Posted tagged ‘al-Qaida’

Obama’s Fake Syrian Peace Talks Falling Apart

January 29, 2016

Obama’s Fake Syrian Peace Talks Falling Apart, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, January 29, 2016

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The peace talks strategy for Syria comes out of Iran and Russia, two countries determined to keep Assad in power. Obama wanted the peace talks in order to rig a fake settlement that would come apart once he was out of office. But the only people fooled by this were stupid enough to get their news from CNN and their talking points from Think Progress. The Sunni side only participated to the extent that they could wreck the talks and extract some demands. They have no intention in signing on to Assad staying in power or to letting Obama get away with a fake solution that does just that.

And, oh yes, no one actually thinks Obama has any credibility.

As the Obama administration pushes for peace in Syria, its credibility is crumbling among Syrian opposition leaders, many of whom increasingly doubt the U.S. is serious about ending the rule of dictator Bashar Assad.

Because he isn’t.

If the talks peter out or collapse, that will further undermine President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy, which already has been tarnished by the endless bloodshed in Syria

It’s okay. Obama will blame Tom Cotton or Bush or Israel. Or someone. And the media will go along with it.

“A number of the opposition has expressed the feeling that the U.S. is not acting as an honest broker and that they’ve lost both trust and faith in the ability of the United States to deliver on a political settlement in Syria,” said Andrew Bowen, a senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest who has contacts among Syrian opposition groups.

Obama signed on with Iran. So he’s about as much of an honest broker as any other foreign agent.

“Kerry did not make any promises, nor did he put forward any initiatives,” said Khaled Khoja, president of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, in onestatement questioning U.S. intentions. “He has long been delivering messages similar to those drafted by Iran and Russia, which call for the establishment of a ‘national government’ and allowing Bashar al-Assad to stay in power and stand for re-election.”

Well yes. What else do you expect Kerry to do? This is the only thing he’s been doing since he got to the Senate and even beforehand with the Viet Cong. Traitors gotta traitor.

Among the numerous reports floating around — some of them highly speculative — are those that allege Kerry warned opposition leaders they could lose international support if they didn’t attend Friday’s talks. The reports come as the U.S. has appeared to be backing away from its demand that Assad must leave office by signaling its support for the notion of a transitional period.

And that period will come to an end once Obama is out of office.

But all this is theater anyway as the groups with the most fighters on the ground, including Al Qaeda and ISIS, are not represented. Most of the Islamists aren’t either. So this is just the Muslim Brotherhood, whose actual strength is weak, throwing a tantrum. Even if the Sunni groups signed some sort of deal it would be as worthless as the fake elections Hillary still talks up in Libya

Report: Islamic State, Al-Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood Discuss ‘Mega-Merger’ in Libya

January 25, 2016

Report: Islamic State, Al-Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood Discuss ‘Mega-Merger’ in Libya, Breitbart,  Aaron Klein and Ali Waked, January 25, 2016

(Here’s a video of an interview with Islamic reformist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser about the current situation in Libya. H/t Counter Jihad Report.

— DM)

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TEL AVIV – The Libyan branches of the Islamic State, Al-Qaida, and the Muslim Brotherhood are in discussions to complete a “mega merger,” the London-based A Sharq al Awsat newspaper reported.

Leaked documents have revealed that Libya’s biggest Islamist organizations are considering an alliance and the establishment of a joint council of sages, the Arabic language daily reported.

The prospective move comes in the wake of reports of an imminent international effort to form a unity government that would bring Libya’s numerous parties and militias together.

The paper said the Muslim Brotherhood is considering a united Islamic front even though the movement is officially in favor of forming a unity government. However, sources within the movement told the paper that their support for the international endeavor is merely tactical, and they’re waiting for it to collapse.

Negotiations between the three Islamic groups began because of reports of a rapprochement between the internationally recognized government based in Tobruk and the unrecognized government in the capital Tripoli, the paper said.

The groups wish to send a message to the forces coalescing around a unity government that they are not opposed by IS alone, but “all the Islamist opposition elements speak in one voice and should be treated as such,” a source said.

According to the documents, Muslim Brotherhood leaders said that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s regime “isn’t supported by the Americans because of his close relations with Russia. They can’t wait to see him leave the scene.”

The parties agreed to form a joint Shura (advisory) council and territories that are currently under Islamic control will be divided between them, echoing a similar agreement that is already underway in Benghazi.

Al-Qaida’s representative was quoted as saying that the move would inspire Islamists in Algeria and Egypt to follow suit.

This follows Breitbart Jerusalem’s own exclusive reporting on mediation efforts between the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Hamas in Gaza and Salafists aligned with the Islamic State.

Breitbart Jerusalem previously reported that Shadi al-Menai, one of the leaders of Wilayat Sinai, the Islamic State branch in Sinai, visited Gaza in a bid to mediate between Hamas and local Salafi groups after clashes erupted, resulting in the arrests of dozens of jihadists by Hamas forces.

Earlier this month, a leading Salafi source revealed that Menai mediated a deal whereby Hamas would give the Gaza Salafi opposition groups more leeway in exchange for Wilayat Sinai’s help in bypassing the Egyptian army’s restrictions on smuggling rocket parts into Gaza

This is not the first report of Hamas-IS cooperation in arms smuggling.

A Middle East think tank charged last month that there is information Hamas has been paying off the Islamic State’s Sinai branch to smuggle weapons into Gaza. “Over the past two years, IS Sinai helped Hamas move weapons from Iran and Libya through the peninsula, taking a generous cut from each shipment,” stated a report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Despite the rapprochement between Hamas and IS-Sinai, tensions between the ruling faction and Salafi opposition groups in Gaza are rampant.

The Army of Islam, a Salafi group that aspires to become IS’s sole representative in Palestine, recently released an acerbic video in which it blames Hamas for straying from Sharia law and cooperating with anti-Islamic players, including Shi’ite Iran.

Officials: CIA-backed Syrian rebels under Russian blitz

October 11, 2015

Officials: CIA-backed Syrian rebels under Russian blitz

By KEN DILANIAN Oct. 10, 2015 11:13 AM EDT

Source: Officials: CIA-backed Syrian rebels under Russian blitz

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on President Bashar Assad’s forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say.

Over the past week, Russia has directed parts of its air campaign against U.S.-funded groups and other moderate opposition in a concerted effort to weaken them, the officials say. The Obama administration has few options to defend those it had secretly armed and trained.

The Russians “know their targets, and they have a sophisticated capacity to understand the battlefield situation,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and was careful not to confirm a classified program. “They are bombing in locations that are not connected to the Islamic State” group.

Other U.S. officials interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The CIA began a covert operation in 2013 to arm, fund and train a moderate opposition to Assad. Over that time, the CIA has trained an estimated 10,000 fighters, although the number still fighting with so-called moderate forces is unclear.

The effort was separate from the one run by the military, which trained militants willing to promise to take on IS exclusively. That program was widely considered a failure, and on Friday, the Defense Department announced it was abandoning the goal of a U.S.-trained Syrian force, instead opting to equip established groups to fight IS.

For years, the CIA effort had foundered — so much so that over the summer, some in Congress proposed cutting its budget. Some CIA-supported rebels had been captured; others had defected to extremist groups. The secret CIA program is the only way the U.S. is taking on Assad militarily. In public, the United States has focused its efforts on fighting IS and urging Assad to leave office voluntarily.

“Probably 60 to 80 percent of the arms that America shoveled in have gone to al-Qaida and its affiliates,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma.

But in recent months, CIA-backed groups, fighting alongside more extremist factions, began to make progress in Syria’s south and northwest, American officials say. In July and August, U.S.-supported rebels seized territory on the al-Ghab plain, in northwest Syria’s Idlib and Hama governorates. The plain is a natural barrier between areas controlled by Sunni Muslims and the Alawite sect to which Assad and his loyalists belong. The capture of the al-Ghab plain was seen as a breakthrough toward weakening the Alawites.

Those and other gains put Damascus, the capital, at risk, officials say.

But in recent days, Russian airstrikes have hit groups in the area, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank that closely tracks the situation. Russian bombs and missiles have hit specific buildings associated with the moderate Syrian opposition, according to a U.S. official briefed on the intelligence.

Russian officials have insisted they are bombing Islamic State militants and other terrorists.

U.S. intelligence officials see many factors motivating Russia’s intervention: Moscow’s reasserting its primacy as a great power, propping up Assad and wanting to deal a blow to the United States, which has insisted that Assad must go to end Syria’s civil war.

Russia is also interested in containing IS, an organization that includes thousands of Chechen fighters who may pose a threat to Russia, officials say.

But in the short term, “my conclusion is that the timing of their intervention was driven by Assad really going critical,” said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., also a House Intelligence Committee member.

The administration is scrambling to come up with a response to Russia’s moves, but few believe the U.S. can protect its secret rebel allies. The administration has all but ruled out providing CIA-backed groups with surface-to-air missiles that can down aircraft, fearing such weapons would end up in the wrong hands, officials say.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, says the U.S. should consider establishing a no-fly zone that allows rebels a safe place from which to operate, and shooting down Syrian helicopters that are bombing civilians. He said the U.S. also should provide arms to the Ukrainian government fighting Russian-backed separatists.

A no-fly zone would require the U.S. military to be ready to engage in air battles with the Syrian government, something it is not prepared to do.

The administration “is debating the merits of taking further action or whether they are better off letting Putin hang himself,” he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Our options are much narrower than they were two weeks ago,” said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who serves on the Intelligence and Armed Services committees. “I don’t think there is any simple answer. … Further air involvement has become very problematic because of the Russian engagement.”