Archive for the ‘Aleppo Syria’ category

Resistance Axis Opponents Enraged At Photos Of Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani In Aleppo: The Photos Are Proof Of Iranian Expansion In Syria, Are Reminiscent Of Nazi Generals Strolling Through Cities They Destroyed

January 5, 2017

Resistance Axis Opponents Enraged At Photos Of Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani In Aleppo: The Photos Are Proof Of Iranian Expansion In Syria, Are Reminiscent Of Nazi Generals Strolling Through Cities They Destroyed, MEMRI, January 4, 2017

Several days after the Syrian regime and its allies retook eastern Aleppo, one of the Syrian opposition’s main remaining strongholds, with siege and heavy bombardment, the Iranian press published photos of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Qods Force, which is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as he toured the ruined city, including the medieval citadel at its center.

The photos enraged opponents of the resistance axis, which is headed by Iran and the Syrian regime. They perceived the photos as proof that Aleppo is now occupied by Iran and a signal that Iran is also aiming to occupy other cities in Arab countries, particularly in the Gulf. Articles in the Arab press, especially in the Gulf, called Soleimani a “modern-day Hitler,” and argued that the world is not stopping him, just as it had not stopped Hitler and other mass murderers in modern history.

6728aSoleimani tours Aleppo (Qasemsoleimani.ir, December 16, 2016)

Following are excerpts from major reactions in the Arab press to the photos of Soleimani in Aleppo:

Iran Is Signaling Its Intent To Occupy More Cities In The Middle East

Hamad Al-Majed, a Saudi columnist for the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote: “The well-known photo of the Gen. Qassem Soleimani arrogantly walking the empty streets of Aleppo that his forces destroyed and whose residents they killed and expelled… is a massive propaganda message that Iran has leaked to the media, and holds within it thousands [more] messages. It is as if Soleimani, a military peacock arrogant over his victories, is muttering: ‘Yesterday we liberated Baghdad and the other Iraqi cities, and after that Sana’a [in Yemen], and after that we took over Beirut [in Lebanon], and today we are liberating Aleppo. It is only a matter of time before [we] dismantle the other cities in Syria, and then, sooner or later, you will see me strolling through the rubble of other Arab cities in the Middle East…”[1]

‘Ali Al-Husseini, a columnist for the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal, which is affiliated with pro-Saudi and anti-Assad elements in Lebanon, wrote: “Two days ago, the Iranian expansion plan was revealed, [which has now] reached Aleppo after [reaching the Syrian cities of] Al-Qusayr, Al-Zabadani, and Madaya, [occupied by Hizbullah]. [What revealed this plan was] IRGC [Qods Force] commander Qassem Soleimani, who emerged strolling the neighborhoods of Aleppo that reek of destruction, witnessed the killing of children, and are littered with the bodies of dead residents. There is no doubt that this was a painful picture for residents of the city…

“With the aid and assistance of [Afghani, Pakistani, and Iraqi] mercenaries, Soleimani yesterday stepped on the body parts and in the blood of Aleppo residents, and also on the emotions of its orphaned children. This photo birthed, in their souls, a desire for vengeance, and a dream to return [to Aleppo] with fire in their eyes…”[2]

Arabs Should Awaken And Act – Because Iran Poses A Danger To The Gulf States

Saleh Al-Sheikhi, a columnist for the Saudi daily Al-Watan, called on Arabs to awaken and act, in light of what is perceived as an Iranian takeover of yet another Arab city. He wrote: “Two days ago, I stood for nearly an hour, no less, looking at the photo of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani strolling through the streets of Aleppo – which are no longer streets but ruins and piles of rubble. I struggled, no less, to put out of my mind my visions of Soleimani’s false dreams about strolling through cities in the Gulf [countries]… I searched out society’s reaction to this shocking photo, and what I found was sad: [Instead of reactions to this photo, I found reactions to] Sheikh ‘Abdallah Al-Suwailem, [who,] with all the esteem in which I hold him and his colleagues, has launched an argument that is out of place, with his statement that a sexual relationship between family members who are prohibited from marrying each other is less [grave] than abandoning [the commandment] of prayer. This [statement of his] opinion triggered thousands of debates, tweets, recriminations, gossip, and widespread debates that preoccupied the public.

“Qassem Soleimani is strolling through Syria with his eye on the other Arab capitals – while Sheikh ‘Abdallah Al-Suwailem is arguing with the public on the issue of abandoning morning prayers and sexual relations between relatives who may not marry! If we do not act now and feel our important national responsibility, then when will we act?”[3]

Soleimani Is A “Modern-Day Hitler”; The World Is Not Stopping Him – Just As It Did Not Stop Hitler At The Time

Some resistance axis opponents called Soleimani a “modern-day Hitler,” and argued that the world is not acting to help the Syrian people, just as it did not act to help victims of other massacres throughout modern history. Lebanese MP Muhammad Kabbara, of the Al-Mustaqbal party, stated: “History will show that what happened in Aleppo has surpassed the myths of the Nazi crematoria. The coming generations will never forget that the Persians, Russians, and the Assad regime were the ones who conducted massacres in Aleppo. They will never forget the sight of the modern-day Hitler, Qassem Soleimani, touring, and gloating over, the ill-fated neighborhoods of Aleppo in the company of an officer from Assad’s [army].”[4]

Amr Hamzawy, a former Egyptian MP and a columnist for the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wondered: “Why does the world leave the Syrian people on its own to be massacred by the dictator Bashar Al-Assad, and by Russia and Iran, which sponsor him? Because our evil world only knows how to massacre the weak while turning them into the perpetual victims of criminals and tyrants…

“Any serious action to save Syrians from slaughter would be contrary to the norm in our world, [which kept silent in light of] the massacres of Armenians and Jews in Europe; the extermination of 27 million in the former Soviet Union during WWII, [and] the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan on the pretext of ending World War II… Any true effort by those who monopolize the industries of weapons, killing, and bloodshed to stop the Syrian massacre would be a bizarre deviation from their past policy and conduct.

“In the late 1930s, didn’t the governments of Britain, France, and the Soviet Union make it possible for the Nazis to spread murder and destruction across several parts of Eastern Europe to avoid a fight, and out of concern for their own interests? Didn’t Hitler emerge due to global disregard for his first crimes, and [didn’t] U.S. neutrality cause him to carry out further attacks and crimes?… Don’t the photos of Nazi generals in areas destroyed by their weapons in Soviet cities… remind you of the photos of Soleimani in Aleppo a few days ago?…”[5]

 

Endnotes:

 

[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 20, 2016.

[2] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), December 18, 2016.

[3] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), December 19, 2016.

[4] Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), December 18, 2016.

[5] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), December 20, 2016.

How Iran actually lost in Aleppo

December 26, 2016

How Iran actually lost in Aleppo, American ThinkerHeshmat Alavi, December 26, 2016

For 16 years America has failed to adopt a correct policy in the Middle East despite having huge opportunities to make significant changes. The 2003 war literally gift-wrapped Iraq to Iran, parallel to the highly flawed mentality of preferring Shiite fundamentalism to Sunni fundamentalism. This allowed Iran take full advantage of such failures and resulting voids.

Aleppo will be a short-lived success story for Iran. The tides are changing across the globe and Iran will no longer enjoy opportunities from West rapprochement. Understanding this very well, this is exactly why Tehran has resorted to such atrocities and sought to massacre all in Aleppo.

In contrast to how the U.S. handed Iraq in  a silver plate to Iran, Russia never entered the Syria mayhem to hand it over to Iran. The roots of Aleppo remain in the hearts of all Syrians. As world powers, especially the U.S. and Russia review their future objectives, Iran will be the first and ultimate party to suffer.

***********************************

Following a historic period of perseverance, Syrian rebels and their families were forced to evacuate eastern Aleppo after its liberation back in 2012. An unjust, intense war was launched upon Aleppo by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its proxy forces on the ground: Russia with its indiscriminate air strikes, and a lame-duck Syrian army of less than 20,000 deployable forces.

After more than 15 months continuous air raids and a long-lasting inhumane siege, Syrian rebels and civilians sealed an international agreement to depart Syria’s once economic and cultural hub.

In the past few weeks widespread bombing campaigns continued relentlessly on civilian areas. No Aleppo hospital was spared. The IRGC and its foot-soldiers, numbering at the tens of thousands, spearheaded the military of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in horrific mass executions of innocent people. The United Nations reported 82 individuals, including women and children, were murdered on the spot in the streets and in their homes. God knows how many more incidents have gone unreported.

The amazing perseverance shown by Aleppo locals for years now in the face of atrocious airstrikes and artillery shelling is unprecedented to say the least. Amidst all this, the silence and inaction seen from the West, especially the United States, will remain forever a source of shame.

Conflict of Interests

In the pro-Assad camp there are three decision-makers. First Russia, second Iran, and third the Syrian regime. The role played by Assad and his military in such scenes is next to nothing.

The West and Turkey became frantic for a ceasefire in Aleppo in the early days of the war due to the negative public opinion resulting from shocking crimes. They sought to have the rebels and remaining civilians transferred to other Syrian opposition controlled areas.

On December 13th, Washington and Moscow reached what can be described a ceasefire agreement. Intense negotiations between Turkey and Russia were started afterwards, resulting in an agreement between the Syrian opposition with Russia and Turkey to evacuate Aleppo. Practically, the parties involved in the talks were Aleppo representatives and Russia, hosted by Turkey. All necessary preparations were made to begin evacuating the city from the morning of Wednesday, December 14th.

However, Iran disrupted this agreement and the IRGC hindered the evacuation process. It was crystal clear Russia and Iran were pursuing different objectives and sets of interests. Iran sought not to have Aleppo evacuated but to exterminate all Syrian rebels and civilians.

Twenty-four hours later, pressure from the international community forced the implementation of the Russia-Syrian rebel agreement on December 15th. On the morning of that day the first convoy carrying the wounded exited Aleppo, only to face roadblocks imposed by Iran-backed forces and the Assad military.

Iran raised certain conditions for the evacuation. Russia later threatened to airstrike any party hindering the evacuation, an obvious warning to Iran. Tehran was forced to wind back under Moscow pressure.

As a result, the last phase of this war and the method chosen to evacuate Aleppo was a defeat for Iran and a victory for the Syrian opposition. Especially since the conflict of interest between Iran/Assad and Russia became crystal clear. Politically speaking, Iran has become a secondary party in Syria.

“For Putin, a political settlement now makes sense. Staying involved in an ongoing insurgency does not. But for that, he needs the opposition — which is fractured — to accept a political outcome, and there is little prospect of that so long as Assad remains in power,” as explained by Dennis Ross, who served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush, the special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, and was a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran) to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Is this the end?

The turn of events does not spell the end of the Syrian opposition. The opposition controls large swathes of Syria, with areas over ten times larger than Aleppo and millions of residents. Idlib Province has at a three million strong population; the western coast of the Euphrates in the Turkish border, recently liberated by the Free Syrian Army from Daesh (ISIS/ISIL); large portions of Deraa Province neighboring Jordan; a strategically important section in the north in Latakia Province on the Turkish border; large portions of areas in the Damascus vicinity and large portions in the Aleppo vicinity.

In contrast to Western mainstream media reporting, the Syrian opposition enjoys the capability to rise once again.

Despite all its differences, a comparison made to the Iran-Iraq War may help. In 1986, Iran made significant advances taking control over the Faw peninsula in southern Iraq. Western media and think-tanks all forecasted further advances by Iran and a defeat for Iraq. In 1988 Iran was forced into a U.N.-brokered ceasefire agreement.

Deep divisions between the Syrian nation and the Assad regime have reached the point of no return. Nearly 500,000 have been killed and more than half of the Syrian population displaced. The Syrian nation will never accept the continuation of this regime. Despite sporadic military advances, Assad has no place in Syria’s future.

Where Iran stands in Syria

Iran will not be the final victor in Syria.

First — For Iran, it is vital to maintain Assad in power. His fall will mark the end of Iran’s crusades in Syria. Even if the Syrian opposition becomes weaker, the overall crisis will continue while Assad remains in power. Assad is no longer acceptable in the international stage with an international consensus over his resort to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Second — While Iran is financing and providing the ground forces, in this war, it no longer enjoys the first and final word. Russia calls the shots now with stark differences in interest, as seen in Aleppo.

Trump’s America

U.S. President Barack Obama’s weak foreign policy, especially the failed engagement with Iran, prolonged the Syrian crisis, allowed Tehran to take advantage, Russia to take the helm and America be sidelined.

Where will developments lead with Donald Trump in the White House? What will be the new U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Syria, Iran and the Middle East? How can we define Washington’s relationship with Moscow, and what practical measures will Trump take against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)? Time will tell.

Good relations between the U.S. and Russia will at least not have a negative impact on the region, and this is good news for the Syrian opposition. Russia has weighable interests in Syria. However, what will Trump do with Iran? Considering Trump’s harsh tone on Iran to this day, far more positive outcomes can be forecasted for the Syrian opposition.

Second, Trump and secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson have the potential of eventually convincing Russia to provide concessions. This is not in Iran’s interests, as Tehran remembers Russia ditching Libyan the dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Lesson learned in Syria

For 16 years America has failed to adopt a correct policy in the Middle East despite having huge opportunities to make significant changes. The 2003 war literally gift-wrapped Iraq to Iran, parallel to the highly flawed mentality of preferring Shiite fundamentalism to Sunni fundamentalism. This allowed Iran take full advantage of such failures and resulting voids.

Aleppo will be a short-lived success story for Iran. The tides are changing across the globe and Iran will no longer enjoy opportunities from West rapprochement. Understanding this very well, this is exactly why Tehran has resorted to such atrocities and sought to massacre all in Aleppo.

In contrast to how the U.S. handed Iraq in a silver plate to Iran, Russia never entered the Syria mayhem to hand it over to Iran. The roots of Aleppo remain in the hearts of all Syrians. As world powers, especially the U.S. and Russia review their future objectives, Iran will be the first and ultimate party to suffer.

 

Jihad assassin of Russian ambassador guarded Erdogan on multiple occasions

December 21, 2016

Jihad assassin of Russian ambassador guarded Erdogan on multiple occasions, Jihad Watch

turkish-assassin-of-russian-ambassador-1

What did Erdogan know, and when did he know it?

“Russian ambassador’s assassin ‘guarded Recep Tayyip Erdogan,’” by Roland Oliphant, Telegraph, December 21, 2016:

The Turkish policeman who murdered Russia’s ambassador to Ankara provided security to Recep Tayyip Erdogan on multiple occasions in recent months, a pro-government commentator has claimed.

Melvut Mert Altintas, 22, served on police details backing up Mr Erdogan’s personal body guards eight times since the failed military coup that rocked Turkey in July.

Alintas, who served on an elite Ankara riot unit for two and a half years, was part of the second tier of security at those events, Abdülkadir Selvi, a columnist known for his close ties to the government, wrote in Hurriyet.

If confirmed, the revelations will raise questions about how the assassin passed through strict security screening despite plotting the murder of a high-ranking foreign diplomat.

Altintas shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “don’t forget Aleppo” after he shot Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, on Monday.

The off-duty policeman was killed shortly afterwards by Turkish security officers, who said they feared he was carrying a bomb.

The Turkish government has blamed the attack on Fettulah [sic] Gulen, a US-based preacher and critic of Mr Erdogan who has also been accused of orchestrating the failed coup in July.

The Kremlin distanced itself from those claims on Wednesday, saying that it was “too early” to name Altintas’ possible accomplices.

“We shouldn’t rush with any theories before the investigators establish who were behind the assassination of our ambassador,” said Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.

Mr Peskov added that the murder was a “certainly a blow to [Turkey’s] prestige.”

Earlier Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, was quoted as telling John Kerry, the US Secretary of States, that Turkey and Russia both believed Gulen’s followers were behind the attack.

Experts have questioned that account, saying Altintas appeared to have targeted Russia in revenge for the country’s involvement in the Syrian civil war….

The sorrow and the pity in Syria

December 21, 2016

The sorrow and the pity in Syria, Washington Times

(Please see also, Lies and Hypocrisy over Aleppo. — DM)

iraninsyriaIllustration on Iran’s future role in Syria by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Over the last five years, Syria has been descending into a hell on Earth. Over the last four months, the lowest depths of the inferno have been on display in Aleppo, an ancient city, once among the most diverse and dynamic in the Middle East. On Friday, in the final press conference of his presidency, Barack Obama addressed this still-unfolding humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.

“So with respect to Syria,” he said, “what I have consistently done is taken the best course that I can to try to end the civil war while having also to take into account the long-term national security interests of the United States.”

An estimated 500,000 dead, 11 million displaced, millions more living in fear, sorrow and pitiful poverty, Iranian forces backed by Russian forces occupying the heart of the Arab world — yet no-drama Mr. Obama remains so casual, so confident that the decisions he’s made were “the best” and, what’s more, that he made them “consistently.” Is refusing to change one’s mind as conditions worsen and policies fail really a virtue?

To bolster his case, the president emphasized that he has spent lots of time — “if you tallied it up, days and weeks” — attending meetings on Syria. “We went through every option in painful detail with maps,” he said, “and we had our military and we had our aid agencies and we had our diplomatic teams, and sometimes, we’d bring in outsiders who were critics of ours.” Imagine that: painful detail, maps, aid agencies, even critical outsiders.

Count me among those not convinced. In 2011, during that hopeful moment known as the Arab Spring, peaceful protesters took to the streets of Damascus. The dynastic dictator Bashar Assad responded brutally. Before long, a civil war was ignited.

Mr. Obama’s top advisers recommended assisting non-Islamist and nationalist rebels — not with the proverbial boots on the proverbial ground but with secure communications devices, money, weapons and training. Mr. Obama rejected that advice. He had done the math: Mr. Assad, a member of the Alawite minority, hadn’t enough loyal troops to prevail against Syria’s insurgent Sunni majority. So the fall of the Assad regime had to be both inevitable and imminent.

What that failed to take into account: Iran’s theocrats would send in foreign Shia fighters, including those of Hezbollah, their Lebanese proxy, all under the leadership of their Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Vladimir Putin also would deploy forces in support of the Assad regime. We can surmise his reasons: to have a Mediterranean port for his navy; to re-establish Russia’s influence in the Middle East; to show the world that, unlike Mr. Obama, he does not abandon his friends; to diminish American credibility and prestige.

Mr. Obama’s response was, as it so often is, mainly rhetorical. He warned Mr. Putin that he was stepping into a quagmire. He proclaimed, as so he often does, that there can be “no military solution.”

The Russian president, a product of the KGB rather than the faculty lounge, knew that was nonsense. In the Middle East, the law of the jungle trumps international law every time.

Having accused President George W. Bush of overreach, Mr. Obama adopted a policy that might be called underreach. He decided not to enforce the “red line” he had declared against Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons. He decided not to eliminate Mr. Assad’s air power, which would have ended the barrel-bombing of civilians. He wasn’t even willing to help establish “safe zones” where innocent Syrians might stand a chance to defend themselves.

I know: Mr. Obama saw his mission as ending wars and certainly not risking additional American entanglements. And he is among those who believe that the projection of American power generally does more harm than good.

Not mutually exclusive is the theory that he had a specific goal in mind: to bring Iran’s rulers into a strategic partnership with the United States. To achieve that, he had to demonstrate that he respected what he has called their “equities” in Syria. Were he to take action against Mr. Assad, the Islamic republic’s envoys might walk away from the table where they were negotiating the nuclear weapons deal Mr. Obama envisioned as his great foreign policy legacy.

The president has been nothing if not “consistent” in his pursuit of detente with Iran’s Islamic revolutionaries. In all likelihood, that is what explains his decision, just after taking office, to turn a blind eye to the clerical regime’s ruthless repression of the Green Movement that took to the streets of Iranian cities following a rigged presidential election in 2009.

History will record that these efforts failed. Nixon went to China. Mr. Obama will not be going to Iran — or to Syria, which Iran intends to incorporate into its version of a caliphate (which Shia call an “imamate”).

Aleppo,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said last week at the U.N., “will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later. Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, and, now, Aleppo. To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes.”

She went on to ask: “Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin?”

Would it be unfair to suggest that the answers to these questions should have been apparent to her and the president years ago? Had that been the case, perhaps they would have formulated different policies and implemented a different course of action. Or perhaps not.

Lies and Hypocrisy over Aleppo

December 21, 2016

Lies and Hypocrisy over Aleppo, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, December 21, 2016

aleppo4

There are no good guys in an Islamic civil war. Both sides operate by Mohammed’s ancient Islamic rules that treat the property and women of conquered populations as the rightful loot of the attackers. The atrocities of Shiites and Sunnis, Iranians and Alawites, ISIS, Al-Nusra and the countless Sunni bands are not aberrations from civilized norms, they are the entire horrid purpose of this Islamic conflict.

There are no innocent victims in an Islamic civil war because neither side believes in anything except demonstrating the Allahu Akbaring supremacy of their religious doctrine by subjugating the other.

Aleppo was once a great center of civilization. Under Islam, it became a sad remnant of its former past. Whoever wins in Aleppo, it is a victory for Islamist triumphalism and a defeat for human civilization.

The bigger question is not who wins in Aleppo, but who will win in Paris, Brussels and Rome.

***********************

250,000 Christians lived in Aleppo before the Sunni-Shiite Islamic civil war began. Today their numbers have fallen to 40,000.

There were no worldwide protests over this ethnic cleansing of Christians from Aleppo as there are over the fall of the Sunni Islamic state whose Jihadis are euphemistically described as rebels. There were no photos of crying Christian children blanketing every media outlet. But today you can hardly open a newspaper without seeing a teary Sunni Muslim kid allegedly being evacuated from Aleppo.

Given a chance, the weeping Sunni Muslims did to their Christian neighbors in Aleppo what they had done to them back during the Aleppo Massacre a hundred years ago when they were upset that the decline of Islamic Sharia power led to Christians gaining some civil rights. The Jewish population of Aleppo, which had once made up 5% of the city, had already been wiped out in the 1947 Muslim riots.

The last Jewish family was evacuated from Aleppo to escape the Sunni Jihadis two years ago.

The destruction of the Jewish and Christian communities of Aleppo happened without a fraction of the hysterical tumult over the defeat of the Sunni Jihadis and their fellow Muslim religious dependents.

“Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later,” Samantha Power declared at the United Nations.

Why doesn’t the ethnic cleansing of 210,000 Christians stain Power’s conscience? Or the church bombings by Islamists in Egypt, the stabbings of Jewish women in Israel and the Boko Haram genocide of Christians in Nigeria? True modern evil is the righteous conviction of liberals that only Muslim lives matter and that their Christian, Jewish and other non-Muslim victims somehow have it coming.

The fall of the Sunni theocracy is denounced as an outrage that will stain the conscience of the world. Journalists have taken a break from their ski vacations to lecture us on how we should have done something. That “something” being the thing they didn’t want us to do in Iraq, where Saddam Hussein had butchered hundreds of thousands, but that is somehow now a moral imperative in Syria.

Why do the Sunni Muslims of Aleppo matter while the ethnically cleansed Christians of Aleppo don’t? And why was removing Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, a crime that liberals still howl about while removing Assad, an Alawite Shiite, is a moral imperative? Because the “righteousness” axis of our foreign policy is controlled by the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Saudis and the rest of their Sunni Gulfie ilk.

The Muslim Brotherhood set our agenda for the Arab Spring. It’s why our government and our human rights organization backed the popular overthrow of Mubarak, but fought the popular overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi. Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, an organization which despite its name has solicited money from the Saudis, the sugar daddies of the Sunni Jihad, sneers at Copts for supporting the “persecution” of the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s not just Orwellian. It’s evil.

The outrage over Aleppo is a surreal partnership between Islamist butchers and their left-wing enablers.

“Are you truly incapable of shame?” Samantha Power demanded of Syria, Russia and Iran at the UN.

It goes without saying that three brutal dictatorships whose crimes run the gamut from raping teenage girls so that they won’t die as virgins and be allowed into Islamic paradise to radioactive poisonings of its political opponents have nothing that resembles shame or conscience.

But where is Samantha Power’s shame? The Iranian advance in Aleppo is funded by illegal cash shipments that Obama put on unmarked cargo planes and delivered to Iran’s Shiite Jihadists. Iran’s military budget increased 39% thanks to Obama’s cargo pallets full of Swiss Francs and Euros.

The barrel bombs that Power so angrily condemns were bought and paid for by her own boss. They were enabled by every American liberal who switched from defending the proposed Iranian nuclear genocide of millions of Jews to bewailing the Iranian attack on the Muslim Brotherhood in Aleppo.

Where is their shame? Is the American leftist even capable of shame anymore?

Obama’s inaction in Syria wasn’t caused by any philosophical struggle over the limits of intervention, as his media lackeys would have us to believe. The truth is uglier, simpler and more outrageous.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner couldn’t make up his mind if he wanted to back the Sunni or Shiite Islamists. Russia, which went all in on the Shiites, won. Obama tried to play both Islamist sides, funneling arms to the Sunni Jihadists in Syria and cash pallets to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. He backed the Shiite regime in Baghdad over the Sunnis in Iraq. But he aided the Sunni Jihadis in Syria over the Shiite government in Damascus. Yet he was afraid to go all in for fear of trashing the Iran nuke sellout that even he admits will create a Shiite bomb in a little over a decade.

All the noise over Aleppo doesn’t testify to an atrocity, but to the enormous power of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi lobby to control not only our politicians, but our national narratives.

There is no doubt that the Shiite Jihadist gangs will extract their blood price from Sunnis in Aleppo, that money and gems will disappear, women will be raped and bodies will wind up in mass graves. But the death toll will fall far short of the hysterical rhetoric about Rwanda. And what will happen to Sunnis in Aleppo is the same thing that happened to Shiites when Sunni Jihadists seized a town or village.

There are no good guys in an Islamic civil war. Both sides operate by Mohammed’s ancient Islamic rules that treat the property and women of conquered populations as the rightful loot of the attackers. The atrocities of Shiites and Sunnis, Iranians and Alawites, ISIS, Al-Nusra and the countless Sunni bands are not aberrations from civilized norms, they are the entire horrid purpose of this Islamic conflict.

There are no innocent victims in an Islamic civil war because neither side believes in anything except demonstrating the Allahu Akbaring supremacy of their religious doctrine by subjugating the other.

Beheading captives, raping their wives and looting their belongings was how Islamic Jihadis, dating back to Mohammed, knew that Allah was on their side and favored their murderous cause.

The Jewish population of the Middle East now exists almost entirely in Israel, protected by guns wielded, as often as not, by the descendants of Jewish refugees from Islamic oppression in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran. The Christian population, lacking an independent state of its own, continues to dwindle, dependent on the shaky goodwill of dictators like Mubarak or Assad who find them temporarily useful.

There is no future for non-Muslims in the Muslim world. Christians and Jews in the Middle East first achieved civil rights when European powers gained sway over the region. As Muslim migrants swarm into Europe, Jews and Christians now face Muslim persecution in France, Sweden and Germany.

But the media is far less interested in the tears on the face of 8-year-old Miriam Monsonego in Toulouse when a Muslim terrorist grabbed her by the hair, put a gun to her head in the schoolyard where she had been playing moments ago and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed. He switched guns and shot her. Then, as she lay bleeding, he lifted up her little head and shot the dying Jewish girl two more times.

Muslims in France consider the Muslim terrorist who did this a hero. A child was even named after him.

The Sunni Muslim Jihadis fleeing Aleppo like rats are the same breed of Allah’s killers as the murderer of a little girl in Toulouse, as the hijackers of September 11, as the San Bernardino shooters, the Boston Marathon bombers, the Benghazi militias, the rapists of Yazidi girls and the bombers of Coptic churches.

They are human predators that have nothing that resembles a conscience as we understand it. Their religious doctrine has taught them that preying on non-Muslims and the wrong kind of Muslims is their duty. They believe that their rapes and murders are proof that they love Allah and Allah loves them.

It is as impossible for us to coexist with Islamic supremacists as it was for the Christians and Jews of Aleppo. You can share a room with a tiger, but eventually the tiger will try to eat you.

Aleppo is a tragedy, but not because of the hypocritical theater of lies that the media has put on for us. The tragedy of Aleppo isn’t that of the Sunni Jihadis who failed to conquer the city and complete their ethnic cleansing of the last Christians living there, but of the endless war of Islam against non-Muslims.

And of the collaboration of those who call themselves liberals in that war against human civilization.

Aleppo was once a great center of civilization. Under Islam, it became a sad remnant of its former past. Whoever wins in Aleppo, it is a victory for Islamist triumphalism and a defeat for human civilization.

The bigger question is not who wins in Aleppo, but who will win in Paris, Brussels and Rome.

German ambassador killed by Nusra jihadist

December 19, 2016

German ambassador killed by Nusra jihadist, DEBKAfile, December 19, 2016

(The author probably meant Russian ambassador rather than German ambassador. Update: DEBKAfile fixed it. Please see also, Video: Turkish Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” murders Russian ambassador. — DM)

russianambasador480

The 22-year old Turkish special operations police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, who assassinated Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara Monday, Dec. 12, was a member of the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch. Atlintas approached the ambassador as he gave a speech opening a photo exhibit in the Turkish capital and shot him in the back five times. After yelling “We die in Aleppo, you die here,” he recited sentences from an Arabic prayer which are Nusra’s anthem. He went on shouting “We made an oath to die in martyrdom…it is revenge for Syria and Aleppo.”

He is believed to have added: “Until they are safe, you will not taste safety. Get back, only death will take me from here.”

It is not clear if the killer was a member of the detail guarding the ambassador, or obtained access to the gallery because the guards knew him and did not stop him going up to his target. He was smartly turned out in a dark suit and tie (like the terrorists from Jordan who attacked a Tel Aviv market on June 8 and killed three people)

Moscow’s decision to substantially intervene in the Syrian war in September to save the Assad regime was prompted additionally by the outstanding combat performance of the Nusra Front rebels. Furthermore, according to new figures just released in Moscow, 2,000 Russian jihadists were killed on the Syrian front against Assad. DEBKAfile’s sources have found that the majority belonged to the Nusra Front.

Its members are being evacuated from Aleppo in large numbers in the last 24 hours, after being driven out of east Aleppo in a bitter defeat. The Nusra chief Mohammad al-Jawlani holds Russia and especially President Vladimir Putin responsible and views them as the group’s nemesis.

Since the assassin was killed, it will be difficult to establish whether he acted alone and who his contacts were in Turkey and Syria. It won’t be easy to discover if and how far Turkish Special Forces have been penetrated by Al Qaeda’s Nusra agents.

The very fact that one of those agents, a Turk, was admitted to an elite police outfit without being discovered by Turkey’s MIT intelligence service indicates how vulnerable Turkey is to insider attack by radical Islamist organizations.

DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism and intelligence sources report that the last three terrorist atrocities perpetrated in the Middle East attest to the increasing audacity of the Islamist organizations, and the incompetence of national counter-terror agencies to cope with this new wave of violence.

The Dec. 12, assault on the Coptic cathedral in Cairo, which left 25 dead, was conducted by an ISIS team from Raqqa in Syria, which spent some time in the city without discovery.

Sunday, Dec. 18, saw a string of terrorist attacks in Jordan, in which 10 people were killed that were also tied to ISIS. And the next day, Monday, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by an operative of Al Qaeda’s Nusra front.

Also on Monday, a truck crashed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing several people, in what appears to be part of the holiday offensive threatened by ISIS in Europe as well as the Middle East. A similar Islamist truck attack in the summer holiday in Nice, the French Riviera, killed 87 people. .

Russian role in Aleppo’s fall impacts US politics

December 16, 2016

Russian role in Aleppo’s fall impacts US politics, DEBKAfile, December 16, 2016

aleppo-damage_9-15

The Putin factor comes in handy for the latest tactic in a series pursued since the November 8 election, for delegitimizing Trump’s victory and negating his fitness to reach the White House.

This campaign may resonate strongly on America’s future policy and position as a world power, because it is designed to block Trump’s path to a deal with Putin for resolving the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration has no wish to see the new president succeed where it failed for nearly six years.

********************************

Aleppo’s fall to the Assad regime with the surrender Thursday, Dec. 15, of the Syrian rebel forces locked in a corner of the eastern districts was the most disastrous military and strategic setback to befall the Obama administration for two years. It started evolving in September 2015, when Russia stepped up its military intervention in the Syria war and rescued Bashar Assad.

When Aleppo succumbed to the Russian-backed government army and its allies, Iran, Hizballah and fellow Shite militias, it did not fall alone.  It brought down the entire architecture of US-backed positions in northern Syria. The US had invested in and trained local groups, such as the Syrian Kurdish militia and the rebel Free Syrian Army, as the bedrock for its policy and interests in the conflict. Those groups have melted away.

The acknowledged overlords of northern Syria today are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who can claim the Aleppo victory. Bashar Assad and Iran are reduced to playing second fiddle. But whereas the Al Qods chief Iranian general Qassem Soleimani commands pro-Iranian forces in the region, America has been divested of all its military assets and has no real say in the next chapter of the horrific war.

Hence US Secretary of State John Kerry’s despairing appeal Thursday in a press briefing to bring the bloodshed and suffering to an end: “We can’t have another Srebrenica” – a reference to the Serbian slaughter of 8,000 Bosnian Serbs in 1985 – he said.

Kerry has toiled tirelessly for a diplomatic solution to the dreadful Syrian war, but his appeal falls on senses hardened by the many Srebrenicas perpetrated in more than five years of conflict. Hundreds of thousands of civilians and soldiers have been slaughtered – according to an unofficial estimate up to a million – and many subjected to chemical warfare. The secretary can’t count on the Kremlin to relent and so, even after the last Syrian rebels and their families are out of Aleppo, the killing will go on.

In Washington, 10,000 kilometers away, the Aleppo calamity is being dished up as a political tool. The claim was heard Thursday that the “same Vladimir Putin” who sponsored the atrocities in Aleppo, also interfered in the US presidential election by sending hackers to influence the results in favor of Donald Trump. The claim is touted by Obama administration spokesmen and the Democratic Party, whose candidate Hillary Clinton lost the election. It appears to be fodder for a Democratic party drive building up for the president-elect’s impeachment even before he is sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

The Putin factor comes in handy for the latest tactic in a series pursued since the November 8 election, for delegitimizing Trump’s victory and negating his fitness to reach the White House.

This campaign may resonate strongly on America’s future policy and position as a world power, because it is designed to block Trump’s path to a deal with Putin for resolving the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration has no wish to see the new president succeed where it failed for nearly six years.

Putin will have no qualms about capitalizing on Washington’s preoccupation with its internal power struggle and will build up as many gains in Syria as he can before Donald Trump takes over. Obama’s threat Friday, Dec. 12, to retaliate for Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential election will just provoke the Russian president to move faster and more determinedly in his grab for more assets in Syria.

“Syrian 5th Corps” is new Shiite foreign legion

December 4, 2016

“Syrian 5th Corps” is new Shiite foreign legion, DEBKAfile, December 4, 2016

fifth_corps

The new Shiite foreign legion or international brigade presents a major headache for Syria’s neighbors, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. It provides a cover for Iran and Hizballah to sneak troops right up to their borders. Whenever this happened in the past, Israel and Jordan pushed back hard. But this will be more difficult once the Fifth Corps is set up as an integral part of the Syrian army.

***************************

Syria and its allies came closer than ever to taking Aleppo on Friday, Dec. 2, when they captured the Tariq al-Bab district to gain control of 60 percent of the rebel-held eastern part of the city.

Drawing on the lessons of this success, the winning forces have begun building a military outfit modeled on the format of the victorious coalition. It is designated the “Fifth Corps” of the Syrian army, but DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources can identity the new unit as the framework for an international Shiite brigade or foreign legion.

It is the brainchild of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iranian Mid East operations, who is in Iraq at present, supervising the Shiite militias on the Mosul front. However, his officers are overseeing its construction of the new military legion. It is composed of the remnants of the Syrian army’s First and Second Corps, which took a bad beating in the five years of conflict, the Hizballah expeditionary force in Syria and the Shiite militias which Tehran imported from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight for Bashar Assad.

The new framework aims to field 50,000 to 70,000 fighting men.

Its command structure is already taking shape in a form that is new for the Syrian army and indeed any other fighting force in the region. Syrian, Hizballah and foreign Shiite officers will make up this command, but not direct their own forces, only mixed units composed of Iranian, Syrian, Shiite and Hizballah servicemen.

It will be the first Shiite army or foreign legion ever seen in the Middle East.

An oblique reference to the novel force came from a Hizballah source this week who said: “The Fifth Corps is an important turning-point for the ties between allied forces within the same axis – Syria, Iran, Russia and Hizballah.”

Russia? DEBKAfile’s sources have heard no hint of the Russians joining the new Shiite legion. But Hizballah has been spreading reports in the past fortnight about its deepening ties with Russian officers, mainly on the Aleppo front, and their supposed appreciation of the Lebanese Shiites’ fighting prowess.

The Syrian high command has meanwhile moved forward on the new scheme with a decision this week to send the entire next class of military recruits to the new Fifth Corps.

The new Shiite foreign legion or international brigade presents a major headache for Syria’s neighbors, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel. It provides a cover for Iran and Hizballah to sneak troops right up to their borders. Whenever this happened in the past, Israel and Jordan pushed back hard. But this will be more difficult once the Fifth Corps is set up as an integral part of the Syrian army.

Western and Arab observers following the Syrian war believe that, as soon as they finish off the rebels in Aleppo, the new foreign legion’s forces will turn south to repeat the exercise there with Russian support.

The Russian bombardment of rebel concentrations outside the southern towns of Jasim and Daraa Sunday, Nov. 27, was seen a message from Moscow to Jerusalem and Amman that southern Syria is now in line for the next battle.

Two Hizballah brigades deployed to Aleppo

November 20, 2016

Two Hizballah brigades deployed to Aleppo, DEBKAfile, November 20, 2016

hezbollaonparade

The two Hizballah brigades carry both American and Russian weaponry. DEBKAfile’s military sources report: The motorized rifle brigade is armed with American armored personnel carriers and tanks, whereas the Light Brigade carries Russian arms. Some of the units use both American and Russian hardware, like the Russian ZPU-2 anti tank guns which are mounted on US M113 APCs.

****************************

Hizballah this week transferred two brigades of some 5,000 fighters to the Aleppo front to bolster the Assad regime’s concentrated push to finally rout the rebels who have been holding out year after year in the eastern half of the ravaged city. Indiscriminate Syrian air strikes continue.

The new spearhead is made up of Hizballah’s heavy motorized rifle brigade of tanks and heavy weapons and its light commando brigade, which is trained to operate behind enemy lines. Their arrival brings the total number of Hizballah fighters in Syria to 15,000.

Russian military sources say that, after Aleppo is won for Bashar Assad, the two Lebanese Shiite brigades will turn to Idlib province in the north, to tackle the largest concentration in the country of Al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, the Nusra Front.

The two Hizballah brigades carry both American and Russian weaponry. DEBKAfile’s military sources report: The motorized rifle brigade is armed with American armored personnel carriers and tanks, whereas the Light Brigade carries Russian arms. Some of the units use both American and Russian hardware, like the Russian ZPU-2 anti tank guns which are mounted on US M113 APCs.

Sunday, Nov. 14, on the day that Hizballah started moving the two brigades to the Aleppo front, its propaganda machine released to the Arab media images of a military parade in Qusayr, in the Qalamoun mountain range of western Syria, showing Hizballah troops marching with American hardware. The parade, according to our sources, was faked, the point being to show the world that the Iranian proxy was amply supplied with American equipment.

Assad rewarded Hizballah for capturing Qusayr three years ago by allowing the Iranian proxy to turn the ghost town into a military center. Several workshops for recycling captured weapons for reuse in battle were set up there. (In the same way, the IDF recycled the masses of Russian weapons taken booty from Arab armies in the 60s and 70s.)

Another project was the creation and arming of the Light Brigade modeled on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards special operations units. They are equipped with highly adaptable “jihad-mobiles” which are designed to move in all-terrain and all-weather conditions to take the enemy by surprise from the rear. The the battle of Aleppo sees their first operation in the Syrian war.

Like Syrian special forces units, the Hizballah Light Brigade drives Russian UAZ Patriot-SUV pickup trucks on which are mounted Kord heavy machine guns and AGS-17 grenade launchers. These vehicles are equipped with automatic filters adapted for combat in arid desert conditions to overcome difficulties in vision and breathing.

IRGC commander killed on eve of Aleppo battle

October 28, 2016

IRGC commander killed on eve of Aleppo battle, Long War Journal, , October 28, 2016

While employing foreign fighters minimizes domestic political backlash in Iran, it also serves a long-term strategic objective to develop capable Shiite proxies. A retired IRGC commander who has deployed to Syria recently claimed the formation of a “Shiite liberation army,” and IRGC commanders have openly discussed a global Basij paramilitary taking shape in the laboratory of Syria, with talks of laying the groundwork for the apocalypse and the Mahdi’s arrival in more intimate quarters. The IRGC, however, has not hesitated to inject regular Iranian soldiers and mid-ranked officers during major offensives and whenever the situation has demanded it, such as the offensive in southern Aleppo in October 2015 and the assault north of Aleppo in February 2016.

********************

The Jaysh al Fath and Fath Halab coalitions and their allies launched an anticipated major offensive today west of Aleppo in another bid to break the siege of rebel-held eastern Aleppo, according to Reuters. In early September forces allied with the Syrian government backed by Russian air power repelled the opposition’s first attempt to break the siege following a month-long battle. Pro-regime forces attempted to build upon their momentum and launched major offensives in late September to tighten their grip on Aleppo. They have made slow but steady gains on the city blocks of eastern Aleppo, and have attempted to push their gains in western and southwestern Aleppo to prevent the opposition from breaking the siege again.

The pro-government coalition includes the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Shiite expeditionary forces led by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as well as Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi Harakat al Nujaba, Afghan Fatemiyoun Division and the Pakistani Zeynabiyoun. Furthermore, the Palestinian Quds Brigade, which has effectively become Russia’s proxy, has made gains in the northern Aleppo sector alongside the SAA.

The Russian defense minister has reportedly asked President Vladimir Putin to resume airstrikes today in Aleppo following a 10-day hiatus, citing an upsurge in opposition activities, but Putin has said that airstrikes are unnecessary for now, according to Reuters citing Interfax News Agency. The IRGC provides intelligence to Russia for airstrikes in Syria.

A high-ranking former IRGC commander was killed in Syria on Oct. 26 during an “advisory mission” in Aleppo. according to Iranian media. He was buried in Mashhad, Iran, today along with two Afghan Fatemiyoun Division combatants killed in Syria this past week. The IRGC Qods Force deputy commander Brigadier General Esmail Gha’ani, who delivered remarks at the deceased commander’s funeral, said “the blood of martyrs strengthen the foundation of the Islamic Republic system.”

Qolam-Reza Samai was a retired commander with the rank of Brigadier General or Brigadier General Second Class who had volunteered to fight Syria, and will be buried in his home province of Khorasan. A veteran of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988), Samai held several command posts in artillery, intelligence, and operations capacities in several provincial Ground Forces units.

The IRGC has tapped into its retired and active duty Ground Forces, and special forces officer corps to augment the efforts led by the Qods Force in Syria and Iraq. The deployment pattern of Ground Forces commanders depends on the mission need and crisis at hand. For example, there was a surge of commanders in Iraq following the incursion of the Islamic State in mid-2014, and most were called back when the IRGC-backed Shiite militias were able to better manage the situation.

The IRGC Ground Forces have been present in Syria since as early as 2011. Their numbers have increased as the war deteriorated, peaking in Oct. 2015 as Iran deployed significant numbers of its regular forces in coordination with Russia’s military intervention, before spiking again in Feb. 2016 during a major offensive north of Aleppo. More than a dozen senior Guard commanders were killed in Syriaduring the past year, with the overwhelming majority in Aleppo. Fatalities and causalities of high-ranking officers have continued as the Guard has reduced regular Iranian forces since May and has relied more on Shiite proxies. Contrary to the insistence of the IRGC, commanders are engaged in more than just advising: they design and lead operations for the Iranian-led Shiite expeditionary forces.

The high fatality rate of Iranian commanders is explained by the tactically risk-tolerant and egalitarian culture of the Guard, which values martyrdom in battle as the highest honor and takes pride in fighting on the frontline. Whereas the IRGC is tactically risk-tolerant, it is strategically risk-averse and prefers to limit Iranian exposure, as discussed in depth by Ali Alfoneh and Michael Eisenstadt in The Washington Institute. 

While employing foreign fighters minimizes domestic political backlash in Iran, it also serves a long-term strategic objective to develop capable Shiite proxies. A retired IRGC commander who has deployed to Syria recently claimed the formation of a “Shiite liberation army,” and IRGC commanders have openly discussed a global Basij paramilitary taking shape in the laboratory of Syria, with talks of laying the groundwork for the apocalypse and the Mahdi’s arrival in more intimate quarters. The IRGC, however, has not hesitated to inject regular Iranian soldiers and mid-ranked officers during major offensives and whenever the situation has demanded it, such as the offensive in southern Aleppo in October 2015 and the assault north of Aleppo in February 2016.