Barrel bombs and beheadings

No doubt the use of barrel bombs is a desperate measure as this weapon is indiscriminate due to it being unguided. But barrel bombs are very probably not a weapon of free choice for the Syrian army. Would the Syrian airforce possess precision „hellfire“ missiles or other smart weapons or would it have defensive weapons that deflect heat seeking anti-aircraft missiles barrel bombs would not have become a military necessity.

To claim that the airforce deliberately uses barrel bombs in order to inflict intentional and maximum civilian casualties is nonsense. Up until July 2012 the Syrian airforce almost played no role. Fixed-wing aircraft entered the civil war after the rebels intrusion into Aleppo and even then often at the rate of dropping 1-2 bombs from Czech L-39 trainer jets.

While the Syrian army implicitly is condoning collateral damage in the shape of civilian casualties its primary target for barrel bombs are rebels fighting from and hiding in civilian neighborhoods. Dozens of rebel video clips clearly show them launching rockets and firing mortars from the middle of civilian areas. Anti-aircraft guns have often been stationed in streets running between peoples houses. Army tanks have been hit by IEDs placed on such streets and convoys have been ambushed on alleyways passing through ordinary neighborhoods.
This is not meant to justify civilian casualties and downplay the devastating effects of inaccurate weapons but it is fair to make clear that many of areas subjected to Syrian army attacks have long lost their „civilian innocence“. Also, especially in vast parts of Aleppo city rebels have chased away the rightful civilian owners and taken away their houses, subsequently turning them into sniper and RPG positions.

In conclusion one could argue that the barrel bomb is a military necessity due to the lack of better weapons.
In contrast many of the violent actions of the rebels are neither accidental nor a „military necessity“.
It is not necessary to:
– mass execute captured and handcuffed prisoners of war
– throw down postal workers from rooftops
– behead disarmed opponents (and accompany a sectarian crime with religious slogans)- send suicide bombers to blow up school children (and later call them „Shabiha kids“)
– detonate water and gas pipelines
– blast electricity plants
– misuse mosques as weapons depots and firing places
– blow up and desecrate mosques and churches of minorities
– intentionally target and kill journalists and reporters critical of the „rebellion“ (and celebrate this on social media)

All these acts have been carried out by all rebel factions, not only the notorious ISIS and al-Nusra. Besides the „others“ who are hardly less sectarian have either closely and regularly cooperated with al-Nusra or openly voiced support and sympathy for them. Thus it is a mystery where and who the „moderate“ rebels are supposed to be and how anyone can seriously claim that it is safe to supply them with more and better weapons because they are „reliable“ and won´t cooperate with the Jihadists or pass their weapons over to them.

Qatar- The „world bank“ of Jihadi terrorism in Syria (and elsewhere)

It is silly that western mainstream media simply quotes the Qatari Emirs denial of his country being a sponsor of Salafi/Takfiri terrorists. Contrary to pro-Russian or at least „not pro-american“ countries Qatar (and likewise Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait..) has a lobby. After all „Qatar is the richest country in the world per capita – and has made significant investments“ into various western countries and corporations.

The following article and the embedded video clip shed more light on Qatars role in devastating Syria (and earlier Libya) through arming and funding radical Islamists:

The article explicitly mentions Ahrar al Sham. Some western and (Gulf) arab media have attempted to portray Ahrar al Sham as a kind of „acceptable“ – though not explicitly „moderate“ – rebel faction. The focus of such coverage has been to emphasize Ahrar al Shams fighting against IS(IS).  Simultaneously the same sources try to either  downplay Ahrars connection to and regular cooperation with Al Qaedas Syrian branch, the Salafi Al Nusra Front or to create the impression that Al Nusra is the arch enemy of IS(IS) and thus „automatically“ good or worthy of support.
Hence, it may be necessary to once again make absolutely clear that Al Nusra are radically sectarian takfiri Jihadists and 100% non-moderate.
„Islamist rebels decapitated prisoners around the United Nations bases near where Irish troops were serving in Syria, a UN report seen by the Sunday Independent reveals.“
The article makes clear that the beheaders were Al Nusra fighters:

It is very embarassing for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey as the main funders, trainers, weapons providers and facilitators of the Syrian insurgent factions as well as for the US administration that continues to stick to the myth of „moderate“ rebels that the Nusra Front increasingly and openly voices sympathy and support for IS (with which it cooperates already in Lebanon during kidnapping and beheading „joint ventures“):

More complications for the „standing“ and reliability of the insurgents arise from the Nusra being a major factor on almost all of Syrias frontlines and cooperating with all relevant rebel factions, among them the „Islamic Front“ (where the Ahrar are the biggest single group), the „Syrian revolutionaries front“ and the „Southern Front“.

For more details on Syrias different rebel factions and the radical islamist ties of all of them, see

Western air campaign, Kobane and ineffectiveness

2,5 months after the US began to bomb IS in Iraq and almost one month after the US and allies started an aerial bombing campaign against IS in and near Kobane in Syria it is not clear at all whether any real success has been achieved.

In Iraq IS has again managed to put a siege around the Sinjar area and encircle the Yezidi inhabitants. In Kobane IS has lost a couple of hundred fighters but still in inside parts of the city and was even able to take back a „strategic hill“, which the Kurdish defenders just had recaptured 2 weeks ago as an alleged sign of the tide turning (against IS).

Several questions arise:

1. How is it possible that the most modern airforce of the world is not able (or willling?) to dislodge the 1000 (or so) fighters of a militia that has a dozen of old Russian tanks and no air defense?
2. The weapon of choice against small mobile enemy units would be attack helicopters of the types Cobra, Apache and Black Hawk. Why are they not deployed in Kobane?
3. IS has brought reinforcements from Raqqa and the Aleppo countryside in long convoys of pick ups. Why were these not intercepted and attacked?
4. „Moderate“ FSA rebels, e.g. from the „Hazm movement“ have been extensively using american ATGMs (TOW missiles) against armoured vehicles but also against sniper positions and barracks of the Syrian Army. The FSA claims to side with the Kurds and against IS. Why has not a single ATGM been applied against IS vehicles at Kobane?

Another interesting aspect of the war against IS in Kobane is that major parts of the city have been destroyed, mostly by the aerial bombing and NOT by the mortar fire of IS:
Kobane destruction

Readers all remember, when similar pictures are shown from Syria, western and (Gulf) arab press put the blame squarely on the Syrian army and used phrases such as „Assad is killing his people“. The „lesson“ is that while it´s OK for american fighter jets to demolish civilian areas of a SYRIAN city because of IS presence there, the Syrian army has no right to bomb civilian areas that have been taken by islamist militias and turned to launchpads for mortar attacks.

Should the Shia now get angry and suicide bomb Sunnis?

Particularly over the course of the last year the western press has maintained a campaign of indirect justification of anti-Shia violence at the hand of radically sectarian – mainly Salafi – Sunnis.
After each act of beheading, mass executing or suicide bombing Shias in Iraq – predominantly ordinary Shia civilians – the western media coverage never failed to mention and reiterate that the Sunnis feel sidelined and discriminated by the corrupt and sectarian Shia dominated regime. Emphasizing the „anger“ of Sunnis was and is a major feature of almost every article that reports of yet another bombing of a Shia market place. By doing this the media not only insulted the (mostly Shia) victims but also – to a certain degree – explained and even partly legitimized the crime and it´s perpetrators.
It is scandalous to apply such a fallacy that white-washes sectarian motivated hate crimes by giving them the pretense of being an act of reactionary desperation. There is no logic in detonating a bomb that kills family fathers, women, children and elderly in a poor suburb of Baghdad on the grounds that one feels one has been treated unjustly by the Shia dominated government.

In Bahrain the Shia are the majority and their best known activists such as the Khwaja family are entirely peaceful. Today, once again Zainab al Khwaja has been arrested:

In Saudi Arabia Sheikh Nimr, a leader of the Shia community who is not known for violence is sentenced to death:

I have two questions:
1. Is Barack Obama not ashamed of his coalition that includes Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and gives these two countries the undeserved appearance of being something superior?

2. Considering these obviously extreme anti-Shia policies of the GCC countries would western press „explain“ and understand suicide bombings of the „angry“ Shia population?

The FSA complains that US airstrikes hit „Al Qaeda“ in Syria

Just read and laugh:
Statement 1: „“Because there is no coordination, [the U.S.-led coalition] hit an al Nusrah base in the Idlib suburbs that is only 200 meters from the Free Syrian Army,” Al Marie said.“
Conclusion: the „terrorist-branded Al Qaeda affiliate“ al Nusrah front has its base in walking distance of the „MODERATE“ FSA.
Statement 2: „“The FSA is passing on solid targeting information about ISIS and Nusrah. We don’t know if they are using it or not,” the opposition official said. „

So, the same FSA that is more than obviously cooperating with al Nusrah is giving targetting information regarding al Nusrah to the Americans???
What is clear is that (1) is true. (2) however is only for the usual idiots in the US administration to believe or at least claim in the public that the FSA is moderate and hostile to al Nusrah.