Saturday, 14 December 2019

“The Good Terrorists”: How U.S. Airstrikes Helped Prop Al-Qaeda in Syria’s Idlib?

Global Research, December 14, 2019

Al-Qaeda in Syria has two noteworthy apologists. One is the jihadist propagandist Bilal Abdul Kareem, a former correspondent for CNN, often seen in videos sporting a long beard and reporting from the ground in the al-Nusra Front strongholds in northwestern Syria, and the other is Syria analyst and the fellow of the Middle East Institute Charles Lister.
Recently, Lister has written a research paper for the Hudson Institute, titled “The Syria Effect: Al-Qaeda Fractures,” [1] in which he has tried to prove that militants of al-Qaeda in Syria are not “bad guys” per se, rather they are “good terrorists” whose ambitions are restricted to fighting the Syrian government, and they don’t intend to mount terror attacks in the Western countries.
In conclusion of the lengthy screed, he has craftily proposed “Gaza-fication” of Syria’s northwestern Idlib, where like the Hamas in Gaza, the so-called “Salvation Government” of the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, can be recognized as a legitimate government administering the northwestern enclave under the tutelage of Ankara.
Unwittingly, however, Charles Lister has spilled the beans in the article about a July 30 American airstrike in rural Aleppo that killed several high-profile jihadist dissidents, who had challenged the unity of the Washington-backed insurgency against the Syrian government offensive in northern Hamah and Idlib in late April.
Before getting into details, it’s worth noting that Hurras al-Din is a small radical outfit in Syria’s northwestern Idlib that split in 2018 from al-Qaeda in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front until 2016, and now as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
An excerpt from Charles Lister’s research paper reads:
“When the Syrian regime and Russia launched their all-out military offensive on northwestern Syria in late-April 2019, a debate ensued within Hurras al-Din – a breakaway faction of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front – should they assist Tahrir al-Sham and other opposition groups by reinforcing their frontlines in northern Hama?
“Given al-Qaeda Central chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s public directives indicating the importance of Islamist unity and sustaining the armed struggle against the regime, the leader of Hurras al-Din Abu Hammam al-Suri and his deputy Sami al-Oraydi emerged as tacitly supportive of helping other jihadist groups, including Tahrir al-Sham, wherever necessary.
“The debate over Hurras al-Din’s role on Tahrir al-Sham’s opposition frontlines spilled out into the open in late June of 2019, when Hurras al-Din leader Abu Hammam al-Suri expelled two prominent Hurras al-Din clerics, Abu Dhar al-Masri and Abu Yahya al-Jazairi, for having issued non-sanctioned rulings forbidding fighting in northern Hama. Some alleged Abu Yahya had gone as far as pronouncing takfir on Tahrir al-Sham, thereby excommunicating them from Islam and labeling them apostates and legitimate targets for attack.
“Abu Hammam’s dismissal of Abu Dhar and Abu Yahya sparked an uproar within Hurras al-Din. The group’s internal judicial court, led by Abu Amr al-Tunisi, issued a petition signed by more than 300 members on June 23 demanding an arbitration involving Abu Hammam and his deputy, Sami al-Oraydi.
“However, neither Abu Hammam nor Oraydi turned up at the planned arbitration on June 25, leading the court’s chief, Abu Amr, to issue a furious five-minute audio statement accusing HaD’s leaders of nepotism. Abu Amr was swiftly expelled from Hurras al-Din, and this led another senior leader, Abu Yaman al-Wazzani, to declare in exasperation ‘the jihadist project over.’ Later that day, a statement confirmed that Wazzani and another fellow critic, Abu Musab al-Libi, had also been expelled from Hurras al-Din.
“Tensions persisted through the summer of 2019, albeit less intensely. But in a mysterious twist on June 30, 2019—just days after the above-mentioned crisis—Abu Amr al-Tunisi, Abu Yahya al-Jazairi and Abu Dhar al-Masri were all killed, along with three other allied hardliners (Abu al-Fid’a al-Tunisi, Abu Dujana al-Tunisi and Abu Ibrahim al-Shami) in an American airstrike that targeted a meeting of Hurras al-Din detractors in rural Aleppo.
“That was the first American strike in northwestern Syria in more than two years and it was followed up two months later by another on August 31, 2019, targeting Hurras al-Din ally Ansar al-Tawhid. Al-Qaeda veteran Abu Khallad al-Mohandis was also killed in an improvised explosive device attack that targeted his personal vehicle in Idlib city on August 22, 2019.”
It becomes abundantly clear after reading the excerpts from Charles Lister’s article that not only has Washington provided weapons and training to militant factions battling Damascus but it has also conducted airstrikes eliminating jihadist dissidents who dared to threaten the unity of large militant outfits in northwestern Idlib, such as Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
During the eight-year proxy war in Syria, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of al-Nusra Front, has emerged as the second most influential militant leader after the Islamic State’s slain chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In fact, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of Jabhat al-Nusra.
Although the current al-Nusra Front has been led by Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, he was appointed[2] as the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the late leader of Islamic State, in January 2012. Thus, al-Jolani’s Nusra Front is only a splinter group of the Islamic State, which split from its parent organization in April 2013 over a leadership dispute between the two organizations.
In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was based in Iraq, began sending Syrian and Iraqi jihadists experienced in guerrilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organization inside the country. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra.
In April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Baghdadi declared that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” The leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, issued a statement denying the merger and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.
Al-Qaeda Central’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, tried to mediate the dispute between al-Baghdadi and al-Jolani but eventually, in October 2013, he endorsed al-Nusra Front as the official franchise of al-Qaeda Central in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, however, defied the nominal authority of al-Qaeda Central and declared himself the caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Keeping this background in mind, it becomes abundantly clear that a single militant organization operated in Syria and Iraq under the leadership of al-Baghdadi until April 2013, which chose the banner of al-Nusra Front, and that the current emir of the subsequent breakaway faction of al-Nusra Front, al-Jolani, was actually al-Baghdadi’s deputy in Syria.
Thus, the Islamic State operated in Syria since August 2011 under the designation of al-Nusra Front and it subsequently changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in April 2013after which it overran Raqqa and parts of Deir al-Zor in the summer of 2013. And in January 2014, it overran Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in Iraq and reached the zenith of its power when it captured Mosul in June 2014.
Excluding al-Baghdadi and a handful of his hardline Islamist aides, the rest of Islamic State’s top leadership is comprised of Saddam-era military and intelligence officials. According to a Washington Post report [3], hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top- and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who plan all the operations and direct its military strategy.
It is an indisputable fact that morale and ideology play an important role in battlefield, and well-informed readers must also be aware that the Takfiri brand of most jihadists these days has directly been inspired by the puritanical Wahhabi-Salafi ideology of Saudi Arabia, but ideology alone is not sufficient to succeed in battle.
Looking at the Islamic State’s astounding gains in Syria and Iraq in 2013-14, a question naturally arises that where did its recruits get all the training and state-of-the-art weapons that were imperative not only for hit-and-run guerrilla warfare but also for capturing and holding large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
According to a revelatory December 2013 news report [4] from a newspaper affiliated with the UAE government which supports the Syrian opposition, it is clearly mentioned that along with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other military gear, the Saudi regime also provided machine gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks to every batch of five jihadists who had completed their training in the training camps located in Jordan’s border regions along southern Syria.
Once those militants crossed over to Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria from the Jordan-Syria border, then those Toyota pickup trucks could easily have traveled all the way to Raqqa and Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria, and thence to Mosul and Anbar in Iraq – the former strongholds of the Islamic State.
It is clearly spelled out in the report that Syrian militants got arms and training through a secret command center known as the Military Operations Center (MOC) based in the intelligence headquarters’ building in Amman, Jordan, that was staffed by high-ranking military officials from 14 countries, including the US, European nations, Israel and the Gulf states to wage a covert war against the Syrian government.
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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

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Syrian Security Prevent Trump Forces Approach near Qamishli Airport

Syrian Security push back Trump Forces near Qamishli Airport
Syrian security of Aviation Intelligence prevented a column of Trump forces from approaching the Qamishli Airport yesterday.
A first in such confrontation between the defenders of the land and the invaders allowed in by separatist Kurdish traitor militia.
The incident was first reported by activists yesterday Thursday morning and later Russia Today also confirmed through its own sources. There are Russian Military Police stationed in that area as well.
The following video distributed by members of the Syrian Aviation Security protecting the Qamishli International Airport, the narrator is heard describing the incident and calling the Trump forces as dogs. Calling someone a dog in our region is considered a bad insult,

The video is also available on BitChute:

While some ‘strategists’ and advisers to Trump, who obviously never served during any real combat, advised Trump to keep some of his forces in Syria thinking they can be used as an asset against the Syrian state, not realizing that what they consider their assets are in reality their liability and soon enough Trump who is waiting for someone to call him to ask for the withdrawal of these troops will start making calls all over asking for help to pull them from Syria, or what would be left of them alive.
They’re literally sitting ducks in a large lake of alligators, to make it closer to an owner of a Florida resort.
Trump forces were able to spread in a number of posts no thanks to traitors of the separatist Kurdish SDF militia who worked as useful fools in luring in NATO member states of Turkey, their alleged sworn enemies, and NATO member state USA, their eternal abusers, into Syria thinking the USA will fight to protect them and never learning from the history of the USA that the best it does to its useful idiots after milking them dry is letting others eat their corpses, instead of the US itself.

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في ثوابت 
السيد نصر الله

ديسمبر 14, 2019

ناصر قنديل

يقع أعداء المقاومة وخصومها وبعض محبيها كثيراً في القراءة الخاطئة لمواقف الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله كمرجع في تشخيص مواقف المقاومة ومحور المقاومة من قضايا لبنان والمنطقة، ذلك لأن الموقف الذي يعالج حالة خصوصية في ظرف معين يؤخذ بصفته تعديلاً لما قبله أو سقفاً لما سيليه. فيقع الخطأ لأنه ينسلخ بالموقف من السياق الذي ترسمه وتحكمه ثوابت لا تتعرّض لتغيير ظرفي وتشكل الإطار المستديم لرسم مواقف المقاومة.

حدث هذا في قراءة موقف المقاومة من الحراك الشعبي؛ فتارة نظر البعض لكلام السيد نصرالله كداعم ومرة نظروا إليه كمخاصم، وهو لم يكن في هذه وتلك. هو كان يقرأ من موقع ثوابته كل لحظة في سياقها. فهو مَن يقود معركة بحجم المنطقة وفي قلبها لبنان، معنيّ بتصويب البوصلة عندما تحيد عن وجهتها لكل مكوّن من مكوّنات الساحة التي ترسم مشهد المواجهة الشاملة. فيبارك كل ما يزخم مواقع الشعوب وسيادتها ونهوضها، ويحذّر من كل تلاعب بوجهتها وسعي لتوظيفها خارج مصالحها.

النهوض الشعبي القائم في لبنان حقيقة لا حاجة لإعادة تأكيدها كل مرة. وهذه الحقيقة مستمرة، وهذا الاستمرار متعرّج السياقات بسبب غياب قيادة واضحة وبرنامج واضح لهذا النهوض الشعبي، ترتسم معهما معالم انسجام الكتل التي يتكوّن منها النهوض وسياق ممارسته مهمته نحو التغيير بوضوح؛ ولذلك يصير النهوض المستمرّ عرضة لتجاذبات ورياح تأخذه يميناً ويساراً، فيحدث تحت اسمه ولباسه أن ترتكب أخطاء وخطايا، كالدعوة لاستقالة الحكومة وما ترتب عليها من متاهة يصعب الخروج منها، أو قطع الطرقات وما رُسم له أن يفتح من أبواب على الفوضى، ولم يكن أي من هذين عفوياً، بل بفعل تسلّط على الحراك واندساس لجماعات لها حسابات وأجندات. والمقاومة ترى من يشغل هذه الجماعات من بعيد، لأنه خصمها الحقيقي، ولا تخاصم الحراك بل تدعوه للانتباه، وبعد مرور الوقت الكافي تدعوه للمراجعة، وتدرك أن صعوداً وهبوطاً في قيادة النهوض الشعبي لا بدّ أن ينتج عنهما في المدى المتوسط والبعيد فرز للقوى داخل النهوض نفسه، وتصحيح للخيارات، وتبلور للقيادات.

في الشأن الحكومي قرأ الكثيرون من الخصوم والمحبّين، بصورة خاطئة تمسّك المقاومة بحكومة تحظى بدعم المكوّنات الرئيسية للبلد ولمجلس النواب، ففي لحظة استقالة مبرمجة وغير متفق عليها للحكومة، معلوم أنها تلاقي مَن رموا كرة الدعوة للاستقالة لفتح بازار توازنات تشكيلة حكومية جديدة وبرنامج لحكومة جديدة، ظنّ كثيرون أن المقاومة ستسارع للاستقواء بالغالبية النيابية لتشكل حكومة مواجهة، بينما المقاومة كانت ترى ذلك فخاً وترى أن الخطر هو في أن يتسلل من بين شقوق مكوّنات المشهد القائم على الارتباك، المشروع الذي يريده اصحاب شعار الاستقالة الحقيقيون وهم ليسوا في لبنان، لا هم الرئيس سعد الحريري الذي استقال، ولا الحراك الذي هتف بالاستقالة. فللمرة الألف يجب إدراك أن اللاعب المقابل للمقاومة في ملعب المواجهة ليس محلياً، بل هو تحالف واشنطن وتل أبيب ومعهما تخديم مالي وإعلامي لحكام الخليج، والمقاومة وسيدها يضعان نصب أعينهما ما سبق وقاله زعيم الثورة الفيتنامية هوشي منه ذات يوم، إنه لا يمكن أن تكون وأنت وعدوك رابحان معاً في لحظة الاشتباك، فما يفرحه هو حكماً خسارتك وما يفرحك هو حكماً خسارته، ولذلك يراقب اهل المقاومة الأميركي و”الإسرائيلي” وما يريدان، ويعلمان علم اليقين من خلال الخبرة والتاريخ طبيعة الأهداف، وخارطة طريق المواجهة، وقواعد الاشتباك، وكل ما يُقال من المقاومة للداخل اللبناني، هو تحفيز لعناصر قوة لبنان وتحذير من نقاط ضعفه، وليس اشتباكاً مع أحد من هذا الداخل، لا في التركيبة السياسية ولا في الشارع.

تعلم المقاومة أن المعركة على لبنان اليوم بقوة الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية تفوم على محاولة مقايضة يعلم الأميركي والإسرائيلي استحالة وضع سلاح المقاومة ومصادر قوتها بين عناصرها، كما قال بصراحة جيفري فيلتمان. لذلك فمخطئ مَن يظنّ أن ما تتخذه المقاومة من مواقف يهدف لحماية نفسها أو سلاحها. فالمقايضة هي بين عناصر سيادية للبنان ومال موعود ثبتت استحالتها مع الحكومة المستقيلة، والمال الموعود قد يأتي وقد لا يأتي. وقد يأتي بعض قليل منه، أما العناصر السيادية فتطال مسألتين، ترسيم واستثمار مناطق النفط والغاز حيث هناك مصلحة “إسرائيلية”، والعلاقة اللبنانية السورية، والتي تختزن ملفات النازحين وعودتهم واستخدام المعابر الحدودية السورية مع الأردن والعراق لتسويق المنتجات اللبنانية وتنشيط استثمار مرفأي بيروت وطرابلس في تجارة الترانزيت، وتأمين تشغيل خط النفط بين العراق ولبنان عبر سورية. وكل ما يجري حول الحكومة من دعوة الاستقالة وتلقفها إلى فتح باب التكليف والتأليف، ومَن يشارك ومَن لا يشارك، هو صراع غير مباشر حول هذه العناوين، والتزام المقاومة ثابت في هذه العناوين ولن تكون عنصر تسهيل لتمريرها على الإطلاق، ولذلك فهي تقارب ملف الحكومة من زوايا تضمن عدم خلق صراعات جانبية تضعفها، وتضمن عدم ضعف تركيبها بما يسهل الضغوط عليها، ولذلك تتمسك بحكومة أوسع مشاركة ممكنة، وهذا إن كان ينطبق على مشاركة الخصوم الوازنين في تمثيل طوائفهم، فهو حكماً ينطبق على حكومة الحلفاء الأشد وزناً.

الخلاصةهي أنه ليس لدى المقاومة خوف على ذاتها كي تقدّم تنازلات وترضى بمساومات يستعيد البعض تشبيهاً بها تجربة التحالف الرباعي عام 2005؛وهو في جوهره كان منعاً لفتنة تستهدف لبنان أكثر مما كان حماية للمقاومة. وليس لدى المقاومة مايدعوها تحت شعار تسهيل ولادة الحكومة كضرورة وطنية، أن تقبل بأن تتخلى عن التمسك بوطنية الحكومة، وطنية تمثيلها الواسع ووطنية أهدافها، والصبر الذي دعا إليه السيد نصرالله جمهور المقاومة بوجه الاستفزاز، تمارسه المقاومة عندما لايُسمع صوتها أو يُساء فهم مدّها يدَها طلباً للتشارك، ولأن تحديد وجهة الصبر ضروري كيلا يُساء الفهم مجدداً، فالصبر اليوم حتى تتبدد عند الخارج المتربّص أوهام القدرة على تمرير الأجندات المشبوهة. والصبر حتى يثق الداخل الموهوم بالمكاسب الصغيرة بأن الوقت ليس للربح خارج الربح مع الوطن أوعلى حسابه، وحتى ذلك الحين صرّفوا أعمالكم بالتعاون والتضامن والتكافل، وتدبّروا وتبصّروا، فالبصيرة والصبر توأمان في صناعة النصر.


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Sayyed Nasrallah: One Color Gov’t Rejected, US Taking Advantage of Protests

Source: Al-Manar
December 14, 2019
Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah tackled the latest internal developments in a speech he delivered Friday.
Dividing his speech into four parts, his eminence started with the US intervention in the Lebanese situation. Second, he covered the government formation file, third he talked about the security situation and finally he referred to the economic and social responsibility.
US Intervention
Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the US interferes in every movement that takes place in the world in order to divert the public demands to serve their own interests not the people’s interests.
“The Americans take the side of protests worldwide and express their support for their demands but in reality all the aid they offer is that which serves the US interests. This was the US role in the Arab Spring, Latin America, and East Asia, and this the US approach in general,” he said.
His eminence referred to US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft’s statement saying: “Craft talked about ongoing protests in Lebanon, Yemen, and any place which Iran is present in, not any place which has corruption. She also considered that strikes will continue if pressure did not bring results. The Americans regard the protests as means to put pressure on Iran.”
“The Americans assumed that the Lebanese protests are against Hezbollah and Iran, knowing that they did not propose anything like that. Their slogans were economic and righteous ones while the Americans assumed since the first day that they were public protests against Hezbollah… and Arab and international media tried portray that,” he added, noting that “US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo called on the Lebanese to get rid of this obstacle called “Hezbollah” and the US is ready to help them with that.”
Sayyed Nasrallah asked: “Do the US and Israel want to help the Lebanese people or blackmail them? The US equation for the Lebanese is for the latter to abandon their strength element so that the US helps them… The US and Israel have failed for decades to solve the obstacle which the resistance formed, therefore they are trying to take advantage and blackmail the Lebanese to achieve that.”
In parallel, his eminence referred to “Israeli” statements which considered that this is a historic opportunity to weaken Hezbollah and to make an agreement with Lebanon on the oil and gas.
Sayyed Nasrallah assured that “Hezbollah is a great threat. A threat on US agendas and interests not on the Lebanese interests. In contrast, it is the defender of the Lebanese interests and dignity.”
His eminence further indicated that “the Israeli is building a wall on the border because the resistance left this issue to be dealt with by the Lebanese government. If the resistance spoke against that the Israeli would have thought a thousand times before taking this step. The same applies on the oil digging in the regional waters.”
Sayyed Nasrallah called on the Lebanese not to trust the US promises, noting: “look how the US left its allies in the middle of the crises and humiliated them. Look how the countries who submitted to the US role became regular countries after having had a great role in the world. They want us to abandon our power, independence, and sovereignty… but if the Lebanese cooperated, they are capable of getting out of this crisis.”
Fabrication of Iranian statement
Concerning the latest fabrication of a statement by an Iranian official in which he was quoted as saying that “Iran will respond to any attack on it, and the response will be from the Lebanese territories”, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that there are sides who seek to create tension and incite against Iran in order to put Hezbollah, the presidency and allies in a critical situation, and these sides fabricated this statement which is not true in any way.
His eminence said Hezbollah instantly contacted their Iranian allies to ask about the statement and the latter denied its existence to instantly issue a clarification after that.
In this context, Hezbollah SG indicated that “some think that if Iran was attacked it will refer to its allies to defend it, and let me correct this misconception and assure that Iran will defend itself by itself, it will not stay silent and will not accept to be defended by anyone… If its allies wanted to take action, that would be their own decision.”
Government formation
Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that “Hezbollah was against the government resignation in the first place because the formation of a new government would take time and the economic and financial situation does not bear vacuum. Some considered that the resignation of the PM was a victory but in contrast, it was time wasting and instead of responding to the demands and initiating with the reformations people had to focus on the government formation.”
“The best case scenario would have been for the government to stay and the protests to continue and in that case many achievements would have been made,” he added.
“We are now in front of several choices, the first is a one color government which could get the highest number of votes in the parliament, and our political opponents were pushing toward that, while in our political team some supported it and others didn’t. We, as Hezbollah and Amal movement refused this choice because it poses danger on the country, besides that it contradicts the constitution. Just like we refused a one color government in the past and called for a unity government, we refuse it now even as we have become the majority. The current crisis requires everyone’s cooperation. The second choice is a one color government formed by the opposing political team, and we refuse that because the country’s situation is unbearable. The third and fourth choices are partnership governments which protest delegates take part in, I don’t know how this can happen as the latter was incapable of choosing a leadership or form a delegation to visit the president. The third choice is a partnership government headed by Saad Hariri and the fourth choice is a partnership government headed by someone else. The third choice was not implemented because Hariri put unacceptable conditions so we moved to the fourth choice and accepted all the PM names that were proposed by Hariri but this did not succeed. The third and fourth choices are still on table, what’s important is to form a government that could make reformations and just as we refused a government that does not include the Future Movement, we will refuse a government that does not include the Free Patriotic Movement.”
Security Situation
Sayyed Nasrallah saluted people for their patience on the road cutting which aimed at causing riots and dragging them into clashes, adding: I call for further patience as we are getting closer to the solution.
His eminence assured that some media outlets’ claims that Hezbollah and Amal movement were attacking protesters are not true and great efforts were made to control the street and absorb the anger.
Economic situation and social responsibility
Sayyed Nasrallah called for social solidarity in order to overcome this tough situation. He called upon business owners not to take advantage of this crisis to raise prices of their products but instead lower the prices and get little gains until we get over this phase. No one should manipulate or take advantage of anything related to people, from bread, medicine, fuel, etc… these must not be used as pressure tools.
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Why the ‘Left’ is Dead in the Water (revisited)

Introduction: Following his party’s catastrophic defeat, humiliated Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced this morning that he would discuss with the party its need for a ‘process of reflection’ and promised that he himself “will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place.”
I will not hold my breath waiting for Labour to overcome its most acute problems. As a first step toward a recovery I would advise Corbyn and his caricature party that instead of suspending and expelling party members for reading yours truly, instead of expelling MPs for supporting my right to make a living as musician, or spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money trying to appease a foreign ardent right wing Lobby., the Labour partly/hardly should instead make my work compulsory reading for its members and leadership.
In this commentary from February 2019 I explain why the Left is dead in the water and why Corbyn’s Labour is a symptom of the total disaster that is the contemporary Left.

Why the ‘Left’ is Dead in the Water

By Gilad Atzmon
It seems that there is not much left of the Left and what remains has nothing to do with ‘Left.’
 Contemporary  ‘Left’ politics is detached from its natural constituency, working people. The so called ‘Left’ is basically a symbolic identifier for ‘Guardian readers’  a critical expression attributed to middle class people who, for some reason, claim to know what is good for the working class. How did this happen to the Left? Why was it derailed and by whom?
 Hierarchy is one answer. The capitalist and the corporate worlds operate on an intensely hierarchical basis. The path to leadership within a bank, management of a globally trading company or even high command in the military is of an evolutionary nature. Such power is acquired by a challenging climb within an increasingly  demanding system. It is all about the survival of the fittest. Every step entails new challenges. Failure at any step could easily result in a setback or even a career end. In the old good days, the Left also operated on a hierarchical system. There was a long challenging path from the local workers’ union to the national party. But the Left is hierarchical no more.
 Left ideology, like working class politics, was initially the byproduct of the industrial revolution. It was born to address the needs and demands of a new emerging class; those who were working day and night to make other people richer.  In the old days, when Left was a meaningful adventure, Left politicians grew out of workers’ unions. Those who were distinguished in representing and improving the conditions of their fellow workers made it to the trade unions and eventually into the national parties. None of that exists anymore.
 In a world without manufacturing, the working class have been removed from the consumption chain and demoted into an ‘under class.’ The contemporary Left politician has nothing to do with the workless people let alone the workless class.  The unions are largely defunct.  You won’t find many Labour politicians who have actually worked in factories and mixed with working people for real. No contemporary Left politician including Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders is the product of a struggle through a highly demanding hierarchical system as such a system hasn’t really existed within the Left  for at least four decades.
In most cases, the contemporary Left politician is a middle class university activist groomed through party politics activity. Instead of fighting for manufacturing and jobs, the Left has embraced the highly divisive identitarian battle.  While the old Left tended to unite us by leading the fight against the horrid capitalists rather than worrying about  whether you were a man or a woman, black or white, Jew or Muslim, gay or hetero, our present-day ‘Left’ actually promotes racial differences and divisions as it pushes people to identify with their biology (skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, Jewish maternal gene etc.) If the old Left united us against the capitalists, the contemporary ‘Left’ divides us and uses the funds it collects from capitalist foundations such as George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
 The British Labour party is a prime example of this. It is deaf to the cry of the lower classes. It claims to care ‘for the many’ but in practice is only attentive to a few voices within the intrusive Israeli Lobby. As Britain is struggling with the crucial debate over Brexit, British Labour has been focused instead on spurious  allegations of ‘antisemitsm.’  It is hard to see how any Left political body in the West even plans to bring more work to the people. The Left offers nothing in the way of a vision of a better society for all.  It is impossible to find the Left within the contemporary ‘Left.’
 Why has this happened to the Left, why has it become irrelevant?  Because by now the Left is a non-hierarchical system. It is an amalgam of uniquely ungifted people who made politics into their ‘career.’ Most Left politicians have never worked at a proper job where money is exchanged for merit, achievements or results. The vast majority of Left politicians have never faced the economic  challenges associated with the experience of being adults. Tragically such people can’t lead a country, a city, a borough or even a village.
The Left had a mostly positive run for about 150 years. But its role has come to an end as the condition of being in the world has been radically transformed. The Left failed to adapt. It removed itself from the universal ethos.
The shift in our human landscape has created a desperate need for a new ethos: a fresh stand point that will reinstate the Western Athenian ethical and universal roots and produce a new canon that aspires for truth and truthfulness as opposed to the current cancerous tyranny of correctness.

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Major Development: SAA Reopens Vital Aleppo – Hasakah M4 Artery

Syrian Arab Army SAA Reopens Aleppo - Hasakah Highway M4
The Syrian Arab Army has reopened the most vital Aleppo – Hasakah Highway M4 for people traveling and for economic convoys securing the whole path from terrorist groups, separatist militias, and foreign invaders.
Thanks to the heroism and bravery of the Syrian Armed Forces and the massive sacrifices of the Syrian people, M4 highway is back to life after years of control by terrorist groups the likes of Al-Qaeda and all its variants: FSA, Nusra Front, ISIS, and later by separatist Kurdish militias, and attempts by foreign NATO invaders of the Trump and Erdogan regimes.
The following video report by the Syrian Ikhbariya News Channel adds more info:

The video is also available on Bitchute:

Erdogan forces of Al-Qaeda FSA have tried desperately to control this road to cut off the northern region from the rest of the country, despite claims of the Turkish madman of respecting Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other empty talks, the Syrian Arab Army empowered by their duty to protect their families and people have managed to deploy fast and from several axes, especially after cornering Erdogan’s most loyal terrorists of Nusra Front in Idlib and after the separatist Kurdish SDF militia were abandoned by their sponsors.
The transcript of the English translation of the video report:
After completing the deployment of the Syrian Army on the International Road of Hasakah- Aleppo M4 and securing villages and areas on the axis of the road, the road was opened to residents, travelers, and commercial convoys, reducing the burden and travel and reducing the time for travelers.
Syrian Arab Army Officer: We declare to our fellow citizens, economists and all segments that this road has become safe and everyone can use this road and restore human and economic life as it was, especially that Syrian Arab Army units coming from the city of Hasakah reached the west of Silos by 5 km and met with units from The City of Ain Issa.
The M4 international route is the only artery for commercial convoys and travelers arriving in the eastern region after the U.S. coalition destroyed bridges on the Euphrates River, all roads except the road between Hasakah and Aleppo were cut off.
Army units had begun deploying in the vicinity of the road from the south in order to secure it and protect civilians in the surrounding villages from the town of Tal Tamr to Aalieh silos as a first stage, the army continued to deploy and reinforce its points towards the administrative border of Raqqa province to the village of Al-Tarwazia.
The International Road of Hasakah-Aleppo runs along the northern and eastern region of Syria and connects the north of the country to the west, and reaches the Iraqi border at its home country of Yarabiya.
End of English transcript.
نص التقرير باللغة العربية

بعد استكمال انتشار الجيش العربي السوري على الطريق الدولي الحسكة – حلب وتأمين القرى والمناطق على محور الطريق، تم فتح الطريق أمام الأهالي والمسافرين والقوافل التجارية ما خفف أعباء وعناء السفر واختصر الوقت للمسافرين

ضابط في الجيش العربي السوري: نعلن للأخوة المواطنين وللاقتصاديين ولكافة الشرائح بأن هذا الطريق قد أصبح آمناً ويستطيع الجميع سلوك هذا الطريق وإعادة الحياة البشرية والاقتصادية كما كانت وخاصة أن وحدات الجيش العربي السوري القادمة من مدينة الحسكة وصلت إلى غرب الصوامع ب 5 كيلومتر والتقت مع الوحدات القادمة من مدينة عين عيس

ويعتبر الطريق الدولي الشريان الوحيد الذي تسلكه القوافل التجارية والمسافرين القادمين إلى المنطقة الشرقية بعد أن دمر التحالف الأمريكي الجسور على نهر الفرات والذي تسبب بانقطاع كل الطرق باستثناء الطريق الواصل بين الحسكة وحلب

وكانت وحدات الجيش بدأت الانتشار في محيط الطريق من الجهة الجنوبية بغية تأمينه وحماية المدنيين في القرى المحيطة به انطلاقاً من بلدة تل تمر وصولاً إلى صوامع عالية كمرحلة أولى واستمر الجيش بانتشاره وتعزيز نقاطه باتجاه الحدود الإدارية لمحافظة الرقة وصولاً إلى قرية التروازية

ويمتد الطريق الدولي الحسكة – حلب على طول المنطقة الشمالية والشرقية من سورية ويربط شمال البلاد بغربها، ويصل حتى الحدود العراقية عند بلده اليعربية

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More US Pressures: Treasury Sanctions 2 Lebanese Businessmen over Alleged Links to Hezbollah

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
December 14, 2019
The US Treasury imposed sanctions against two Lebanese businessmen over alleged links to Hezbollah.
According to the US Treasury statement, the Lebanon-based businessman Nazim Sa’id Ahmad and the Democratic Republic of Congo-based businessman Saleh Assi were both sanctioned.
The US Treasury accused Ahmad of allegedly being one of Hezbollah’s top donors, while also accusing Assi of allegedly laundering money to Ahmad’s businesses.
“Hezbollah continues to use seemingly legitimate businesses as front companies to raise and launder funds in countries like the DRC where it can use bribery and political connections to secure unfair market access and evade taxes,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stated.
Shortly after the US Treasury statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted on Twitter that these latest sanctions are helping the Lebanese people “fight against corruption and terrorism.”
“We stand with the people of #Lebanon to fight against corruption and terrorism. Today we designated two prominent Lebanese businessmen whose illicit financial activity supports Hizballah. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to counter the threat Hizballah poses,” he tweeted, referring to Hezbollah.

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For Sama: A Beautiful Yet Deceptive Documentary That Betrays Reality in Syria

For Sama Feature photo
he documentary movie “For Sama” has won a host of awards in Europe and North America. Its producers and protagonists, Syrians Waad Kateab and her husband Dr. Hamza Kateab plus English film-maker Edward Watts, have received gushing praise. And the awards will probably keep coming.
Unfortunately, behind the human interest story, the film “For Sama” is little more than propaganda: biased, misleading, and politically partisan.

Hiding Basic Facts about Aleppo

“For Sama” is a full-length documentary with a moving personal story. It combines the story of young love and the birth of a child – Sama –  in the midst of war. That makes it compelling and personal. But the movie fundamentally distorts reality in east Aleppo between the years 2012 and  2016. While the personal narrative may be true, the context and environment are distorted and hidden, leaving the viewer an altered idea of reality. For example:
Most East Aleppo residents did not favor militants taking over their neighborhoods. In the short video, “Nine Days from my Window” the grim reality of a militant takeover in one East Aleppo neighborhood is shown. Many civilians fled the east side of Aleppo after the “rebels” took over. Those who stayed were mostly militants and their families, plus those who had nowhere else to go or thought they could wait it out.
The militants who took over east Aleppo became increasingly unpopular. As American journalist James Foley wrote:
 Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.”
Foley’s honest reporting may have ultimately contributed to his death.
The opposition group which ultimately came to dominate East Aleppo was al Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot, Jabhat al Nusra. “For Sama” ignores their domination, extremism and sectarian policies. There is only one fleeting reference to the group and the film fails to show exactly who was ruling East Aleppo.
In fact, the militants, a term used interchangeably with rebels, were incredibly violent and vicious. They threw postal workers off of a building’s roof, they sent a suicide truck bomb into Al Kindi Hospital and slaughtered Syrian soldiers defending the hospital and they, amongst other atrocities, recorded themselves beheading a young boy.
85 percent of the civilians in Aleppo were living in government-controlled West Aleppo. Thousands were killed by “rebel” snipers, mortars and hell cannon missiles launched from east Aleppo. The reality of life in West Aleppo, as even the BBC’s Jeremey Brown was able to capture, is completely overlooked in “For Sama.”

Al Quds Hospital was never destroyed

The Al Quds Hospital, where “For Sama” protagonists Hamza worked and Sama was born, is featured heavily in the film. In the movie, the hospital was destroyed in February of 2016, at a time when enormous publicity swirled around allegations that Russia intentionally bombed the hospital. Doctors without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres) tweeted at the time that, “We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital in #Aleppo.”
Al Quds Hospital Aleppo
The Al Quds Hospital, the ground floor of the apartment building on the corner is shown. Photo | Nabil Antaki
After questions were raised challenging Medecins sans Frontieres’ version of the events surrounding the destruction of Al Quds, It was revealed that the hospital did not exist before the conflict and was one or two floors of an apartment building. It turned out Doctors Without Borders did not have any staff on-site and simply parroted allegations told to them. After Wast Aleppo was liberated, Dr. Nabil Antaki, a prominent doctor from West Aleppo, visited the location to find the truth. Antaki was a long-time doctor but had never heard of Al Quds. He reported:
I went Sunday, February 12, 2017, visiting the Ansari-Sukari neighborhood in order to see Zarzour and Al Quds Hospitals. My guide was a young man who lived there and knows very well the area.
My first stop was Zarzour hospital (mentioned in MSF report) and I found out that it was burned. My guide told me that the rebels burned it the day before the evacuation (information confirmed by a high position responsible in the Syrian Red Crescent). On the sidewalk, I found hundreds of burned new blood bags (for collection of blood donation). A man I met there invited me to visit his building just next to the hospital. His building was also burned and on the floors, I found hundreds of IV solution bags.
Then, we moved to Ain Jalout school. In fact, there are 3 contiguous schools. Two are completely destroyed; one is partially. Behind the schools, there is a mosque called Abbas mosque with its minaret. Answering my surprise to see schools destroyed by airstrikes, my guide told me that the mosque was a headquarters of the rebels and one school was an ammunition depot and the other one was a food depot. I noticed the flag of Al Nosra (sic) painted on the external wall of the school, and dozens of buildings in the surrounding partially destroyed.
Then, we moved to see Al Quds Hospital. Obviously, it is the most preserved building of the street. Obviously, it was not hit directly by bombs and probably received some fragments from bombs fallen on other buildings. I asked my guide if any restoration or repair was done. He said no.
My feeling is the following: Ain Jalout school was the target of the strikes, the surrounding destroyed buildings were collateral damages and Al Quds hospital was not directly hit by strikes.”
Ain Jalout School Aleppo
The bombed out Ain Jalout School, used as a Nusra ammunition and supply depot. Photo | Nabil Antaki
An eye witness account. Photographs. Video. All paint a reality starkly different from that portrayed in “For Sama.” The claims in the film about the death of a doctor at Al Quds Hospital, supposedly captured by closed caption cameras, are also untrue.
The armed opposition and their western supporters have been faking events to demonize the Syrian government from the start. Just as they did with the very public Richard Engels Kidnapping Hoax, where militants staged the kidnapping and “rescue” of Engels and his team.

Paid and Promoted by the West

Waad Kateab, the film’s main protagonist, had an expensive video camera and endless hard drives. She even had a drone to take video from the air. As confirmed by Hillary Clinton in her book “Hard Choices,” the U.S. provided “satellite-linked computers, telephones, cameras, and training for more than a thousand activists, students, and independent journalists.”
Waad claims she is a citizen journalist but has been paid and supplied by governments that have long sought the overthrow of the Syrian government. Even in 2005, CNN host Christiane Amanpour warned Bashar al Assad that “the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States. They are actively looking for a new Syrian leader … They’re talking about isolating you diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d’etat or your regime crumbling.”
Since 2011, the West, Turkey, Israel, and the Gulf monarchies have spent many billions trying to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA budget for Syria was near a billion per year. These “soft power” components include video equipment and training for people like Waad to support the armed insurrection, demonize the Syrian government and persuade the public to continue the war.
We all suffered… The difference is that some wanted the war.”
The medical doctor from west Aleppo, Dr. Antaki, does not deny there was suffering in east Aleppo. But he points out the discrepancy in media coverage where all the attention goes to the “rebels.” He also points out that all suffered, but not all were responsible. Some, especially supporters of the “revolution,” initiated and continued the conflict. Dr. Antaki said on the subject:
There were a lot of stories like ‘For Sama’ in West Aleppo. Unfortunately, nobody had the idea to document them because we were busy trying to protect ourselves from the rockets, to find water to drink, to find bread and essential products which were not available because of the blockade of Aleppo by the armed groups. They cut off electrical power, heating etc.. Yes, people who were in the East neighborhoods suffered from the war as well as those who lived in the West neighborhoods. We, all, suffered. The difference is that some people wanted the war, initiated or supported it and they suffer. The others didn’t support it and suffered.”

The Aftermath

Waad Al Kateab and her husband Hamza are now living in the UK. He is working for a money transfer company and involved with the “Al Quds Hospital” in Idlib. As indicated in the movie, Waad was never proud to be Syrian and she wanted to emigrate to the West. From afar, she claims to be proud of the “revolution” that has led to the destruction of Syria and the human tragedy that accompanied it.
Meanwhile, people are returning to Aleppo and rebuilding the city. There are even a few tourists. Although pockets of snipers still exist in Aleppo, the al Qaeda extremism which once plagued the city is now mostly confined to Idlib.

Save Idlib?

The 2019 documentary “Of Fathers and Sons” is based on a film-maker who lived with militants in Idlib. Some of the reality hidden from the audience in “For Sama” is revealed in this documentary. “Of Fathers and Sons” shows life in Idlib province dominated by Nusra. Women are restricted to the house and must be veiled. Boys as young as ten are sent to sharia school and military training preparing them to join Nusra. They believe in the Taliban, glorify 9-11 and expel or punish anyone who does not subscribe to their fundamentalism. Youth are indoctrinated with extremist ideology and a belief in violence. This is the regime that those who want to “Save Idlib” are protecting.
For decades the West has supported fanatic extremist organizations to overthrow or undermine independent secular socialist states. Most people in the West are unaware of this, though it is well documented in “Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam” and “The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump.”

The Future

Unbeknownst in the West, the majority of Syrians support their government, admire their president, and feel that the Syrian Army is protecting them. Even those who are critical of the government prefer it to chaos or Salafi fundamentalism. Waad and Hamza Al Kateab represent a tiny minority of Syrians. Their voices and the perspective of Edward Watts, the filmmaker (who has never been to Syria) are being widely projected and disseminated through “For Sama.” Other voices are being ignored.
When Waad and Hamza departed Aleppo with Nusra militants, the vast majority of Aleppans celebrated. On the surface, “For Sama” is about romance and childbirth. Underneath it is very political, as interviews with the producers confirmed. For this, it will likely be widely promoted precisely because it gives a distorted picture. To continue the dirty war on Syria, public misunderstanding is required.
Feature photo | A screenshot from a trailer for the documentary film, “For Sana.”
Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist based in the SF Bay Area of California. He can be reached at
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

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