Friday, 7 May 2021

International support for Palestine | The Communiqué with Richard Medhurst

 

We look back on 73 years of Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation and the international support for it or lack thereof for the Palestinian cause especially as violence from Zionist mobs unfolds against Palestinians in the heart of Palestine’s capital in the Holy City of Jerusalem.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Al-Quds day 2021 | Mideastream


Al Quds day is not a day to celebrate a city in occupied Palestine. It is the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan launched by the leader of the revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Al Khomeini to reiterate that the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the core of the Palestinian cause.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Ayatollah Khamenei: Balance tipped in Islam’s favor, Zionist enemy in decline

Friday, 07 May 2021 10:12 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 07 May 2021 10:58 AM ]1

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ayatollah Khamenei delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Leader.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has marked the International Quds Day, saying Israel is not a country but a terrorist base against the people of Palestine and other Muslim nations.

“Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations,” the Leader said on Friday.

“Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility,” Ayatollah Khamenei added. 

The Leader voiced confidence that the downward movement of the Zionist regime has already started and “it will never stop”.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively.

He said the policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism “have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.”

The following is the full text of Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his pure and immaculate household, upon his chosen companions and upon those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

Palestine is the most important issue for the Islamic Ummah

The issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.

The logic behind the establishment of the Zionist regime

Can one find a logic weaker and shakier than that of the establishment of the Zionist regime? On the basis of their claim, the Europeans oppressed the Jews during the Second World War, therefore they believe that the oppression against the Jews should be revenged by displacing a nation in West Asia and by committing a horrible massacre in that country!

This is the logic which western governments have relied on with their wholehearted and blind support for the Zionist regime, thereby disproving all their false claims about human rights and democracy. It has been 70 years now that they have been sticking with this laughable and at the same time tragic story and every now and then, they add a new chapter to it.

Fighting against the Zionist regime is a collective responsibility

Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility.

Weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah prepared the ground for the usurpation of Palestine

Another noteworthy point is that although that the usurping regime was established in 1948, the ground for occupying that sensitive Islamic region had been prepared years before that. Those specific years coincided with the active interference of westerners in Islamic countries with the purpose of establishing secularism and excessive and blind nationalism and also with the goal of installing despotic governments who were infatuated with or controlled by the West.

Studying those events in Iran, Turkey and Arab countries stretching from West Asia to North Africa reveals this bitter truth that weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah paved the way for the disastrous usurpation of Palestine, allowing the world of arrogance to deliver that blow to the Islamic Ummah.

Westerners and Easterners colluding with one another over the matter of usurping Palestine

It is instructive that at that time, the capitalism and communism camps colluded with the rich Zionists. It was the English who masterminded the plot and who persisted in it and then, Zionist capitalists executed it with their money and weapons. The Soviet Union too was one of the first governments that officially recognized the establishment of that illegitimate regime and later on dispatched a large number of Jews to that area.

The usurping regime was actually an outcome of that situation in the world of Islam on the one hand, and of a European plot, invasion and transgression, on the other.

In the present time, the balance has been tipped in favor of the world of Islam

Today, the situation in the world is not like those days. We should keep this reality within sight. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the world of Islam. Various political and social incidents in Europe and in the United States have laid bare the weaknesses and the deep structural, managerial and moral conflicts among westerners. The electoral events in the US and the notoriously scandalous failures of the hubristic and arrogant managers in that country, the unsuccessful one-year fight against the pandemic in the US and Europe and the embarrassing incidents that ensued, and also the recent political and social instabilities in the most important European countries are all signs of the downward movement of the western camp.

On the other hand, the growth of the Resistance forces in the most sensitive Islamic regions, the development of their defensive and offensive capabilities, their growth of self-awareness, motivation and hope in Muslim nations, the increasing tendency to follow Islamic and Quranic slogans and the growth of independence and self-reliance in nations are auspicious signs of a better future.

The necessity for Muslim countries to cooperate with one another on the pivot of Palestine and Quds

In this auspicious future, cooperation between Muslim countries should be a main and fundamental goal and this does not seem unlikely. The pivot around which this cooperation turns is the issue of Palestine–the entirety of that country–and the fate of Holy Quds. This is the same truth that guided the enlightened heart of the great Imam Khomeini (may God bestow mercy upon him) towards the announcement of International Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Cooperation between Muslims around the pivot of Holy Quds is an absolute nightmare for the Zionists and for their American and European advocates. The failed project called “The Deal of the Century” and the effort to normalize the relations between a few weak Arab governments and the Zionist regime were desperate attempts to run away from that nightmare.

I tell you with confidence: These attempts will not get them anywhere. The downward movement of the Zionist enemy has started and it will not stop moving downward.

The decisive factors in the future: The continued activities of the Resistance in the occupied lands and Muslims’ support for the Palestinian mujahids

There are two determining factors in the future: First and foremost is the continued activities of resistance in the Palestinian lands and the strengthening of the line of jihad and martyrdom and second, global support, on the part of governments and Muslim nations throughout the world, for the Palestinian mujahids.

All of us–government officials, intellectuals, religious scholars, political parties and groups, the brave youths and people of various social backgrounds–should determine our position in this public movement and play our part.

This is what nullifies the enemy’s plots and it will be a millennial manifestation of this ayah: “Or do they intend a plot? But those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a plot” [The Holy Quran, 52: 42], and “And Allah has full power and control over His affairs, but most among mankind do not know” [The Holy Quran, 12: 21].

I also wish to address the Arab youth in their own language…

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon all liberated individuals in the Arab world, in particular Arab youth, and greetings be upon the resistant people of Palestine and Quds and the defenders in Masjid al-Aqsa.

Greetings be upon the martyrs of Resistance and the large number of the mujahids who laid down their lives on this path, in particular martyr Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, martyr Sayyid Abbas Musawi, martyr Fathi Shaqaqi, martyr Imad Moughniyah, martyr Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, martyr Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis and finally, the most prominent personality among the martyrs of Resistance, martyr Qassem Soleimani. Even after their fruitful and blessed life, with their martyrdom, each of these personalities exerted a deep impact on the Resistance.

The endeavors of Palestinians and the pure blood of the Resistance martyrs have managed to hold up this auspicious flag and to increase the internal power of Palestinian jihad by a hundred times. One day, the Palestinian youth used to defend themselves by throwing stones, but today, they respond to enemy attacks with precision missiles.

Palestine and Quds has been described in the Holy Quran as the “Holy Land”. It has been tens of years now that the most impure and malicious human beings have been occupying this pure land: they are devils who massacre honorable human beings and then they confess to it with complete shamelessness. They are racists who have been harassing, for more than 70 years, the main owners of the land by murdering, looting, imprisoning and torturing them, but, thank God, they have not been able to break their willpower.

Palestine is alive and it continues to resist and it will finally overcome the malicious enemy with God’s assistance. Holy Quds and the entire Palestine belongs to those people [the Palestinians] and they will regain its possession again: “Nor is that for Allah any great matter.” [The Holy Quran, 14:20].

All Muslim governments and nations are responsible towards Palestine, but the Palestinians themselves are the pivot of the jihad and their population reaches about 14 million people inside and outside the land. The unity and the unanimous willpower of those people will work wonders.

Today, unity is the biggest weapon for the Palestinians

The enemies of Palestinian unity are the Zionist regime, the US and some other political powers, but if unity is not shattered from inside the Palestinian society itself, the extrinsic enemies will not be able to do anything.

The pivot of this unity should be national jihad and lack of trust in the enemies. The main enemies of the Palestinians-the US, England and vicious Zionists-should not be used as a source of support for Palestinian politics.

All Palestinians–including the Palestinians in Gaza, in Quds, in the West Bank, in 1948 lands and even the ones living in refugee camps–form a single unit and they should adopt the strategy of coalescence. Every part should defend another part and when under pressure, they should utilize the tools at their disposal.

Today, hope of achieving victory is stronger than ever. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the Palestinians. The Zionist enemy has become weaker year after year while its army, which used to describe itself as “the army which will never be defeated”, has turned into “an army which will never taste victory” after its debacle in the 33-day war in Lebanon and its experiences in 22-day and 8-day wars. As for its political condition, it has been forced to hold four elections in the space of two years. In terms of security as well, it continuously tastes defeat. Moreover, the increasing desire among Jews to emigrate from that country has become a source of embarrassment for that overconfident regime. Its serious endeavor to normalize relations with a few Arab countries, with the assistance of the US, is another sign of the decline of that regime. Of course, this will not help that regime in any way either. Tens of years ago, it established relations with Egypt, but since then, it has become much weaker and much more vulnerable. Therefore, will the normalization of relations with a few weak and small countries be able to help that regime? Of course, those countries will not benefit from the relations either, as the Zionist regime will transgress against their properties and their land and it will promote corruption and insecurity in their countries.

Of course, these truths should not make others forget about their heavy duty. Muslim and Christian ulama should announce the act of normalization as haraam from a religious perspective and intellectuals and liberated individuals should explain to everyone the results of this treachery, which is a stab in the back of Palestine.

Contrary to the downward movement of the regime, an increase in the capabilities of the camp of Resistance is a sign of a bright future: An increase in defensive and military power, self-sufficiency in building effective weapons, the self-confidence of mujahids, the increasing awareness of youth, the extension of the Resistance circle to the entire country of Palestine and beyond, the recent uprising of youth in defending Masjid al-Aqsa and the simultaneous promotion of the Palestinian nation’s spirit of jihad and innocence among public opinion in many parts of the world.

The logic behind the Palestinian cause, which has been registered in the United Nations documents, is a progressive and attractive logic. Palestinian warriors can bring up the idea of holding a referendum with the participation of the main inhabitants of Palestine. The referendum will determine the political system of the country and the main inhabitants, including the displaced Palestinians, no matter what their ethnicity and religion are, will participate in it. That political system will bring back the displaced [Palestinians] and will determine the fate of the foreigners inhabiting there.

This demand is based on the common democracy accepted in the whole world and no one can question its progressiveness.

The Palestinian fighters should continue their legitimate and moral fight against the usurping regime until it is forced to give in to this demand.

Move forward in the Name of God and know that: “Allah will certainly aid those who aid His cause” [The Holy Quran, 22: 40].

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy


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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Russian Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean — snapshot of activity

 May 06, 2021

A snapshot of the Russian Navy escorting Iranian shipping from the Suez Canal to Syria.

By Nat South for the Saker Blog

Back in April there was uncorroborated information circulated on social media, announcing that Russia was to protect the Iranian ships — in particular the tankers carrying vital oil supplies to Syria.  Yet, it wasn’t readily known whether this would be a regular mission for the Russian Navy.   For a while now, tankers and cargo ships heading to Syria would go “dark” on AIS after transiting the Suez Canal. Hardly any Russian warship regularly uses AIS, so any information on escorts is sketchy to say the least.

The following article provides some details on an escort carried out by the Russian Nav back in October 2020.  Very little information is available on other escorts undertaken since then, until now. This is how the escort was framed by the UK tabloid newspaper, the Daily Express: with its lurid far-fetched clickbait headline,  — WW3 stuff, hardly.

A picture containing text, indoor, screenshot Description automatically generated

The reality is more mundane, with all likelihood elements of NATO SNMG2 keeping tabs on both the Russian Navy in the region and also Iranian shipping, but it is Israel that has more at stake in this matter, (more on this later).  The UK sent a patrol ship to the region recently as part of the NATO ‘Operation Sea Guardian’.  HMS Trent was last in Cyprus after having been off the coast of Port Said and also the Levant coast too. Add this, NATO SNMG2 ships were in the Syrian channel (between Cyprus and the Levant).

The Russian Navy had dropped a hint about escorting merchant ships back in October 2020, about ensuring “smooth passage of civilian ships.” The timing fits in with the article previously mentioned above.  In fact, the VMF carried out an exercise off Tartus “to monitor the situation at depth and on the surface, and to create a safe area for the passage of merchant ships.”  Certainly, it suggests that Russia was aware of ships being targeted by Israel back even.

Fast forward 6 months, the WSJ ran an article in March 2021, alleging a dozen of Israeli attacks on merchant shipping, (which I wrote an article about).

On 17 April Arabic Sputnik reported that a “tripartite joint operations room” would be established in the Mediterranean to ensure the safe arrival in Syria of oil and flour shipments as well as other goods to the Syrian ports.  This news came on the back of recent incidents with Iranian ships.  Several days later, there was a reported attack on an Iranian tanker moored off Baniyas.  Claims were made by officials that it was attacked by a drone, causing a large fire in which a Russian helicopter had to drop water to extinguish the fire.

This would have ruffled a few military feathers in Russia and Damascus, given the proximity to the Russian naval base at Tartus.  What with the deployment of air defense ashore and the deployment of the designated anti-saboteur ‘Grachanok’ class and the fast Raptor boats for port protection.  Even more, the Russian Navy has conducted exercises repelling an attack by saboteurs, (undersea and afloat), hinting at concern over covert operations. Similarly, the naval exercise in October 2020 was also about responding to a potential threat of SOF “group of swimmers” that could have been deployed from a submarine.

The Baniyas’ attack’ took place after another Iranian cargo ship off Yemen, the ‘Saviz’, was reportedly attacked by Israel in the Red Sea on 6 April. The ‘Saviz’ has been stationed in the southern Red Sea for several years and is reported to be an Iranian intelligence ship.  Reports of an Israeli submarine operating in the Red Sea were noted on social media and also featured in an article by H.I. Sutton.

Israel had once more stepped up its tit-for-tat attacks against Iran.

Snapshot of an escort

Image 1 Ivan Antonov. Source: author

Image 1 Ivan Antonov. Source: author

A Russian ship was seen on AIS, about 25nm to the north of Port Said in the evening of the 4th of May, waiting.

AIS screenshot: Source: vessel finder.com

AIS screenshot: Source: vessel finder.com

At the same time, a 231 m long Aframax Iranian tanker, ‘Sirvan Sabou’ was leaving the Suez Canal, entering the Mediterranean.

AIS screenshot

AIS screenshot

The AIS specifications matches to the  ‘Ivan Antonov’,  a Black Sea Fleet minesweeper forward deployed as part of the permanent naval squadron in the Mediterranean is based in Tartus, Syria.  Marine Traffic clearly shows the naval ship:

AIS screenshot: Marine Traffic

AIS screenshot: Marine Traffic

Interesting to note that it is a minesweeper that is providing an escort, but I doubt it is on its own though.  Until recently, the Russian Navy had a Project 22160 class large patrol ship ‘Dmitry Rogachev’ but it returned to the Black Sea at the beginning of April. There is the ‘Admiral Grigorovich’ frigate and also a Buyan-M missile ship part of the squadron.

[NB: HMS Trent which had been visible on AIS until its Cyprus port call has gone AIS dark since then].

Russian Navy escorts will help in circumventing the repugnant US and EU sanctions, since Syria is reliant on Iranian oil and wheat imports, thus effectively breaking the sanctions siege.   This is largely due to the fact the majority of Syria’s oil and gas resources as well the traditional breadbasket is located in the northeast, the area being under US-backed Kurdish control and out of reach of Damascus. To note that the US not only guards the oil infrastructure but also facilities the transfer of oil and wheat out of Syria via Iraq.

Middle East media reported that a convoy of three Iranian vessels has already arrived at Syria’s Baniyas under Russian naval escort in late April.  This was particularly noteworthy as the Suez Canal was temporarily blocked by the mega containership “Ever Given’, which caused a backlog of shipping, including much-needed oil imports for Syria. The Suez Canal blockage only serves to highlight even more the vulnerability and severe shortage of Syrian imports, and it stands to reason why the Russian Navy is escorting ships, to allow “smooth passage of civilian ships”.

According to social media information, Israeli defense sources claiming that the Russian Navy is also helping with the smuggling of weapons to Syria.  Israel has for a long time been monitoring and carrying out airstrikes to deny Syria armaments, that have been either flown in or transferred by land from Iraq.  Now it seems according to Israeli experts that there is a shift to the transportation on ships. Consequently, Israel is apparently vexed about this recent arrangement because targeting a ship under Russian Navy escort would incur hefty risks.  (Not that I see Israel unable to find another way or location to hamper such voyages, as hinted by the attack on the ‘Saviz’ in the Red Sea, or indeed infrastructure on land). Russian Navy presence in the Red Sea is limited to an intelligence (AGI) and a floating maintenance ship, (both called into Port Sudan recently), not something likely to undertake an escort role.

I think that there is a lot more behind the scenes to this, escorting Iranian ships is just one facet, barely visible, given the complicated and overall geopolitical context.  Although, it has become clear that a line has been drawn in not accepting the US and EU sanctions or Israeli actions in the Mediterranean.

The Russian naval escorts are another spanner thrown into the works by Russia as far the US and its allies in enforcing sanctions intended to deprive the Syrian state of a vital lifeline for the population.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

بين سورية واليمن قراءة أوروبيّة Between Syria and Yemen, a European reading

* Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation *

بين سورية واليمن قراءة أوروبيّة

 ناصر قنديل

لا ينتبه بعض المحللين للمعاني العميقة التي أفرزتها كلٌّ من الحربين الكبيرتين اللتين هزتا المنطقة، الحرب على سورية والحرب على اليمن، والنتائج المتعاكسة لكل منهما، خصوصاً أن بعض المسؤولين الأوروبيين السابقين الذين شاركوا في مرافقة سنوات من الحربين، يكشفون خلال مداخلاتهم في ورشات عمل تعقدها مراكز لدراسات الأمن والاستراتيجية، عن أن حرب اليمن كانت محاولة لاستنساخ عكسي للحرب على سورية بالاستثمار على مصادر القوة التي اعتقد السعوديون أنها عوامل تأثير حاسمة في مسار الحرب على سورية، التي كانت في مرحلة التوازن السلبي عندما انطلقت الحرب على اليمن، في ظل قراءة سعودية أميركية اوروبية تقول إن الجماعات المناوئة للدولة السورية تستمدّ قوتها من وجود حدود سورية مفتوحة على دول داعمة تؤمن لها الظهير والسند والتمويل والتسليح وجلب الآلاف من المسلحين، وبالمقابل فإن الدولة السورية تستمدّ قوتها من كونها تمثل الشرعية الدستورية المعترف بها دولياً، والتي تقوم بإدارة المؤسسات الأمنية والمالية والخدميّة، فجاءت الحرب على اليمن تستثمر على حصار كامل يقطع حتى الهواء عن أنصار الله براً وبحراً وجواً، وبالتوازي الاستثمار على عنوان الشرعيّة الدستورية اليمنية كغطاء لخوض الحرب ومحاولة تفعيل مؤسسات هذه الشرعية عسكرياً وأمنياً ومالياً وخدميّاً، لامتلاك موقع متفوّق في القدرة على حسم الحرب، التي توقعت الدراسات أنها ستحسم خلال أسابيع أو شهور، لهذين الاعتبارين.

تقول القراءة الأوروبيّة الأشدّ تعمقاً في قراءة سرديّة عن الحربين أن عام 2015 الذي كان مفصلياً فيهما، كعام لتوازن سلبيّ في سورية ولبدء الحرب على اليمن، شكل نقطة انطلاق لمسارين متعاكسين في الحربين، ففي سورية بدأت الانتصارات تظهر لصالح الدولة السورية، ثم تتدحرج على مساحة الجغرافيا السورية، بينما بدأت التعقيدات تكبر بوجه ما يفترض أنها الدولة اليمنيّة المدعومة سعودياً ومن خلفها حلف دولي إقليميّ كبير، وجد فيها فرصة لحرب بالوكالة على إيران في مرحلة وصفت بمرحلة الضغوط القصوى على إيران، وفي ظل إدارة أميركية برئاسة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب وفرت لهذه الحرب كل أسباب الفوز، ويقارن المسؤولون الأوروبيون السابقون الذين رافقوا من مواقع مسؤولياتهم مراحل هامة من الحربين، أن حجم الدعم الذي حصلت عليه الدولة السورية من روسيا وإيران وحزب الله، أقل بكثير من حجم المشاركة السعودية والغربية في الحرب التي اتخذت من عنوان دعم الدولة اليمنيّة شعاراً لها، سواء بحجم قوة النار أو حجم الأموال أو عديد المقاتلين، بينما حجم الدعم الذي حازته الجماعات المناوئة للدولة السورية عبر الحدود مالاً وسلاحاً وعديداً، بما في ذلك التحدي الذي مثله ظهور تنظيم داعش، يمثل أضعافاً مضاعفة لما وصل لأنصار الله في ظل حصار تمكّن من إغلاق محكم للمنافذ البرية والبحرية والجوية، ولا يمكن بالتالي قراءة النتيجتين المتعاكستين للحربين إلا بقراءة الفوارق بين “الدولتين” و”المعارضتين”.

يقول المسؤولون الأوروبيون السابقون في ورش عمل شاركوا فيها حديثاً، إن على الضفتين الافتراضيتين في التسمية لمفردة الدولة والمعارضة هنا وهناك تكمن كلمة السر، فعلى ضفة الدولة نرى في سورية رئيساً لم يغادر بلده ومكتبه في قلب الساعات الأشدّ خطراً في الحرب فيما كانت القذائف تتساقط قرب القصر الجمهوري، وجيشاً متماسكاً يقاتل بروح استشهاديّة، وشرائح واسعة من الشعب السوري تعتبر الحرب حربها بكل يقين وإيمان، وتتحمّل الحصار والضغوط والتضحيات، بينما على الضفة اليمنيّة رئيساً ووزراء وقادة وصولاً الى مستوى معاون الوزير وما دون من مستشارين ومعاونين يتوزّعون بين الرياض والقاهرة وعمان، يعيشون في فنادق خمسة نجوم، ويشمل ذلك كبار المسؤولين العسكريين، بينما يقع عبء القتال على الجيش السعوديّ والجيش الإماراتيّ، والجيوش التي ساندتهما كالجيش السودانيّ، أما على ضفة المعارضة فنرى قائداً وشعباً ومقاتلين يشكلون في اليمن وحدة متكاملة لم تغادر معاقلها رغم ضراوة النيران وشدة الحصار، تملك اليقين بنصرها، وتقدّم التضحيات بلا حساب من قادتها، وبالمقابل نرى في سورية قادة يقيمون في فنادق خمسة نجوم في باريس واسطمبول والقاهرة والرياض ودبي، يتنعّمون بالمال المفترض أنه مخصص لدعم معاركهم، وقد تحوّل مَن يفترض انهم ثوار الى مرتزقة ينتقلون من بلد الى بلد لحساب دول أخرى، فيما يستندون في معاركهم التي يسوّقونها في الإعلام على جماعات مصنفة إرهابية أمسكت الأرض التي يزعمون أنها مناطق سيطرتهم، قتلت وذبحت الشعب الذي زعموا أنهم حماته.

يخلص المسؤولون الأوروبيون السابقون في مقاربتهم الى القول إن المقارنة تكفي للاستنتاج أن الأرض لمن يحميها ويضحّي لأجلها، وأن الصادقين في إيمانهم بما يدافعون عنه تظهرهم الحروب، حيث خطر الموت داهم، ولا مكان أمامه للاستعراض والغش، فكما النار تكشف المعادن، تكشف الحروب معادن القادة وصدق قضاياهم، ولذلك يبدو بديهياً أن يكون النصر في اليمن للسيد عبد الملك الحوثي، وأن يكون النصر في سورية للرئيس بشار الأسد، لأن القضية باتت واضحة ليست قضية دولة ومعارضة، بل قضية الصدق والتضحية.


Between Syria and Yemen, a European reading

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Nasser Kandil


Some analysts do not pay attention to the deep meanings produced by each of the two great wars that shook the region, the war on Syria and the war on Yemen, and the opposite results of each of them, armed, especially since some former European officials who followed the years of the two wars, revealed in the workshops of centers for security and strategic studies, that the Yemen war was an attempt to reverse the war on Syria by investing in the sources of power that the Saudis believed were decisive influencing factors in the course of the war on Syria, which was in the phase of negative power balance when the war on Yemen began. The Saudi, American, European reading that the groups opposed to the Syrian state derive their strength from the presence of Syrian borders open to supportive countries that secure the back, support, financing, arming, and bringing in thousands of militants, on the other hand, the Syrian state represents the internationally recognized constitutional legitimacy that manages the security, financial and service institutions. As for the war on Yemen, it has wagered on a complete land, sea and air blockade, and investing in the title of Yemeni constitutional legitimacy as a cover for waging war and activating military, security, financial, institutions to have a superior position and ability to resolve the war, within weeks or months.

While the complications began to increase in the face of what is supposed to be the Yemeni state supported by Saudi Arabia and behind it a large international regional alliance, there was an opportunity for a proxy war on Iran in a stage described as the stage of maximum pressure on Iran, and under an American administration headed by former President Donald Trump, it provided for this war all Reasons for winning. The most in-depth European reading on the two wars says that 2015, the year of negative balance in Syria and the start of the war on Yemen, constituted a starting point for two opposing tracks in the two wars. The size of the support that Syria received from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah is much less than the size of Saudi and Western participation in the war of support for the Yemeni puppet state, whether by the size of the firepower, the amount of money, or the number of fighters. The amount of support that the anti-Syrian state groups have acquired across the borders, with money and weapons, including the challenge posed by the emergence of ISIS, represents a multiples of what Ansarallah acquired under a tight siege that closed the land, sea and air ports, and therefore the opposite results of the two wars can only be read by reading the differences between the “two states” and the “opposition.”

In recent workshops, former European officials say, the keyword lies on both sides of the default doctrine of the state and the opposition here and there. On the bank of the state we see in Syria a president who did not leave his country and his office in the heart of the most dangerous hours of war while the missiles were falling near the Presidential Palace, and cohesive army fighting in a spirit of martyrdom, and large segments of the Syrian people consider the war its war with certainty and faith, and bear the siege, pressure and sacrifices, while on the Yemeni bank, there is a president, ministers, and leaders down to the minister’s assistant level and below of advisers and assistants distributed between Riyadh, Cairo and Amman, living in five-star hotels, including senior military officials, while the burden of fighting falls on the Saudi and the Emirati army, and the armies that have supported them, such as the Sudanese army. On the Yemeni bank of the opposition we see a leader, people and fighters form in Yemen an integrated unit that did not leave its strongholds despite the ferocity of the fire and the severity of the siege, has the certainty of its victory, and it makes sacrifices without expense from its fighters and leaders, and in return we see in Syria opposition leaders staying in the hotels of five stars in Paris, Istanbul, Cairo and Dubai, enjoying the money supposedly intended to support their battles, has turned the supposed rebels into mercenaries moving from country to country, on behalf of other countries, while basing their battles in the media on terrorist groups that have captured the land they claim to be their areas of control, killing and slaughtering the people they claimed to be their protectors.

Former European officials conclude in their approach that the comparison is enough to conclude that the land is for those who protect it and sacrifice for it, and that those who believe in what they defend are shown by wars, where the danger of death is imminent, as fire reveals minerals, wars reveal the minerals of leaders and the sincerity of their causes, and therefore it seems self-evident that victory in Yemen is for Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and that victory in Syria for President Bashar al-Assad, because the issue has become clear is not a state and opposition issue, but the issue of honesty and sacrifice.


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Sayyed Nasrallah: The Axis of Resistance Shapes Region’s Future, ‘Israelis’ To be Expelled By Force

 

Sayyed Nasrallah: The Axis of Resistance Shapes Region’s Future, ‘Israelis’ To be Expelled By Force

By Staff

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech in an event held marking the International al-Quds Day.

The event, dubbed “The United Platform”, was held virtually on Wednesday afternoon, in which the Islamic Resistance leader emphasized that the weeks-old al-Quds uprising has displayed the bravery of the al-Quds youths in the field and against the brutal Zionist machine.

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed to that the West Bank interaction and the calculated military intervention from the Gaza side is a very important development.

His Eminence further reiterated the resistance’s commitment, belief and adherence to its responsibilities towards the Palestinian cause, and called for more presence and suitable expression of hones and brave stances towards al-Quds and Palestine.

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah labelled the recent events as ones that stress the Palestinian people’s adherence to their rights and not abandoning any of them, adding that the latest heroic operation in the West Bank is a form of this insistence.

“The young Palestinian generations are still carrying their blood and souls, and are ready to sacrifice in the path of the coming victory.”

The Hezbollah leader, meanwhile, noted that the solidness of the Axis of Resistance, and its ability to overcome the most dangerous phase that targeted its presence in the region makes it necessary to raise responsibilities towards the Ummah’s cause.

“The Axis of Resistance is serious, honest, and true, unlike all previous words of Arab regimes,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, emphasizing that it is integrated, in solidarity, cooperation and coordination “in which we can feel that al-Quds is nearer.”

His Eminence also noted that “while we can witness the solidness of the axis of resistance despite the wars, blockade, and provocation, we also witness the collapse of other axes that had been leading wars against resistance in the region.”

In the same context, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed to the deep crises within the Zionist entity that started to surface strongly, while many Zionist analysts voice concerns regarding the survival of the enemy’s entity amid all such crises.

“Normalization should raise the voice of the Ummah’s free resistance, as it increases its responsibility to confront,” His Eminence said, noting that the normalizing countries’ have never been part of the battle so that their exit would never affect the track of this battle.

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah said that today’s responsibility is to present all kinds of support to the Palestinian resistance, and to strengthen the Axis of Resistance as it is this axis that shapes the future of the region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the Zionists themselves know very well that this entity has no future, and it has a very short time to remain, and this is why they are wasting their efforts and blood in vain.

“The reasonable words to address all occupiers and invaders is that they have to leave the land they have occupied, otherwise they will be returned by force or by any other mean to the places they came from.”

At the end of his remarks, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that as long as the Palestinian people are sticking to their rights and struggle, none of the defeatists will be able to abort the Palestinian cause because the resistance of this people is a proof to every Arab and Muslim, and every free human in the world [that they can achieve their goals].


Sayyed Nasrallah Warns Israelis against Staying in Palestine: You Will Be Expelled by Force and Other Means (Video)


May 6, 2021

Mohammad Salami

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah addressed the Zionist settlers in Palestine, calling on them to leave the land they have invaded to its indigenous people.

Delivering a televised speech in the context of the “Unified Platform” event, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that if the Zionists do not return to where they have come from, they will be returned by all means.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=106042

Source: Al-Manar English Website


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Thursday, 6 May 2021

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Teenager near Nablus


Said Yousef Mohammad Odeh, 16, was killed by Israeli forces near Nablus. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli forces Wednesday evening killed a Palestinian teenager in the village of Odla, near Nablus, according to the Health Ministry.

It confirmed in a press statement that Said Yousef Mohammad Odeh, 16, from Odla village succumbed to his injuries after being hit by Israeli forces with live ammunition in the back.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that the Israeli military handed over Odeh’s body to its medics, who rushed it to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus.

According to information collected by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), Said was shot dead by Israeli forces with live ammunition around 9 p.m. near the entrance to the village. Israeli forces reportedly confronted Palestinian youth at the village entrance before the shooting. Said was not involved in the confrontations at the time he was shot.

“He sustained at least two gunshot wounds. He was struck with live ammunition in the back near his right shoulder and pelvis and both bullets exited from the front,” said DCIP.

According to DCIP, a Palestinian ambulance was prevented from reaching Said for at least 15 minutes. When paramedics were finally allowed to approach the boy, he had no vital signs. He was transferred to Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

PRCS added that its medics also rushed to the hospital another Palestinian who sustained injuries after being hit with Israeli military live ammunition in the stomach. The casualty’s health condition was described as stable. According to DCIP, Israeli troops shot the other youth “as he approached Said to provide aid”.

“Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, using intentional lethal force against Palestinian children when they pose no threat,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity has fostered a context where Israeli forces know no bounds.”

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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The forthcoming inevitable battle for Middle-East Peace

 May 05, 2021

The forthcoming inevitable battle for Middle-East Peace

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

The alleged stray ground-to-air Syrian missile that landed near the nuclear reactor in Dimona Israel carried many messages; both overt and covert.

And, as if the fact that this missile managed to penetrate Israel’s formidable ‘Iron Dome’ was not embarrassing enough for Israel, the official Israeli report alleged that the missile was actually Iranian-made; not Russian as initially perceived by the world.

In other words, the Israeli report is saying that its ‘Iron Dome’ has been easily penetrated by a missile that is 1) not meant to hit ground targets, 2) had already spent its fuel and maneuverability and was literally on a free fall trajectory by gravitation and not propulsion, 3) yet it penetrated the allegedly most advance air defense system in the world, and 4) above all, it was made in Iran; a nation ‘crippled by sanctions and governed by ‘fundamentalist Mullas’.

Seriously, Israel has never before admitted a defense failure that is even close to such similar proportions.

Ironically, almost simultaneously, Iran revealed photos of an American aircraft carrier taken by a drone; not to forget mentioning that Iran also revealed that it has developed kamikaze drones ready to attack any target within their range in the Gulf.

But the Dimona incident alone cannot be seen in isolation of the recent Russian ‘diplomacy’ initiatives in the Middle East. I have deliberately put the word diplomacy under inverted comas, because that Russian version of diplomacy has a side that proves its worth in both traditional diplomatic ways as well as ones that are unorthodox.

Russia has thus far been very tight-lipped about its objectives in the Middle East. My own analysis of it has landed me in hot water with Russian friends and media allies, and I accept their stand. Perhaps they do not want me to ‘spoil the hidden agenda’, but my role as an analyst is not going to stop, and their views, directives, and concerns will not make me feel guilty for expressing my analyses and predictions.

In this portrayal of recent regional political events in the Middle east, I am relying on bits of pieces of information from here and there, but the analysis of it all is based on my own understanding of what makes sense in combining all what is currently taking place. My analysis does not represent the views of any blog, news agency or government. I have expressed similar views earlier, but events keep progressing, and in every step of the way, it seems that my initial prediction about the Russian initiative in the Middle East was accurate. So here is an updated summary of it all with a bit repetition of earlier material for the benefit of first-time readers.

Ever since Russia responded to Syria’s request to offer military aid, Russia responded with accepting the request under certain conditions; conditions that stipulate a Syrian-Israeli peace settlement agreement.

But this wasn’t all. Putin’s Russia is trying to reverse what Kissinger did to Russia some forty years ago when he catapulted the USSR out of Middle East politics and conned Egypt into accepting a unilateral peace deal with Israel in the so-called Camp David Accords.

Ever since then, Russia has been deprived of a role to play in the Middle East, none at all, until Putin sent troops into Syria and thereby changing the status quo not only in the Middle East, but also heralding the end of the single global superpower status of the post USSR USA.

The post-USSR world has seen Russia suffering from huge American-based NATO encroachments in Eastern Europe, and the current impasse in Ukraine is only one aspect of it. Former Warsaw Pact nations have gone full dipole away from Russia and in cahoots with their new-found Western ‘allies’. The Stalin era might have left a bitter taste in the palate of some East European countries, but this was a long time ago, and nations like Poland and Ukraine surely must understand and know who are their historic regional and global allies. With the era of Nazism and Fascism in the dust bin of history that Europe would like to forget, even Germany and France ought to realize that today’s Russia cannot be associated with Stalin’s-USSR any more than today’s Germany and France can be associated with Hitler and Petain.

And, if Poland wants to remained mentally entrenched in the Stalin era and forget about who liberated it from Nazi occupation, it should look further back in history and remember that the partition of Poland in the 19th Century was not only orchestrated by the Russian Czars, but also in collaboration with Prussia and Austria.

As discussed in the previous article, the current animosity of Eastern European nations towards Russia is not something that can be rationally explained and justified.

Back to the Middle East.

Only Russia can broker a peace deal in the Middle East, a deal that includes not only Syria and Israel, but also Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The main sticking elements in any such deal are Israel and Turkey, and to a lesser extent Iran.

In the same previous article mentioned above, I predicted a win-win scenario that Russia will broker between Iran and Saudi Arabia; one that guarantees the mutual withdrawal of Iran from Syria and Saudi Arabia from Yemen. As a matter of fact, a few days ago Saudi Crown Prince MBS announced that he wants to have a good relationship with Iran. Is this a sign that this deal is closer than we think? Perhaps not, but I cannot think of any other reason.

Turkey will undoubtedly want a bite of the cherry, and I not sure how will Russia be able to diplomatically appease Erdogan without giving him too much more than what he has taken already. However, his recent stand on Ukraine has put him in deep hot water with Russia and in any future bargains, he will find that his Ukraine venture will be used against him. He has deliberately introduced a bargaining chip that can be used only against himself.

This leaves Israel; how to bring Israel to the negotiating table for a deal that is unlike all previous American-brokered deals.

All American-brokered deals have thus far been based on providing Israel with the lion’s share and the Arab party with very little; especially when it came to making deals with the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, on top of the political and strategic gains that America delivered to Israel in all of those deals, America ensured that Israel continued to have military superiority and that Arabs would never be able to score a major military victory, even if united.

Despite the October 1973 (ie Yom Kippur War) and what followed it, all the way up to the July 2006 war with Hezbollah, and the humiliations that Israel suffered from all of those military engagements, Israel remains mentally entrenched in the euphoria of the huge Six-Day War win of June 1967 and what ensued afterwards, resulting in what can best be described as the invincible army complex.

Israel will not be prepared to sign a peace agreement with Syria while it believes that it continues to have this military superiority; the power to shape events in its favour. For Israel to change course and become more realistic, it needs either a new generation of political leaders who are more rational, or a reality check; a punishment if you wish.

This is why it is that, inasmuch as the corridors of negotiations are opening up and the tables are being prepared, so are the drums of war.

It is worthy to note here that major reconstructions have not begun in Syria yet. The underlying message here is that perhaps Syria is expecting more carnage, and that reconstruction will have to wait. Why reconstruct twice? In its current state of devastation, Syria has little to lose.

Israel, on the other hand, is in a very vulnerable situation, and the Dimona incident has exposed this gaping hole.

Syria has exercised great restraint in the face of the ongoing Israeli airstrikes. Even though an Israeli jet was downed a few years ago, by-and-large, Syria has remained non-respondent. We do not know exactly what is happening behind the scenes, but it seems that Israel is misreading Syria’s lack of response and seeing weakness, despite information from Russia that such is not the case. Israel will continue to act like the regional bully, refusing to sit at the negotiating table as an equal partner, unless it receives a significant hit.

This hit is not necessarily one that will cause much carnage in Israel such as civilian and military loss of life. Putin will not accept or allow such a level of devastation to be inflicted on Israel. After all, a significant fraction of Israel’s population is originally Russian. Putin, furthermore, is intent on convincing Israel that it is Russia, and not America, that can give Israel real peace with its Arab neighbours.

To this effect, Israel only needs to lose a few fighter-jets, ten, maybe twenty, finding itself unable to defend key military and strategic land targets in order for it to realize that the days of military superiority are gone.

The Dimona incident is a forewarning, but only if Israel wants to read in between the lines. Otherwise, there will be a war in the Middle East, a war that will be intended to be contained and limited to be a punch, a powerful punch, but not a knockout.

With this said, this is the Middle East, a very volatile region, with many volatile heads. A limited war aimed at showing who has muscle may end up spiraling out of control and into something very large. With experience of such unpredictability, Syria is presenting to Israel that a long war will bring more destruction upon Israel than it will on an already destroyed Syria.

What seems certain is that peace initiatives are on the table, but not all parties are yet convinced that they will attend such talks as equal partners before some arms are twisted and statures rattled.


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