“Abu Mohammed al-Golani’s Aljazeera Interview” by Aron Lund

by Aron Lund,
editor of Syria in Crisis 

On Wednesday, May 27, the Aljazeera TV network ran a 47-minute interview with Abu Mohammed al-Golani, the leader of the Nusra Front, which is one of the most powerful rebel factions in Syria. If you speak Arabic, have a look at the interview or read the transcript. If you don’t, then start studying or proceed straight to the commentary below.

Who is Abu Mohammed al-Golani?

He’s the founder and leader of Jabhat al-Nosra, the al-Qaeda franchise that operates in Syria and Lebanon. Apart from that, no one really knows anything about him.

Is this Golani’s first interview?

No it is not. He has been interviewed by Aljazeera before. Then, his interlocutor was Aljazeera’s star reporter Taysir Allouni, a Syrian and Spanish citizen who interviewed Osama bin Laden right after 9/11 and then spent nine years in a Spanish jail accused of al-Qaeda contacts. Although no one doubts that Allouni had very tight relations with high-level jihadi figures (he hosted a certain Mohammed al-Bahaiya a.k.a. Abu Khaled al-Souri in his home in Spain and helped him apply for Spanish residency), the proceedings were marred by some really bizarre translation issues and the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that Allouni had not been given an impartial trial. Since his release in 2012, Allouni has done an excellent series of interviews with rebel leaders of all stripes in northern Syria and in Turkey for Aljazeera’s Liqa al-Yawm (Meeting of the Day). He was the first and, until Wednesday, the only person to interview Golani in December 2013.

Wednesday’s interview took place on Bila Hudoud (Without Borders), a show hosted by the well-known Egyptian anchor Ahmed Mansour. Mansour, too, is obviously some species of Islamist and he seemed pretty infatuated with Golani – more so than the sympathetically surly Allouni – so the end result was a real softball interview. It was no Frost/Nixon, more like a high school date. That may very well have been intentional. Many assume that Qatar, which owns and controls Aljazeera, is eager to see the group show it’s gentler side, now that it and other rebels are capturing territory in northwestern Syria.

Will there be another interview?

Seems like it. At the end of the interview, Mansour said he’d like a second episode to talk about Iran’s role in the region and in Syria, about relations to the Islamic State, and about Golani’s view of the future of Syria. Inshallah, said Golani. [Update – June 3, 2015: A second part of the interview is now available for viewing at the bottom of this post.]

Where did the interview take place?

In “liberated territory” in northern Syria, according to Mansour. We can’t be sure, of course, but it was probably in Idleb City, which was recently captured by a rebel coalition that includes Jabhat al-Nosra. For one thing, Ahmed Mansour posted a set of pictures of himself in Syria to the Bila Hudoud page on Aljazeera.net, some of which show that he visited the Idleb region. And if you look closely, the kitschy gilded chairs and the silly little coffee-tables seem identical to those used in the governor’s palace in Idleb City. So chances are the interview actually took place there, unless we are to believe that they carted away the furniture to some other place in order to trick us. Or maybe those chairs are very common in Idleb. I hope not.

What did he look like?

Golani to the left.Well, we don’t know, do we? We saw more of him this time than ever before, but that’s still just two hands and a nose. He had a black scarf or cloak draped over his head and shoulders, to conceal his face and features. He looked a little pudgy, too, but that may just have been a suicide bomber’s belt under his clothes. Al-Qaeda leaders like to wear those regardless of the occasion.

The rest of his clothes were a bit out of the ordinary. He wore a pale checkered shirt and something that looked like olive army pants, plus a green waistcoat with a shiny silk back. At first I took this for an unusually cruel case of sartorial terrorism, but on closer inspection he may have been wearing a traditional Syrian costume. Those can look a little different in different areas of the country, but they often involve some sort of vest and wide-waisted billowy pants of the kind still worn by many Kurds. If so, it was certainly a conscious fashion statement: eschewing the Afghan-Pakistan Pashtun hats and Shalwar Kameez tunics that jihadis like to wear, in favor of clothes that tell you he’s a Syrian. Not just any Syrian, but a real deal genuine old-school Syrian, straight out of Bab al-Hara. Shame we didn’t get to see if he had the moustache to match.

And what did he say?

The interview was mainly dedicated to one thing, which was for Mansour to help Golani explain that he’s nothing like the Islamic State. Rather, he is a responsible and sensible jihadi leader.

In line with traditional Jabhat al-Nosra rhetoric, he said that while there can be no compromise about sharia law, that doesn’t mean that his men are a bunch of bloodthirsty extremists. He kept repeating that “for the time being” they’re only fighting those who fight them and implementing sharia, so if you don’t get in the way of that you’ll be OK. However, Golani didn’t step away from his ideology. He is a true believer and he’s not going to give the Islamic State any reason to claim he’s straying from the word of God.

Among other things, he claimed that Jabhat al-Nosra is not involved in operations against the West, following instructions from al-Qaeda’s supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. That directly contradicts what the U.S. government says. It claims to have information that veteran al-Qaeda members have moved to Syria under the protection of Jabhat al-Nosra, where they are busily preparing bomb plots against Western aviation. The U.S. has dubbed this cell “the Khorasan Group,” a label that Golani ridiculed, saying there is no such thing and all the camps attacked by the  U.S. belong to Jabhat al-Nosra. He did however admit that there are people in Syria who have come “from Khorasan.” In modern jihadi parlance, that typically means Afghanistan/Pakistan, so it seems likely he is referring to people on mission from al-Qaeda’s central leadership. He also implicitly clarified that contrary to current rumors, Jabhat al-Nosra isn’t about to break ties with al-Qaeda. While he didn’t address those rumors head on, he talked about receiving instructions from Zawahiri (like it was the most natural thing in the world that a Syrian group should obey an Egyptian holed up in Pakistan) and there was a little flag on the table in front of him bearing the words “al-Qaeda in the Levant.”

Egged-on by Mansour, Golani spoke in more detail than ever before about the fate of Syria’s religious minorities, mostly to stress that Jabhat al-Nosra isn’t like Islamic State in that respect. For example, he said that Jabhat al-Nosra won’t fight those Christian villages that do not fight the Muslims (meaning the rebels), adding that only after an Islamic government has been set up will they start collecting the Jizya, and even then it will only be taken from those who can afford it … and so on. Again and again, he made the point that Jabhat al-Nosra would be totally justified in taking action against certain minorities, but has chosen not to because they are in fact un-crazy non-extremists.

In one of the interview’s more memorable moments, he said that an Alawite can surrender to Jabhat al-Nosra and as long as he repents, he won’t be killed “even if he killed a thousand of us”. You won’t hear that from the Islamic State, which proudly broadcasts videos of its soldiers shooting defenseless Alawite and Shia prisoners-of-war or slitting their throats. Indeed, those who imagine there is no room for nuances in jihadi thinking, or jihadi rhetoric, are wrong. There is already more than a glint of daylight between the classical salafi-jihadism of Jabhat al-Nosra  and the still-developing neo-jihadi ideology that was set loose by the Islamic State’s split from al-Qaeda in 2013. The difference will surely widen over time.

Then again, the basics remain the same and they’re extreme enough to be borderline genocidal, even when sugarcoated by Aljazeera. If you listened closely, Golani also said that Alawites are a people who have left Islam. He made it clear that not only must Alawites stop fighting for Assad, they must also abandon the elements of their faith that contradict Islam. And of course, by Islam he means his own salafi brand of Sunni Islam, not that they can be regular Shias or anything like that. So minus the wrapping, his core message remains the same: Alawites will be left alone as soon as they agree to stop being Alawites.

That doesn’t sound like it will convince many of his detractors?

No it doesn’t, but that was never the point. Golani isn’t addressing himself to non-Sunnis or secularists, or to the Americans or the Western media. He knows they’ll hate him whatever he says. He did what al-Qaeda-style jihadis always do, which is to preach to those they have a real hope of influencing: other Sunni Islamists, whose support or at least passive acceptance they need to survive and succeed.

In other words, if you didn’t like what you heard, he wasn’t talking to you.

Even today, globalist salafi-jihadism is not a popular ideology in Syria. Jabhat al-Nosra has grown in spite of its international links rather than because of them. Powerful foreign governments also are prodding their rebel clients to isolate and undermine Jabhat al-Nosra because of its al-Qaeda connection, even as they leave indigenous and locally-focused Syrian salafi factions alone. To avoid being isolated and made a target, Jabhat al-Nosra’s strategy has been to embed itself inside the wider Syrian rebellion, by making itself an appreciated and indispensable ally to other Sunni Islamists.

Most of the big rebel factions, especially those that work closest with Jabhat al-Nosra, are Sunni Islamists of some variety. The grassroots-level fighters in these groups are not necessarily very different from Golani’s men – they’re all politically hawkish, religiously conservative, and deeply disenchanted with if not hostile to the West. (I’m sure there are exceptions, but they’re exceptions.) But most of these Islamist groups are not committed to a global anti-Western agenda the way al-Qaeda is; indeed, most of them explicitly reject it. With time, many pro-opposition Sunni Muslims, including a significant number of Islamist hardliners who might otherwise be inclined to embrace Golani’s thinking, have come to think that Jabhat al-Nosra are too extreme. They’re particularly irked by its post-2014 behavior, when in the chaos after the Islamic State infighting and the U.S. intervention, Jabhat al-Nosra began to take a more aggressive and territorial approach to rebel politics, setting up their own courts and seizing villages for their sole control. Furthermore, they accuse the group of not being properly Syrian, since it is full of foreigners and takes orders from the Egyptian-born Zawahiri, whose agenda is global rather than Syrian. They also complain that Jabhat al-Nosra’s al-Qaeda connection has unnecessarily antagonized the West and is ruining the international reputation of the Syrian revolution.

They are of course right on all counts and that’s why Jabhat al-Nosra is so sensitive to that line of criticism. And that’s also why we now see Golani pleading innocent to these charges, hand on heart, saying that he is in fact not a loose cannon, he is not attacking the U.S., he is not slaughtering minorities, and he is just as Syrian as they are. (Hey, look at his clothes.)

In other words, what he is doing is to tell his fellow Sunni rebels, potential funders, and Islamist opinion-makers around the Middle East exactly what they want to hear, so that they’ll be able to convince themselves that the Americans must be wrong about Jabhat al-Nosra. (Because what have the Americans done for them anyway?) He tries to reassure them that he is just like them and that they shouldn’t listen to the U.S., which is making up fraudulent reasons to target him, when everyone knows that the real motivation for the American airstrikes against Jabhat al-Nosra is because Obama is secretly in cahoots with Assad and wants to prevent his fall.

Wait, the U.S. works with Assad?

Well, no, but that’s the idea among Syrian Islamists, not only on the jihadi fringe. You’d be surprised to know how many Syrian rebels and their sympathizers believe this (and no, it’s not entirely unfounded). So that was Golani’s other big theme for the night. He’s making the point that the U.S. and its allies want to abort the revolution and rehabilitate Assad, since they fear a “Muslim” victory. The corollary of that is that the U.S. airstrikes against Jabhat al-Nosra (“Khorasan Group,” remember?) are no different from Assad’s barrel-bombing of Syrian cities. Both airforces are operating in the same airspace and working for the same goal, Golani says, so anyone who takes aid from the Americans is – knowingly or not – also working to keep Assad in power.

He then lumps in the UN negotiations with the rest of this great Shia-Zionist-Yankee-Alawi plot. If the opposition drifts into any form of peace talks, such as those proposed by UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura, that can only serve to isolate the jihadi irreconcileables. So it’s no surprise that Golani insists that all the suggested peace conferences are secretly gamed to serve the international pro-Assad conspiracy. You shouldn’t listen to anyone who will take part in such talks, Golani says, and you shouldn’t accept the support of the West because they’ll just get you hooked on it and then reduce you to a tool for their own purposes. Instead, your only option is to accept that the Assad regime and the international community are two faces of the same coin and to charge at them in an uncompromising jihad.

Which, coincidentally, happens to be the product that al-Qaeda is selling.

 

Aron Lund is the editor of Syria in Crisis, a website published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

UPDATE JUNE 3, 2015: Part two of Golani’s interview with Ahmed Mansour is now available:

Comments (66)


Mina said:

“In one of the interview’s more memorable moments, he said that an Alawite can surrender to Jabhat al-Nosra and as long as he repents, he won’t be killed “even if he killed a thousand of us”. You won’t hear that from the Islamic State, which proudly broadcasts videos of its soldiers shooting defenseless Alawite and Shia prisoners-of-war or slitting their throats. Indeed, those who imagine there is no room for nuances in jihadi thinking, or jihadi rhetoric, are wrong. ”
I ll take that with a pinch of salt. It sounds a bit like the difference between IS “theory regarding sex slaves” in their magazine, and the actual practice with unpuber girl strip naked in the middle of men who can watch and touch the quality of the product (as we’ve learned from the actual victims).

May 29th, 2015, 12:40 pm

 

mjabali said:

al-Julani said in this interview:

The Alwite need to enter into the Muslim religion (al -din al-Islami) then they will considered like ……..our brothers………………………
The Christians: only those who have money will pay Jizzyah…
The Druze: ….look at those living under al-Nusra…we prevent them from visiting the tombs of their saints…and have them under supervision to correct all of their infidel beliefs…everything is fine…and will be fine….

al-Jazeera host, barefoot as some claimed, said: wow…the areas under your control are very safe…….Druze and Christians are safe…great….Julani you are the man….

al-Julani: Thank you al-Jazeera….we here at al-Nusra only doing what our leader Ayman al-Zawahiri of al-Qaeda had ordered us to do….again al-Jazeera thanks…

Note: the outfit of al-Julani does not match the smoothness of his hands: it is for someone from the countryside and normally their hands are like sand papers from work…al-Julani appeared to me like of of the actors in Bab al-Hara

May 29th, 2015, 1:48 pm

 

Altair said:

I’d like someone to explain what it means to be an al-Qaeda franchise.

Is it like McDonald’s, where you pay some money, get sent to McDonalds University and pretty soon hire some people to flip burgers?

But seriously, what is the ideology that drives these guys, and once one defines that, what makes them al-Qaeda, while ISIS is not? Just a matter of extremes?

May 29th, 2015, 2:07 pm

 

Syrian said:

The regime killed Gyath Matter imprisoned Abdel Aziz Alkhyar, let Zahran Aloosh and 100s like him out of jail, so now let the regime and his supporters deal with Golani and Aloosh.
After you guys kill each other, the silent majority will come out and finish you both off.

May 29th, 2015, 3:24 pm

 

Tara said:

Syrian,

One harvests what one plants.

And supporters will cry us a river now

And mark my words, they will beg for US to intervene.

Let evils neutralize each other.

May 29th, 2015, 3:44 pm

 

Jamal said:

# 4. SYRIAN

All what you said is wrong

Gyath Matter: He just had heart attack while he was questioned by the civil police.
Abdel Aziz Alkhyar: He’s not imprisoned, we’re just hosting him for a bit and we assured our Russian friends that will release him in due time.
Zahran Aloosh and 100s like him: Yes and that’s exactly while they were in prison but we released them after the whole world pushed for a pardon.

May 29th, 2015, 4:06 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad must be killed and Iran influence in the region must be killed with Assad. This is an humanitarian cause, hundres of thousands of lifes are on the cue to hell if Assad is not killed by a coup before.

Obama is a stupid drone war monger with a ludicrous Middle East policy. Syria and the world cannot expect any good movement from Obama as cannot be expected from fxxx Assad, Nasrallah or The Khomeinies Mafia.

May 29th, 2015, 4:15 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

As Hitler deserved to be killed and all their officers did too. In the same way Assad deserves to be killed, and all their officers too while all criminal supporters of the absolutist Son of the God Assad must be imprisoned … in Tadmor.

May 29th, 2015, 4:18 pm

 

El Chino said:

Tara, the last thing you should want is US intervention. Best to let Syrians handle their own affairs. Look around you. There are plenty of Syrians who could clean up the mess and make things right. There are a few right here on this message board. Syrians who’ve demonstrated an even-handedness in their dealings with others. Jamal, for example…

May 29th, 2015, 4:21 pm

 

ALAN said:

Why Al-Jazeera correspondent did not ask his interlocutor about what Al-Nusra Front relationship with Israel? Especially that Israel cooperate with the Al-Nusra Front fighters, provide them with logistics, weapons, as their wounded treated in Israeli hospitals and receive from them captive American, who was in the grip of Al-Nusra Front
The author by using the garbage of Al-Jazeera, intentionally with the hidden of some aspects, and show an others, according to institution needs, in which he works, referring to needs to identify with that infamous Channel.

May 29th, 2015, 4:31 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Juergen

Thanks. I haven’t really been away for the most part. I checked the blog from my Xbox as my PC wasn’t properly functioning thus lack of keybord access for typing/commenting.

The supposed stalemate phase (sapping hopes and resulting in decline of comments) has seemingly come to an end and we are once again in a fast changing situation which probably explains the revival of this blog. Hopes have been rekindled. The embers were burning away.

Moving on.

Another thing. I was just searching for a while in the archives for something (see next post) and came across a couple of words we don’t really see anymore:

Menhabek
Shabeeha

Particularly the former. It made me wonder. Regarding the Regime manpower shortage, where have the so-called Menhabeks (I-Love-You’s) gone? Was the Menhabek movement fake? Just a PR and propaganda stunt to give an exaggerated impression of regime support? I know there was an article not long ago about Regime supportes still backing it but not willing to sign up. It seems the Menhabek devotion has weakened considerably.

I know the Shabeeha became NDF.

May 29th, 2015, 6:48 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

As mentioned previously I was searching the archives for a prediction (from Aug 2011 I believe) by the late Sufi Shaykh Nazim of Cyprus which I have posted on this blog several times over the years. It talks about the regime/rulers abandoning everything and fleeing when the fear enters their hearts.

Recent events seems to indicate rise of the fear/terror factor amongst regime forces. Any resistance seems to crumble when facing concerted opposition pressure. A pattern seems to be emerging.

You may have seen on twitter and other blogs the following list showing how long it took rebels to capture recent successes:

Idlib 5 days
Qarmeed 3 days
Jisr Al-Shugour 3 days
Mastoumah 48 hours
Ariha 3 hours

One can guess regime forces watching other areas fall and feeling fearful and terrified in expectation (of being next). Soldiers no doubt will be hearing about the reports of alleged executions of some troops by fleeing regime/hezbo forces.

We may finally be seeing the fear factor. Previously the regime was able to hold out or assumed to be able to. Now there are doubts. Will they resist or drop everything and flee. Some are saying the regime still has a loyal core which won’t be a push over. Time will tell.

The link to Shaykh Nazim’s prediction. My understanding and I’m sure the Shaykhs’ is in the context of the military balance and referring to the regime (rulers/forces).

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/landis-and-heydemann-on-pbs-news-hour-discuss-diplomatic-and-military-options/?cp=all#comment-294822

May 29th, 2015, 7:31 pm

 

Les Evenchick said:

Goulani is from Damascus. I am surprised you all don’t know that. He spent some time in Iraq and then came back with a small group to organise JAN soon after the rebellion in Syria broke out..

May 29th, 2015, 7:38 pm

 

Les Evenchick said:

Shahiba or “ghosts” were criminal gangs that existed before the 2011 uprising and became the . most brutal executors of Assad regime terror.

May 29th, 2015, 7:45 pm

 

Ghufran said:

If I was a thawraji I would not be celebrating the recent wins by terrorist organizations over the Syrian army unless those terrorists miraculously agree to hand control of those areas to a civil body. It is cute how quickly our thawrajiyyeh friends forgot their sexy slogans:
One, one, one , Syrian people are one
Silmyyeh (peaceful), silmyyeh
Freedom, freedom, freedom
Democracy not theocracy
and a long list of slogans that were custom made for media campaign but were never taken seriously by the heroes of this ” revolution”.
كل ثوره وأنتم بخير

May 29th, 2015, 7:52 pm

 

Syrian said:

I guess for someone who has no stake what so ever in Syria,four years and half million dead passes very quickly. The French Revolution lasted 20 years and went through all kind of changes، so will the Syrian revolution.

May 29th, 2015, 8:38 pm

 

Tara said:

El Chino,

Agree . Keep the US out. Let them finish each other and take out HA in their way.

As for the character you mentioned, we were told he is a sunni self-hater . A wanna be Alawi. Now, this a rather a brand new concept for me. I thought the Alawis hated Sunnis because they sold their girls as خادمات in sunni’s houses. I don’t understand why one aspires to be an Alawi or anything else for that matter but I would take what Nadia told us for its face value. She looks like she knows it all.

In any case, evils in Syria has found its match . Fasten your seat belt and watch how hatred begets hatred. I am sorry to say that it is well deserved.

Yet…,. Deep down…, I regret the loss of life….any life…they are all
مغرر بهم

May 29th, 2015, 8:43 pm

 

Syrian said:

Tara
Watch this 1:27 YouTube video of Shia imams retelling the 1400 years old story of imam Housin murder
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=898630490170807&id=103216156378915&ref=m_notif&notif_t=group_r2j_approved

May 29th, 2015, 9:05 pm

 

Fahmein said:

I believe Hama will soon unshackle the almost 40 years of enslavement. I agree with Abu Mohammed, Damascus will be the end of this long dark nightmare. In the meantime, the tide has turned. No longer are the coastal areas safe. Residents of those areas will now pay for the barrel bombs and the other indiscrimenate bombings used to terrorize civilian neighbourhoods in liberated areas. Residents of Assad village are now within range.

As for those who think that by sitting on the sidelines they will benefit from assumed exhaustion of both sides, I’ll say to them you’re dreaming. You sit on the sidelines now and you will be sidelined always.

First time I hear Abu Mohammed and I am very impressed by him. I’m now convinced that what the media is telling us about Nusra is deliberate fear mongering and unfounded propaganda.

May 29th, 2015, 9:00 pm

 

Tara said:

Syrian

مضحك ولا يصدق

الله يعينهم على هالجنان

بس كيف بيضحكوا عقول البشر بهالخزعبلات؟

May 29th, 2015, 9:32 pm

 

Syrian said:

انا اكتر شي لفت انتباهي ودلني انو تمثيل ومضحك انهم كلهن عم يقروا نفس القصه من .!ورقه. يعني بعد ١٤٠٠ سنه من سرد نفس القصه الواحد بيتوقع أنهن بصموها بقلبهون

May 29th, 2015, 9:57 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Just the typical warlord. There were many like him in Afghanistan, that’s why that country is ruined.

May 29th, 2015, 10:04 pm

 

Nusra’s Julani: “I get so scared in case I fall off my chair” | and that's the way it was said:

[…] campaign to convince the US (and, as Aron Lund suggests here, more moderate Sunnis within Syria) that Nusra represents some kind of middle ground between Assad […]

May 29th, 2015, 10:14 pm

 

El Chino said:

I love dudes like Golani. They’re always going off on plots, like the “great Shia-Zionist-Yankee-Alawi plot.” He left out the Saudis and the EU, but he pretty much rounded up most of the cattle on the range.

May 30th, 2015, 1:09 am

 

Lukas G. said:

Good analysis. Would lo love to see the full transcript though. What you reference as an Arabic transcript is just a detailed summary with quotes.

May 30th, 2015, 2:09 am

 

Mina said:

“Evil”? What “evil”? Seems that the same people which were hailed recently have turned “evil” because they admit their connections to Zawahiri?
But it was the same Turks who helped the US/French/UK paid weapons reach them and were inviting the “clean” guys in suits in their 5 stars hotels for so-called “summit of the opposition”
http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2015/05/29/un-journal-turc-publie-les-images-d-armes-livrees-par-la-turquie-aux-djihadistes-en-syrie_4643354_3218.html
And now even the mainstream media publised the pics.

What “evil” when someone can post with reverence the tweets of Shaykh Yaqubi denouncing the djihadists and the next day celebrate the taking of more cities by the Islamists.

And if like is so cool under al-Nusra, why don’t we see a massive exodus from the refugee camps to go and live there?

May 30th, 2015, 4:15 am

 

mjabali said:

The host of al-Jazeera is barefoot.

You could see him wearing his socks only in the picture above in the article.

Most likely he has some sunflowers seeds in his pocket, that he shared with al-Julani later….

He was very “understanding” to the situation of al-Nusra/al-Qaeda. He even explained things, instead of al-Julani in one instance: when he mentioned دفع الصائل

Other than the praise al-Jazeera host exhibited regarding the land under al-Qaida in Syria, he let al-Julani ramble and utter things sometimes close to nonesense.

The words and ideas that came out of al-Julani showed he is nothing more than a simple man parroting Salafi propaganda you could get for free on you tube. The man is empty.

He should have worn some pants with belts instead of the rope holding that Shrwal….

The new fashion is good to stack sunflowers seeds in your pockets….

May 30th, 2015, 6:56 am

 

ALAN said:

تشير تقارير أممية إلى أن 100 دولة تمد داعش بالمقاتلين، وفي كلمة له أمام مجلس الأمن الدولي، أكد الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون الجمعة 29 مايو/ أيار انضمام أكثر من 25 ألف مقاتل من 100 دولة، لصفوف تنظيم ” داعش” في سوريا والعراق، مبينا أن أعمار المقاتلين تتراوح بين الـ15 و الـ35 عاما، لترتفع نسبة المقاتلين الأجانب إلى 70 بالمئة منذ منتصف عام 2014.
https://twitter.com/secgen/status/604297393459318784
http://arabic.rt.com/news/784383-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4-125-%D8%A3%D9%84%D9%81-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%84-%D8%A3%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%A8%D9%8A/

May 30th, 2015, 7:04 am

 

Tara said:

Hehe. The man is empty indeed and most likely he does eats بزر وقضامة in his spare time.. Yet he defeated assad, Huzboulah, and iran combined .

What is emptier than empty ?

On the other side : The ideology that assad regime along with HA and iran used to recruit the Alawi’s and Shiaa to sacrifice themselves has met its match! What were they expecting? People of the world sitting idle watching Syrians slaughter in the name of Zainab for Shiaa and in the name of Assad or لا احد for Alawis ?

This is natural consequence that only the stupids did not see coming

May 30th, 2015, 7:10 am

 

ALAN said:

The video record as confirmed by sources in the city of Idlib made by so-called “reporter”, “Al-Jazeera” Ahmed Mansour, who is wanted as terrorist acording to the American list. In Egypt, his possessions are reserved for the same reason. The voice of his interlocutor different from the original
***
ISIS fighter was trained by State Department
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/29/politics/isis-man-trained-in-us/index.html

May 30th, 2015, 7:37 am

 

Mina said:

Huzboulah? How come Tara changed in “her” orthography compared to the older posts?

And when is the “Yemeni observatory for human rights” when you need it? The Saudi “coalition” managed to kill 2000 people in just two months!
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/131507/World/Region/Coalition-pounds-Yemen-capital-despite-UN-envoy-ar.aspx
” The raids came only hours after UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed flew in to Sanaa on Friday for talks with political parties, according to a rebel-run website.

A conference on Yemen which was due to take place in Geneva last Thursday was postponed, in a fresh blow to UN efforts to broker peace in the country where the conflict has killed almost 2,000 people since March.”

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/131483/World/Region/Yemens-Saleh-says-Saudi-offered-him-millions-to-fi.aspx

May 30th, 2015, 8:12 am

 

Observer said:

This is for you Tara
http://orient-news.net/index.php?page=news_show&id=87805&هستيريا_مؤيدي_الأسد_بعد_تحرير_أريحا:_%22لك_استحوا_بقا%22!

The last post of a regime supporter calls for ” wiping Idlib off the map” similar to ” Hama in the 80’s”.

He who sows the wind harvests the storm. What goes around comes around.

To raide morale, barrel bombs were dropped this morning killing 80 people.

Cheers

May 30th, 2015, 8:34 am

 

mjabali said:

Congratulation Tara and Observer you have won over al-Assad through al-Julani and his international Sunni brigade. I say Mabruk your victory over al-Assad.

Also Mabruk for you is al-Fateh al-Julani Abu Shrwal, and Mabruk for you al-Qaida/Nusra running the orders of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The Question here: after you declare it an Imarah Islamiyah Sunniyah Khalisah are you:

1- Invite Ayman al-Zawahiri to lead your Sharia state?

2- Will you consider sunflower seeds to be your national food?

3- Will you make the outfit of al-Julani your national attire?

4- Is Barefoot going to be the new craze?

May 30th, 2015, 9:31 am

 
 

ghufran said:

Eventually the issue for Syrians will be what will they stand for and who will lead them, a lot was written about the alawites failure to come up with a leadership outside alassad family and his close circle but very little is said about who is rushing to represent the other side, and the picture so far looks really grim.
Many Syrians have abandoned their national identity and decided to follow Nusra/ ISIS propaganda, they see thugs like the GCC royals as charitable and good people and they have no vision for the future except the empty rhetoric that means nothing to millions of hungry, terrified and unemployed Syrians.
It is failure all over and those who only want to blame the other side and are scared to look in the mirror are in denial, this denial is a known coping behavior but it does not last !!

May 30th, 2015, 10:29 am

 

Tara said:

Mjabali,

You should congratulate yourself and have yourself and colleagues only to blame. The Alawi Ibn Taymieh of the modern age met his sunni match, so what do you expect.

May 30th, 2015, 10:32 am

 

mjabali said:

Tara said she does not know Ibn Taymiyah and still describes someone as Ibn Taymiyah…. She is eating too much قضامة

Blame games are not for me…I look at results..

If I want to be like Tara, eaten by blame, I blame them all: Assad-Islam-Shia-Iran-Sunnis, the goats of Qatar and Saudia, the gambler king of Jordan…the disillusioned of Turkey…etc….they all destroyed Syria and endangered minorities..

al-Julani, her hero Abu Shrwal, said casually that he will not kill the Alawites if they enter Islam…What is he eating: Grass or hay?

Congratulation again Tara and Co. for the wins of Abu Shrwal al-Julani the representative of al-Qaida in Syria.

May 30th, 2015, 11:17 am

 

Tara said:

“Tara said she does not know Ibn Taymiyah and still describes someone as Ibn Taymiyah…. She is eating too much قضامة”

You taught us everything we know about him. Did not hear his name before.

May 30th, 2015, 11:32 am

 

Sami said:

For nearly two years Syrians stayed largely peaceful while being massacred. For two years these heroes were killed and tortured while being labeled infiltrators and stooges to the west and zionists. I am not saying fundamentalists were not among them, they were. However your silence towards those that so bravely stood for a better Syria not only empowered the extremists but was a red carpet invitation for every nut case I the world. Blame your collective silence and callous disregard for the lives of the innocent before blaming everybody for the dire strait our country is in.

When Gaith Matar, Omar Aziz, Dalila, and Khayyer are thrown into the dungeons, tortured and killed who do you expect to be left? The voices of reason were slaughtered, tortured, and exiled while the Aloushes were freed, and allowed to hijack the noble revolution.

May 30th, 2015, 11:56 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Why is everyone focussing so much on Golani and painting a picture of him and his gang conquering and ruling Syria as if it’s a done deal?

The other rebel leader (IF), for example,…I forget his name…the one in East Ghouta who regularly slips out to Turkey…is more prominent.

Also someone asked who the opposition provide as an alternative to Assad. What’s wrong with Mr Khoja? If you say he has no real power/influence then I’d say he’s just as nominal as Assad. Once Assad regime is removed then the outside powers will back Mr Khoja (or whoever is in his place) thus giving him some substance. The SNC and it’s leadership will come more (if not fully) into play at that time.

Another thing. A user in a recent thread asked why the Druze community is not mentioned/discussed when minorities are being talked about. I do remember a former user (Khalid Tlass) was full of praise for the ‘honourable’ Druze people. I hope they maintain their largely honourable stance of resisting Assad’s (increasingly desperate) attempts to gain their active support. I know Mr Jumblatt (Lebanon) has encouraged them to keep distance from Assad.

May 30th, 2015, 12:06 pm

 

Juergen said:

First pictures are coming up, notorious Tadmor prison was blown up. I think many Syrians would cheer for this blow up, it would have been an good national memorial one day.

May 30th, 2015, 1:47 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

“He who defends everything defends nothing.”
– Frederick the Great

May 30th, 2015, 1:50 pm

 

Observer said:

I agree with you Mjabali: we are now stuck between the retarded criminal pseudo modern prethident and the retarded fanatic pseudo muslim Kaaed.

Here is a nice post for a change: at least someone has a modicum of understanding

https://www.facebook.com/478734002192276/videos/vb.478734002192276/841270825938590/?type=2&theater

Now, he how sows the wind harvest the storm.
Having deprived the people for sixty years of any form of protest and used the most barbaric methods to kill maim and torture and exile and imprison and having used labels to treason the other and to dehumanize him/her you will end up eating from the same pot where you cooked this potion of poison.

Larmes de crocodile

May 30th, 2015, 2:26 pm

 

mjabali said:

Sami

I don’t buy your emotional outburst. One need to look to what happened and is happening in Syria with a practical eye, and how to move to the future.

I am with you about Ghayth Mattar and al-Khayyer and co. When did i ever never respected these people? Because I am not a Sunni does not mean I do not know and respect, and want justice to all of those you listed. The question here is how to move forward with the least number of dead people with a prospect to have Syria back again at one point.

al-Qaida holds more territory than al-Assad now in Syria, the Islamic State has even more..HizbAllah is holding a large area too….The future is bleak….

I repeat what I always said: the only solution is political and the only way to do that is through Syrian political parties on the ground: the current regime should help by stepping off as soon as possible…

May 30th, 2015, 3:10 pm

 

Badr said:

If you have not raised your voice before against the thugs of the Assad regime, do you have the right to do so now against Sunni thugs?

May 30th, 2015, 4:59 pm

 

Tara said:

Badr,

And if you never show sympathy to the ordinary Syrian being humiliated, tortured, barrel bombed, gases, slaughtered, and mutiliated, do you have the right to ask for it when your family gets exposed to some similar treatment?

May 30th, 2015, 5:39 pm

 

Jamal said:

It’s a sad moment to see Tadmor prison getting blown up. This memorial must be remembered for ever, it was one of those unspoken reasons of Syrian unity.

The only condolences that we still have the prisoners so with everybody’s effor we can rebuild 100 Tadmor prisons.

May 30th, 2015, 6:10 pm

 

Jamal said:

So now the street girl is building her case against me based on an affidavit provided by a liar called Nadia. I can easily refute the liar’s claim that I’m a Sunnah and just trying to lick the shoes of Alawites, simply by saying you don’t know me to be very certain.

If I was a wanna-be I will side by the current winner but not I’m a soldier of this great country and I put my soul on a golden plate and happily sacrifice it under the arc of victory of the glory gate only for the Syria, Syrians and leader of Syrians

May 30th, 2015, 6:16 pm

 

Jamal said:

According to this survey the vast majority of Syrians with Alassad

65% of Sunnah are with Alassad soul and heart.
10% of Sunnah with the terrorists
25% of Sunnah undecided.

Alawites
95% with Alassad
4% with terrorits
1% undecided

Druz
95% with Alassad
4% undecided
1% with terrorists

Ismailis
100% with Alassad

Murashides
100% with Alassad

Syrian-Palestinians
75% with Alasad
15% undecided
10% with terrorists

Kurds
75% with Alasad
15% undecided
10% with terrorists

May 30th, 2015, 6:24 pm

 

El Chino said:

More Data from Jamal’s Survey:

Retards
72% with Assad
4% with ISIS
22% Undecided because “both seem okay”

Lunatics
2% with Assad
54% with ISIS
44% Refuse to commit until they “get admitted to Sweden”

Transvestites
40% with Assad
40% with Israel
20% want clean pantyhose

Pedophiles
90% with Assad
5% with Hillary Clinton
5% want nude pics of Nasrallah’s 10 year-old daughter

People Married to Goats
2% with Assad
88% with Zimbabwe
10% want food stamps for their goats

May 30th, 2015, 9:50 pm

 

Hopeful said:

Golani does not represent me, does not represent Syrians, and does not represent Muslims.

Syria was able to develop a tolerant version of Islam in the past centuries, thanks to the existence of minorities – Christians, Jews, Alawits, Druze, etc., within its fabrics. Gulf states have been struggling with modernizing their faith, precisely because they did not have much contacts with minorities until the later part of the 20th century. Gulf citizens in places like Doha and Dubai are going through rapid transformation, but with that comes setbacks, growing pains, and backlashes. In Syria, we are fortunate that our ancestors kept the diversity of the society.

As a Syrian (born Sunni – whatever that means), I, for one, am thankful for the mosaic fabrics of Syria. I am thankful for the more-liberal minorities that have influenced the way I was brought up in my household, Alawits and Christians included.

The bloody ruthless and corrupt regime that ruled over Syria in the past 50 years must go, but Syria should not lose its diversity. Syria did not feel like a homeland under the dictator and his son, and will not feel like a homeland under intolerant rulers who strive to “correct” other people’s faith! The “better under Assad vs Golani” argument is even more false than the “Better under Saddam vs US occupation” argument.

May 31st, 2015, 12:50 am

 

Altair said:

#48

So basically you’re saying that Syrians can only be unified under threat of imprisonment and torture, or in even more extreme cases (Rif’at in 1980), mass murder?

May 31st, 2015, 3:00 am

 

Badr said:

“And if you never show sympathy to the ordinary Syrian being humiliated, tortured, barrel bombed, gases, slaughtered, and mutiliated, do you have the right to ask for it when your family gets exposed to some similar treatment?”

Tara,

Even if the answer is “no”, it is by no means a justification for similar treatment.

May 31st, 2015, 3:01 am

 
 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

50. Jamal

Your private census about levels of support for Assad is a consequence of delirium.

Do not worry because after 5 more years when Obama-Iran-Assad-Nasrallah have finished their job of ethnic cleanesing of sunni and christian arabs your dream may become true.

May 31st, 2015, 5:04 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

… ¨Israel’s Alliance with the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s official franchise in Syria.¨….

Never forget your pills

May 31st, 2015, 5:08 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

51. El Chino

Great job !!!

This is what I call a profesional survey that fits Assad regime of retards and pedophiles.

May 31st, 2015, 5:18 am

 

ALAN said:

SANDRO LOEWE
El Chino
Please have to abide by the ethics of commentary.

CC SC moderation

May 31st, 2015, 5:31 am

 

Syrialover said:

How sweetly convenient for the Assad regime that Daesh has destroyed Tadmur prison, important historical monument to the crimes of the Assads.

How sweetly convenient for Daesch that the Assad regime is raining barrel bombs down on Syrian rebels fighting Daesch in Aleppo.

May 31st, 2015, 5:41 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

Your ethics is supporting the ethnic cleanse of 14 million syrians while avoiding some disturbing words. Repulsive hypocrisy.

We can avoid some words but you avoid your ideas.

May 31st, 2015, 5:50 am

 

Syrialover said:

Tweets from Razan Saffour:

# ISIS destroying Tadmur prison is the biggest service to the regime; by destroying all evidence of the regime’s HR abuses and crimes

# Our fathers & uncles were not whipped with metal rods, not tortured with wheels & ladders for ISIS to come along & destroy all evidence.

# My uncle served 17 damn years in Tadmur, he was tortured in the worst ways – and spent years recovering after release

# Words fail me at this point. Thank you ISIS. Thank your barbaric, selfish, savage, gruesome, terrorist regime-serving ways.

# Today, Aleppo & Tadmur, two places which define much of my identity, one in carnage by a terrorist regime-the other destroyed by barbarians.

https://twitter.com/RazanSpeaks

May 31st, 2015, 5:53 am

 

Syrialover said:

As an acute observer said after experiencing ISIS in Syria, the main purpose of it is to make their d*cks feel bigger.

Unfortunately, Abu Mohammed al-Golani seems to be driven by the same sensation.

May 31st, 2015, 6:07 am

 

El Chino said:

Exactly. Tadmur should have been preserved as a place where Syrians could be educated about the horrid effects of tyranny. It’s like the Gulag in the USSR where thousands of innocent people suffered because they offended one man.

May 31st, 2015, 9:33 pm

 

Inside Al Jazeera: Is the pan-Arab channel a propaganda outfit or an essential voice? | World Times 24 said:

[…] Analyst Aron Lund summed up the feelings of many observers when he described the interview as “softball,” adding: “it was no Frost/Nixon, more like a high school […]

June 10th, 2015, 12:15 pm

 

Recent ISIS and Al Qaeda Rebel Gains in Syria and Iraq: A Result of US Support to Terrorists | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog said:

[…] while it’s leaders would remain “close to al Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahri [sic].” In a recent interview with the Qatari channel Al Jazeera, al-Nusra’s leader al-Golani was given a platform to say that […]

June 12th, 2015, 3:03 am

 

Recent ISIS and Al Qaeda Rebel Gains in Syria and Iraq: A Result of US Support to Extremists | Friends of Syria said:

[…] while it’s leaders would remain “close to al Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahri [sic].” In a recent interviewwith the Qatari channel Al Jazeera, al-Nusra’s leader al-Golani was given a platform to say that […]

June 12th, 2015, 1:47 pm

 

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