Why Hillary is completely wrong on Syria

According to this superb article by Patrick Cockburn, we are to expect new or increased american military intervention in the Middle East, particularly in Syria:

„…a report by the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington that recommends that the destruction of Isis should no longer be the overriding objective of the US in Syria, but that equal priority should be given to taking military action against President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Army.“

This apparently requires „A new pro-US armed opposition would be built up to fight Assad, Isis, al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda clones“.

Now take a closer look:
The Syrian Army (and allies), Isis, Al-Nusra and her Al Qaeda sisters such as Ahrar al Sham and co. have a combined man power of around 200.000 men. The loyalist factions posses both airforce and air defense. All parties together in total field thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, artillery pieces and other short and mid range explosive weapons. Most important than all of this: All of the parties have 5 years of experience in irregular warfare, mastering the use of tunnels and tunnel bombs, DIY weapons, IEDs etc.
And now, a hitherto non-existent new army is going to rise in their midst and fight them all. No matter how much support the US airforce and even any special ground forces were to contribute this adventure is doomed to fail.
If you doubt this, I may refer to Afghanistan:
There the Americans/Nato had a major well-armed and -trained ally (15-20k men of the Northern Alliance), heavy ground presence (tens of thousands of Nato soldiers), an Afghan president representing the ethnic majority of the country (Pushtuns), no relevant sectarian element (broad majority of Afghans are Sunnis; Shia Hazaras very small group that was never in power), an enemy with little history of holding power (Taliban were in power just since 5 years when the Americans attacked in 2011).
15 years later the Afghan army built by Nato is hardly capable to defend against the Taliban without the help of the US airforce. The government has never regained full control of remote areas of the country and of the Pushtun heartland. The Taliban regularly stage attacks in the middle of Kabul inflicting casualties in Afghan and international troops.

Hillary and her „think tanks“ won´t care about all this. Instead she will elaborate that Syria is not Afghanistan, that the situation and the conditions are „totally different“…

 

 

Syrias „revolution“: What we did NOT (want to) see

„Merhej and Dayoub were the first of eighty-eight soldiers killed throughout Syria in the first month of this conflict“
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/336934-syria-war-conflict-narrative/
Did you know this? That 88 Syrian soldiers were killed in that very early phase of the Syrian civil war?

5 years ago the Syrian „uprising“ or „revolution“ started in the city of Deraa. It is not much that we really know about the details and the dynamics that triggered the deadly cycle of cause and effects which – not long later – climaxed into a spirale of violence that now enters it´s sixth year.

The western mainstream media and along with it the media of it´s Gulf Arab allies – especially the state-owned channels Al Arabiyya and Al Jazeera –  knew the „facts“ from the beginning:
Unarmed people demonstrated peacefully for democracy
– The state security forces responded with lethal force without a real reason

While it is true that security forces in Deraa strongly overreacted to youths spraying anti-government graffiti on the walls of a school by torturing some of them and insulting their parents when they protested against the treatment of their kids, this narrative which exclusively displays the opposition perspective of the events leaves other, less pleasant facts untouched.
Though the uncomfortable facts undermining the romantic myth of the „peaceful revolution“ are still widely un(der)reported by most western news outlets, other more independent sources have revealed them:

„But there were signs from the very start that armed groups were involved…A Syrian television crew, working for the government, produced a tape showing men with pistols and Kalashnikovs in a Deraa demonstration in the very early days of the “rising”.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-civil-war-five-years-on-2011-bashar-al-assad-isis-iran-conflict-a6929186.html

„According to several different opposition sources, up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.
One Daraa native explains: “At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed.”
Beyond that, the details are sketchy. Nizar Nayouf, a longtime Syria dissident and blogger who wrote about the killings, says the massacre took place in the final week of March 2011.“
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

Here is another case of early violence against the Syrian army which western media either denied or attributed to the army itself. This article, however, debunks the media lie and clearly identifies armed opposition as the perpetrators:
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/western-press-misled-who-shot-the-nine-soldiers-in-banyas-not-syrian-security-forces/

„According to the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the combined death toll for Syrian government forces was 2,569 by March 2012, the first year of the conflict. At that time, the UN’s total casualty count for all victims of political violence in Syria was 5,000.“
So, 50% of the casualties were soldiers of the army. Do you still believe that the „opposition“ was unarmed and peaceful? Considering this enormous death toll of the Syrian army, do you still believe that they „overreacted“?

No country likes to have the media of hostile western countries on its soil, especially after Iraq 2003 and Libya 2011 blatantly showed how media deliberately misreported events, concealed „unfavorable“ facts and exaggerated/overemphasized other facts. The Syrian government had no interest in exposing weakness and revealing the degree of it´s loss of control in some cities. Western and Arab media and governments simply declared all reporting by Syrian and pro-Syrian sources „propaganda“ and treated every claim by Syrian „activists“ as undisputed truth.
Whenever army soldiers were killed, Al Jazeera and co. had an „activist“ on the phone line explaining that the Sunni soldiers were executed by Alawite officers because they refused to shoot at unarmed civilians or because they wanted to defect. This myth, often cited by anti-Syrian mass media was so ridiculous that even Rami Abdulrahman from the frequently quoted pro-rebel Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) commented it as follows: „“This game of saying the army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this because it is propaganda.”
Especially in the first year of the civil war, the primary source of western news channels, the activists, were quick declaring every person killed by the Syrian army as „civilian“. This was exposed as a lie by – no joke! – Al Jazeeras own reporter Nir Rosen: „Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the cause of their death is hidden and they are described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely protesting or sitting in their homes.“

One of the best-known and most cited „activists“ was Danny Abu Dayyem. Watch this video that exposes him and embarasses CNN:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lWB5ssifTg

Another „prominent“ Activist and primary source for Al Jazeera was Khaled Abu Saleh, who was also exposed as a liar and forger of news:
http://counterpsyops.com/2012/07/07/khaled-abu-saleh-a-multitask-syrian-hacktivists-on-western-payroll/

So, for many months the fairy tale was perpetuated of a population enduring it´s governments unlimited and unjustified violence peacefully and patiently until one day it had enough and decided to „defend“ itself. Some went so far to claim that this allegedly nonviolent phase of the „revolution“ lasted almost one year. This is a brazen lie. In a single incident in early June 2011 – note that this is less than three months after Deraa – some 120 soldiers and police were killed in the city of Jisr al Shughur.
This is what Syria expert Joshua Landis tells about the massacre: „There is little evidence of wide-scale mutiny of Syrian soldiers. No solid evidence that they shot at each other, and some evidence that the young men of Jisr set a trap for Syrian soldiers with simple weapons and dynamite…The Syrian government then published tapped phone calls of activists in Jisr that it collected on the eve of the initial combat. If they can be taken at face value, the activists establish a plan to send all the women and children of the city to Turkey. They were instructed to tell foreigners that Syrian military personnel shot each other. When enlisted men refused to shoot on unarmed demonstrators, their Alawi officers mowed them down – that was the story to be told to the Western press.“:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0cwLeMX8MA

Despite persistent media claims that the Syrian forces were acting with „irresponsible“ or „disproportional“ brutality, video clips like the following from Douma near Damascus (not later than March 2012) show a different picture: The soldiers carry no weapons, they are throwing stones back at the demonstrators:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdWH-SlIz6w

This video from Homs (not later than 2012) is even more unmasking for the „unarmed opposition“ as it shows armed „civilians“ firing at unarmed riot police:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsfsMVEO3nc

One thing is crystal clear: Syrias „uprising“ was armed and violent from its very first days. No doubt, many innocent people were killed by the security forces, but to claim that the violence was one-sided, that the protesters were unarmed and entirely peaceful, that police and army had no reason to resort to violence means ignoring the bitter truth of the not so romantic beginnings of what became a full scale armed insurrection.

Die „moderaten“ Rebellen der Jaish al Fath (Army of Conquest) in Nordsyrien?

Was soll eigentliche dieser ganze Unsinn um angeblich „moderate Rebellen“ in Syrien?

– 80% dieser „moderaten Rebellen“ tragen Bärte, die man zurecht und eindeutig mit Salafisten assoziiert
– Ihre ganzen Battaillone haben eindeutig islami(sti)sche Namen
– Sie beleidigen ihre Gegner (Syrische Armee, Hizbollah) mit religiösen Diffamierungen (Ungläubige, Apostate…)

Wer sollen denn diese „moderaten“ sein?
Die in Idlib kämpfende grösste und stärkste Rebellen-Dachorganisation ist „Jaish al Fath“ (bedeutet „Armee der Eroberung“ und das Wort „Fath“ ist eine „Hommage“ auf die frühislamischen Eroberungszüge der Muslime gegen die römischen Christen) beinhaltet als grösste Untergruppierungen zwei Gruppen, die als salafistisch und lokale „Ableger“ der Al Qaida gelten:
– Nusra Front
– Ahrar al Sham

Auch ein weiteres Mitglied, die „Jund al Aqsa“ gilt als Al Qaeda nah:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_of_Conquest

„The Long War Journal has previously identified Jund al Aqsa as an al Qaeda front, based on the biographies of its leadership, the group’s propaganda, and its close working relationship with the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. “
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/05/another-al-qaeda-veteran-reportedly-killed-while-leading-jund-al-aqsa-in-syria.php#comment-73661

Weitere Mitglieder der Jaish al Fath sind tschetschenische, uighurische, türkische, uzbekische und marrokanische Verbände, die Selbstmordattentäter und Kindersoldaten einsetzen:
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/09/saudi-al-qaeda-cleric-showcases-training-camp-for-children-in-syria.php

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/09/uzbek-group-pledges-allegiance-to-al-nusrah-front.php

Die Russen bombardieren hauptsächlich die Jaish al Fath, aber was soll denn an ihr „moderat“ sein?

„The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an Uighur jihadist group that is affiliated with al Qaeda and operates in Central and South Asia, has published photos showing its fighters engaging in combat with Syrian government forces in Hama and Latakia provinces. “
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/10/turkistan-islamic-party-shows-fighters-on-frontlines-in-northwestern-syria.php

How „moderate“ is the FSAs „Southern Front“

When confronted with the fact that there is no relevant moderate rebel faction going by the name of „Free Syrian Army“, still some people disagree pointing to the so called „Southern Front“ as a supposed success model of a secular/liberal force fighting against the Syrian government.

The more interesting then to zoom deeper into the Southern Front:

„The simultaneous claims of success indicate that the Southern Front’s fighters likely participated in the battle alongside the jihadists, even though the FSA’s southern alliance has repeatedly rejected cooperation with Al Nusrah.“

„Just days after Al Reis’ [Southern Front commander] public rejection of any cooperation with al Qaeda’s arm in Syria, Ahrar al Sham, Al Nusrah and their allies in the region announced the creation of a southern wing of Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”).“

„Some FSA groups rejected cooperation with “Jaysh al Fateh in the South,” but others reportedly joined it. Adding to the battlefield confusion, the Southern Front apparently fought alongside Ahrar al Sham just days before publicly rejecting any collaboration with Al Nusrah (Ahrar’s closest ally in Syria)“

„According to a recent account, FSA groups operating under its umbrella are peeling off and joining Ahrar al Sham.“
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/10/al-nusrah-front-free-syrian-army-battle-assad-regime-for-un-hill-in-southern-syria.php

So much about the Southern Front being a reliable „moderate“ rebel faction and so much about it´s leaders credibility when they claim they will not cooperate with Jabhat al Nusra, Al Qaedas Syrian branch.

Sunnis in the Syrian army and government

For more than four years (since the start of the Syrian civil war) we have been hearing the same odd and dishonest mantra again and again:
The Syrian state and army are sectarian…The state hates Sunnis…The rebels are fought because they are Sunnis…The CIVILIANS are deliberately killed, simply because they are Sunnis…THE GOVERNMENT AND ARMY (+ LOYALIST MILITIAS) ARE „ALMOST ENTIRELY“ ALAWITES WHO HATE SUNNIS, etc.

Let´s first debunk the nonsense that the Syrian army, militias and security services are „almost entirely“ Sunni:

„As for General Swaidan’s soldiers, they arrive to salute their commander and are invited to talk to me: a group of conscripts who give their full names and their civilian jobs – one was a tailor, another a carpenter – and cheerfully say they are Sunni Muslims. Assad, of course, is an Alawite, but the general is careful of percentages, saying that 60 to 65 per cent of the 4th Brigade are Sunnis. „There is no sectarianism in this army, not in our brigade, and if you tour the checkpoints around the city, you will find most of the soldiers are Sunnis.“

The rebel forces in Syria, of course, are almost all Sunni Muslims, and that was the general’s point: Syrian Sunnis also fight for the army. And when I did stop at the general’s checkpoints and rather cruelly demanded to know their religion, almost all of them were indeed Sunni, some conscripts, many regular soldiers
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/there-is-no-sectarianism-in-the-army-syrias-war–the-generals-view-9206169.html

Sunnis are the backbone of the Syrian army
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/in-assads-syria-death-notices-litter-the-walls–and-life-goes-on-9836912.html

„There are a lot of senior Sunni officers who are still in the Syrian army and security institutions…the majority of the Syrian army (around 60%) are Sunni.“
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2013/05/syrian-conflict-failed-sectarian-analysis.html#ixzz3d44F14an

„The Syrian army is largely made up of Sunni conscripts, while many willing Sunni volunteers in the paramilitary groups that support regular government forces fight alongside foreign Shia militias, like Hezbollah, against a plethora of rebel groups that are all exclusively Sunni Muslim of varying extremes – both local and foreign.“
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/syria-why-assad-still-power-544952547

„The perception of the opposition as a rural-based movement led by religiously conservative, poor, and unsophisticated villagers has alienated wide segments of urban Sunnis, who have little in common socially with their co-religionists…Sunnis and, more specifically, Sunni Arabs, continue to make up the majority of the regular army’s rank-and-file membership…Estimates indicate that Sunnis account for between 60 and 65 percent of the regular army…Sunnis continue to be well represented in Syria’s security institutions in various capacities, including leadership and other specialized roles…Sunnis, for example, are well represented in NDF units based in Aleppo and elsewhere…has also bolstered the NDF’s ranks with loyal Sunni Arab tribesmen who act as crucial proxies for the regime to different degrees in provinces as diverse as Al-Raqqah, Al-Hassakah, Dara’a, and Deir al-Zour“
https://www.ctc.usma.edu/?p=35407

And now, let´s take a look at the government itself:

The Vice President, the Prime minister, the Foreign minister, the Defense minister, the Interior minister, the heads of the security services and many more influential and first level functionaries are Sunnis. Even the wives of Bashar al Assad and his brother are Sunni women:
http://www.syrianperspective.com/2015/06/liars-syrper-pulls-the-veil-off-the-alawi-canard-syria-is-ruled-by-sunnis-and-sunnis-only.html

 

 

Syria: Nusra Fronts recent massacres should open some eyes

Recently some western and Gulf Arab circles have been bringing up the idea to „reconsider“ the Nusra Fronts (Jabhat al Nusra) status as terrorist organization. They attempt to sugarcoat Nusra as „moderate Islamists“ who are supposedly the arch enemy of ISIS and therefore sort of „not that bad“.
The argument is totally flawed as the Syrian army is also fighting ISIS in places such as Qalamoun, eastern Homs (Palmyra), Deir al Zour and Hasakah to name some of the battlefronts, not to mention that ISIS is fighting pro Assad factions in the Yarmouk camp of Damascus, where – interestingly – it was al Nusra who let ISIS enter the camp.

To destroy any myths about Nusra being „moderate“ or otherwise „non-terrorist“ I refer to this comprehensive article, but it´s noteworthy to read some very recent news about al Nusra AFTER the Al Jazeera interview with the groups leader al Jolani. The aim of the interview was to advertise for Nusras „rebrandishing“ by allowing al Jolani to portray the group as one that not only has no plans to attack the west but also respects minorities, is non-sectarian, almost liberal one should think…

Here are some stories featuring the Nusra Fronts actions in the last weeks:

„“There was a garrison of 40 of our men in one battle in Idlib province, and 14 were killed in the fighting and the other 26 were captured,” General Ghassan says. “They executed them one by one, going from one man to the next to shoot him in the back of the head so that the others in the row would know what was about to happen to them.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/an-army-boot-is-placed-on-the-face-of-the-dead-men-general-ghassan-of-the-syrian-army-on-the-war-against-nusra-10289588.html

the Islamist gunmen picked off the Syrian checkpoints around Jisr al-Shugour, firing at ambulances taking the wounded to hospital, creating panic among civilians who poured into the centre of the town – much as the Muslims of Bosnia had fled for their lives under Serb attacks into the towns of the Drina Valley almost 25 years ago. 

„Some men who showed they were alive were immediately shot.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-syria-hospital-siege-thatturned-into-a-massacre-jisr-alshugour-breakout-was-less-of-a-victory-than-damascus-claims-10301084.html

„At least 20 Druze villagers have been shot dead by the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in north-western Syria“
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33092902

With regards to the killing of the members of the Druze minority, especially this part of the BBC article should draw attention for many reasons:
„Wednesday’s shooting occurred after a Tunisian al-Nusra commander tried to confiscate a house belonging to a Druze man who he claimed was loyal to the Syrian government…the al-Nusra commander accused the Druze of being „kuffar“ (infidels) before ordering the mass shooting.“

This is exactly the point: Nusra harbors key non-Syrian radically sectarian elements, going from the Chechen commander Muslim Shishani to the Saudi Salafi „field ideologue“ Abdullah al Muhaysini.
There have been dozens of cases of similar mass executions of „non-aligned“ civilians, including many Sunnis, by simply declaring them „loyal to the Syrian government“, as if this in itself is a grave crime.
The international media has for years been very receptive and tolerant for Syrian rebel crimes as soon as the victims were defamed as „Shabiha“ or otherwise dehumanized. „Shabiha“, „Assad supporter“, „regime loyalist“, these and other negatively colored terms have been the standard vocabulary of Syrian rebels and their media mouthpieces when it came to justify terrorism and crimes against humanity.

Finally, the following article about Nusra and whether they really deserve reconsideration and „rehabilitation“ is highly recommendable:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/06/rebranding-nusra-front-isil-syria-qaeda-150605062901260.html

Some excerpts:
„The Nusra Front, concluded HRW, was „responsible for systematic and widespread violations including targeting civilians, kidnappings, and executions„.

Like ISIL, the group has „committed systematic rights abuses, including the intentional targeting and abduction of civilians“ with „repeated claims of responsibility for lethal car bombing attacks that have targeted civilians in Syria„.

The Nusra Front, HRW added, has – again, like ISIL – „imposed strict and discriminatory rules on women and girls and they have both actively recruited child soldiers„.

So, a moderate or pragmatic group then? Not by any stretch of the imagination….

This notion that JN [the Nusra Front] isn’t as violent as [ISIL] is wrong; both groups follow the extremism of bin Ladinism, though the former uses a bullet while the latter prefers a blade – or worse“

Truths about the Yarmouk camp that western mainstream media and Arab channels suppress

The twisted and flawed „logic“ of many western and (Gulf) Arab media outlets regarding the Yarmouk camp of Palestinian refugees in Damascus goes as follows:
– The Palestinians in Yarmouk (but also in other camps) hate Assad and support the „revolution“
– Assad and the Syrian government (who for more than 40 years have been hosting the Palestinians) hate the Palestinians because they are (mostly) Sunnis
– The Syrian army is bombing the camp, keeping it under siege and starving the inhabitants
– The inhabitants love and support the Syrian rebels because the latter „defend“ the Palestinians and fight against the „regime“
– Only anti-Assad Palestinian factions in Yarmouk are fighting against ISIS

If someone is interested in a more authentic and less propagandist version of the camps recent story, I refer to following articles:

<<„There is intermittent fighting between Palestinian factions and IS and Al-Nusra Front which are trying to retake positions in the centre of Yarmuk,“ Khaled Abdel Majid, head of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front which is close to Syria’s regime, told AFP…He said Syrian regime aircraft have bombarded Al-Hajar al-Aswad, which is jihadist-held.>>
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/contents/afp/2015/05/syria-conflict-yarmuk.html

pro-Assad Palestinian militias are fighting a grinding battle to the death against the Islamic State.“
<<“The cease-fire details were in place and ready to be implemented by the end of March 2015 when the terrorists of Daesh and Nusra launched their attack on the camp, scuttling all previous efforts,”>>
„The recent battle against the Islamic State, for instance, saw a number of defections from Hamas-controlled militant group Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis — previously allied with opposition factions in the camp — to the regime side, after the Islamic State beheaded 10 Aknaf men. But other fighters from the group defected to Nusra and the Islamic State. According to Palestinian sources, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Qatar, made several calls to PFLP-GC leader Jibril, as well as Hezbollah and Amal leaders in Lebanon, in order to secure the safety of Aknaf fighters. Now, approximately 160 Aknaf fighters are fighting alongside the regime
<<Unlike Hamas, we are loyal to Syria. Syria was loyal to Palestine.”>>
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/04/inside-the-ruins-of-yarmouk-refugee-camp-syria/

while the civilian population is suffering the lashes of hunger, thirst and dwindling medical supplies, militants inside the camp appear to be largely unaffected by the siege. On the contrary these groups seem to be well-armed, fully weaponized (at least to the extent that enables them to retain full military control over the majority of the camp despite the ongoing siege) and on multiple occasions have even instigated clashes and firefights with the Syrian army.

This begs the question: what prevents these militants from using their own supply routes and active ammunition channels to soften the impact of the regime-imposed siege on the civilian population inside the camp, keeping in mind that areas bordering Yarmouk from its southern entrance are controlled by the “rebels” themselves? ““
https://radioyaran.com/2015/04/11/why-is-the-yarmouk-camp-suffering-the-true-reasons-not-western-propaganda/