Sayyed Nasrallah: Education is a Mission, Not Just a Profession

March 9, 2023

Batoul Wehbe

In his speech on the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Institution for Education – Al-Mahdi Schools (PBUH), Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, emphasized the need for the spirit of hope in these challenging times, stating that the resistance’s weapon was hope and faith.

Sayyed Nasrallah criticized the United States in his speech on Thursday and urged Lebanese people to find solutions instead of giving in to international pressures. He pointed up that despite corruption being a problem caused by Lebanese individuals, America is also a partner in this corruption by blocking deposits, loans, and investments from entering Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah vowed that Hezbollah would not surrender and urged the need for cooperation and courage in finding solutions to the economic and political crisis in Lebanon.

“In the face of this despair, the resistance’s weapon was hope and faith in God, and the determination to confront and resist the enemy,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated, emphasizing that “the resistance’s hope and faith were the source of strength that enabled it to achieve victory and liberate the land.”

His eminence also noted that God has provided humanity with two significant saviors, namely Jesus Christ and the Imam Mahdi (PBUH), and the resistance is the force that brings hope and leads to victory against the Israeli enemy.

“In the current situation in Lebanon, where the economic crisis and the political situation are causing despair and frustration among the people, we must hold on to hope and faith in God, and work to confront and resist the challenges and difficulties we are facing.”

“When the Israelis occupied Lebanon, they aimed to spread a spirit of despair with political and social consequences, which could lead to the acceptance of the occupation without dignity, sovereignty, and honor,” he said. Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that the resistance, with its hope, continued its struggle against the Israeli enemy, and withstood it in 2006.

“In the past, the occupiers used killings, massacres, displacement, and the demolition of homes to strengthen the spirit of despair among the Lebanese people,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, giving an example of the Bir al-Abed massacre, where more than 75 martyrs lost their lives. He pointed out that America was behind the car bomb attack that aimed to spread terror and despair. Furthermore, he highlighted the involvement of some individuals claiming sovereignty in Lebanon in this massacre.

Yesterday marked the 38th anniversary of the Bir Al-Abed massacre, which took place on March 8, 1985 in the southern suburb of Beirut. The massacre was a result of a failed assassination attempt by American intelligence agencies and their allies against Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who had been described as the spiritual leader of Hezbollah in the early eighties of last century.
The majority of the victims were women and children, and the massacre occurred on International Women’s Day.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the goal of such attacks is to create terror and despair in people’s hearts, and the attempt to assassinate Sayyed Fadlallah was a severe blow. He stated that threats of death, military war, and starvation do not intimidate us.

“We refuse to surrender, submit or give up because despair leads to surrender, and we will not allow that to happen.”

Sayyed Nasrallah expressed his admiration and support for Al-Mahdi Schools and affirmed his belief in the institution’s administration, teachers, and workers. He pledged to provide the necessary support for its development and expansion, given the importance of its work in maintaining the scientific and educational levels.

“Despite the challenging circumstances over the past 30 years, the institution has naturally and gradually developed, serving generations and transferring experience,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, emphasizing the institution’s steadfastness and appreciating the efforts of its workers, especially in recent years when the effort has doubled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficult living conditions in Lebanon. He also pointed to the importance of education and building a good society to pave the way for a promising future.

Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the role of teachers and educational institutions must not be limited to a profession, but rather it should be infused with a missionary and human spirit. He cautioned against those who use their knowledge to exploit others and take advantage of adverse conditions, underscoring the importance of education in building immunity against such exploitation. He also noted that education plays a vital role in shaping the moral and cultural values of a society, and lamented the negative influence of Western culture on curricula in many schools.

In early January, Lebanese public-school teachers went on strike to demand better compensation for their salaries, which are paid in Lebanese pounds that have significantly dropped in value against the dollar, leading to increased prices across the country. They also demanded improvements to their healthcare coverage and transport allowances. After two months on strike, many teachers returned to class on Monday, but they refused to teach afternoon classes to Syrian refugee children. Contract teachers, however, remained on strike.

Discussing the challenges facing the education sector in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah acknowledged that educational institutions have been severely impacted by the prevailing circumstances, especially with the prolonged closure of public schools. He stressed the need for teachers to be good role models and to prioritize the welfare, success, and excellence of their students. In regards to private schools, his eminence suggested that increasing premiums to improve teachers’ salaries could be considered a humanitarian contribution, but cautioned against schools that prioritize profits over the well-being of their students and staff, calling such greed “hideous” and “inhumane”.

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded by stating, “We must maintain the educational process, especially in these difficult circumstances, and we must continue to work in order to educate generations, and we must maintain our educational institutions and provide them with support and assistance to enable them to perform their role in the best possible way.” He emphasized the importance of education and its role in building a good society, and urged everyone to contribute to this mission.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

نصر الله: لـ«عدم الخضوع للشروط الدولية»

الخميس 9 آذار 2023

(موقع العهد الإخباري)

أكد الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، اليوم، أن أبواب الحل للأزمة في لبنان موجودة، داعياً إلى عدم الاستسلام والخضوع للشروط الدولية.

وقال نصر الله، في الذكرى الثلاثين لتأسيس «مدارس المهدي»، إن «المطلوب منّا الاستسلام ولا تتوقعوا منّا استسلاماً وانصياعاً وخضوعاً»، مشدداً على وجوب «عدم اليأس لأن نتيجة اليأس الاستسلام».

ورأى نصر الله أن «أبواب الحل موجودة»، مؤكداً أنه «لا يجب أن نستسلم للشروط الدولية والإقليمية والذين استلسموا لم ينجوا».

وفي الملف التربوي، حثّ نصر الله المعلمين والأساتذة في المدارس الرسمية و«الجامعة اللبنانية» على مواصلة العام الدراسي وعدم العودة إلى الإضراب، مطالباً الحكومة بتنفيذ ما قدّمته لهم.

ولفت نصر الله إلى إصرار بعض المدارس على الخاصة على «الرّبح الوفير»، مُعرباً عن تقديره أنها تريد «زيادة الأقساط لتحسين رواتب المعلمين، لكن هل يمكن ألّا نربح هاتين السنتين أو نربح بشكل معقول ومتواضع».

مقالات ذات صلة

The US scapegoat: Europe dragged into yet another conflict

27 Feb, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Mohammad Al-Jaber 

The United States, like the great ally that it is, has dragged Europe into another conflict, this time right at home, and bleeding it dry economically and politically under the pretext of fighting Russia.

The US scapegoat: Europe dragged into yet another conflict

    It is a tale as old as time; ever since their declared allyship in the wake of World War II and the global status quo amid the Cold War, the United States and Europe – at least Western Europe – have been as close as allies can be. However, the United States is quite the abusive partner, forcing Europe to bear the brunt of any conflict it gets into as it emerges unscathed from its far-away lands across the Atlantic Ocean, and the Ukraine war serves as another prime example of how the US treats its allies.

    Months before the Ukraine war, the United States and its European allies began bolstering their eastern flank through NATO member states. Little did Europe know what it was diving headfirst into: years of brewing tensions between Russia and the United States over Ukraine and its treatment of the people of the Donbass, as well as its usage as a political tool in the face of Moscow, exploded, and Europe was covered in ash while Washington was watching everything unfold from the comfort of its distant lands.

    The situation hit the fan; Russia was now knee-deep in Ukraine and the United States started using everything in its power, including Europe, to curb Moscow and bolster Kiev’s standing. Washington had many tools at hand, most notably sanctions on Russia and arms shipments to Ukraine, both of which would be quite costly for Europe, especially due to how inconvenient the time was, given that the world was just now going back into full throttle after the pandemic brought the entire global economy into a grinding halt. 

    The West, somehow underestimating the repercussions of an economy as tremendous as Russia’s being thrown out of the global market, sanctioned the country in a bid to “punish” it for going against their expansionist aspirations, and the sanctions in question were not your run-of-the-mill sanctions because we are not talking about your run-of-the-mill economy here. The sanctions at hand affected everything from natural gas to gold – key pillars in any economy aspiring not to crash – which had massive reverberations throughout the West, all the way from Germany to the United States. 

    Gas prices reached all-time highs, and the global economy was bracing for disaster as inflation was affecting some of its biggest players. Economic powerhouses such as Germany, France, and the United States were being driven up walls due to the economic woes they were experiencing, all of which they were attributing to Russia itself rather than admitting to having committed numerous mistakes when it came to the measures they took against Russia.

    US economy holding up better

    A swift study of inflation rates and energy prices would be more than sufficient to exhibit the suffering inflicted on the West in the wake of war:

    According to Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistical office, inflation in the EU in November 2022 was 11.1%, a stark year-on-year increase from November 2021’s 5.2% inflation rate. The Eurozone, meanwhile, was also suffering, just a little less. In November 2022, the inflation rate in the Eurozone was 10.1%, a less significant year-on-year increase from November 2021’s 4.9%. 

    Energy prices, on the other hand, are something else entirely. What had been 82.81 euros per megawatt-hour in terms of monthly electricity wholesale prices months before the war in August 2021 in Germany rose to a whopping 469.35 euros per megawatt-hour, an increase of 466.7%, a year later in August of 2022, six months after the start of the Ukraine war and about three months after the West to decided to try and take Russia entirely out of the global energy market.

    Other countries were not better off. In fact, some were dealt even worse hands, as energy prices in Italy soared 382.4% to 543 euros per megawatt-hour, in Hungary, they rose 354.4% to 495.65 euros per megawatt-hour, and in Switzerland, they rose 490.5% to 488.14 euros per megawatt-hour. France was by far the worst off, with a striking increase of 536.9% to 492.99 euros per megawatt-hour.

    At the same time, energy prices in the US averaged $167 per megawatt-hour in August 2022, a very mild year-on-year increase from August 2021’s $144 per megawatt-hour, showing that the energy crises barely affected the United States as it was not at all reliant on Russian gas.

    Historic lows

    Of course, the governments of the EU states had to heavily subsidize electricity as their citizens would not be able to pay off their bills if they were as high as they were driven up due to the sanctions on Russia, which led the governments in question to print more money in order to cover all the new, extra costs they had, plunging the Eurozone into record-high inflation, the likes of which had not been seen in decades. 

    The euro had not gone down below a dollar per since the early 2000s when it hit the low of $0.98 in January 2000, a year-on-year depreciation of 15% against the USD. The euro went through more woes, dropping to as low as $0.83 before bouncing back above the threshold three years later. What must be understood is that the decline of the euro in 2000 was the consequence of a free market reigning in the West, with many investors selling the euros they were holding in anticipation of an appreciation in the Eurozone’s currency after it had been tied with the greenback for some time at that point, with impatience prevailing, which led the euro to lose value. Securities had dominated in the euro, but as it had been at near-parity with the USD, investors felt forced to sell as the US government was making various moves that made the US economy more attractive for investors, such as the US Treasury’s 30-year bond posting strong gains and the US government reporting that orders for durable goods sharply increased before the new years, prompting experts to speculate incoming interest rate hikes. 

    Many things just happened to go right for the USD at the same time, making the greenback tremendous gains and putting it above the euro until the dollar fell in 2003 and made for one of the causes of the 2000s energy crisis. All in all, the euro was holding strong against the USD for nearly two decades before it made a sharp drop throughout 2022 that culminated in the Eurozone’s currency briefly dipping below parity against the USD in August amid fears of a worse energy crisis. 

    The euro was doing tremendously for decades, but European countries being forced to subsidies energy for their citizens and businesses so as not to leave their economies in shambles led the USD to rise above the euro due to the inflation the money-printing machines caused. The euro reached a low of $0.97 in September 2022 after having been at $1.17 a year earlier. It managed to slightly recover since, selling at $1.10 in early February, nearing pre-war levels, but the latest data shows that the euro is now on a downturn even against a struggling USD that is being bolstered by austerity measures from the Federal Reserve.

    Struggling across the Atlantic, still doing better

    In light of all the suffering in Europe, the United States was doing quite badly for itself. With energy prices reaching all-time highs and inflation soaring uncontrollably, Washington was between a rock and a hard place.

    However, it wanted to ensure that Europe was just in a bad a position and wanted to ensure its own prosperity at the expense of the Europeans’, selling them energy with stark hikes that were unbearable, which largely affected the euro and gave further impetus to the USD. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mair even went as far as taking shots at Washington, saying it should not be allowed to dominate the global energy market as the EU suffers the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that it was unacceptable to let the US export LNG at prices four times higher than those paid by companies in the country.

    According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measurement, inflation in the United States increased by 7.7% in a year until October of 2022, rising at its slowest rate in nine months after topping a forty-year high of 9.1% in a year until June of 2022. The inflation rates, though better than the EU’s, were mitigated by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates consecutive times, increasing the rate by 4.25% between March and December of last year.

    Meanwhile, as the US economy showed growth in Q4 of 2022, increasing by 2.9%, the Eurozone was left in the dust with a mere 0.1% in growth after experts were expecting a recession for one of the most significant economic players in the international arena. At the same time, the European Union’s economy was stagnant, remaining stable in Q4 of 2022.

    Despite the lack of a recession in the Eurozone as a whole, the German economy contracted by 0.2% in the last quarter of 2022, prompting experts to believe that the economic powerhouse was heading into a recession. 

    Italy, the EU’s third-largest economy, also experienced negative growth, as its GDP contracted by 0.1% in Q4 of 2022. Both Germany and Italy were among the hardest hit due to their heavy reliance on Russian gas, the stream of which was cut off from Europe in light of the Ukraine war.

    The latest signs are showing that the Eurozone is heading for a recession in Q1 or Q2 of 2023, with experts saying that the European Central Bank’s policy of economic tightening through various austerity measures will cause the region’s economy to struggle as households themselves struggle with the cost of living crisis and sluggish demand.

    Buddy-buddy with the wrong guy

    One key aspect of the crisis that the EU and the Eurozone have been hit by is that they were caused by a conflict that spurred out between Russia and the United States that Washington sought to turn into a proxy war by using its allies in Europe against Moscow rather than embroiling itself in any direct conflict.

    The European Union is no stranger to getting dragged into conflict by the United States, but the extent to which Washington is alienated from the ongoing war is quite stark in comparison to previous wars.

    As discussed previously in “Analysis of Euro-paralysis: Uncle Sam’s last Afghan stand” while shedding light on the United States dragging Europe into the Afghanistan war, when Washington dragged NATO into a multi-generational war in Afghanistan, the organization’s first commitment outside European territories, the United States is not the best ally one could have by their side.

    In the end, the European hand was forced into Afghanistan, and the burden was basically split in half, with Europe reaping fewer benefits, the US was in control of a geopolitically significant country, and it was intimidating its regional foes, namely Russia, China, and Iran.

    Europe has been the chief bearer of consequences whenever there was a US-related flop anywhere in the Eastern hemisphere, such as the Syrian refugee crisis that took place in the wake of the war on Syria. Alongside many other crises, this is a fine testament to Washington’s strategy toward Europe.

    All that Europe gained from Afghanistan was more refugees, more dead soldiers, and wasted taxpayer money. The UK and Germany, the second-largest troop contributors, spent an estimated $30 billion and $19 billion, respectively, throughout 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

    The situation today is not too different from how it was back during and after the Afghan war, as the United States is now emerging with loads of profits made from the war after having Europe spend hundreds of millions on Ukraine, with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy reporting that: “The United States, for example, spent more than 3 times as much per year compared to their expenses in the Afghanistan war after 2001 (measured as a percent of GDP). Germany committed more than 3 times as much to Allies in the Gulf War of 1990/91 compared to what it has committed to Ukraine (again measured in percent of GDP).”

    According to the institute, “The Americans have earmarked a total of just over 73.1 billion euros for Ukraine support. For the EU, the comparable figure is 54.9 billion euros.”

    The head of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce said the Ukraine war will have cost the German economy around 160 billion euros ($171 billion), or some 4% of its gross domestic output, in lost value creation by the end of the year.

    ‘Give’ only to take

    Though the United States gave more aid to Ukraine, around $20 billion more, Europe is still doing worse than the US. The US economy is doing far better than expected, especially as key companies, especially energy companies, and firms within the military-industrial complex, are making bank off the suffering of Europeans and Ukrainians alike.

    The share price of Lockheed Martin was up 37% by the end of 2022 as the production of Javelin anti-tank missiles by the company increased from 2,100 to about 4,000 a year. The arms company signed a $7.8 billion contract on the modification of the F-35 aircraft and $431 million to deliver new HIMARS and “support services for the US Army and its foreign allies.”

    Meanwhile, in November last year, the US awarded Raytheon a $1.2 billion contract for the supply of six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to Ukraine. Last year, it was reported that Washington was intending to send 6,500 Javelin anti-tank missile systems made by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to Ukraine. Other contractors, such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman, are among other profiteers from the war.

    The EU is not making similar profits in light of all the losses it is dealing with. Even when it comes to post-war reconstruction efforts. “The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine and BlackRock, the world’s largest investment company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing on a framework for consultative assistance in developing a special platform to attract private capital for the recovery and support of Ukraine’s economy,” the Ukrainian government announced in November, meaning the US is making profits when it comes to the destruction of Ukraine and is making profits when it comes to its reconstruction. 

    One conclusion can be drawn from the whole debacle surrounding Ukraine: The United States is using the situation to subvert Europe and leave its economy in shambles, prompting many to talk about the de-industrialization of the European Union, with numerous economic sectors, such as glass, chemicals, metals, fertilizer, pulp and paper, ceramics, and cement suffering in light of the ongoing crisis.

    Additionally, with gas prices four times that of the US and six times higher than they were before, several industries are considering the option of relocating abroad for cheaper energy prices, meaning that at the end of the day, many European powerhouses might be left with nothing, or just crumbs, if this situation is upheld.

    Europe is before a grim reality once again because of the United States, with its economy heading toward the ghastly unknown and its industry dealing with the repercussions of terrible policy-making. Europe, once a US ally, might become a vassal for Washington as it grows more dependent on a country that only seeks to exploit it to bolster its standing in the international arena.

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    U.S. Sanctions Agravate Earthquake Response in Syria

    W. T. Whitney Jr.

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

    The son, right, and friends of Syrian refugee Naziha Al-Ahmad carry her body to be buried in a cemetery after she died during an earthquake, in Elbistan, southeastern, Turkey, Feb. 10, 2023. The U.N. says Turkey hosts about 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country’s 12-year civil war, along with close to 320,000 people escaping hardships from other countries. | Francisco Seco / AP

    Suffering in Syria and Turkey caused by a strong earthquake on Feb. 6 has elicited an immense worldwide humanitarian response. The toll as of press time for this article was 36,000 people dead, with the number of recorded deaths steadily rising as rubble from collapsed buildings is removed. Unusually cold weather and snow add to the grief and difficulties in delivering aid material to survivors.

    Compounding matters is the longstanding internal conflict in both countries aggravated by foreign interventions. The Turkish government contends with a Kurdish insurgency formerly active within its own borders and now based across the southern border in Iraq and Syria.

    The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, meanwhile, has confronted U.S.- and European-supported rebel forces fighting in northern Syria since 2011.

    The humanitarian disaster from the earthquake is further aggravated by the warlike interference in Syria’s affairs that has gone on for years and is still underway, particularly the role of economic sanctions employed by nations led by the U.S. government. Of concern is U.S. imperialism’s seeming disregard of human suffering and deaths as it wields the weapon of economic war.

    A civil war has raged in Syria for 11 years. The U.S. government, in conjunction with allies, supports elements of the anti-Assad resistance. They hold territory in northern Syria, where even U.S. troops are deployed.

    The civil war has led to displaced populations of refugees, some living in government-controlled Syria, 3.6 million others living precariously in Turkey, and 4.1 million more living in conflict-ridden northern Syria; they were dependent on humanitarian aid prior to the earthquake. Kurdish rebels, anti-Assad rebels, and radical Islamists control their own portions of that area.

    The earthquake has caused more death and destruction in Turkey than in Syria. Turkey registered 31,643 deaths as of Feb. 13 and Syria 4,574 deaths, of which 3,160 occurred in rebel-held areas.

    The delivery of humanitarian aid material is always difficult in situations of natural disaster. The Turkish government reports offers of assistance from 71 countries. Search and rescue teams and shipments of materials have arrived there from dozens of them.

    Conditions in Syria, however, are different. Western countries are contributing relatively little. Shipments of aid material have entered Syria from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, and India.

    Rescue teams and aid shipments have been promised or have arrived from China, Iran, Russia, Cuba, and Algeria. Venezuela sent teams to both affected countries, and its teams were the first foreign rescuers to arrive in Northern Syria.

    Physical barriers further complicate matters in Syria. Only the Bab al-Hawa crossing of the Turkish-Syrian border remains open; three others are closed due to Russian and Chinese pressure in the United Nations Security Council. Those countries regard U.S.-supported rebels active in the region as “terrorists.”

    The Assad government is requiring that aid for areas under its control enter through Damascus. Air shipments to the capital, though, have been hobbled due to runway damage left over from an Israeli attack in January.

    Economic sanctions against the Assad government, in force since 2011, pose the main difficulty for countries that would provide assistance to Syria. Governments worldwide have joined the United States, leader of the pack, in sanctioning Syria.

    Speaking to the press on Feb. 6, State Department spokesperson Ned Price insisted, “We are determined to do what we can to address the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people.” He indicated that any U.S. aid would be delivered exclusively to NGOs, the implication being that economic sanctions remain in effect.

    The head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent called upon the United States and its allies to “lift their siege and sanctions on Syria so that rescue and relief work can proceed unimpeded.”

    Speaking for China’s foreign ministry, Mao Ning likewise called for an end to sanctions, pointing out that U.S. “military strikes and harsh economic sanctions have caused huge civilian casualties,” while U.S. troops have assured the “plunder … [of] more than 80% of Syria’s oil production.”

    A UN Special Rapporteur had already urged in November 2022 that sanctions against Syria be ended on grounds of “destruction and trauma suffered by the Syrian people since 2011.”

    On Feb. 9, the U.S. government blinked. The Treasury Department provided authorization lasting for 180 days for “all transactions related to earthquake relief.” Other nations may follow suit.

    The difficulty remains: An aggressive U.S. government is prone to trivializing claims that economic sanctions threaten human lives. The economic measures against Syria’s government revive the spectacle of sanctions aggravating humanitarian catastrophe from another cause. That was Cuba’s situation in having to deal with both U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The current situation in Syria calls for a critical look at the U.S. government’s frequent resort to economic sanctions as it wages what amounts to permanent war. Sanctions offer the advantage of impunity. An aggressor’s profile is lowered even as threats of ungovernability and human suffering mount.

    As has long been known, those who suffer most from sanctions aimed at a national economy are a society’s poorest citizens. Sanctions violate human rights, particularly the right of citizens to lead economically sustainable lives and their right to benefit from social programming that is determined collectively, notably healthcare, education, and social security for elders.

    Although legal experts have identified criminal aspects of U.S. sanctions, even crimes against humanity, the upshot has been impunity for the U.S. government, in part due to U.S. disregard for the International Criminal Court.

    Frequent use of economic sanctions represents one aspect of non-stop war-making on the part of the U.S. government and of nations following the U.S. lead. Sanctions are in the same category as the use of one’s own military forces, the use of proxy warriors and other agents, and internal subversion leading to destabilization and/or coups.

    Syria’s people have been on the receiving end of all that for years, and now, even with the devastation of the earthquake, they’re not getting much respite.

    وقع الزلزال…والتوقيت المناسب للشجعان فقط!

    وقع الزلزال…والتوقيت المناسب للشجعان فقط!

     الثلاثاء 7 شباط 2023

    ناصر قنديل

    الزلزال الذي ضرب تركيا وسورية وأسقط آلاف الضحايا والمصابين وخلّف عشرات آلاف المشرّدين بلا مأوى، كارثة إنسانية موصوفة، والعالم الذي ينفق تريليونات من الدولارات على التسلح والحروب يرسل القروش لتركيا، لكنه يحجم عن إرسال شيء الى سورية، بل يواصل المكر والخبث والكيد والحقد عبر العقوبات والحصار، كما تقول بيانات التضامن المخادعة بالحديث عن مساعدة الشعب السوري، بدلاً من القول سورية، وعبر المؤسسات الإنسانية، كي يقولوا وليس عبر الحكومة السورية، وكي يقولوا ضمناً لا شيء، لأنهم يعلمون أنّ صناديق هذه المؤسسات خاوية وقد بدأت بالتقشف في مساعداتها التي كانت تقدّمها في العام الماضي، ولحق النازحين السوريين نصيب من هذا التقشف، وبالمقارنة بين العالم ما قبل الحضارة المدينة وعالم اليوم، نكتشف بسهولة أنّ المسمّى عالم ما قبل الحضارة المدنية كان أشدّ رحمة وأكثر شهامة، وأشدّ كرماً، عندما يتعلق الأمر بالكوارث الطبيعية، حتى في حالات الحروب، فتوضع الخلافات جانبا وتتحد الجهود لدرء الكارثة، بينما لا يرفّ جفن العالم المدّعي للحضارة ولا قلب، والمطلوب رفع العقوبات والحصار، وتخفيف وطأة الكارثة.

    كلّ الذين يتهرّبون من الحقيقة السورية يخادعون أنفسهم، وهم في سرّهم يعلمون أنّ سورية سواء انتهت كارثة الزلزال عندها برقم 2000 ضحية أو عشرة آلاف ضحية، فهي ستعود وتتعافى وتقف على قدميها، كما دأبها دائماً، لكن دماء وأرواح هذا الفارق سوف يتمّ تقييدها في حساب لا يقفل على ذمة وضمائر كلّ الذين كان بوسعهم فعل شيء، ولم يفعلوه، ولنبدأ بالأمين العام للجامعة العربية مكتوم الصوت، ليكفّر عن جريمة رئاسته للوفد الذي ذهب يدعو لشنّ الحرب عليها، بعد قرار الجامعة تعليق عضويتها، لم لا يكون أول الواصلين الى دمشق يشرف بنفسه على الاتصالات الهادفة لحث الحكومات العربية على تسيير جسور جوية وقوافل بحرية وبرية لكلّ ما تحتاجه سورية في زمن الكارثة، سفن الوقود والمعدات الطبية والأدوية والمستشفيات الميدانية، والآليات الثقيلة لدعم جهود البحث والإنقاذ، والبيوت السريعة الإنشاء لإيواء المشرّدين، وأدوات التدفئة والألبسة والمطابخ الضخمة لتأمين الطعام، ومثله السؤال لكلّ حاكم عربي قادر ولم يفعل شيئا، خصوصاً في الدول العربية الغنية، وبالأخص في الخليج، وفي الطريق سؤال للحكومة اللبنانية، أليس ما تحتاجه سورية اليوم أكثر من وفد استكشافي للحاجات، هو إعلان تخصيص مطار القليعات ومرفأ طرابلس لاستقبال السفن والطائرات التي تحمل الإغاثة لسورية، والتي لا تستطيع التوجه إلى مطاراتها ومرافئها بسبب العقوبات، ومعلوم أنّ لبنان عندما يفعل ذلك لن يتعرّض لأيّ مساءلة أو أذى، وهو قادر ان يطلب من الأمم المتحدة تولي الإشراف على ما يصل عبر المطار والمرفأ نحو سورية، وربطه بزمن الكارثة.

    لأنّ سورية عائدة وسوف تتعافى رغماً عن أنوف أعدائها، ولأنهم يعرفون ذلك، فالسؤال ماذا عن أميركا وأوروبا، أليس التوقيت مناسباً، بلغة المصالح بعيداً عن الضمائر الميتة، للتذرّع بالزلزال واعتباره توقيتاً مناسباً لاستثناء كلّ ما هو إغاثي وطبي وإنساني وغذائي ومنه الوقود وما يتصل بالبنى التحتية وإيواء النازحين والمشرّدين، من كلّ ما له صلة بالعقوبات، وقد سبق للأميركيين والأوروبيين أن كتبوا وحللوا عن مشاريع تفاوض مع سورية بفعل ذلك مقابل أثمان سياسية، فماذا سوف يخسرون إنْ فعلوا ذلك دون مقابل، وهم يعلمون أنهم سوف يربحون وضع القطار على السكة، لكسر الجليد وبدء الحديث مع سورية؟

    بلغة المصلحة أيضاً أليست فرصة للسعودية ومصر اللتان تبحثان عن مدخل لبناء جسر جديد للعلاقة مع سورية، أن تصل وفود وزارية منهما على رأس قوافل الدعم والمستشفيات الميدانية، وقد سبق لهما خلال محنة مرفأ بيروت أن فعلا شيئاً مشابهاً، واعتبار التوقيت المناسب لفعل ذلك هو هذه البوابة الإنسانية؟

    بمفهوم التوقيت المناسب، هو توقيت مناسب لتركيا لتسلم مناطق سيطرتها للدولة السورية، وهي تحتاج كلّ مقدراتها داخل تركيا في مواجهة الكارثة، وتحت إشراف لجنة رباعية سورية روسية إيرانية تركية تقام غرفة عمليات مشتركة، تفتح الطرق، وتدير فرق الإغاثة، في كلّ المناطق السورية، وهي فرصة للذين تورّطوا في الخروج عن حضن الوطن ليعودوا ويظهروا بعضاً من وطنية في زمن الكارثة.
    التوقيت المناسب للشجعان فقط!

    مساعدات عربية تصل إلى دمشق… وجسر جوي من الرياض

    الأخبار  الثلاثاء 7 شباط 2023

    بعد أن تركّزت مساعدات الدعم العربي والدولي بشكل رئيسي إلى تركيا التي عرضت 70 دولة إرسال مساعدات إليها بحسب الرئيس رجب طيب إردوغان، وصلت اليوم إلى سوريا، اليوم، طائرات من دول عربية عدّة، في إشارة إلى «خرق» للحصار الأميركي المفروض على سوريا عبر قانون «قيصر»، ما قد يساهم في مساعدة المناطق المنكوبة جراء الزلزال الذي ضرب تركيا وسوريا أمس.

    ويأتي ذلك بالتزامن مع مواصلة عمليات البحث عن ناجين اليوم في ظلّ طقس شديد البرودة، بينما تجاوزت حصيلة ضحايا الزلزال المدمر أكثر من 7100، 1712 قتلوا في سوريا، و5434 شخصاً في تركيا.

    وكان لافتاً موقف السلطات السعودية التي أمرت اليوم بـ«تسيير جسر جوّي وتقديم مساعدات صحية وإيوائية وغذائية ولوجستية لتخفيف آثار الزلزال على الشعبين السوري والتركي، وتنظيم حملة شعبية عبر منصة «ساهم» لمساعدة ضحايا الزلزال في سوريا وتركيا»، في حين لم تتطرق أمس إلى أي مساعدات.

    وعمد العراق إلى الأمر نفسه، إذ فتحت بغداد ممراً جوياً مخصصاً للمساعدات الإنسانية وسترسل الوقود غداً الأربعاء. كما وصلت طائرتان عراقيتان إلى دمشق تحمل كل منهما 70 طناً من المواد الغذائية والبطانيات والإمدادات الطبية، من بين أشياء أخرى، بحسب وكالة «سانا».

    ومن لبنان، توجّه فوج من الجيش اللبناني وفرق إنقاذ خاصة من لجنة الصليب الأحمر اللبناني إلى سوريا، بعد أن توجّهت أمس لمساعدة تركيا. وفتحت بيروت أجواءها وموانئها مع إعفاء شركات النقل الجوي والبحري الوافدة لأغراض إنسانية من الرسوم والضرائب، بحسب وزير الأشغال اللبناني، علي حمية.

    وأفادت «سانا» أيضاً بوصول طائرة مصرية تحمل مساعدات لمتضرّري الزلزال، بعد توجيهات من الرئيس المصري عبدالفتاح السيسي، بإرسال 5 طائرات عسكرية محملة بمساعدات طبية عاجلة إلى سوريا وتركيا، وذلك في أعقاب اتصال هاتفي أجراه السيسي مع الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد.

    ومن جانبها، أرسلت الإمارات طائرات نقلت «مساعدات طارئة» إلى كل من سوريا وتركيا، معلنةً تخصيص مساعدات إنسانية بقيمة 100 مليون دولار مناصفة بين البلدين. وقد وصلت طائرتان إماراتيتان محملتان بالمساعدات.

    وأعلنت قطر إنشاء «مستشفى ميداني» وإرسال «فرق بحث وإنقاذ» إلى تركيا، واستعدادها إرسال 10 آلاف حاوية لتركيا، من دون التطرق إلى مساعدات لسوريا.

    مغربياً، كانت الجزائر سبّاقة في الاستجابة لإغاثة المناطق المنكوبة في سوريا، إذ أرسلت منذ ليلة أمس وحتى اليوم 115 طناً من المنتجات الصيدلانية والغذائية والخيام إلى سوريا التي توجه إليها ليلاً فريق حماية مدنية جزائري مكون من 86 منقذاً، بحسب وزير الداخلية الجزائري إبراهيم مراد. وقد وصلت ثلاث طائرات جزائرية إلى مطار حلب الدولي، محملة بالمساعدات الطبية والغذائية والإنسانية، بحسب «سانا».

    كذلك، أرسلت الجزائر إلى تركيا أمس 17 طناً من معدات التدخل فضلاً عن «مجموعة أولى من 89 عميلاً متخصصاً في إدارة المخاطر الكبرى»، وفقاً للعقيد في الحماية المدنية فاروق عاشور.

    من جانبها، قررت تونس إرسال 60 منقذاً، 41 منهم لتركيا، بينهم أطباء، و19 إلى سوريا. كما سيتم إرسال أطباء من وزارة الصحة وفرق من الهلال الأحمر التونسي. وسترسل تونس أكثر من 15 طناً من المساعدات من البطانيات والأغذية وحليب الأطفال، 11 منها إلى تركيا و4 إلى سوريا.

    كذلك، وصلت طائرة ليبية إلى مطار حلب الدولي تحمل مساعدات إغاثية للمتضررين، بعد أن أمر رئيس الوزراء الليبي عبد الحميد الدبيبة بالإرسال «الفوري» لفريق بحث وإنقاذ مكون من 55 منقذاً تابعين للحماية المدنية والهندسة العسكرية وخمسة كلاب.

    وجهّزت عمان أولى طائرات الإنقاذ التابعة للقوات الجوية الأردنية محملة بالمعدات الطبية واللوجستية، بالإضافة إلى فريق يضم 99 من عمال الإنقاذ وخمسة أطباء من الخدمات الطبية الملكية.

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    Iran on the Erdogan – Assad Rapprochement Path, Meaning and Timing

     FEBRUARY 6, 2023

    It seems clear that the entry of Iran into the line came at the request of Damascus, which thus wanted to balance the Iranian role with the information that constantly talks about common and intertwined personal and official interests between Presidents Putin and Erdogan.

    The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published on 2nd Feb 2023 on Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

    Two days after President Erdogan’s statements, in which he said, “Let Turkey, Iran, and Syria meet to discuss possibilities for a final solution,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said, in the press conference, with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Moscow, “Today, an agreement has been reached aimed at Iran’s participation in the process of settling and normalizing relations between neighboring Turkey and Syria.

    This means Cairo’s approval, perhaps on behalf of other Arab countries, of the Iranian role. This was recognized, the day before yesterday, by Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s spokesman, when he said, “We will be happy with Iran’s contribution to the mediation efforts with Damascus because Tehran is an important player in the Syrian crisis from the beginning.”

    Minister Lavrov’s words came after a series of contacts and visits by his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Abdollahian, to Beirut, Damascus, and Moscow, followed by the visit of the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Ankara’s ally, to Tehran, days after the Abu Dhabi summit, in which the leaders of a number of Arab countries, including Qatar and Egypt, participated. This explains Minister Lavrov’s taking advantage of Minister Shukri’s visit to Moscow to talk in his presence about Iran’s involvement in the mediation efforts between Erdogan and President Assad.

    It seems clear that Iran’s entry into the line came at the request of Damascus, which thus wanted to balance the Iranian role with the information that constantly talks about common and intertwined personal and official interests between Presidents Putin and Erdogan, which was reason enough for Moscow not to put pressure on Ankara on the issue of Idlib and the Syrian north. in general, but succeeded in persuading Ankara to seek rapprochement with Damascus.

    There is much talk in the Turkish media about Russian financial support for Erdogan, to help him win the upcoming elections, which are crucial for Erdogan, Turkey, and Russia as well.

    It has become clear that Turkey, before and after these elections, will witness interesting developments related to Erdogan’s foreign calculations, which will have direct and indirect repercussions on the internal situation. The Syrian crisis comes at the forefront of these calculations, and the reason for this is the problem of the Syrians in Turkey, which will be an important electoral material that the opposition will use against Erdogan.

    It has also become clear that he, that is, Erdogan will make the minimum concessions required of him to ensure his meeting with President Assad before these elections, and his chances are still few, according to all independent opinion polls, especially after the “Nation Alliance” announced its electoral project that includes 2,300 items aimed to fix everything Erdogan destroyed during his 20 years of rule.

    Among these concessions was his acceptance of Iran’s entry into the line of rapprochement between him and President Assad at this time, when Tel Aviv, Washington, Western countries, and its other allies are conspiring against Iran, which was attacked by unknown drones that targeted a military complex in the city of Isfahan.

    In parallel, tension appears between Baku and Tehran due to the armed attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Iran and the killing of one of the embassy guards. This is what some nationalist circles in Turkey and Azerbaijan exploited to launch a hostile campaign against Tehran, which they have been doing for a long time due to Iranian support for Syria in the years of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

    On Tuesday, the leader of the National Movement Party, Devlet Bahchali, who is an ally of President Erdogan, said, “Azerbaijan is a state and nation of Turkish origin, the same as South Azerbaijan,” meaning northwestern Iran. This Turkish nationalist provocation is accompanied by a similar provocation and escalation from the nationalist circles in Azerbaijan, which has established and developed in recent years intertwined military and intelligence relations with “Tel Aviv”, which has established a number of espionage bases near the Azerbaijani border with Iran, which is what it did in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, especially in areas under the rule of Masoud Barzani

    At a time when the Jewish lobby controls most of the Azerbaijani media, which is waging a hostile and violent campaign against Iran, which coincided with the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Azerbaijan, and a day later to Armenia, the two neighbors of Tehran.

    Minister Lavrov’s talk about an “agreement” on Iran joining the Russian mediation between Assad and Erdogan seems clear that it came in support of the Astana process, but this time with Egyptian and Gulf approval, which may be reflected in support for the Egyptian-Turkish reconciliation path, that is, of course, if the Gulf capitals are sincere in their desire to return things to normal with Damascus.

    It is not clear what practical positions the aforementioned capitals will take towards Iran entering the rapprochement line, which, if achieved, will undoubtedly be with the consent of the Gulf, which Erdogan hopes to support him financially, politically, and psychologically on the eve of the elections that will be on May 14.

    Everyone knows that Erdogan was and still needs significant financial support from abroad, just as he needs media materials to help him gain more support, which will be achieved by meeting President Assad and announcing together their agreement to return Syrian refugees to their country. It is the issue that, if Erdogan succeeds in it, he will pull the rug out from under the feet of the opposition, which holds him responsible for the refugees and the entire Syrian crisis.

    And while waiting for the American, Israeli, and European reaction to Iran’s entry into the mediation line between Erdogan and Assad, which is a victory for Iranian diplomacy at this particular time, everyone is waiting for President Erdogan to take practical and quick moves to resolve the issue of rapprochement before he is exposed to any external pressure, and the situation east of the Euphrates will be one of the most important elements of these pressures, since the rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus will aim, first or second, at joint action against the Kurdish “SDF” and “People’s Protection Units”.

    This will be the biggest challenge for Erdogan and before Assad, especially if the Americans think about confronting Russian plans through Turkey, Syria, Iran, and perhaps Iraq as well. This may lead to a real and serious crisis in the relationship between Ankara and Washington, and it has enough reasons for such a crisis, as Turkey is a member of NATO which has many of its bases on its soil.

    Ultimately, the bet remains on the success of Russian diplomacy in persuading Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar (Erdogan’s ally) of the necessity of urgency in achieving the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement, and by completing it, Erdogan’s reconciliations with Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh will acquire practical importance from which everyone will benefit.

    And without it being clear how Tel Aviv will respond to these Russian moves, which Washington will obstruct by various means, and its biggest weapon for that is the Syrian Kurds with their extensions in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They are Tel Aviv’s weapon also until the Gulf regimes convince Netanyahu and his allies in the terrorist government that the war is no longer in their interest and that the Palestinian youth generation, after the events in Jenin and the heroic Al Quds (Jerusalem) operation, is not the generation that will surrender to the conspirators against it internally, regionally and internationally, as long as there are those who stand and will stand by its side among the honorable people of the nation, and everyone knows them and they are the true source of terror for the Zionist entity and its allies in the region!


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    Israel’s Mossad Tasks Spies in Lebanon to Burn Forests Hindering Drones Movement: Syrian Refugee Latest Culprit

     February 3, 2023

    The Lebanese army intelligence arrested a 20-year-old Syrian refugee (M.D.), who found a job in Southern Lebanon before another Syrian, living in Turkey, contacted him via Messenger.

    “Abu Omar” offered to give M.D. amounts of money in return for carrying out certain assigned tasks.

    M.D. managed to carry out a number of tasks, capturing videos that show certain positions and locations, but failed to burn a firm in southern Lebanon.

    Security reports mentioned that M.D. was arrested in the beginning of his spy journey, adding that his confessions indicated that he had not known the Zionist identity of “Abu Omar”.

    The Lebanese military intelligence concluded that the Israeli Mossad is ordering spies to burn forests that hinder the Zionist drones movement.

    Source: Al-Manar English Website

    Israel’s Mossad Tasks Spies in Lebanon to Burn Forests Hindering Drones Movement: Syrian Refugee Latest Culprit

    February 3, 2023


    The Lebanese army intelligence arrested a 20-year-old Syrian refugee (M.D.), who found a job in Southern Lebanon before another Syrian, living in Turkey, contacted him via Messenger.

    “Abu Omar” offered to give M.D. amounts of money in return for carrying out certain assigned tasks.

    M.D. managed to carry out a number of tasks, capturing videos that show certain positions and locations, but failed to burn a firm in southern Lebanon.

    Security reports mentioned that M.D. was arrested in the beginning of his spy journey, adding that his confessions indicated that he had not known the Zionist identity of “Abu Omar”.

    The Lebanese military intelligence concluded that the Israeli Mossad is ordering spies to burn forests that hinder the Zionist drones movement.

    Source: Al-Manar English Website

    Erdogan: Iran’s participation in Russia, Syria & Turkey talks possible

    31 Jan, 2023

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Any tripartite talks should be preceded with prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia, according to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (Archive)

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Monday the possibility of Iran’s participation in the tripartite talks between Russia, Syria, and Turkey.

      In a televised speech, Erdogan said that “It is possible for Iran to participate in the tripartite talks between Turkey, Syria, and Russia.”

      He added, “Our relations with Russia are based on mutual respect, and although we were unable to obtain the desired result regarding northern Syria, the tripartite talks could be held, and it is possible that Iran will take part in them.”

      Earlier this month, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said, “The meetings with the Turkish side must be based on prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia in order for them to be fruitful, and in order to reach the tangible goals and results that Syria wants from these meetings.”

      On December 28, the Russian Defense Ministry said that “trilateral talks between the defense ministers of Russia, Syria, and Turkey took place in Moscow. The meeting discussed ways to address the Syrian crisis, the issue of refugees, and joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria.” 

      At the conclusion of the meeting, the defense ministers highlighted how the dialogue was constructive, stressing the need for all three parties to hold further talks to bring more stability to Syria and the whole region, the statement added.

      Meanwhile, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Hakan Fidan, met Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk in Moscow, along with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

      “Ways of resolving the Syrian crisis and the problem of refugees as well as joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria have been discussed,” the Russian RIA Novosti news agency said, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

      “Syrian crisis, the refugee issue, and efforts of joint fight against all terror organizations on Syrian soil were discussed in the constructive meeting,” the Ministry’s statement added.

      Lebanon’s Middle Class Vanishes as Economy Collapses

      Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

      Jennifer Holleis

      Following years of political and economic crises, Lebanon’s population structure has changed, and not for the better. Experts believe that the structural inequality will only widen in future.

      Lebanon’s capital Beirut has turned into a city of contrasts. Expensive cars park before popular restaurants and bars, while people of all ages rummage through bins for something edible.

      “Also, more and more people are begging in the streets, mainly children but also elderly people,” Anna Fleischer, head of the German Heinrich Böll Foundation’s office in Beirut, told DW. While it is hard to tell the nationality, “it can be assumed that there are many Syrian refugees, but also Lebanese,” she added.

      Years of political instability in combination with an ongoing economic crisis — exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Port of Beirut blast in August 2020 —  have brought the country close to collapse.

      Lebanon ranks not only “among the most severe crises globally since the mid-19th century,” according to the World Bank, but it is also likely that “an unprecedented institutional vacuum will further delay any agreement on crisis resolution and critical reform ratification, deepening the woes of the Lebanese people,” the World Bank report says.

      Vanishing middle class, rising hunger

      Following years of massive economic contraction, in combination with a 95% devalution of its currency, the Lebanese middle class has practically vanished. In March 2020, the World Bank devalued Lebanon to a lower-middle income country.

      “A person that is earning 1,500,000 Lebanese pounds used to have an equivalent of $1,000 before the crisis, and now it is equivalent to less than $200,” Hussein Cheaito, a development economist at The Policy Initiative, a Beirut-based research center, told DW.

      In a recent publication on rising hunger and poverty in Lebanon by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Lena Simet stated that “millions of people in Lebanon have been pushed into poverty and have cut back on food.” The senior economic justice researcher at HRW pointed to worrying trends of food insecurity in the lowest bracket of earners.

      Similarly, a September report on food insecurity in the Middle East by the indepedent research network Arab Barometer found that nearly half of all citizens in Lebanon stated that they ran out of food before they had money to buy more.

      Extreme wealth inequality

      Meanwhile, there are no indications for change, and the tax system is not helping the overall situation in Lebanon.

      “The taxation system in Lebanon is highly regressive, which means that there is no wealth tax code, and corporate taxes are amongst the lowest in the world compared to all OECD averages,” Hussein Cheaito told DW.

      The beneficiaries of the taxation system are those of the “political class and their business connections, because this 1% owns more than 70% of the national income,” Cheaito said. This, in turn, leaves a very small percentage of wealth to the rest of the society,” he claims.

      Furthermore, those who earn their wages in Lebanese pounds, or receive support via charity organizations, suffer from another disadvantage. Banks only offer limited cash withdrawals in US dollars to those who have US dollars in their accounts.

      Some Lebanese took to the streets in August 2022 to denounce the depreciation of the Lebanese currency due to the country’s political and economic crisis.Image: Dario Sabaghi/DW

      Also, for the past 20 years, Lebanese banks have kept the pegged exchange rate of $1 to 1,500 Lebanese pounds. This, however, will be updated to $1 to 15,000 pounds on February 1. Even though this is 10 times more than before, it is still far from the actually used exchange rate on the black market. The current rate ist 50,000 pounds to the dollar.

      On the other hand, for those, who work for international companies or have other means of accessing dollars, life has become relatively cheap, which also explains the thriving cocktail bars and fully booked restaurants.

      Dollarization of the economy

      “The reality today is that one of the most important sources of income for families are remittances from family members who live abroad,” Lynn Zovighian, the co-founder and managing director of The Zovighian Partnership, a family-owned social investment platform that develops research-led socio-economic interventions, told DW.

      “The collapsed private sector, and expected contraction of the public sector, is driving rising unemployment numbers,” she said, adding that “Lebanon is also going through a de facto dollarization of its economy, but not by law or policy. This is happening with no price controls or penalties against financial abuse,” the Beirut-based Zovighian said.

      Meanwhile, talks between the Lebanese government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have led to a staff-level agreement for a program worth about $3 billion over the next 46 months. However, a financial recovery plan to protect the most vulnerable in society, was not included.

      “Three billion dollars will be barely enough to get the country back on its feet, given the size of the losses in the financial sector, which are at least $70 billion,” Chaeito said.

      Moreover, the IMF agreement highlighted that, given the weak state of the Lebanese government and the public sector, Lebanon should focus on state-owned enterprises and the privatization of social and public services, Chaeito told DW.

      Macro-economic stabilization

      “What are the guarantees that private companies won’t actually engage in price hikes and further inflation, which we’ve seen in Latin America? This could mean that only the ultra-rich will be able to access services,” the analyst said.

      He regards macroeconomic stabilization as the only solution to save the country from collapse and with it, the majority of the population.

      “I refer to the redistribution of losses in the financial sector, ensuring that we have a clear financial recovery plan that primarily protects the smallest of depositors and people who have a middle or low income,” Hussein Chaeito said, adding that “their wealth has to be recapitalized, without this it will be impossible to really see the income gap being reduced.”


      Sayyed Nasrallah: We Want a President Who Does Not Flutter with One US Blow! (Videos)

      January 19, 2023

      Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in a speech delivered on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

      Batoul Wehbe

      Confident and relaxed he seemed with intermittent jokes levelled sporadically, indulging audience and attendees at once. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech today (January 19, 2023), his third since the beginning of the new year.

      Marking 30th years on the establishment of the Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation, which had the lion’s share in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah tackled several local and regional issues.

      Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in a speech delivered on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

      His eminence began his speech by extending sincerest gratitude to “my esteemed brothers who have shouldered the responsibility of overseeing this center, as well as to all the brothers and sisters who have dedicated themselves to this center’s operation over the course of three decades,” believing that achievements were the result of ‘blessed collective efforts.’

      “Hezbollah has been concerned with the livelihood of its people for the past 30 years, despite its significant involvement in resistance and the various challenges that existed at the time. Hezbollah has, from its inception, and continues to maintain a steadfast commitment to basing its operations on a foundation of scientific and technical expertise,” Hezbollah’s leader said.

      “The Consultative Center has consistently served as the go-to resource for guidance and direction for our leadership, units, and diverse departments within Hezbollah. We have made it clear to our brothers that it is their duty to accurately represent our organization to the outside world, regardless of any challenges or unfavourable circumstances that may arise, rather than presenting a skewed or idealized version that may be more palatable,” he added.

      Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah said, the objective of this center is to provide insightful and constructive recommendations, perspectives, and alternatives that are grounded in the vast wealth of human and humanitarian experiences that have come before us. “It is essential that we tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise that exists within our community, by leveraging the intellectual and specialized capabilities of all individuals within it, in order to achieve our goals.”

      He went on to say that Hezbollah in its efforts to find solutions for development, advancement and problem-solving, always strives to explore the full range of possibilities within the resources and capabilities that are readily available to it.

      “The Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation serves as the vital link between us and the diverse pool of intellectual and visionary resources that we rely on to guide our actions. From the outset, our aim for this center was to establish it as an intellectually rigorous, analytical, evaluative, and visionary entity that is deeply engaged and attuned to the realities of the current situation on the ground,” Sayyed Nasrallah indicated.

      “As the leadership of Hezbollah evaluated the name of the center that was to be established as a public and inclusive entity, catering to all segments of society, We selected a more general name in order to ease work and communication. The outputs produced by the center were always heavily invested in and utilized by Hezbollah, its institutions, and its affiliated organizations.”

      “Who stands behind the Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc in many studies, discussions, and observations?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered, then he answered: It’s the Consultative Center.

      Economic Crisis in Lebanon Deepening

      Turning to the Lebanese set of crises, Sayyed Nasrallah said: No one argues that the economic situation is perplexing in Lebanon, this matter is not exceptional for Lebanon. Rather, there are many countries threatened with collapse

      “It is not permissible for us to despair, although there are attempts to spread hopelessness in the country, this is a perilous matter. It is not permissible to remain in a state of confusion, as was the case in the past years, and somewhere the competent authority must take the initiative to develop a vision to address the economic situation. On this basis, plans and programs can be drawn up based on a complete and elaborate vision.”

      “Corruption was rooted deep in the state long time ago, if each sect presented its best thoughts and expertise to assume administrative responsibilities in the state, we would not have reached this stage. One of the most important causes of the crisis is the misconception of the economic vision in the 1990s and some corrupt and deceitful economic policies. Our positions on them were clear in Parliament, the first of which was the debt policy,” Hezbollah’s S.G. affirmed.

      A more serious matter, Sayyed Nasrallah warned, was disrupting the production and making quick profits. “Thus, our economy has turned into a fragile one,” he said.

      “Also, among the reasons are sectarian quotas, absence of sustainable development, repercussions of internal wars, reconstruction, and displacement file,” he added.

      Lebanon under US Siege 

      Concerning the US blockade against Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said: It is unfortunate that some people suggest that the blockade on Lebanon is not in place, as it is not only implemented by placing a battleship off the Lebanese coast, but also through the actions and attitudes of the American administration towards the Lebanese authority. The blockade is implemented through a variety of means, including preventing external assistance, grants, and loans from reaching Lebanon, as well as blocking the Lebanese government from accepting donations and investments, and from addressing the issue of Syrian refugees.

      “Returning to the vision that has been adopted by misguided policies, particularly that the region is moving towards resolving the conflict with the Zionist entity, that led us to the status co nowadays.”

      Sayyed Nasrallah also delved into the fact that the economic situation is being employed as means to normalize ties with the Zionist entity. In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that whoever wants to put in place new economic policies must not build a vision at the expense of a settlement in the region, assuring that there is no two-state solution, especially in light of the new corrupt and terrorist government in ‘Israel’.

      “There is no settlement with Syria, too. What happened in Syria is one of the attempts to come up with a political regime that gives the Golan Heights to the Zionist entity.”

      He also insisted on working on an economy plan that provides food security and does not rely on foreign aid and assistance.

      “The situation in the region is heading towards more tension: No settlements, no peace, and all of this will be reflected in our region,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

      “One of the means for strength is the issue of oil and gas, as it is a huge wealth in the sea of Lebanon,” His eminence said, assuring that today, the European decision is decisive to dispense with Russian gas, as its priority is the Mediterranean wealth, because costs are lower. Therefore, he said, we have to search for companies to benefit from our national wealth.

      “We definitely have oil in our land, and our facts say that politics have forced it to stop, and the same is true in Palestine and Syria, as there is exploration and extraction of oil near our borders.”

      Abounding Strengths in Lebanon 

      Other than security with Sayyed Nasrallah enumerated as a strength to the country, he said that expatriates are also one of its main strengths, calling them “the most important financial source for the livelihood of the Lebanese.”

      “There are great hopes and points of strength. Lebanese are able to rise, they need the will, the right plan, and seriousness in action. Expatriates are exposed today to danger, harassment, and aggression by the USA through putting merchants and rich personalities on sanctions lists on unjust charges. This needs a follow-up by the state, which unfortunately ‘does nothing’,” he said.

      Ending up the part of economic blockade, Sayyed Nasrallah once again called on Lebanon to ‘look to the East’: “We must have the courage and willingness to sacrifice in the face of sanctions and in accepting donations, and we must have the audacity to say to the Chinese, “Go ahead.” Why are countries in the world allowed to invest with China while Lebanon is forbidden from doing so?”

      Referring to the refugees file, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “We need courage in dealing with the Syrian displaced file, and stop the racism accusations. This is a crisis from which all the Lebanese suffer, and we can find a decent solution for them.”

      Many people speculate that if Lebanon says it is outside the conflict with “Israel”, then everything will be resolved, his eminence noted. “I invite you to observe the situation in Egypt, the first country that made peace with the Israeli enemy,” he said, referring to the economic crisis that Egypt is suffering from despite its normalization of ties with the Zionist entity.

      “Egypt has the best relations with the US and Saudi Arabia, and it is with the International Monetary Fund. What situation is Egypt in?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered.

      It’s worth noting that Egypt’s external debt is expected to bypass $200 billion by early next year, an almost 400 percent increase since 2016.

      In a report issued yesterday, the Financial Times said that last year, Cairo was forced to go to the IMF for the fourth time in six years. Even before that $3bn loan was secured in October, Egypt was the fund’s second biggest debtor after Argentina.

      Strong, Independent President

      In this context, Hezbollah’s secretary general warned that the next six years are crucial for Lebanon. “If we continue in the same way, the country is on the verge of collapse.”

      To this level, Sayyed Nasrallah sarcastically said “We want a president who, if the Americans blow on him, wouldn’t flutter from the Baabda Palace to the Mediterranean,” hinting at a strong president who’s able to withstand US pressure.

      “We want a brave president who is ready for sacrifice and who is not concerned with the American threats,” he said in other words, pledging patience among people as though Lebanon needs a president with a certain calibre.

      Since President Michel Aoun left the Baabda Palace in October 30, 11 parliamentary sessions have been held to elect a new president, but none bore fruit due to lack of consensus.

      Source: Al-Manar English Website

      Related Videos

      A Moscow meeting shatters fantasies of a Syrian ‘confederation’

      January 11 2023


      Photo Credit: The Cradle

      Malek al-Khoury

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

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

      An undivided Syria

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

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

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

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

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

      A Russian-backed proposal

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

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

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

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

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

      Occupied areas of Syria, in 2023

      Co-opting the Kurds

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

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

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

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

      Opposition amnesty

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Reconciliation on Damascus’ terms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Steady progress

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

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

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

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

      «إدلب واللاجئون» مختبَراً أوّل للتقارب | دمشق – أنقرة: جارٍ تسليك الطريق

       الجمعة 30 كانون الأول 2022

      علاء حلبي

      تزامن اللقاء مع الجدل الدائر حالياً في مجلس الأمن حول قضية المساعدات الإنسانية (أ ف ب)

      أنبأ تطابق التعليقات الرسمية السورية والتركية على اللقاء الثلاثي الذي انعقد في موسكو على مستوى وزراء الدفاع ورؤساء الاستخبارات، فضلاً عن الأصداء الإيجابية التي حملتْها تلك التعليقات، بأن هذا اللقاء غير المسبوق منذ 11 عاماً، ستتبعه بالفعل خطوات عملية على الأرض، من شأنها أن تَدفع قُدُماً بمسار التقارب بين أنقرة ودمشق. خطواتٌ يُفترض لمسها خلال الفترة القليلة المقبلة في نطاق ملفَّين رئيسَين: أوّلهما إدلب وطريق حلب – اللاذقية، وثانيهما اللاجئون السوريون الذي يُنتظَر أن تتسارع خطوات إعادتهم إلى بلادهم. وفي خضمّ ذلك، تجد القوى الكردية نفسها أمام اختبار جديد، في ظلّ خشيتها من أن يأتي التطبيع السوري – التركي على حساب وجودها وسلطتها، وهو ما دفعها إلى إطلاق حملة استنكار للاجتماع الأخير، على رغم أنها واصلت، على مدار اللقاءات التي انعقدت بينها وبين الحكومة السورية خلال الأشهر الماضية، رفْض أيّ حلول وسطية، متمسّكة بتحالفها مع الأميركيين وتعويلها عليهم

      لعدّة ساعات أوّل من أمس، اجتمع وزير الدفاع السوري، العماد علي عباس، ونظيره التركي، خلوصي آكار، إلى جانب وزير الدفاع الروسي، سيرغي شويغو، بحضور رؤساء استخبارات البلدان الثلاثة، في لقاء هو الأوّل من نوعه بين مسؤولين رفيعي المستوى من سوريا وتركيا، منذ اندلاع الحرب السورية قبل أكثر من 11 عاماً. الاجتماع الذي جاء بعد بضعة أشهر من المباحثات الأمنية والوساطة الروسية المتواصلة، بالإضافة إلى جهود إيرانية بدت واضحة خلال قمّة دول «مسار أستانا» التي عُقدت في العاصمة الإيرانية طهران في شهر تموز الماضي، ركّز على مجموعة قضايا أبرزها المخاطر الأمنية ومسألة اللاجئين. وهاتان القضيّتان كانت قد شكّلتا محور لقاءات أمنية سابقة بين دمشق وأنقرة، في ظلّ رغبة العاصمتَين المشتركة في إخراج القوّات الأميركية من سوريا وإنهاء مشروع «الإدارة الذاتية» الكردية من جهة، وطيّ ملفّ اللاجئين السوريين من جهة أخرى، بهدف سحبه من أروقة السياسة، بعد أن تمّ استثماره لسنوات عدّة من قِبَل الدول الغربية.

      وخلال الشهرَين الماضيَين، أبدت تركيا رغبتها في استعجال خطوات الانفتاح على سوريا، بهدف قطف مكاسب هذا الانفتاح في الداخل، في وقت ربطت فيه دمشق التطبيع مع أنقرة بمجموعة خطوات يتعيّن على الأخيرة اتّخاذها، أبرزها وقف دعم الفصائل المسلّحة، وإخراج قوّاتها من الشمال السوري، بالإضافة إلى إنهاء تحكّمها بالمياه الواردة عبر نهر الفرات، والذي يؤدي إلى أزمات جفاف متلاحقة أضرّت بشكل كبير بالقطاع الزراعي السوري، ومنعت إيصال مياه الشرب إلى آلاف القرى. وفي وقت لم تَصدر فيه عن دمشق أيّ توضيحات حول فحوى اللقاء ونتائجه، باستثناء البيان المقتضب الذي أصدرته وزارة الدفاع السورية، والذي وصف الاجتماع بـ«الإيجابي»، ذكرت مصادر سورية أن تركيا تَقدّمت بضع خطوات على المسار الذي تريده سوريا، الأمر الذي سهّل عقْد هذا اللقاء، متوقّعةً ارتقاء الاجتماعات إلى المستوى السياسي في وقت لاحق، من دون تحديد وقت دقيق لذلك، في ظلّ الملفّات المعقّدة والمتشابكة التي تحيط بالعلاقات السورية – التركية، والتي ترجئ الحديث عن التسوية النهائية إلى ما بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية التركية.

      خلال الشهرَين الماضيَين، أبدت تركيا رغبتها في استعجال خطوات الانفتاح على سوريا

      اللافت في موعد عقد هذا اللقاء، أنه يأتي بالتزامن مع الجدل الدائر حالياً في مجلس الأمن حول قضية المساعدات الإنسانية، إذ ترغب أنقرة في ضمان استمرار تدفّق المساعدات خلال الشهور المقبلة لمنع حدوث اضطرابات في الشمال السوري، في وقت تصرّ فيه دمشق وموسكو على أن تفي الدول الغربية بتعهّداتها حول تقديم دعم ملموس لمشاريع التعافي المبكر، وخصوصاً منظومتَي المياه والطاقة الكهربائية، بما من شأنه أن يؤمّن أرضية مناسبة لإعادة اللاجئين. كذلك، يأتي الاجتماع بعد تعثّر الخطّة التركية لشنّ هجوم برّي جديد في الشمال السوري، بفعل رفض كلّ من موسكو وواشنطن إيّاه، ليبقى الحلّ الوحيد بالنسبة إلى أنقرة هو الانفتاح على دمشق وفق الخطّة الروسية، خصوصاً أن الولايات المتحدة لا تملك سوى تجديد طرح مشروعها لربْط المناطق الخارجة عن سيطرة الحكومة السورية (الإدارة الذاتية والشمال السوري)، الأمر الذي تَعتبره تركيا وصْفة لتجذير «الإدارة الذاتية» بدلاً من إنهائها.
      وعلى أيّ حال، ترى مصادر سورية مطّلعة، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، أن الأصداء الإيجابية الصادرة عن وزارتَي الدفاع السورية والتركية عقب اللقاء، تشي بوجود خطوات على الأرض يُفترض لمسها خلال الفترة القليلة المقبلة، وأُولاها تقديم دفعة حقيقية لحلحلة ملفّ إدلب وفتح طريق اللاذقية – حلب المغلَق من جهة، ومن جهة ثانية، تسريع وتيرة إعادة اللاجئين السوريين، ولا سيما أنه جرى تحديد معابر دائمة لإعادتهم، وافتتاح مراكز مصالحة خاصة بهم في إدلب. ويضع التوافق السوري – التركي، القوى الكردية، أمام اختبار وجودي جديد، في ظلّ إعلان الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، اتّباع آلية جديدة في محاربة تلك القوى، عبر استهداف بنيتها التحتية ومصادر تمويلها، في إشارة إلى قوافل النفط التي يجري تهريبها، ومراكز تكرير النفط البدائية، بالإضافة إلى مقرّاتها العسكرية. وفي الإطار نفسه، أعلن وزير الخارجية التركي، مولود جاويش أوغلو، أن ثمّة مساعيَ حثيثة لإيجاد مخرج سياسي عبر لقاءات سورية – سورية (بين الحكومة والمعارضة)، وفق مسارَين: الأوّل هو «مسار أستانة» بدعم روسي، والثاني هو مسار «اللجنة الدستورية» (المسار الأممي)، المجمَّد حالياً، علماً أن كليهما لا يضمّان أيّ تمثيل لـ«قسد». ويأتي ذلك في وقت تتابع فيه واشنطن، التي تحاول جاهدة إفشال المساعي الروسية للحلّ ومنْع الانفتاح السوري – التركي، التصعيد السياسي والميداني في سوريا، سواء عبر تقديم دفعات من الأسلحة المتطوّرة لـ«قسد»، أو عن طريق إنشاء «جيش رديف من مكوّنات عربية» في منطقتَي التنف في المثلث الحدودي مع العراق والأردن، والرقة على الحدود مع تركيا.

      مقالات ذات صلة

      مقالات ذات صلة

      Reconciliation: Turkey Has Not Made Any Serious Offer to Syria

      DECEMBER 23, 2022

      Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

      Erman Çete

      While Damascus is open to negotiations with Ankara, it is wary of being used as a Turkish pre-election political ploy.

      On 15 December, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his government planned to schedule a tripartite mechanism with Russia to work toward Syrian-Turkish rapprochement.

      Initially, he suggested the establishment of meetings between intelligence agencies, and defense and foreign ministries, to be followed by a meeting of the respective leaders. “I offered it to Mr Putin and he has a positive view on it,” the Turkish president was cited as saying.

      In the past few months, Erdogan has displayed an increasing interest in meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom he characterized as a “murderer” only a few short years ago.

      Diplomatic developments

      Early signs of rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus are already evident in multiple, ongoing meetings between their respective intelligence agencies.

      Somer Sultan, a Turkish journalist residing in Syria, told The Cradle that recently the level of talks between intelligence services has been raised.

      According to Sultan, one of the outcomes of these talks is the establishment of the 25th Special Mission Forces Division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – commonly known as the ‘Tiger Forces’ – on the Turkish-Syrian border in many areas evacuated by the US-backed Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

      It also appears that – at least for now – Russia and the US have blocked a new Turkish ground offensive in Syria against SDF/YPG Kurdish militias, which Erdogan has been threatening to launch for several months.

      Meeting of the US, SDF, and PUK

      Two days before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Antony Blinken met on 22 December, an interesting meeting was held in Syria.

      US General Matthew McFarlane, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader and the son of Jalal Talabani, Bafel Talabani, and SDF leader Mazloum Abdi participated in this meeting. During his visit to North Syria, Bafel Talabani also met with PYD co-leaders Asya Abdullah and Salih Muslim.

      It is important to note that Turkiye has recently threatened the PUK-held Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, and accused the PUK of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group viewed as a terrorist organization by both Washington and Ankara.

      So far, the US and Russia have managed to deter Turkiye from launching a ground incursion into Syria. However, a new Turkish security concept, “meeting and eliminating threats across borders,” continues in Iraq and Syria whereby PKK targets continue to be identified and eliminated.

      Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin quotes a senior Turkish security officer as saying that Ankara has warned the US to stop escorting PKK/YPG elements in Syria. According to this officer, Turkiye has advised the US forces to affix a UN or US flag on their cars to avoid any friendly fire.

      What does Turkiye offer?

      Relations with Syria, its related refugee conundrum, and generalized economic crisis are among the most heated topics in Turkiye’s domestic politics. Indeed, several Turkish opposition parties have attributed the refugee problem as a direct consequence of Erdogan’s misguided Syrian policy – a popular view in Turkiye today.

      Former Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Kamil Erozan, now a deputy of the opposition IYI (Good) Party, revealed to The Cradle that Turkiye has thus far not made any serious offer to the Syrian side.

      “What the government says in public is the threat of YPG/PKK,” Erozan said. “But we, IYI Party, think that this is not enough. Idlib is the hotbed of terrorism and AKP (Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party) has not touched upon this topic during the negotiations yet.”

      He believes that Erdogan does not have an exit strategy from Syria, and is biding his time on this issue until Turkiye’s next key elections in June 2023.

      Erozan says that the IYI Party, as a potential ruling party after the elections, will seek to make direct contact with the Syrian government. “We wrote a letter to our foreign ministry about our intention to visit Syria and waited for a response until December 15. They did not respond and now we will try to contact Bashar al-Assad on our own,” he said.

      If the Assad government accepts, Erozan said, then they are open for dialogue with Damascus even before the elections, at any time and in any place.

      “When we are in power, we are going to raise the dialogue level in our negotiations,” Erozan claimed. He said that the most important point is to solve the urgent Syrian refugee question, and then the difficult issues about the PKK/YPG and Idlib.

      When asked whether his party has a plan to withdraw Turkish troops from Syria, he said this could be negotiable. According to Erozan, the Erdogan government has itself not yet put the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Syria on the table.

      However, it is unclear whether the Syrian government would accept IYI’s offer — Somer Sultan thinks that the party’s offer would not satisfy Damascus “because IYI wants the Syrian government to accept an alliance against the PKK/YPG but for other terrorist organizations they want a ‘common approach.’ This is not acceptable for Syria.”

      The view from Syria

      A Syrian source with close ties to the government told The Cradle that in a closed meeting Assad assured his audience that he will not meet Erdogan prior to Turkiye’s elections.

      However, according to Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the Syrian president has also said that the level of dialogue between intelligence agencies will rise in the near future – which has, in fact, recently happened. Assad also said Syrians will continue to keep an eye open regarding the Turkish government’s intentions.

      Editor-in-Chief of the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan and a close Assad confidante, Waddah Abdrabbo, wrote an editorial in a similar tone: “No pro bono gift for Erdogan.”

      Abdrabbo said that the Syrians are waiting for a concrete step from Ankara. “Syrians want territorial integrity, end terrorism, and lifting sanctions,” he stressed.

      Despite Erdogan’s overtures and Assad’s willingness to expand dialogue with Ankara, Syria is cautious about her neighbor’s intentions and does not intend to play a hand in Erdogan’s electoral ambitions.

      Rapprochement scenarios

      For both Turkiye’s ruling AKP and its opposition, any possible Syrian-Turkish reconciliation process must include a settlement on the Syrian refugee problem. One of the ostensible reasons for all Turkish ground offensives into Syria after 2016 has been the safe repatriation of the Syrian refugees.

      However, Erozan is doubtful about Assad’s intentions: “He may not accept all refugees to his country.” When reminded that Syrian refugees in Lebanon had already started to return, he stated that Lebanon is a different case.

      IYI’s negotiation plans depend on Damascus’ signals. Last September, the party convened a “Migration Doctrine”conference and announced that through negotiations with the Syrian government and the participation of the EU, refugees will be able to return to Syria. If the plan does not go ahead, then Turkiye would take matters into its own hands and create a safe zone in Syria. It appears, on the surface, to be a carbon copy of Erdogan’s post-2016 policies.

      While it is inevitable that high level negotiations will eventually take place between Syria and Turkiye, Damascus’ primary condition will always remain the withdrawal of Turkish troops. If a future Turkish government can view this condition as negotiable, things can rapidly improve on the rapprochement front.

      For Syria, reclaiming territory from Turkiye, but also from the US-backed SDF, is of utmost importance. Securing Turkish cooperation against the SDF (and the US) would be a huge achievement for Damascus. However, the Syrian leadership evaluates the US presence in Syria as ephemeral. Therefore, cutting a deal with a powerful neighbor like Turkey is more important than to drive out American forces first.

      Second, although the SDF poses a mutual threat for both countries, Syria and Turkiye have starkly different views on Islamist groups. Regaining Idlib, the northern Syrian governorate which remains the last bastion of extremist militants, is not just a question of territorial integrity for Syria – it also illustrates continued Turkish support for armed Islamist militias. Therefore, Ankara severing ties with those takfiri-salafist groups could provide an important basis for high level negotiations.

      Whether the AKP or its opposition can provide this outcome is doubtful. Erdogan is not a reliable partner for Damascus for obvious reasons, but the opposition coalition also hosts some dubious figures, such as Erdogan’s former foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, a champion of the catastrophic Syrian war.

      For now, both countries choose to maintain their mutual talks at a certain level, and it seems unlikely that the Syrian question will be resolved until after the Turkish elections.

      National Unity Enables Lebanon to Frustrate US Siege Scheme: Hezbollah Deputy Chief

       November 9, 2022

      Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem

      Source: Al-Manar English Website

      Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem blamed the United States for preventing Lebanon from importing the Jordanian electric power, Egyptian gas and Iranian fuel.

      Addressing a mourning service in Beirut, Sheikh Qassem added that the national unity enables Lebanon to frustrate the US siege scheme.

      “Maritime border demarcation affirms that US may succumb.”

      His eminence also highlighted the US-EU involvement in obliging Lebanon to keep hosting the displaced Syrians and preventing the refugees themselves from returning to their country.

      In continuation of the US intervention and siege policy in Lebanon, Washington portrayed a pessimistic image of the upcoming period Lebanese destiny.

      Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, said the Lebanese will have to bear more pain before their country sees a new government.

      Al-Akhbar newspaper also mentioned on Wednesday that US officials told the Lebanese caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati  Washington rejected granting Beirut a sanction waiver in order to be able to import the Iranian fuel.

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      Lebanon Allows Hundreds of Syrian Refugees to Return Home


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

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

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

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

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


      Al-Zamrani border crossing with Lebanon in Damascus countryside

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

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

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

      Dabousiyah border crossing with Lebanon in Homs countryside:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      End of the transcript.

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

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

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

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

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

      Syrian refugees camp in Arsal Lebanon on Fire


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

      Aoun: Demarcation agreement will not lead to peace with ‘Israel’

      Friday 28 10 2022 

      Source: Al Mayadeen

      By Al Mayadeen English 

      Lebanese President Michel Aoun asserts that the maritime border deal was the outcome of national interests and stability and is in no way an indication of peace with “Israel”.

      Aoun: Oil and gas funds will be returned to the sovereign fund

        Lebanese President Michel Aoun told LBC broadcaster that Lebanon “demarcated the borders to avert war,” adding that “the maritime deal was the outcome of national interests and stability” and is in no way an indication of peace with “Israel”.

        He further added, “We claimed our right to demarcate and amplified it, and we consolidated it, thus giving hope to the Lebanese people.”

        “The demarcation will lay the ground for the extraction of gas and oil which will lift Lebanon out of debt, and this is my gift to the Lebanese before I leave.”

        Aoun noted that “there are no papers, signatures, or anything else in the process of signing the demarcation agreement that could indicate a peace agreement [was made].”
        The Lebanese President pointed out that “the money that will be generated from oil companies will be deposited in the Sovereign Fund for Oil and Gas Revenues.”

        Read more: Sayyed Nasrallah: No normalization in border demarcation deal

        There’s a good reason for Hezbollah’s arms to remain

        Commenting on his relations with Hezbollah, Aoun said the party’s Secretary-General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, “has two eyes, as we all do, but each of us sees things differently… when it comes to responsibilities, each of us is tasked with certain jobs.”

        Aoun added that “Hezbollah helped us quietly,” stressing that “there is a good reason for Hezbollah’s arms to remain, and those who question this are political opponents.”

        Commenting on the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gibran Bassil, Aoun said Bassil “has become the head of a bloc and I am not his guardian. Even if he makes mistakes, he is the one to assume consequences, not me. His powers are not mine,” noting that he had previously requested “a change of the governor of the Banque du Liban, but he did not receive approval.”

        On signing a decree accepting the government’s resignation

        Aoun also confirmed that he was on the verge of signing a decree accepting the government’s resignation, noting that “fighting corruption has brought him many enemies along the way.”

        On government matters, Aoun said, “The current government does not enjoy the confidence of the people and thus cannot rule,” adding that Prime Minister Najib Mikati “has no will to form a government and there must be unity in terms of the formation criteria.”

        “I will give a chance until the end of my term,” Aoun said.

        Aoun explained that “it is a big mistake not to determine the deadline for the prime minister in charge of forming the government to actually do the formation,” noting that “dialogue on the presidential issue will fail, but relevant consultations may actually lead somewhere.”

        Concerning the issue of Syrian refugees, Aoun pointed out that his country “demanded the voluntary return of the displaced Syrians, and Syria did not set any conditions for their return,” adding that “the international community wants Lebanon to be a ship guard to prevent displaced Syrians from traveling to their countries, while at the same time they stand in the way of their return home.”

        Read more: Return of displaced Syrians to be voluntary: Lebanese General Security

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        هناك كثير من الاعتبارات التي لا يمكن لدمشق أن تقفز عنها فضلاً عن رفضها التعامل على «القطعة» (أ ف ب)

        في المحصلة، قد يكون الإشكال البروتوكولي أعاق ترتيب زيارة الوفد اللبناني إلى سوريا غداً، وقد يكون هناك استعجال أو «مَوْنة» مارسها بعض اللبنانيين لترتيب تواصل بالطريقة التي أظهرت استخفافاً أدّى إلى احتجاج سوري تمثّل في الإعلان عن عدم وجود توافق مسبق على الموعد، وأن الأمر اقتصر على اتصال أولي بين الرئيسين ميشال عون وبشار الأسد للمباشرة في إجراءات ترسيم الحدود البحرية بين البلدين.

        وبمعزل عن كل التعليقات التي ستصدر من الجهات الرسمية في البلدين، أو من الجهات السياسية المؤيدة أو المعارضة لسوريا في لبنان، فإن أصل المشكلة يعود، مرة جديدة، إلى أن المسؤولين عن إدارة الدولة في لبنان لا يزالون يعيشون في الأعوام 2012 و2013 و2014، وكأنهم لم يدركوا بعد نتائج الحرب الكونية التي فرضت على سوريا، ولا يزالون يتجاهلون نتائج الأزمة التي أصابت لبنان بفعل ما حلّ بسوريا. والكارثة أنه إلى جانب استمرار المسؤولين اللبنانيين (ليس جميعهم) بالتواصل من خلف الستارة مع سوريا خشية الغضب الأميركي والأوروبي والخليجي، فإن هؤلاء لم يشعروا بأن الأمور تبدلت كثيراً، وأن مصلحة لبنان تقتضي إعادة الاعتبار إلى العلاقات الطبيعية، بل المميزة، مع سوريا نظراً إلى أهمية ذلك على المستويات كافة. وهو ما يؤكده التنسيق المطلوب بين البلدين في شأن ملفات النازحين والتهريب عبر الحدود والملفّات الأمنية والتبادل التجاري وتمرير الكهرباء والغاز من مصر والأردن ومصير اليد العاملة السورية في لبنان أو اليد المهنية التي تحتاجها سوريا، إضافة إلى أن في لبنان من ينسى أن عشرات الآلاف من السوريين هم أيضاً من ضحايا النظام المصرفي المجنون الذي أنهك لبنان برعاية حاكم مصرف لبنان، ويتجاهل أن هناك مودعين سوريين خسروا أموالهم التي استخدمت في إنعاش الاقتصاد اللبناني خلال عقدين على الأقل.

        الفكرة، ببساطة، هي أن في لبنان من لا يعي أنه لا يمكنه انتظار الإذن الأميركي أو الخليجي لينطلق في علاقات حقيقية، وأن ينبغي التوقف عن ألاعيب الإحراج أو التواصل في العتمة. وهذا يفترض إعادة النظر في آليات بديهية، منها اختيار من يمكنه إعادة وصل ما انقطع من تواصل ضروري على أكثر من صعيد. فكيف الحال، والملف المطروح اليوم يتعلق بعمليات تنقيب واستخراج للنفط والغاز من حقول مشتركة بين البلدين، وحيث هناك حاجة كبيرة إلى التنسيق في الأعمال من جهة والتسويق من جهة ثانية.

        فيما ظلّت الاستفاقة المُتأخرة على ملف ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع سورية عشية مغادرة الرئيس ميشال عون قصر بعبدا «لُغزاً»، دهمَ الردّ السوري المشهد السياسي ليلاً بعدَ الكشف عن إلغاء الحكومة السورية «الزيارة التي كانت مقررة (غداً) الأربعاء وأنها بعثت برسالة إلى وزارة الخارجية اللبنانية تقول فيها إن الوقت غير مناسب لمثل هذه الزيارة». هذا ما لم يدخُل في حسبان المعنيين الذين توهموا أن سوريا ستفتح الباب أمام انفتاح لبناني ظلّ محصوراً بقنوات غير رسمية وغير معلنة رغمَ القطيعة التي مارستها الحكومات انصياعاً للغرب وتحديداً للولايات المتحدة، فضلاً عن عدم قيام رئيس الجمهورية بأي خطوات لكسر هذه القطيعة. وربما غابَ عن حسابات الذين سارعوا أو «تسرّعوا» في «قطف» هذا الملف وتسجيله كإنجاز أن هناك الكثير من الظروف والاعتبارات التي لا يمكن لدمشق أن تقفِز عنها، فضلاً عن رفضها التعامل على «القطعة». كل هذه أمور وأسباب لم تذكرها الرسالة التي وصلت إلى بيروت، لكن لمن يعرف تفاصيل وأجواء العلاقة لم يكُن هذا الجواب مفاجئاً.

        الرواية الرسمية أو شبه الرسمية التي يتناقلها المعنيون بالملف تقول إن «نقصاً في التنسيق أدى إلى ما أدى إليه»، خصوصاً أن «نائب رئيس مجلس النواب الياس بو صعب لم يتواصل مع مسؤولين سوريين لتحديد موعد»، وأن «يوم الأربعاء حدّده الجانب اللبناني بشكل منفرد، وليسَ استناداً إلى الاتصال الذي أجراه الرئيس ميشال عون بالرئيس السوري بشار الأسد الذي كانَ عاماً ولم يتطرق إلى التفاصيل اللوجستية».
        الخلفيات «الحقيقية» التي تقاطعت حولها مصادر سورية وأخرى لبنانية قريبة من دمشق تؤكد التالي:
        أولاً، لم يكُن هناك اتفاق على موعد أو على اجتماعات، حتى أن الوفد اللبناني (يضمّ نائب رئيس مجلس النواب الياس بو صعب ووزيرَي الخارجية عبدالله بوحبيب والأشغال علي حمية والمدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عباس إبراهيم) لم يكن لديه أجندة أو جدول أعمال، بل كان ينتظر تحديد المواعيد بدقة، وليس صحيحاً أنه جرى تحديد يوم الأربعاء، فهذا الموعد كشف عنه الجانب اللبناني من دون اتفاق مسبق مع الجانب السوري وهو أمر غير مفهوم. إذ من المفترض أن يطلب لبنان الموعد وأن تقوم سورية بتحديد التاريخ.
        ثانياً، أن «الاتصال الذي جرى بين عون والأسد كان إيجابياً لكن الاتفاق على استكمال البحث كانَ عاماً».
        ثالثاً، استغربت دمشق كيف أن القرار بالحوار معها لم تتم مشاركته مع بقية المسؤولين، خصوصاً رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري ورئيس الحكومة نجيب ميقاتي، ويأخذ المسؤولون السوريون على ميقاتي أنه لم يحرك ساكناً تجاه أي تواصل مع سوريا، علماً أن مصادر مطلعة لمحت إلى أنه كانَ مرتاحاً لتأجيل الموعد.

        إلى ذلك، كشفت المصادر أن السوريين سبق أن أبلغوا لبنان أن الأعمال جارية من الجانب السوري وأن العقود مع الشركات الروسية قائمة وأن البحث لا يُمكن أن يتم على طريقة «الإحراج». فضلاً عن أن دمشق تتطلع إلى موقف لبناني مختلف حيال العلاقات الرسمية الملتبسة مع سوريا حيث لا تزال الحكومات اللبنانية تقوم بخطوات لإرضاء الغرب وتستمر بمقاطعة سوريا وتختصر العلاقات بالتنسيق الأمني غير المعلن وبالعلاقات العامة، حتى أن لبنان يهمل تسمية سفير جديد في دمشق بينما تعد سوريا لإرسال ديبلوماسي سوري مخضرم إلى بيروت مقابل إشاعات عن أن لبنان يتحضر لاختيار ديبلوماسي من الفئة الثالثة!

        تجاهل الدور الروسي في التنقيب والاستخراج استمرار لسياسة لبنانية معادية لموسكو

        وبينما يستهدف الحوار معالجة إشكالية التداخل بين البلوك رقم 1 من الجانب السوري (مقابل ساحل محافظة طرطوس) مع البلوكين اللبنانيين 1 و2 على مساحة بحرية تمتد ما بين 750 و1000 كيلومتر مربع، يجب أن يؤخذ في الاعتبار أن دمشق وقّعت في آذار 2011 عقداً مع شركة «كابيتال» الروسية للتنقيب عن النفط والغاز وإنتاجهما في البلوك رقم (1)، لذلك على لبنان أن يدرك أن التفاوض على الحدود، وكذلك على الحقول والأشغال يجب أن يتم بمشاركة الجانب الروسي الذي يوفر الحماية لكل الأعمال في تلك المنطقة.

        مقالات ذات صلة

        Peace with Syria: The final piece in Turkey’s foreign policy puzzle

        August 15 2022

        Ankara has managed to reset relations with several neighbors, yet normalization with Damascus has remained the most elusive, until recently. Why now? And what will it take?

        Photo Credit: The Cradle

        By Hasan Ünal

        The 5 August meeting in Sochi between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin has given rise to speculation in the west over Turkish-Russian rapprochement – and its possible negative impact on western efforts to curtail the imminent multipolar order.

        Western NATO states have reason to be concerned about Ankara’s recent moves, given the momentum created on 19 July during Astana talks in Tehran – between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Erdogan, and Putin – geared to resolve the Syrian crisis.

        United against the States

        What was striking about the meeting in the Iranian capital was its defiant tone, slamming US-led unipolarity (the so-called rules-based order), and accusing Washington of looting Syria’s resources and sponsoring terrorism, all while demanding that the US exits the region immediately.

        Washington has long sought to undermine the Astana Process, launched in January 2017 by Russia, Iran and Turkey to demilitarize the Syrian conflict and establish ceasefires. To that end, it manipulated Turkey’s ill-defined Syria policy, expecting that Ankara and Moscow would collide head-on over “opposition-controlled” Idlib or elsewhere, thereby hindering possible rapprochement between the two Eurasian states.

        However, it seems as if the Erdogan-Putin meeting has instead advanced beyond their earlier encounter on 29 September 2021, also held in Sochi, where it was then leaked that the two leaders had somewhat agreed on a broad geopolitical vision.

        The two leaders focused on a wide range of areas of close cooperation – particularly on trade and economy – but also on prospective fields of mutual benefit such as defense industry ventures, as well as on regional issues like Syria, Crimea, and Cyprus.

        Turkey’s shift on Syria

        Although few details have been released following that closed-door meeting, it is interesting to note the discernable change in Ankara’s stance on Syria since then.

        There is now serious talk of normalization with Damascus and a renewal of the Syrian-Turkish 1998 Adana Agreement, which will entail a joint effort to defeat US-sponsored Kurdish separatists in Syria, especially in the areas to the east of the Euphrates where the latter are striving to install a US-backed statelet.

        As things stand, there is no reason why Erdogan and Putin could not iron out a deal to end the Syrian conflict, especially since Ankara – in an 18-month flurry of diplomatic outreach to regional foes – has largely given up on its Muslim Brotherhood-oriented foreign policy by mending ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and even Israel.

        Today, Erdogan’s personal obstinacy over Syria remains the main hurdle obstructing an overall peace with Turkey’s war-stricken southern neighbor.

        Why make peace?

        The Turkish president certainly has a lot to gain from a well-orchestrated rapprochement with the Syrian government. For starters, Ankara and Damascus could agree on a protocol to repatriate millions of Turkish-based Syrian refugees back to their places of origin, and renew the Adana Agreement to create a common front against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliates.

        Conceivably, Erdogan could even ask Damascus to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – a very dear issue for Ankara – in return for Turkey’s full support for the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all its territories, including those areas currently under Turkish occupation.

        With strong Russian guidance, is not entirely inconceivable that the two states could return to a comfortable neighborly states quo, with trade, investment, and reconstruction activities leading the way.

        It would be a far cry from the 1998 to 2011 Syrian-Turkish ‘golden era,’ when Ankara studiously worked to bolster friendly relations with Damascus, to such an extent that joint-cabinet meetings were occasionally held between the administrations of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Erdogan, where the latter would refer to the former as “my brother.”

        Today, the emerging multipolar order makes diplomatic and economic re-engagement all the more conducive, because as NATO’s Madrid Summit demonstrated, the west needs Turkey more than ever, and Ankara’s moves to normalize relations with Damascus is less likely to incur a significant cost than before the Ukraine crisis erupted.

        Indeed, even before events in Europe unfolded, Turkey undertook several military operations against the PKK/ Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria, much to Washington’s dismay and outrage.

        Ankara could proceed with these operations with less censure today, but it has not. Turkey appears to have realized – possibly under Russian advisement – that without normalization with Damascus, Turkish military moves on Kurdish separatists would yield significantly fewer results.

        Problems closer to home

        Moreover, Erdogan’s administration has been beset by the contentious domestic issue of the millions of Syrian refugees who remain inside Turkey. The days when the president and his close associates were preaching Islamic solidarity in defense of hosting Syrian refugees have long past.

        The mood across Turkey has changed dramatically amid rising inflation, a collapse of the lira, and the general public’s disenchantment with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). For the first time since Erdogan’s ascension to power in 2003, the masses sense that his once-unbeatable, Islamist-leaning populist party may be defeated in upcoming presidential polls slated for May-June next year.

        True or not, there are public rumblings that the AKP – to escape an election loss – plans to bestow millions of Syrian refugees with Turkish citizenship, allowing them to vote in the pivotal polls.

        The disoriented outlook of Turkey’s main opposition party has always played to Erdogan’s advantage in previous elections. The feeble-looking Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who took the helm of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) after a sex scandal involving its previous leader, has never managed to rally the public around him.

        Importantly, Kılıçdaroğlu has typically trailed behind Erdogan in opinion polls because of his pro-American, pro-EU approach to almost everything – at a time when anti-US sentiment in the country polls at a startling 85 to 95 percent of the population.

        Repatriating refugees

        Furthermore, Kılıçdaroğlu and his party do not make any clear-cut pronouncements about a peace with Syria. If anything, the CHP was as critical of Assad as Erdogan’s AKP, and its spokespeople barely weighed in on the divisive Syrian refugee issue, even though economically-challenged Turkey currently hosts more refugees than any other country.

        The entry of a new figure – Ümit Özdağ, a professor of Political Science and International Relations, who recently formed the Party of Victory (Zafer Partisi) – onto the Turkish national political scene, has introduced a radical change in the discourse about Syrian refugees and their repatriation.

        Almost overnight, Özdağ has gained widespread support from voters across the political spectrum. His unexpected surge in the polls has clearly contributed to a reassessment by the government and ruling party on the Syrian issue.

        Ankara needs Damascus

        Today, almost all voices from the CHP to the AKP are floating arguments for some sort of repatriation, but as even the Turkish public understands, this cannot be done without normalization with Damascus.

        Hence, Erdogan’s test-balloon musings to Turkish journalists on his flight back from Sochi, hinting that Putin had repeatedly recommended that Ankara coordinate with Damascus on any military operation in Syria to rout out the PKK/SDF.

        Despite the positive national outlook on normalizing with Syria, Erdogan won’t have a smooth path ahead. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s untimely remark a few days ago that Ankara should try to bring the Syrian opposition (a clear reference to the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army) and the Assad government together with a view to striking a deal, didn’t go down well at all with those oppositionists.

        It almost led to an uprising in Syrian areas under Turkish control – particularly in Azaz, where militants burned down Turkish flags and vowed to fight to the bitter end against the “Assad regime” and even Turkey.

        Same old foreign policy

        The statement the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued following these events underlined the long hard slog to a Syrian peace settlement, and revealed the depth of the Erdogan government’s involvement with these militants.

        As it has predictably done since 2011, the FM statement conveniently shifted blame back onto the Syrian government for foot-dragging toward overall peace and reconciliation.

        But Ankara desperately needs to drop its tired old refrain: demanding that Damascus agrees to a new constitution, pushing for federalization of the state, and insisting on new Syrians elections, under a care-taker government, composed of opposition politicians, and preferably without Assad at its helm.

        Having failed to oust Assad militarily, Turkey once imagined it could unseat him through this convoluted political and electoral formula. Erdogan’s logic was that the millions of Syrians under Ankara’s influence – both in Turkey, as well as in Turkish-controlled Syrian territories – in addition Syrian Kurds in areas under the PKK/PYD, especially to the east of the Euphrates, would vote Assad out.

        Trading the ‘rebels’ for the Kurds

        This ‘fantasy’ contrasts sharply with realities on the Syrian ground, and also totally undermines Turkey’s own national interests.

        Years of these haphazard AKP policies, premised on the unrealistic scenario of a sudden collapse of Assad’s government, all while stealthily transforming the country into a jihadist paradise – in the name of democracy – has instead become Ankara’s biggest foreign policy quagmire, and has emboldened its separatist Kurdish foes as never before.

        Furthermore, Erdogan’s disastrous Syria policy has isolated Turkey for almost a decade in the region, even among Sunni states, and threatened to set off a conflagration with Russia, a major source of energy and tourism for the Turkish economy.

        In fairness, the Turkish leader appears to be making some sound political maneuvers of late, and reaching out to Damascus is the most important of these for the region’s stability. Whether Erdogan will crown his new grand foreign policy moves with a Syrian peace by normalizing relations with Damascus remains to be seen.

        If he doesn’t take this bold step, particularly in advance of Turkey’s presidential elections, Erdogan runs the risk of joining the long list of politicians determined to oust Assad, who have themselves left or been ousted from office under the weight of the so-called “Assad Curse.”

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


        Tehran Summit to accelerate political solution in Syria, fight terror

        19 Jul 2022

        Tehran tripartite summit to discuss northern Syria

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        The presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey will hold their summit in the Iranian capital, Tehran, stressing the importance of finding solutions in northern Syria.

        Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Russian Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a tripartite summit in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to discuss possible settlements in Syria.

        The Iranian president opened the tripartite summit with a speech, stressing that “the sanctions imposed on Syria contradict the sovereignty of countries, and Iran condemns these policies against the Syrian people.”

        Raisi pointed out that “Syria’s sovereignty, stability, and security are a red line, and the illegal US presence in the country is the reason for its instability,” saying that “the presence of the Syrian army on the borders is the guarantor of the country’s stability.”

        Furthermore, Raisi noted the role of the Israeli occupation practices in destabilizing global security, saying that “the practices of the Zionist entity lead to destabilization of global security, which will have repercussions on the entity itself.”

        Putin: Our goal is Syrian territorial integrity

        In his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that our goal is for Syria to be able to decide its future without outside interference.

        Putin added that “The joint work of Russia, Iran, and Turkey to promote a comprehensive resolution of the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is very effective. Thanks to the help and support of our countries, the level of violence in Syria has noticeably decreased, peaceful life is being revived, and the economy and the social sphere are gradually being restored. And no less importantly, a real political and diplomatic settlement process has been launched on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254.”

        Putin stressed, “the need to ensure that the international community plays a more important role towards the Syrian people, without political interests,” adding that “we will have specific steps for the Syrian political dialogue on the basis of our agreements in a way that Syria can decide its future without outside interference.”

        Erdogan: We need to accelerate political solution to the Syrian crisis

        For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed “the need to combat all terrorist organizations,” saying that his country is determined to do so.” 

        Erdogan added that “Turkey will continue to participate in meetings aimed at finding solutions to the crisis in Syria,” adding, “We must provide full support to accelerate the political and diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.”

        On the tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib, Erdogan said during his speech that “Turkey understands the clear concern of the presence of some parties in Idlib.”

        Regarding the Syrian refugees on Turkish territory, Erdogan expressed his confidence that “the Syrian people want a voluntary return to their lands,” pointing out that “it is unfair for the Turkish state only to bear the burdens of the displaced.”

        Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrived in the Iranian capital to participate in the “Astana talks” in Tehran and discuss ways of a Syrian settlement, in addition to several common agendas.

        Read more: Duma committee: Northern Syria Turkish operation hypothesis subsided

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        Source: Al Mayadeen Net

        Syrian refugees in Turkey: From opportunity to Achilles heel

        Even though Turkey’s massive refugee problem is a direct consequences of the AKP’s Syria policy, both the government and the opposition try to avoid its solution: ending the war in Syria.

        June 23 2022

        Photo Credit: The Cradle

        By Erman Çete

        In a recent TV interview, one of the most powerful political figures in Turkey, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, could barely restrain his anger.

        Turning to Umit Ozdag, president of the newly-established Zafer (Victory) Party, Solyu lashed out: “This man is lower than an animal…an intelligence agent…the son of Soros.”

        Ozdag is a former member of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), a party now staunchly allied to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

        A political science professor and a hardline Turkish nationalist, Ozdag reciprocated in kind, calling Soylu a “coward” for his lack of leadership at the Interior Ministry.

        Ozdag’s Zafer Party has been at the forefront of harsh criticism against Erdogan’s refugee policy within the Turkish political scene. His popularity has been growing recently, with his anti-refugee and anti-AKP policies galvanizing Turkey’s dispirited urban youth.

        The issue of refugees, now a critical one in the Turkish political landscape – alongside the country’s catastrophic economic decline – has become a focal point for upcoming elections.

        The geopolitics of displacement

        The AKP’s Syria policy is one of the main issues at stake. Their aggressive policies towards ‘former Ottoman regions’ have dramatically shifted traditional Turkish foreign policy away from Kemal Ataturk’s motto “peace at home, peace in the world.”

        Turkish academic Ozgur Balkilic writes about the AKP’s geopolitical interpretation of the refugee question in a broader context.

        He argues that Turkey’s various responses to the Syrian refugee crisis are the product of a geopolitical discourse based on Islamist ideology, highlighted by the AKP discourse on civilization, and the effort to build a completely different moral and political space for Turkey.

        “The geographical vision of Kemalism produced an ideological framework in which Turkey tried to integrate with the west and stay as far away from the east as possible,” Balkilic told The Cradle.

        By criticizing the ‘old Turkey’ as defensive, ineffective and obsessed with security, the AKP views Turkey’s new geopolitical orientation as “indispensable” in the new international system.

        “The AKP reads the Syrian refugee crisis as a repercussion of the larger political and moral crises of the international system, in which it demarcates a leadership role for Turkey. State discourse on the Syrian refugee crisis can only be understood within this geopolitical scenario,” Balkilic says.

        The AKP uses the legal framework in relation to refugees for its own agenda. While party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Turkey maintains the geographical limitation only to people originating from Europe.

        In reference to Syrian migrants and refugees, the AKP uses a religious definition of the word ‘guest’, not one clearly defined by official regulations.

        Balkilic points out that authority-led public debates about Syrians are not shaped around the classic immigrant problems such as integration issues, legal and economic rights, and the labor market.

        The language used by AKP officials is, instead, geopolitical. When Syrian immigrants are referred to as guests, they are viewed as part of the larger Islamic community, the Ummah, Balkilic stated.

        This concept does not exist in the universal literature of migration, and Turkey has, as a result, been freed from its many obligations and responsibilities toward refugees and/or immigrants.

        While Turkey uses a religious term to refer to Syrian refugees as guests of the nation, Turkey’s own role is expressed using another Islamic term –Ansar – which means hosting those in need.

        The refugee issue as a weapon

        Despite all this, the AKP’s policy towards Syria and the Syrian refugees has been forced to shift over time. First, its ‘regime change’ operation in Syria hit a brick wall. Second, the migration issue became a fault line in domestic politics.

        After 2016, Turkey initiated various military operations in Syria: Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Olive Branch, Operation Peace Spring, and Operation Spring Shield.

        One of the announced goals of these operations was the settlement of Syrian refugees inside so-called ‘safe zones.’

        Senior AKP executives have also often underlined the ‘cheap labor’ value of Syrian (and Afghan) refugees. Erhan Nalcaci, a Turkish professor and a columnist of the leftist daily Sol, believes the AKP sought to use refugees as “cheap labor and a large reserve army.”

        “This was a unique opportunity to reduce wages, ignore social rights and make commodities produced in Turkey advantageous in international competition,” Nalcaci says, adding that the Turkish bourgeoisie has an “unspoken annexation agenda for northern Cyprus and the north-west of Syria.”

        According to Nalcaci, Turkey considers these locations in Cyprus and Syria “areas of Turkish dominion.”

        Nalcaci argues that placing Syrian refugees within this agenda “appears to be aimed at changing the ethnic structure of northern Syria from west to east and establishing a sharia management model, as well as Turkish hegemony over a region that is economically and politically dependent on Turkey.”

        Some opposition politicians argue against hosting Afghan and Syrian refugees due to the possibility of AKP using them against their domestic political opponents.

        Nalcaci agrees with this claim, saying “refugees provided a suitable basis for building a rented jihadist army if they needed it, just like in northern Syria.”

        Turkey as a buffer zone for Europe

        A further aspect is Turkey’s role in EU refugee policy. In 2016, the EU and Turkey reached an agreement on refugees. This was a re-admission agreement and had three important aspects.

        Turkey would take any measure necessary to stop people travelling irregularly from Turkey to the Greek islands; anyone who arrived on the islands irregularly from Turkey could be returned to Greece; and for every Syrian returned from the islands, the EU would accept one Syrian refugee who had waited inside Turkey.

        In return, Turkey would receive six billion euros from the EU.

        Human right groups and the Turkish opposition have criticized this refugee agreement. In 2013, before the deal, Turkey had re-adjusted its Law on Foreigners and International Protection to the EU legislation.

        According to Nalcaci, due to imperialist interventions and poor economic situations in their home countries, people have been forced to turn to the west as a better option for living conditions, and this mass migration is a threat to western imperialism.

        Nalcaci claims that in the face of this migration, it is obvious that the EU used Turkey as a buffer country to attract qualified workforce and overlook refugees in Turkey, rather than in their own territory.

        However, the AKP ambition to create a dependent area in northern Syria may backfire. On one hand, Nalcaci says, Syrian refugees are valued by the AKP as an expansionist tool in the region. On the other hand, he says, it is impossible for the imperialist mind to not anticipate that up to 10 million refugees in Turkey would create instability and open an area of ​​intervention.

        An opposition smeared by the same brush

        The views of the main Turkish opposition barely differ from those of the AKP government in relation to the Syrian problem. A north Cyprus-type ‘solution’ to the Syrian crisis is also on the CHP (Republican People’s Party) agenda.

        The leader of the CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has often promised to send Syrian refugees back to Syria “with a flourish of trumpets.”

        The newcomer party of Zafer is also committed to the expulsion of the refugees. The party’s so-called Fortress Anadolu project claims to deal with eight million refugees in Turkey. Within this framework, Ozdag announced that a commission from Zafer was to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

        Neither the CHP nor the Zafer party responded to our questions.

        Nalcaci underlines the opposition’s stand on Syria and its refugees: “They do not include any substantive foreign policy changes in their program. Moreover, they have always supported AKP initiatives in the parliament, especially the resolutions to send soldiers.”

        The most anti-refugee politician Umit Ozdag and his party Zafer have not raised any objection to sending Turkish troops to Syria. When it comes to ‘national security,’ the opposition sings the same tune as the AKP.

        Although CHP voted against the last motion to send Turkish troops to Iraq and Syria, battling the ‘national security’ narrative is a difficult task.

        “The practice of establishing a hegemonic zone on Syrian territory will continue unless there is a great upheaval that overturns the situation,” Nalcaci asserts.

        It seems that things will have to change in order to remain the same.

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

        Erdogan’s Plan to Israelize Northern Syria with a Million Settlers on Track

        ARABI SOURI 

        Israelize northern Syria is the real plot: reports from Turkey claim that the Turkish madman Erdogan is planning to ‘return’ up to a million Syrian refugees to their country with the help of city councils in Azaz, Jarabulus, and Tal Abyad.

        One of the sites, the Saudi regime’s mouthpiece Al Arabiya reported: ‘Erdogan said on Tuesday that Ankara was aiming to encourage one million Syrian refugees to return to their country by building them housing and local infrastructure there.’

        Saudi Bin Salman’s propaganda outlet claimed that Turkey is home to more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees,’ adding ‘Erdogan is facing rising public anger over the refugees’ presence and is wary of the issue dominating next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.’

        From my knowledge of this creep flip-flop hypocrite mafia-business partner, and war criminal Erdogan, I believe he’s ‘returning’ the families of his followers, not the Syrians uprooted from those areas infested by the Turkish army and a collection of terrorist groups spanning from the so-called National Army to ISIS (ISIL) all of which follow the same offshoot sect of Islam that Erdogan managed to radicalize the Sufi sect of Turkey into.

        The Turkish madman Erdogan is replacing the people of northern Syria with terrorists and their families from other areas and from other countries from China to Latin America who joined the ranks of the ‘foreign legion’ he helped create.

        That foreign legion includes his beloved and loyal anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi terrorists including the Chinese Uighur, the Northern Africans, and others from the Central Asian stans of Turkic origins he collected.

        We have repeatedly reported that the Turkish neo-Ottoman sultan wannabe wants to Israelize a buffer region in northern Syria to separate secular Syria from the radical Muslim Brotherhood Turkey he and his AKP clan are ruling (see hereherehere, and in other places on our site,) we devised the term ‘Israelize‘ to describe these evil plans.

        On the other hand, the NATO-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists have been actively working on a similar agenda to Israelize the parts of northern Syria they occupy with the help of the Biden oil thieves regiment of the US Army, also with the help of Israel and all of NATO combined, even Russia had supported them in the past and is yet to declare a new position toward their war crimes against the Syrian people in the provinces of Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, and Aleppo.

        Make no mistake, the Saudis are hand-in-hand with the Turks, Qataris, US, Israelis, and the rest of NATO in the plot against Syria, any differences between them do not affect their joint efforts to destroy the Levantine country and slaughter its people, Syria, the last secular nation in the region and way beyond is an existential threat to entities like the temporary settlement dubbed Israel, the Al Saud fiefdom dubbed Saudi Arabia, the Arabia gas station dubbed Qatar (pronounced Gutter), and what Turkey has turned into under the rule of the UK empire-invented Muslim Brotherhood clan.

        If Erdogan manages to carry out his agenda, he will be planting the seeds of a never-ending civil war his masters in Tel Aviv and Washington have long sought for the region. There will be no rest in the places where people were forcibly uprooted from their land and their land was gifted by those who do not own it to other people who do not deserve it; more than a century of the Palestinian cause hasn’t taught these fanatics that the real owners of the land will not give away their rights to their land to imported settlers even if all of the world’s superpowers and super-rich countries with all their evilness work toward achieving such war crime.

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

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