; at least in Syria, but this doesn’t stop him from making yet more contradictory statements within a few days of each other. By the end of January 2020 he threatened to take a new offensive in Syria over the Russian-backed Syrian Army offensive in Idlib. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202001311078189883-erdogan-threatens-new-offensive-in-syria—report/ A few days later, he made a U-turn and declared that he will not allow the situation in Idlib to sour his relationship with Russia. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002041078225599-turkey-will-not-escalate-tensions-with-russia-over-syrias-idlib—erdogan/?fbclid=IwAR1X6tQuRrWsX5iQ3kJCJaxFoR11cnfJpj–VlYhuUu9ZXLK6OQal0kiHaw But in between the two statements which are only four days apart, the Syrian Army has shelled Turkish positions and purportedly killed six Turkish soldiers and injured about a dozen. Whilst such an unprecedented incident should have sent Erdogan firing up as one would expect, according to Palestinian veteran journalist, Abdul Bari Atwan, this wasn’t to happen this time.

In a translation-worthy article, Russia and Syria have decided to take action in Idlib and they are no longer waiting for Erdogan to abide by his promises and agreements.

Atwan’s article’s title translates as: “What does the Syrian shelling of Turkish troops in Sarakob and the killing of six Turkish soldiers signify? And, what is the Russian message to Erdogan? And, did the Russians and the Turks tear up the Sochi Agreement? And, who will emerge as a winner in the bone-crushing battle in Idlib?”

According to Atwan’s analysis, the Syrian shelling of Turkish positions signaled the end of the line of joint Russian-Syrian patience with Erdogan’s lack of commitment to the Sochi Agreement. Atwan argues that opinion polls within Turkey indicate that Erdogan does not have the support of escalating in Syria and neither that of sending troops to Libya for that matter.

Did Atwan see the end of the line of Erdogan’s lies and contradictions this time? I personally hope he did. I must admit that in my previous analysis I have predicted several times that Erdogan had made his final and detrimental mistake . Somehow he always manages to slither out of the hole he was in and keep going.

Has he made his final and lethal mistake or is he going to relent and let Syria be?
Time will tell.

Hassan Al-Laqqis: The Man Who Flew Over Palestine

Hassan Al-Laqqis: The Man Who Flew Over Palestine

By Khadija Shokor

It has been five years since the martyrdom of Hajj Hassan al-Laqqis. One of the advantages of having him as a leader was that he was a dreamer, but he also sought “with all his heart” to make his dream come true. He did it. He is a happy martyr, in the immediate sense, having achieved his dream, himself. Along with a group of dreamers, they had to fly away.

The following text will shed light on some of this man’s accomplishments. He, like all the martyrs of the resistance, had (some) of his achievements revealed after his departure. It was his departure that revealed his identity. One of his close friends retells memories of his life. We, the living who have been blessed with the pride the resistance created, owe it to him to honor his memory.

12 men from the “Israeli” Mossad made up the group assigned to a mission in the southern suburbs of Beirut on December 4, 2013. The objective was the assassination of Hezbollah leader Hassan al-Laqqis, who had become an extraordinary threat to the enemy.

Two members of the group were tasked with the actual killing, while the remaining 10 were assigned the roles of implementation, transport and surveillance. The degree of danger that the man’s work posed to the enemy was illustrated by the great deal of risk it undertook by sending this type of group.

“I arrived home and they told me that Hajj Hassan had called me minutes earlier. When I was about to get back to him, his personal bodyguard called me to tell me that Hajj’s concierge informed him that someone had shot Hajj Hassan,” a friend of the martyr recalled with anguish.

Five years have passed but the scenes from that night are still enshrined in this friend’s mind.

“I arrived to find him leaning on the door of the car, smiling as blood flowed from his head. I approached and found the pistol in his other hand,” he said.

The 50-year-old man gets on memory lane and goes back to the beginning of his relationship with Hajj Hassan.

“He returned from Africa in 1978, and since then we have been friends,” he recalls.

This friend insists that excellence was Hajj Hassan’s quality from a young age.

“He was exceptional on all levels. He excelled in his studies. He was refined in his manners. He was constantly ambitious. I remember when we finished high school, Hassan learned that there was an institute offering computer courses in Gefinor.  He was quick to register although this field was not known at the time. Ever since he was little, he liked to know everything new in technology and development. So much so that he preferred to buy new technological magazines and equipment rather than the basics,” the friend explains.

Anyone you ask about Hajj Hassan’s qualities would tell you, and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed as much in his speech that he was “a hard and diligent worker, well mannered, loving and creative. He was one of the brilliant and distinctive minds of this resistance.”

Sayyed Nasrallah knew Hajj Hassan very well, describing him as “a beloved brother, companion and a close friend since we were young men in the city of Baalbek.”

Baalbek was the city where Sayyed settled after returning from Iraq in late 1979 to complete his studies at a seminary founded by Sayyed Abbas al-Musawi. At the time, the relationship between the two young men was centered around the mosque. Later, when Sayyed became the cultural leader of the Amal movement in Baalbek, Hajj Hassan joined him. That was in 1980. He stayed close to him during that period. When Sayyed’s life was threatened because of his positions and speeches he delivered on the platforms in Baalbek, Hajj Hassan insisted on accompanying him to those events. He also insisted on staying with him during that time in case of any security risks that Sayyed faced. Since then, their friendship grew, developed and never ceased.

One of Hajj Hassan’s friends recalls how they and a group of young men accompanied Sayyed on the day of the “Israeli” invasion, trying to mobilize people against the enemy. They passed through the city of Baalbek and chanted: Death to America ??and Death to “Israel”.

Not only were they friends, they were also partners when the resistance movement was born. Even when Sayyed moved to Beirut, the two kept in touch both professionally and socially.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard came to Lebanon. It organized military training courses for young people to resist the occupation. Hajj Hassan rushed to join the first of these courses. Later, he worked at the Revolutionary Guards’ Staff Office. He was in direct contact with most Iranian officials as a result of his work. And because he had a quick-wit by nature, he quickly became fluent in Farsi. He saw most of Sayyed’s meetings with the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard. This gave him extensive experience and broader relationships.

With the “Israeli” occupation being limited to the South and western Bekaa and the jihadist operations concentrated there, Hajj Hassan made several field visits in those areas. He participated in qualitative operations, most notably the storming of “Israeli” positions, such as the one against the “Tomat Niha” site in 1988.

His fight against the enemy allowed him to notice some of the obstacles and problems the Mujahideen faced on the battlefield. He sought solutions to overcome these issues. He began working on the Signal Weapon, exerting a lot of effort to develop it through the introduction of modifications. The effects of these modifications emerged in the communication system – both wireless and wired.  He also paid attention to the latest technological developments in security and military spheres.

He did not spare any opportunity to take advantage of everything new that can benefit the resistance. For this purpose he always sought to bring as much of the advanced technology as possible and make use of it for the resistance. He became the primary reference for technology to the entire resistance leadership. He was a diligent and hard worker. He participated in choosing the resistance’s missile arsenal and developed it. He expanded his research in this field until he became the first advisor to the military leadership every time it was presented with new weapons.

Later, the challenges grew, especially after the resistance grew stronger and the enemy’s precautionary methods intensified. He continued to propose ideas and solutions to face the challenges on land and the difficulties of land barriers, until he began to think about how to use the sky to face the difficulties on land.

“I used to make fun of him,” says Hajj Hassan’s friend. “Every time I entered, I would find him trying to assemble wooden pieces and install them on a small motor. I would ask him: Do you expect these pieces to take off? He would answer me with confidence:

it will not only take off, I will make it capture images. You don’t know. I might make it carry a weapon in the future.”

That idea was born in 1988. That was when the ambitious young man, who did not believe in the existence of “impossible”, decided to breach the sky.

He first started from his small room. He bought a lathe, collected simple motors, pasted them together with wooden pieces, and then tried to make them fly.

One, two, dozens of failed attempts. But finally he succeeded in making one of those designs fly. With his humble but persuasive manner, he managed to turn this idea into a conviction among the leaders and officials. This would later be known as the Air Force Unit of the Islamic Resistance.

It was not an easy journey. Every achievement cost Hajj Hassan and his team a lot of studying, planning, programming and working day and night. They were keen on readiness and development because they believed that the technological battle with the enemy would not end. This task cost a lot of time, effort and even souls. The names of the pioneers of that stage were not revealed except for those who were martyred, including Hajj Hassan, Hussein Ayoub and Jamil Skaf. The latter two excelled in this field, and both were martyred while they were taking part in developing it.

Sacrifice, for them, was not a hindrance. It was an incentive to continue. Therefore, Hajj Hassan continued to work on the development of drones. For this purpose he visited the aircraft factories in Iran. He attended many of the workshops there and met with many specialists in this field to benefit from their experience in developing domestic Iranian aircraft.

He never stopped looking for new developments worldwide in a bid to take advantage of any advances in his field.

Among the “Israelis” his work earned Hajj Hassan al-Laqqis the label of an officer in the existing war of minds against the resistance. This drove the “Israelis” to attempt to assassinate him in the early 1990s. A bomb was planted near his home in Baalbek, according to the martyr’s friend.

“He was returning to his house, and could not overtake a bulldozer driving in front of him. And then he turned right to overtake it. At that moment, a large explosion was heard on the other side,” the friend said.

The enemy was wrong to think that the assassination attempts would weaken al-Laqqis’ determination. After that incident, he returned to work in both the missile and aerial fields with greater focus, expanding the realm even further.

After the “Israeli” defeat in Lebanon in 2000, his work broadened. The drones or what was known as the air force unit had several factories. He managed them with a team he chose and trained carefully. Sayyed Nasrallah visited those factories periodically, being updated on their developments. The leaders of operations soon demanded the participation of these aircraft in their military operations due to their contribution in guaranteeing success.

Over the past years, the aircraft became the resistance’s powerful eye in the sky, both before and during the military operations. This was only some of what Hajj Hassan planned. The effects of this activity emerged clearly during the July 2006 war. At that time, the enemy returned to stalk this commander, who had worried them for many years. The “Israelis” took advantage of the outbreak of the war to try to assassinate him again. The “Israelis” confirmed this themselves.

“I was busy with my work,” said his close friend. “Hajj Imad Mughniyeh called me and told me that he had just seen Hajj Hassan on television during a live broadcast after a building had been destroyed in Shiyah. He asked me to go to him and tell him to leave the area.”

The friend continues, “when I arrived, I learned that he was trying to search the rubble for his 18-year-old son Ali, who was in the building. The martyr later told me that he went to the building to deliver a bag to his son. But shortly after he left, the “Israeli” aircraft struck the building and destroyed it.” His son was martyred.

“He was dauntless despite the loss,” his friend said. “He left the place and continued working hard and firm. We even noticed this firmness when we accompanied him to see his martyred son in the hospital three days after the aggression. He quickly bid him farewell and went back to his work with determination until the end of the war.”

The war ended, and al-Laqqis’ ghost kept haunting the “Israelis” who could not weaken his determination, not even by killing his son or destroying his home. He immediately returned, even before rebuilding his home, to pursue his work in airspace.

After the July 2006 war, work on drones was accelerated in light of the outcome of the war. Hajj took advantage of the scientific developments and the resistance’s existing capabilities to find new models and meet the emerging needs after the war.

The drones did not only operate within the resistance in Lebanon. In Syria, for example, they were credited with assisting most of the confrontations that took place. The al-Qusayr battle is one of the most prominent pieces of evidence.

The martyr’s friend tells us that the latter showed him a video how these drones were operating during the battle. They took pictures, which were directly transmitted to the command room. The command room in return contacted the field group and informed it about the details of the place and the positions of the militants. The drones reduced the loss of lives and helped in the success of the operation as a result of the accumulation of knowledge.

The martyr’s friend added,

“after the battle of al-Qusayr, the martyr informed me of a new plan, which aimed at arming the aircraft, enabling us to use it in filming and bombing. He reminded me of how he told me about this goal since the beginning.”

“Indeed, after a short period of time, he returned and played a video showing the success of a maneuver in which this plan was carried out,” the friend added.

Hajj Hassan was martyred, but his thoughts, approach and the fruits of his labor live on, with the same strength and determination. His team continued to make advances in his work and achievements. The effects of this work spread beyond Syria. Until today, Hajj Hassan has not really been known. Not by friend or foe. But some of his achievements will be revealed in the coming war, through the air force and the Islamic Resistance’s drones when the headlines read: “the resistance’s drones attack “Israel”.”

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team

حسّان اللقيس: الرجل الذي حلّق… فوق فلسطين

خديجة شكر

السبت 8 كانون الأول 2018

خمس سنوات على استشهاد الحاج حسّان اللقيس. ميزة هذا القائد أنّه كان حالماً، لكن أيضاً، مع ميزة إضافيّة، أنّه كان يسعى «بكلّ روحه» لأن يُصبح حلمه حقيقة. لقد فعلها. هو شهيد سعيد، بالمعنى المباشر هنا، إذ حقّق حلمه، بنفسه، ومعه ثلّة مِن الحالمين أيضاً، فكان لهم أن يُحلّقوا… بعيداً. في النص الآتي بعض مِن آثار هذا الرجل، الذي، كسائر شهداء المقاومة، لم تُكشف (بعض) آثاره إلا بعد رحيله، بل لم يُعرَف إلا برحيله.

هنا بعض من ذكريات صديق مقرّب له، تحكي بعض سيرته، وذلك كبعض مِن حقّه علينا، نحن الأحياء، الذي نعمنا وننعم بعزّة صنعتها لنا تلك المقاومة.

12 رجلاً من «الموساد» الإسرائيلي، هم طاقم المجموعة التي أوكلت إليها المهمة، ليل 3 – 4 كانون الأول 2013، في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت. الهدف: اغتيال القيادي في حزب الله حسان اللقيس، الذي بات خطراً، فوق العادة، على العدو.

تولى اثنان من أفراد المجموعة مهمة القتل المباشر، بينما توزعت أدوار التنفيذ والنقل والمراقبة على العشرة الباقين. مستوى الخطر الذي بات يحيط بالعدو جراء عمل الرجل ودوره، يوضحه مستوى المجازفة التي أقدم عليها بإرساله لهذا النوع من المجموعات. يتذكر صديق للشهيد، بشيء من اللوعة: «وصلتُ إلى المنزل، فأخبروني أنّ الحاج حسان اتصل بي منذ دقائق. وحين كنت أهمّ بمعاودة الاتصال به، هاتفني مرافقه الشخصي ليخبرني أنّ ناطور البناية التي يسكنها الحاج اتصل به ليعلمه أنّ أحداً ما قد أطلق النار على الحاج حسان». خمس سنوات مرت، ولا يغيب عن خاطر هذا الصديق ذلك المشهد: «وصلت لأجده مستنداً إلى باب السيارة، مبتسماً وخيوط الدم تسيل من رأسه… اقتربت فوجدت المسدس في يده الأخرى».

هو صاحب فكرة الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد التي أسست لوحدة القوة الجويّة في حزب الله

تعود الذاكرة بالرجل الخمسيني إلى بداية علاقته بالحاج حسان: «عاد من أفريقيا، في العام 1978، ومنذ ذلك الوقت ونحن أصدقاء». يجزم هذا الصديق أن التميّز كان عنوان الحاج حسان منذ الصغر: «كان متميزاً على جميع الأصعدة، إنْ كان بتفوقه العلميّ، أو بدماثة أخلاقه، أو بطموحه الدائم التجدد. أذكر، حين أنهينا دراستنا الثانوية، يوم علم حسان بوجود معهد في الجيفينور لدراسة الكومبيوتر. سارع إلى التسجيل، مع أن هذا المجال لم يكن معروفاً حينها، إلا أنه كان يحب الاطلاع على كل ما هو جديد ضمن اختصاصات التكنولوجيا والتطور منذ صغره. لدرجة أنه كان يفضل شراء المجلات التكنولوجية والمعدات الجديدة، على حساب حاجاته الخاصة».

يُخبرك كل من تسأله عن صفات الحاج حسان تلك، ويؤكد هذا الكلام السيد حسن نصرالله حين وصفه في خطابه: «هو العامل المُجد والدؤوب… والمؤدّب الخلوق والمحب، وأيضاً المبدع، أحد العقول المميّزة واللامعة في هذه المقاومة».

السيد نصرالله الذي عرف الحاج حسان بحق، فقال عنه: «كان أخاً وحبيباً وأنيساً وقريباً وصديقاً منذ أن كنا شباباً صغاراً في مدينة بعلبك». بعلبك، تلك المدينة التي كانت مستقر السيد حين عاد من العراق، في أواخر العام 1979، ليكمل الدراسة في الحوزة التي أسسها السيد عباس الموسوي هناك. يومها كانت العلاقة بين الشابين «علاقة مسجد». لاحقاً، وحين أصبح السيد هو المسؤول الثقافي لحركة أمل في بعلبك، انضم إليه الحاج حسان. كان ذلك في العام 1980. بقي قريباً منه في تلك الفترة. يوم وصل تهديد للسيد بالقتل، جراء مواقفه وكلامه على منابر بعلبك، أصر الحاج حسان على مرافقته إلى المناسبات التي بقي يلقي فيها السيد تلك الكلمات. كما أصر على النوم عنده في تلك الفترة، تحسباً لأي عمل أمني كان يمكن أن يتعرّض له السيد. ومذاك توطدت أواصر هذه الصداقة التي استمرت وتطورت ولم تنقطع بعدها. يذكر أحد أصدقاء الحاج حسان كيف رافقا السيد مع مجموعة أخرى من الشباب يوم بدء الاجتياح الإسرائيلي، محاولين تعبئة الناس وتحريضهم ضد العدو، وذلك بالقيام بجولات في أنحاء مدينة بعلبك. كانوا يُردّدون: «الموت لأمريكا» و«الموت لإسرائيل». لم يكونا صديقين فحسب، بل كانا شريكين في الانطلاقات الأولى لحركة المقاومة، وحتى حين انتقل السيد إلى مدينة بيروت بقي الشابان على تواصلهما الودي والعملي.

استشهد ابن اللقيس عام 2006 في المبنى الذي قصفته الطائرات الإسرائيلية في الشيّاح

مع وصول الحرس الثوري الإيراني إلى لبنان، وتنظيمه دورات عسكرية للشباب بهدف مقاومة الاحتلال، سارع الحاج حسّان للانضمام إلى أولى تلك الدورات. لاحقاً، انتقل للعمل في مكتب قيادة الأركان التابع للحرس الثوري. كان على تماس مباشر مع معظم المسؤولين الإيرانيين نتيجة عمله، ولأنه بطبعه كان سريع البداهة، اكتسب اللغة الفارسية بطلاقة وبسرعة. كان يشهد، بحكم موقعه العملي، معظم لقاءات السيد مع قيادات الحرس، وذلك ما أكسبه خبرة واسعة وعلاقات أوسع.

مع انحسار الاحتلال الإسرائيلي في الجنوب والبقاع الغربي، وتركز العمليات الجهادية هناك، كان للحاج حسان عدة مشاركات ميدانية في تلك المناطق. شارك في عمليات نوعية، أبرزها اقتحام مواقع إسرائيلية، كاقتحام موقع «تومات نيحا» (عام 1988).

قتاله للعدوّ في ساحات الجهاد جعله يلحظ بعض العقبات والمشاكل، التي كانت تواجه المجاهدين في الميدان، فما كان منه إلا أن سعى لاجتراح الحلول لتخطيها. بدأ من سلاح الإشارة، الذي عمل جاهداً لتطويره من خلال استحداث تعديلات برزت آثارها في المنظومتين السلكية واللاسلكية (الاتصالات)، مروراً باهتمامه بكل ما استجد في عالم التكنولوجيا الأمنية منها والعسكرية، وذلك مِن خلال اطلاعه الدائم على التطور المتسارع حول العالم. لم يكن يوفر أي فرصة لاستغلال كل جديد يمكنه أن يفيد المقاومة. لهذا الهدف سعى دوماً لاستقدام ما أمكنه مِن التكنولوجيا المتطورة، ووضعها بتصرف الجسم المقاوم، حتى بات لاحقاً هو «المرجع التكنولوجي» الأول لدى جميع قيادات المقاومة. هو صاحب العمل الدؤوب، كمشارك، في انتخاب الترسانة الصاروخية وتطويرها لدى المقاومة. توسع في بحوثه على هذا الصعيد، حتى بات المستشار الأول لدى القيادة العسكرية في كل مرة يعرض عليها أسلحة جديدة.
لاحقاً، كبرت التحديات، خصوصاً بعد أن استعرت المقاومة واشتدت أساليب العدوّ الاحترازية. دأب على اقتراح الأفكار وإيجاد الحلول لمواجهة تحديات البرّ وصعوبات الموانع الأرضيّة، إلى أن بدأ بالتفكر في كيفية الاستفادة من السماء لمواجهة صعوبات الأرض. «كنت أسخر منه»، يقول صديق الحاج حسان، قبل أن يُتابع: «في كل مرة أدخل عليه وأجده يحاول تركيب القطع الخشبية وتثبيتها بموتور صغير، كنت أسأله: هل تتوقع أن هذه القطع ستستطيع الإقلاع؟ كان يجيبني ضاحكاً، إنما بكل ثقة: لن تقلع فقط، سوف أجعلها تُصوّر، وما يدريك قد أجعلها تحمل سلاحاً في ما بعد».

إذاً، تلك الفكرة انطلقت بالأساس في عام 1988. كان ذلك حينما قرر الشاب الطموح، الذي لم يكن يؤمن بوجود «المستحيل» أو «غير الممكن»… أن يقتحم السماء.
بدأ أولاً من غرفته الصغيرة، اشترى مخرطة، وكان يجمع «موتورات» بسيطة، يلصق بها قطعاً خشبية، ثم يُحاول أن يجعلها تطير.

محاولة، محاولتان، عشرات المحاولات الفاشلة، وينجح أخيراً في جعل إحدى تلك التصاميم تُحلّق. هنا، وبأسلوبه المتواضع المقنع المتين، استطاع أن يحوّل هذه الفكرة إلى قناعة عند القيادات والمسؤولين، قبل أن يُترجم ذلك إلى ما سيُعرف لاحقاً بـ«وحدة القوة الجويّة للمقاومة الإسلاميّة».

هذا المسار لم يكن سهلاً، فكل إنجاز فيه كان يكلّف الحاج حسان، ومعه فريق العمل الذي شكّله لاحقاً، الكثير من الدراسة والتخطيط والبرمجة والعمل في الليل والنهار. كانوا يحرصون على الجاهزية والاستعداد والتطوير، ذلك لأنهم آمنوا بأن المعركة التكنولوجية مع العدو لن تنتهي. كلّف هذا العمل الكثير من التضحية بالوقت والجهد، وصولاً إلى الأنفس. لم تُكشَف أسماء رواد تلك المرحلة، باستثناء الذين استشهدوا منهم، وهم، إلى جانب الحاج حسان، حسين أيوب وجميل سكاف. هذان كانا من الذين برعوا في ذاك المجال، وكانت شهادتهما وهما يشاركان في تطويره.

التضحية، عند هؤلاء، لم تكن عائقاً. كانت حافزاً للاستمرار، ولذا، تابع الحاج حسان العمل على تطوير الطائرات المُسيّرة عن بُعد. لهذا الهدف زار معامل الطائرات في إيران. حضر العديد من المناورات هناك، والتقى الكثير من الإيرانيين المختصين في هذا الشأن، كي يستفيد من خبراتهم لتطوير النُسخ التي كان توصل إليها. لم يتوقف يوماً عن البحث عن كل جديد، على المستوى العالمي، للاستفادة من أي تطور تكنولوجي يخصّ عمله.

هذا العمل دفع بالإسرائيليين إلى أن يعدّوا الحاج حسان اللقيس أحد ضباط حرب الأدمغة، القائمة، على أكثر من صعيد، بينهم وبين المقاومة. هذا ما جعل الإسرائيلي يحاول اغتياله في مطلع التسعينات. يومها، جرى زرع عبوة قرب منزله في بعلبك، بحسب صديق الشهيد، حيث «كان عائداً إلى منزله، واعترضت طريقه جرافة، فأراد تجاوزها، لكنه لم يستطع. ثم اتجه يميناً، بهدف تخطيها، وفي تلك اللحظة دوّى انفجار كبير عند الناحية الأخرى». أخطأ العدو حين اعتقد أن محاولات اغتيال اللقيس ستضعف عزيمته، إذ عاد بعد تلك الحادثة لمتابعة عمله على الصعيدين، الصاروخي والجوي، بقوة أكثر، مع توسعة الأطر أكثر.

بعد الاندحار الإسرائيلي عن لبنان، عام 2000، أصبح عمله أوسع وصار للطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد، أو ما يعرف بوحدة القوة الجوية، عدة معامل يديرها مع الفريق الذي اختاره ودرّبه بعناية. كان السيد نصرالله يزور تلك المعامل في شكل دوري، فيطلع على تطوراتها، كما إن قادة العمليات باتوا يطالبون بإشراك تلك الطائرات في عملياتهم العسكرية، وذلك لما كانت تعود به من فائدة على مستوى نجاح العمليات.

على مدى كل تلك السنين، كانت الطائرات المُسيّرة عن بُعد هي العين الجوية النافذة للمقاومة، قبيل أعمالها العسكرية وخلالها، ولم يكن هذا إلا بعض ما كان يُخطط له الحاج حسان. ظهرت آثار هذا النشاط بوضوح خلال حرب تموز 2006. آنذاك عاد العدو ليتربص بهذا القائد، الذي أقلقه لسنوات طوال، فاستغل اندلاع الحرب ليحاول اغتياله مجدداً. لقد ورد ذلك على لسان الإسرائيليين. يقول صديقه المقرّب: «كنت منهمكاً في عملي. هاتفني الحاج عماد مغنية ليخبرني أنه رأى للتو الحاج حسان على التلفاز، خلال النقل المباشر إثر تدمير مبنى في منطقة الشياح، وطلب مني الذهاب إليه وإخباره ضرورة ابتعاده عن المكان». ويتابع الصديق: «علمت حين وصلت أنه كان يحاول البحث بين الأنقاض عن ولده علي (18 سنة)، الذي كان موجوداً في المبنى. قال لي الشهيد لاحقاً إنه كان حضر إلى المبنى لإيصال حقيبة لولده، لكن وبعيد مغادرته المكان أغار الطيران الإسرائيلي على المبنى فدمره». استشهد ابنه. يذكر محدّثنا: «كان جسوراً على رغم الفقد، غادر المكان وعاد يتابع عمله المطلوب بصلابة وقوة. لاحظنا هذه الصلابة حتى حين رافقناه لرؤية ولده الشهيد في المستشفى، بعد ثلاثة أيام من العدوان، فودّعه سريعاً عائداً إلى عمله بعزم حتى نهاية الحرب».

حاول الإسرائيليون اغتياله بزرع عبوة في مطلع التسعينات وأخرى أثناء الحرب عام 2006

انتهت الحرب، وبقي شبح اللقيس يلاحق الإسرائيلي الذي لم يستطع لا بقتله لولده، ولا بتدميره لمنازله أن يثبط ولو جزءاً من عزيمة هذا الرجل. فقد عاد فوراً، وحتى قبل إعادة بناء منزله، لمتابعة عمله في المجال الجوي. بعد حرب تموز 2006، أخذ العمل في الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد منحىً تصاعدياً في ضوء نتائج الحرب. فعمل الحاج مستفيداً من التطورات العلمية والقدرات الموجودة بيد المقاومة ليخلص إلى نماذج جديدة تلبي الحاجات المستجدة بعد الحرب.

لم يقتصر عمل الطائرات المسيّرة عن بُعد على المقاومة في لبنان، ففي سوريا مثلاً، كان لها الفضل في معظم المواجهات التي حصلت. وتعدّ معركة القصير من أبرز الشواهد على ذلك.
يخبرنا صديق الشهيد أن الأخير عرض عليه بعد معركة القصير فيلماً يظهر كيف كانت تلك الطائرات تعمل في أثناء المعركة، حيث كانت تصور، فتنتقل الصورة مباشرة إلى غرفة القيادة، والتي كانت بدورها تتواصل مع المجموعة الميدانية، فتطلعهم على تفاصيل المكان وتكشف لهم أماكن تواجد المسلحين. كان ذلك يخفف من زهق الأرواح ويساعد على نجاح العملية نتيجة تراكم المعرفة. يضيف صديق الشهيد: «بعد معركة القصير، أطلعني الشهيد على مخطط جديد، يهدف إلى تسليح الطائرة مما يمكننا أن نستعملها في التصوير ثم القصف. وذكرني كيف أنه أخبرني بهذا الهدف في البدايات». يتابع صديق الشهيد: «وفعلاً، بعد مدة بسيطة، عاد فعرض لي فيديو يظهر نجاح المناورة التي نفذ فيها هذا المخطط».

استشهد الحاج حسان، لكن فكره ونهجه وثمار عمله استمر حتى يومنا هذا، بالقوة والعزيمة ذاتهما، وتابع الفريق تطوير أعماله وإنجازاته. وامتدت آثار هذا العمل بعد سوريا. وحتى الآن، لم يُعرف الحاج حسّان على حقيقته لا من قبل العدوّ ولا الصديق، لكن ستكشف بعض آثاره في الحرب المقبلة، من خلال القوة الجويّة والمسيّرات التابعة للمقاومة الإسلامية، حين تتصدر وسائل الإعلام مقولة «طيران المقاومة يغير على… إسرائيل».

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Will Strike Israeli Drones over Lebanon, Zionist Soldiers on Border Must Stand on a Leg and a Half and Await Us

August 25, 2019

Mohammad Salami

Capture

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah confirmed on Sunday that the Islamic Resistance will confront all the Israeli drones which violate the Lebanese airspace, and endeavor to down them, adding that the party will prevent ‘Israel’ from repeating in Lebanon the same aggression path it followed against the Hashd Shaabi sites in Iraq at any price.

“The time at which Israeli war jets used to strike targets in Lebanon while the usurping entity in Palestine kept safe has ended.” “If any Lebanese party opposes our decision, let it ask the Americans to rein in ‘Israel’.”

Delivering a speech during Hezbollah ceremony which marks the second anniversary of the Second Liberation, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that party will do anything possible to prevent ‘Israel’ from pursuing this new aggression path, calling on the Zionists across the entity to keep worried and expect the Resistance attacks at any time.

Hezbollah Secretary General described the Israeli drone attack on Dahiyeh as very dangerous, clarifying that the Israeli drone has a military nature and devised by the Zionist army to carry out a suicide attack on a target in the southern suburb of Beirut.

“Hezbollah possesses the drone and may show it publicly in coordination with the state security apparatuses in Lebanon.”

The above mentioned drone was flying at a low attitude when a group of young men in the targeted area of Moawad stoned it, so it fell down, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who added that after one minute another drone carried out a suicide attack as it had been booby-trapped.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that although the attack did not claim martyrs, it indicates a very dangerous development which may be repeated on a daily basis if it keeps unanswered, highlighting that “this was the first Israeli attack on Lebanon since 2006 war”.

If we do not respond to the Zionist attack on Dahiyeh, ‘Israel’ will repeat the same model used to attack the Hashd Shaabi sites in Iraq.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah will not the enemy to turn back the clock on the new formulas which have protected Lebanon, calling on all the Lebanese to support the national right in face of the Israeli aggression.

“If the Zionist enemy thinks that the financial pressure on Hezbollah will push it to surrender, we reiterate that we are ready to sell our houses in order to fight and defend our dignity, sovereignty and presence.”

Commenting on the Israeli air raids on Syria on Saturday night, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that they targeted a Hezbollah site there and claimed two martyrs, stressing that they may never remain unanswered.

Sayyed Nasrallah recalled his threat that if the Israeli attacks on Syria claim any of Hezbollah members, the Resistance will respond in Lebanon, adding that Hezbollah will respond to the Zionist airstrikes overnight on Syria in Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the Israeli troops on Lebanon’s border,

“Stand on a leg and a half and wait for our response which may take place at any time on the borders and beyond the borders.”

(“Stand on a leg and a half” means that the Zionist soldiers must keep trembling with fear and wait for Hezbollah response.)

The Israelis must know that their prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims at winning the parliamentary elections at the expense of their blood,  according to Sayyed Nasrallah who added that the Zionist leader lies to the settlers by alleging that the overnight air strikes targeted Iranian troops in Syria.

“Netnayahu is pulling the Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi fire to the entity and pushing you into the abyss,” his eminence told the Zionist settlers.

Hezbollah leader had started his speech by hailing the “great” attendance of the resistance supporters at the ceremony titled “The Nation’s Safeguard”, stressing that it represents the first response to the Israeli attacks.

Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated the Bekaa locals and the rest of the Lebanese on the Second Liberation Day which marks defeating the terrorist groups on the northeastern border with Syria, felicitating also the Syrians on the Second Liberation Day because Syria benefited greatly from the victory.

Hezbollah Chief recalled the anniversary of kidnapping Imam Sayyed Mousa Al-Sadr and his two companions (August 31), stressing that resistance path has prospered thanks to his eminence.

Sayyed Nasrallah explained that the terrorist threat in the Lebaonon-Syria border area was existential and the victory of the militant groups of Nusra Front and ISIL has never been a secondary event.

The terrorist scheme which was launched in Syria in 2011 aimed at fragmenting the region on sectarian and racial basis after destroying it, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who added that axis of resistance frustrated all that plot.

“We have to recall the terrorists’ control of the Lebanon-Syria borders. We also have to recall the Lebanese political stances which supported the militant groups.”

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that the US administration asked the Lebanese authorities not only to refrain from launching a campaign to liberate the northeastern outskirts from the terrorist groups but also to prevent Hezbollah from doing that, adding that the Americans are even now refreshing ISIL terrorist group in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas in the region.

“US helicopters save ISIL leaders in Afghanistan and plotting to incite a civil war in the country.”

Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the Syrian army achievements, stressing that it will certainly regain control Idlib and Eastern Euphrates.

Sayyed Nasrallah maintained that the victory over Nusra Front and ISIL on Lebanon-Syria border pushed away the terrorist danger for an area of more than 50 square kilometers, adding that Hezbollah is still deploying troops on Lebanon-Syria border to repel any possible terrorist infiltration into the Lebanese territories.

Sayyed Nasrallah also called on the Lebanese government to take the needs of the Lebanese who live in Syria’s Qusair into the consideration of its socioeconomic projects, hailing their role in achieving the victory over the terrorist groups.

Domestically, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah support to the socioeconomic demands of Al-Bekaa locals, blaming the sectarian considerations which frustrate the development projects and urging the Lebanese authorities to assume their responsibilities in this regard.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah will exert all the needed efforts to pass the law pertaining establishing Baalbeck-Hermel Development Council, adding that “we may resort to demonstrations and sit-ins if the other ways were blocked”.

His emeince also called on Bekaa locals to cooperate with the state authorities to restore peace in the area, urging them to reject all those who disrepute the families and their honorable history.

The ceremony, held in Al-Ain town in Bekaa, was started with a recital of a number of Holy Quranic verses before a group of of Hezbollah fighters recalled allegiance to the General Commander of the Islamic Resistance troops Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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On the Battlefield of the Second Liberation: Sayyed Nasrallah’s Meeting with Islamic Resistance Officers

By Maysaa Moukaddem

Beirut – Hezbollah’s Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, is no stranger to attracting the masses. Both friend and foe are mindful of him.

The masses know him through his speeches while some politicians know him closely through private meetings. What is unknown about the Secretary General is his battlefield personality and the way he deals with the military men during the battles.

He is always present on all battlefields, working both as a mentor and a leader and staying close to every soldier. His voice is always part of the conscience of the Mujahideen in the groves. They derive from him the impulse, spirit and much of the love that the battlefield requires.

A leader in the Islamic Resistance tells Al-Ahed News Website that “in 2013, when the leaders of the Islamic Resistance were planning to liberate Al-Qusayr, the Secretary General’s touches were also present. His Eminence determined the course of the attack on Al-Qusayr. After the leadership decided to attack Al-Qusayr, the debate was whether the resistance would attack from the north, i.e. from Tell Mando towards Arjoun and from Arjoun, the Mujahideen would bypass Dabaa Airbase and advance towards Al-Qusayr, or to start the attack from the south, i.e. from the place the resistance fighters reached the contact point with Al-Qusayr and start the offensive from Jisr Al-Mashtal towards Al-Qusayr.”

That’s where the leadership came in. The Secretary General resolved the decision. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave the order that the attack be from the south and not from the north, from the contact points with al-Qusayr that the Mujahideen reached. That’s how it went.

Sayyed, who raises his finger threatening the “Israeli” entity with his military arsenal while the media and study centers analyze his speeches and read between the lines of his words, is a man who is careful with the blood of his sons and brothers (the resistance fighters) on the battlefield. He does not take this blood lightly. The Islamic Resistance leader tells Al-Ahed that most times, a lot of the battles could have been resolved a lot quicker. But Sayyed preferred the battles to take longer periods of time as long as the human losses were reduced and not many fighters were martyred.

Sayyed, who uses the power God gave him for the sake of truth, directs his wrath towards the enemy and his mercy towards the women, children and unarmed civilians. These are the ethics of true Islam, rooted in his heart. During the battles to liberate Lebanon’s Eastern Mountain Range, which ended with the Second Liberation in 2017, His Eminence introduced a series of limitations and restrictions.

The Secretary General intervened in many of the battles’ broader context. In the battles to liberate the Eastern Range, Sayyed intervened tactically, according to a leader in the Islamic Resistance who spoke to Al-Ahed. At the time, Sayyed listened to details from officers in the Islamic Resistance: “How will we maneuver? How will the infantry intervene? How will the bypass take place? The types of maneuvers…”

During a meeting with the officers and leaders of the Islamic Resistance, His Eminence the Secretary General set a number of restrictions, one of which was that civilians should not be attacked “especially when it comes to the [refugee] camps. Even if they fired at us from the camps, we try not to respond.” The other restriction, according to one of the leaders of the resistance, was that “if the resistance fighters were forced to respond to the source of the fire from the direction of the civilians, gunfire should only come accurate and focused weapons, so that it precisely responds to the source of the fire without any error. Even this kind of response, needed special permission.”

“Sayyed remained with us during all the operations. He was following up on everything with us,” the leader of the Islamic Resistance confirms to Al-Ahed. He, then, clarifies that during the meeting with his officers, Sayyed “spoke using military terminology. He behaved as a military commander addressing the scene on the battlefield that was unfolding before him. He set limitations and restrictions and gave his orders to his officers. Back then, Sayyed gave us the time we needed and more.

“You are not pressed for time or on a deadline,” he told us.

The military leader of the Islamic Resistance then changes gears and begins talking about emotions. Since it is rare for a military man to talk about emotions, we leave it to the readers to judge the character of the meeting between the officers in the Islamic Resistance and His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah prior to the battles of the Second Liberation.

“Of course, we were overjoyed that we kissed him and kissed his hand. This is normal … We felt a very high moral push… very great … Of course, as persons we were in an emotional state. For example, we loved to take the rings from him, but we were shy. We liked to take something from him, but we were shy. There were strong emotions…”

Have the Zionists Forgotten their Defeat in Joroud Arsal? The Joroud Victory In ’Israel’s’ Eyes: No One Can Stop Hezbollah

By Hussein Mortada

Have the Zionists forgotten their defeat in Joroud Arsal? The answer to this question is certainly not. Their wager in favor of the terrorists was so great that one of the most prominent “Israeli” military analysts wrote for the Haaretz newspaper in the summer of 2013 that

“Israel” no longer needs to fight in Lebanon. Hezbollah has drowned in the Syrian conflict and will not survive it.”

Everything was pointing to the inevitability of a major battle in the Joroud with a very important dimension. It was a disappointment for the Zionists. It was also the battle of the second victory in Joroud Arsal and Qalamoun.

It did not start in July 2017. It started with the beginning of the war against Syria in 2011. The plans of the countries leading the aggression and supporting the militants depended on the principle of seizing full control over the border areas. They would then use these areas as a springboard to invade resistance-held territory using terrorist ground forces with NATO-“Israeli”-Gulf support and planning.

Moving the battle into the home front to preoccupy the resistance and the Lebanese army was the beginning. The objective was to take control of and strike the resistance’s environment. Therefore, the battle of liberating Joroud is more significant than the July 2006 victory because it was an “Israeli” battle with an “Israeli” objective and “Israeli” tools even though the La Ilaha Illa Allah [No God except Allah] flag was raised. The resistance achieved more victories, including the Qusair victory, Talkalakh at the northern border, Syria’s Qalamoun, Joroug Arsal, Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa. The most dangerous objective of the terrorists and their backers was invading the central Bekaa up until the border with Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms. Of course, these areas along with occupied Palestine would have all been under the control of the terrorists and the countries backing them. Meanwhile, they would have secured a maritime access from Tripoli in Lebanon.

In short, this is the battle of the border. This is what the resistance thwarted in cooperation with the Syrian army. Meanwhile, the Lebanese army played an important role at the end of the battle.

According to what was planned, these terrorist groups were supposed to start with plan (B), which is besieging the resistance, paralyzing its movements and striking it in its environment. Here, we recall that part of this plan had been put in motion through the use of car bombs as well as identifying certain parties in Lebanon that conform to these plans and ideas. Here several obvious questions must be asked:

What if the Syrian army and the resistance had decided not to take action early on in order to thwart this project?

  • What if these groups were left alone along the border areas to blow up whatever they wanted and kill and kidnap whomever they wanted?

Based on this plan, which is even related to the nature of the battle with the Zionists, it was necessary to work on its failure and destruction, albeit in stages. Due to the nature of the battle that is also associated with some Syrian regions, the resistance adopted the policy of capturing and then dividing the regions and stages. Thus, the battle of Qusair coincided with Syria’s Qusair. The battle of Talkalakh at the northern border was associated with the Syrian Zara area, which was an important corridor used by militants to move between Lebanon and the Syrian depth. The battles went from Qalamaoun, to Yabroud, to al-Zabadani to the Joroud in order to besiege these groups in these areas.

All the preparations were completed to clear Lebanese areas of any terrorist – after these groups carried out several bombings and killed a number of Lebanese army soldiers. As in every victory, the Golden Triangle, the army, the people and the resistance, was present.

The resistance launched the Joroud operation to eliminate the last hope these groups had to move the battle inside Lebanon. It was a delicate and sensitive operation where politics overlapped with the military, geography and strategy. Therefore, the second liberation’s dimensions are equally important to the first victory over the Zionists in 2000.

The resistance and the Lebanese army, on the one hand, and the Syrian army and the resistance, on the other, caught the terrorists in Joroud in a pincer. Hence, full victory was achieved and the lands were returned to their owners. Security and stability prevailed across the whole of Lebanon despite its complex geography. Thus, Lebanon was on a date with a great victory.

Have the Zionists Forgotten their Defeat in Joroud Arsal?

Al-Ahed Website

Beirut – The shock was evident on the face of “Israel’s” former war minister, Avigdor Lieberman. After days of censoring media and military institutions when it came to Hezbollah’s 2007 military campaign to liberate Lebanon’s eastern Joroud, the man was unable to admit the impact of the defeat. Hezbollah had liberated the Joroud from the terror of “Israel’s” agents, the Nusra Front and Daesh.

From the heart of Tel Aviv, Lieberman called on the units of the military headquarters to prepare for various scenarios, warning that “the next conflict with Lebanon will also include Syria.”

Amid a flurry of confusion, the chief of the “Israeli” military and security establishment spoke about the unity of the fronts and directed threats at both Lebanon and Syria.

“If we talk about the Lebanese front, there is no such front anymore. There will be one front that includes Syria and Lebanon together: Hezbollah, the Assad regime and all those collaborating with the Assad regime,” he said.

All the analysis aside, Lebanon heard the message clearly. The cohesion between the Lebanese army and the resistance deprived the concerned parties in “Israel” of their sleep.

“The Lebanese army has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s strength and is under its leadership. The Lebanese army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hezbollah’s strength,” Lieberman stressed.

Going with the saying, ‘thanks to the recognition of the enemy’, Hezbollah succeeded in creating another cause for concern along the “Israeli” front.

The enemy’s observers were surprised by the speed with which the victory was achieved. According to Maariv, “the battles of the eastern Joroud in Lebanon are sending a clear message to three heads: “Israel”, the United States and Saudi Arabia. The message implied that the group is very capable of defending itself against all threats. Its combat skills are growing with time.”

For its part, the “Israeli” website Nzivnet published a special report explaining the exact course of the battles.

“Hezbollah is engaged in fierce battles in Joruod Arsal including artillery shelling and even close quarter combat. Hezbollah can be seen working as a trained army that operates heavy machinery such as armored personnel carriers, artillery, mortars shells and others. Meanwhile, the Radwan force – the force assigned to occupy the Galilee in the next war with “Israel” – carries out complex commando operation such as taking control of isolated places and caves,” the site reported.

“Hezbollah does not appear to be a guerrilla organization that “Israel” knew in the 90s and the beginning of the third millennium,” Nzivnet added.

The website underscores fears about “the flags of Hezbollah and Lebanon fluttering together atop a hill in the Wadi al-Khail region. This is the image of Hezbollah’s victory over terrorism. It is not in Aleppo or in Daraa. It is in Arsal, at home. Hezbollah has come back to fight at home. It is sending us signals too. And no one can stop it.”

“Israeli” worries spilled over from the battlefield into the political front. According to Haaretz, “Hezbollah took responsibility for the negotiations as if it were the Lebanese government. The party succeeded in securing the approval of the Lebanese army to adhere to the agreement it reached to deport fighters of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.”

“This move by Hezbollah may not have any far-reaching strategic consequences from a military perspective, unlike the removal of al-Qaeda from the Lebanese border. But the organization will know how to capitalize on it when the time comes to discuss security in areas neighboring Lebanon,” Haaretz added.

Perhaps the entity’s fear is embodied in a few words said by the head of the “Israeli” military surveillance apparatus, Herzl Halevi, as he addressed the Joroud battles.

“Hezbollah is a stone’s throw away from the “Israeli” border.”

Iran’s battle strategy in Syria and its impact

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 A.M.) – At the start of 2013, the Syrian War was looking unfavorable for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as a militant offensive in Aleppo cutoff the city from all government supply lines and the strategic East Ghouta region had all but fallen to Jaysh Al-Islam and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Making matters worse, the government had lost most of Syria’s northern border with Turkey and their western border with Lebanon. This would later prove to be a major issue for the military as foreign militants were pouring into the country from these regions.

Enter Hezbollah and Iran

The Spring of 2013 would prove to be an important period in the Syrian War. Both Hezbollah and Iran would enter the conflict on the side of the government and help the Syrian military regain the initiative in Homs, Aleppo, and Damascus.

Hezbollah’s deployment to Syria helped the government regain the Lebanese border by capturing the strategic crossing at Al-Qusayr, followed by Tal Kalakh and the majority of the Qalamoun Mountains.

The Lebanese group also provided reinforcements to several areas across the country in order to help stabilize these fronts.

While Hezbollah’s entry into the Syrian conflict is often viewed as the first time foreign fighters had entered the war, this is indeed false. Militants from several countries across the world had already entered Syria and began fighting alongside the rebel forces.

Several of these foreign fighters would later join jihadist groups like Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh).

However, unlike Hezbollah, Iran would play a pivotal role behind the scenes in 2013, offering their military advisers to help Damascus concoct a new battle plan.

The plan would focus on a four-corners strategy that would see the Syrian military maintain a presence in four corners of the country, giving the government an area of influence despite the absence of supply routes.

Four Corners Strategy

From 2013 to 2017, the Syrian government maintained a presence in several parts of the country. Since it was difficult to maintain control over the vast desert and mountainous regions, the strategy was to focus on the major cities and spreading out the militants so that the army could regain critical areas around the capital city.

It may appear a bit unorthodox, but the strategy ultimately helped the Syrian military maintain a presence in eastern Syria, where the U.S. and its allies attempted to expand across during the war with ISIS.

For example, the Syrian military kept a presence in the Al-Hasakah Governorate, despite the fact they were surrounded by the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG)

While the Syrian military and the YPG were not fighting each other and their presence in Al-Hasakah was only threatened by ISIS, the army’s decision to stay inside Deir Ezzor city after losing their supply lines from Homs raised a few questions at the time.

Thousands of Syrian troops were besieged in Deir Ezzor and ordered to continue fighting ISIS from 2015 to 2017 when the siege was finally lifted. Prior to the arrival of the Russian Armed Forces in September of 2015, the Deir Ezzor front was under daily attacks by the Islamic State, leaving many to fear for the lives of the people and troops inside the city.

Had the army made the decision to retreat from Deir Ezzor city, ISIS could have sent their forces to other fronts and expanded their presence inside of Syria. Furthermore, it allowed the Syrian Army to maintain control of the city once the U.S.-led Coalition began expanding south of Al-Hasakah.

Finally, the entry of the Russian Armed Forces would play a decisive role in the conflict, as the Syrian Arab Army was able to finally launch multiple offensives to regain most of the country.

Present Day

Iran still desires a complete military victory in Syria, but with the continued Israeli attacks on their positions in the country and U.S. economic pressure through sanctions, the Islamic Republic has been forced to take a more defensive role in the region.

This defensive role has allowed Russia to champion the recent Syrian military operations, while they concentrate on other matters, including the proxy war in the eastern part of the country.

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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.

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