Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Lashes out at Critics (30 September 2013)

Posted by Joshua Landis

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, released an audio recording Monday September 2013 to defend ISIS against recent attacks in the media.

Everyone has been waiting for this statement ever since the ISIS kicked the North Storm and FSA militias out of Azaz, north of Aleppo. The speculation was that ISIS was preparing to take over the border crossing with Turkey in order to capture the revenue and place a strategic chock-hold on goods moving to Aleppo. Turkey closed the border crossing in response.

An English translation has yet to be published. Here are a few quick points:

  • He denies responsibility of the explosions that targeted Sunni Mosques in Iraq. Says the Rafidi(Iraqi) army is responsible for the attacks.
  • Support for the ISIS in Iraq is growing, even among the tribes.
  • He says the media is twisting facts. One example of this is the accusation that ISIS of staying in the liberated areas (this was an accusation repeated by Elizabeth O’Bagy and quoted in Kerry’s Senate hearing) and stabbing the FSA in the back to keep them away from the front, when the opposite is the truth:
    • Liwaa Ahfad al-Rassoul opened a front with ISIS in Raqqa and Deir ezZor to distract ISIS from pursuing its front in Latakia and the coast. When they were close to conquering Qirdaha, Bashar’s hometown.
    • Adnani said that the leader of Liwaa Ahfad al-Rassoul went to France and brought back money and a plan to face the ISIS, and Ahfad al-Rassoul members started instigating the fight by swearing at Allah in public and on the walki-talki. He says, “don’t get fooled, not all groups fighting are good, some are known to be shabiha,” an example is a group in Aleppo countryside called al-Nasir, which they caught planting ….. in their bases. He also calls Senator McCain an American pig.
    • Liwaa Asifat al-Shamal opened a front with ISIS in Azaz over a crusader spy, distracting them from the Hama front where ISIS is making amazing progress that is not being reported
  • Adnani blames the media for casting them in a bad light by spreading lies, not reporting on their successes, and attributing what successes they do report to other groups.
  • ISIS does not want to exclude anyone but a lot of groups want to exclude the ISIS. The ISIS welcomes anyone that extends a hand to them.
  • An example of this false attribution is the victorious capture of Menagh airbase, which was carried out mostly by ISIS with little help from other groups. All the same, the media reported this as an accomplishment of the FSA to the point that the Supreme Military Council leaders claimed responsibility for it.
  • Adnani is also annoyed that not enough attention was given to the ISIS operation on Dirii Hama.
  • He says ISIS does not think that most people are Kufar. They believe that the majority of the people in Iraq and Syria are Muslim. ISIS does not declare anybody an apostate without clear evidence. And when one of its members is found to be making such a generalization, that member is penalized and if he repeats his actions, he gets expelled from the group. And they’ve expelled a lot of Ansar and Muhajirin because of such statements.
  • Adnani insists that the media constantly plays up the few altercations that ISIS has had with other militias, while completely ignoring the frequent and on-going fights that set other groups against each other.
  • Adnani points out that many insisted that fighting between the ISIS and its defectors – here he is referring to Jabhat al-Nusra – would break out, but it did not. Not a single drop of blood was shed and no fighting took place, even though every reason for it existed. This upset the infidels and proved to everyone that ISIS is not out to attack those who disagree with their views. The ISIS has not fought anybody in Syria except the Nusayris, unless it was forced into a fight. ISIS believes it is stupid to fight on multiple fronts.
  • He reminds the FSA that the goal of this campaign of distortion is to provoke internecine fighting between the two groups.

Comments (55)

ziad said:

Apartheid in Israel: Dispelling Myths of the Jewish State

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on the NSA’s Six Degrees of Implication, Israel Apartheid State, Seymour Hersh on Media Lapdogs and Bin Laden’s Mythical Death, Erasing Memories and other Weird Science Innovations.

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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on the latest NSA revelation, showing how the agency compiles charts on not only you, but your connections to friends, and friends of friends. Abby then speaks with Miko Peled, Israel peace activist and grandson of one of Israel’s founding fathers about his book, ‘The General’s Son’ which dispels the myths and misconceptions about the Jewish State, and the true nature of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Abby then gives props to world renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, for calling out the abysmal failure of the corporate media in the US, saying that the MSM should fire 90 percent of its reporters and that “not one word” of the bin laden death narrative is true. BTS wraps up the show highlighting a few of the most breakthrough scientific discoveries including freezing light, memory erasing genes and 3D printers in space.

September 30th, 2013, 11:13 pm


Syrialover said:

ZIAD, Israel, Israel, Israel. Much bigger in your mind than what is happening to Syria and Syrians.

Your posts here present a textbook specimen of the Assad regime’s success in using Israel as a distraction and excuse for all disasters the regime has inflicted on Syria for decades.

For a change, now the game is laid bare, how about Syria? What about what’s happening there?

How the hell does anyone with a connection to Syria have headspace and energy for obsessing about anything else. Unbelievable.

October 1st, 2013, 12:22 am


William Scott Scherk said:

A puckish headline to an otherwise sobering Foreign Policy article: Assad Rules Out Negotiations With Pretty Much Everyone in Opposition. The point being that any Geneva II process is stillborn if any side/both sides refuse to admit the other. Joshua Landis sums up the gulf in a couple of comments:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has long vowed to negotiate with the Syrian opposition to end his country’s civil war. But on Sunday, he made perfectly clear which rebels he deems worthy to negotiate: Almost none of them. The determination bodes poorly for U.S. and Russian efforts to hold a peace conference between both sides in Geneva by November.

In an interview with Italy’s Rai News 24, Assad ruled out talks with any al-Qaeda-aligned groups, which have become some of the most lethal and well-organized foes of the regime. “We cannot discuss with al-Qaeda offshoots and organizations that are affiliated with al-Qaeda,” said Assad.


That begs the question, what groups is he [Assad] talking about?

“Assad is precluding almost all interlocutors with these sweeping preconditions,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University, tells The Cable. “He has named the select groups that he believes are the appropriate opposition, which are seen to be stooges of his government by much of the opposition.”

Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find a Syrian opposition group not affiliated with either the SNC or Al Qaeda.

The fear is that Assad — emboldened by his chemical weapons deal with the U.S. and Russia — is erecting more barriers to a political settlement that would ultimately remove him from power. “What he’s doing is delaying and putting up obstacles to negotiations,” a senior congressional aide familiar with the Syrian opposition tells The Cable. “This is just an attempt to defuse the whole process.”

Others who want to see all sides come to the table in Geneva say Assad isn’t the only one to blame here. “It must be said that the U.S. government is beginning from a similarly narrow position,” said Landis. “Its insistence that the SNC be the sole opposition interlocutor and representative at Geneva is silly.”

“We have seen most of the strong fighting groups in Syria reject the SNC, General Salim Idriss and the SMC over last two weeks,” he continued. “What is more, the SNC says it will only engage in dialogue with the regime, once Assad has agreed to step down and his men have agreed to a transition government being established once the talks have concluded.”

The civilian opposition of Syria is either disappeared, detained, in hiding or exile, ‘expatriated,’ fleeing arrest, on charge in special Terrorist Court, under seige, otherwise on the lam, in dungeon or grave — or if free, prevented by the arcane catch-22s of Syria law from exercising their full civil rights.

Think of all the signatories to the Damascus Declaration. Where are they now? In the Assadist SANA version of reality they have joined a black void, all of them, whether currently incarcerated, exiled or not.

There is no credible opposition because at every turn the state did its best to extirpate any challenge.

Who has hope for a Geneva process with a government so intransigent and brutal and corrupt as this one?

October 1st, 2013, 12:37 am


Juergen said:

I dont know if this amazing video of a flashmob in Damascus has been posted here yet. Pretty clever song choice, this mauthani song is taught since ages in the shools by the regime, in the beginning see how people run away, fearing the shabihas would soon end the action,when they hear the song, they stay, they know then that this whole flashmob was authorized by the thugregime.

October 1st, 2013, 12:56 am


Juergen said:

May Allah curse the soul of Hafez

October 1st, 2013, 12:56 am



Brilliant.. Joshua’s post to the rescue.

October 1st, 2013, 2:51 am



Those who stayed are also being harassed by ISIS and by the other “Islamists” arms of the regime.

On the same day the now declared leader of the Islamist army was released from assad’s jail to form armed “bands”, several key leaders of civil-state protest were arrested and many of those have either perished in torture chambers or remain incarcerated until today.

With this post, and the persistence of other post, I am getting very close to believe that this site site is one of the regime’s tools.

October 1st, 2013, 3:02 am


omen said:

from above:

The ISIS has not fought anybody in Syria except the Nusayris

isis didn’t fight with pkk?

isis must regard them as regime proxy.

October 1st, 2013, 4:17 am


Syrialover said:

“Everyone has been waiting for this statement (from someone who claims to be spokesmen for something that claims to be ISIS)” declares the lead post here. Seizing on it as if it was a sophisticated policy document presented by a mainstream power.

The alleged author of the alleged statement being given the red carpet treatment above is not saying anything that can be verified, nothing that adds up and little that matches a lot of reports from people forced to deal with ISIS elements on the ground.

Abu Muhammad al-Adnani is just one more fantasist seizing his power moment in the spotlight during the chaos. I find it highly unlikely that the lunatics and thugs in ISIS would care about what the media or anyone says about them. And let’s not play along with the absurd pretense that ISIS are running centralized, controlled and systematic operations.

Let’s give some airspace to things like the following:

– a report by a blogger on the ground of how ISIS waits until the FSA have won checkpoints or territory then moves in and pushes them out

– statement by the Coalition yesterday that a regime air attack on a schoolyard full of students in Raqqa “comes in conjunction with an assault by ISIS on the Church of Our Lady Bshara last week in Al Raqqa. Analysts consider “that the operations witnessed in Al Raqqa this week, with their sudden appearance, prove the existence of a closely coordinated b relationship between the regime and ISIS.”

October 1st, 2013, 6:33 am


zoo said:

As expected, under the pretext of helping ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels, the US is actually preparing the region for the fight against Al Qaeda

“We’re looking, militarily now — and I’m speaking only as the representative of the United States armed forces — but we’re looking at how we can assist the Lebanese armed forces, the Jordanians in particular, our NATO allies in Turkey, and even the Iraqis,” he said.

Read more:
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

October 1st, 2013, 7:38 am


zoo said:

Al-Qaida spokesman criticizes rival Syrian rebels

The Associated Press


An al-Qaida spokesman is accusing Western-backed rebels fighting to topple the Syrian government of “stealing” credit for battlefield victories from his group.

Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, says commanders of the Free Syrian Army are claiming territorial gains made by al-Qaida fighters.

In an audio message posted on a militant website on Monday, al-Adnani cites the August capture of the Mannagah air base in northern Syria as an example.

He says some FSA fighters took part in the battle for the base and an FSA commander took credit for it, but it was actually captured by al-Qaida.

Al-Qaida militants have in the past year emerged as some of the most organized and successful fighting forces on the opposition side in Syria.

October 1st, 2013, 7:41 am


zoo said:

Powerless KSA unhappy with its well paid “protectors”.

US moves on Syria, Iran outrage Saudi Arabia

Saudis feel Obama administration disregarding their concerns over Iran and Syria

Riyadh: The Obama administration’s handling of overtures on Syria and Iran have outraged regional ally Saudi Arabia, which is signaling it wants to do more to boost the power of armed rebel groups on the ground in Syria as the US pursues diplomacy.

In truth, Saudi and other Gulf Arab countries have little leverage to advance their aims in any US-Iran diplomacy, Gulf security analysts said. Beyond revving up support for rebels in Syria, Saudis have only a few other means, such as directing more of their arms or energy deals to Asia, said Michael Stephens, researcher at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in Qatar.

“They feel a little bit powerless in all this,” Stephens said. “The fact that this process is going on…it directly affects them and they have no say in it.”

October 1st, 2013, 8:15 am


zoo said:

KSA is only powerful when it comes to oppress their own women using laughable scientific pretexts expressed by their Wahhabi sheikhs.

Saudi doctor refutes claims by cleric that driving affects women’s ovaries

A Saudi doctor has gone on-air to dismiss claims made by a well-known psychologist who caused a stir when he said medical studies show driving affects a woman’s ovaries.

In comments aired over the weekend by the privately owned Rotana channel, gynecologist Mohammed Baknah says scientific studies have not proven that driving has adverse effects on women’s reproductive health.

He was addressing remarks by Sheikh Saleh Saad El Leheidan who said that women who drive suffer from having the pelvis forced upward. His remarks were published Saturday in an interview with the website El Sabq,

​A Saudi doctor has gone on-air to dismiss claims made by a well-known cleric who caused a stir when he said medical studies show driving affects a woman’s ovaries

A Saudi doctor has gone on-air to dismiss claims made by a well-known cleric who caused a stir when he said medical studies show driving affects a woman’s ovaries

Hard-line clerics have opposed a campaign scheduled for October 26 calling on women to drive in defiance of a ban in the ultraconservative kingdom.

Another cleric this month called on people to harass women who drive.

October 1st, 2013, 8:19 am


zoo said:

The wind is clearly turning against Islamist forces in Arab countries.
As the Syrian opposition and the rebels continue to swim against the historical current, it is matter of time until they will become as irrelevant as Ennahda and Morsi

Demise of Ennahda is victory for secular politics in Tunisia

September 30, 2013 Updated: September 30, 2013 18:22:00

The news that Tunisia’s Islamists have agreed to stand down from government in three weeks has been hailed as a victory for a peaceful, inclusive postrevolutionary process in Tunisia. (The implicit, and explicit, contrast is with the upheaval and chaos of Egypt.) And it is that. But it is also a victory for the secular opposition in Tunisia.

■ Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party agrees to step down to end crisis
■ Secularists gain in Tunisia
Comment Tunisia threatens to take Egypt’s course

Indeed, the removal of Ennahda is the first victory for secular political forces of the Arab Spring.

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

October 1st, 2013, 8:34 am


zoo said:

A Syrian Solution to Civil Conflict? The Free Syrian Army is Holding Talks with Assad’s Senior Staff

By Robert Fisk

And now, it seems, another remarkable development is under way: in seven rebel-held areas of Aleppo, most of them under the control of the FSA, civil employees can return to work in their offices, and government institutions and schools can reopen. Students who have become militiamen over the past two years will be disarmed and return to their classrooms.

Some members of the FSA have formed what they call the “National Union for Saving Syria”, although members of the political opposition in areas outside government control disrupted meetings by condemning the government army and, according to those involved in the “Union”, making sectarian comments and condemning Shiites and Iran. Last week there were several defections of FSA units to the al-Qa’ida-linked al-Nusra Front, which has complicated matters still further. If the FSA is prepared to talk to the regime, how many are now left to take part in future agreements between the two sides?
For months now, pro-regime officials have explored how they might win the army defectors back to their side – and the growth of al-Nusra and other Islamist groups has certainly disillusioned many thousands of FSA men who feel that their own revolution against the government has been stolen from them. And in areas of Homs province, it is a fact that fighting between the FSA and the army has virtually ceased. In some government-held villages and towns the FSA are already present without being molested.

And the advantages to Assad are clear. If FSA men could be persuaded to return to the ranks of the regime’s army in complete safety, large areas of rebel-held territory would return to government control without a shot being fired. An army reinforced by its one-time deserters could then be turned against al-Nusra and its al-Qa’ida affiliates in the name of national unity.

October 1st, 2013, 8:37 am



I was worried about quota being reduced, I was wrong.

October 1st, 2013, 8:52 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Our patrons once again reviewed the material presented in this latest post of diversionary ploys to fudge truths and facts, and to falsify and fabricate, ongoing processes on this site fueled by its owner and associates. Our well informed benefactors once again came to the same unavoidable conclusion as they did when reviewing the previous five posts. The material and so-called evidence presented in the main post are in total contradiction to the gist of the post seeking in essence to tarnish the reputation of the glorious revolution of the Syrian people and to polish the ugly face of the murderous regime, implying in the process a clear desperate attempt to spread propaganda on behalf of the falling and desperate regime of outlawed perverted criminals of the outcast so-called Assad. In general, the material presented has no bearings whatsoever on the interests of Syria and its people who are fighting the most important war on behalf of all Mankind, the existential fight against humankind archenemy, the Serpent-Head and its proxies. Needless to say, the acts of fabrication and propaganda of this site’s administrators fall squarely and evenly under the definitions of aiding and abetting of criminals of the worst kind in human history.

As a result of their assessments, our benefactors decided to keep the site on the blacklist. And they would strongly urge readers to exercise extreme caution, sound judgement and critical analysis when reading anything written by the owner or associates of the this clearly suspicious and much-below standards site.

October 1st, 2013, 9:02 am


Akbar Palace said:

The central actor that is terrorizing the Middle East is Iran.

I hope this isn’t a surprise to you. I think most Syrians “get it”.

I also hope Obama realizes he has the upper hand here and takes this opportunity to a successful conclusion. But I doubt he’ll do it.

October 1st, 2013, 10:36 am


Akbar Palace said:

The US completed her withdraw from Iraq on 21 October 2011 per President Obama’s strict edict.

Since then, about 5000 have perished violently in 2012 and already more in 2013 (5740). This past month, about 900 civilians have been killed.

Who do we blame? Israel again? The US? How about the actual murderers? And what will it take to stop the violence?

October 1st, 2013, 10:52 am


Sami said:

Increasingly this blog is turning into a one trick pony.

I guess to some it is much more important to cover what Al-Qaeda might or might not do next while ignoring the School that was bombed with an Air Fuel Bomb killing and maiming so many.

And it is not like the targeting of Schools is an isolated crime as the children that were napalmed in Aleppo or the University Students that got to witness first hand the killing physics of a SCUD missile can attest to.

October 1st, 2013, 11:25 am


ziad said:


”ZIAD, Israel, Israel, Israel. Much bigger in your mind than what is happening to Syria and Syrians.”

If you do not recognize that the current Syrian problems are mainly instigated by Israel and Israel firsters in the west, mainly the US, then you are either naïve to the limit of stupidity, or you are faking to be a “Syria lover”. I reread many of your comments and don’t sense any love for Syria, mainly hate to the current Syrian government.

Your points of view are generally in line with the western/Israeli position, you often agree with and praise AKBAR PALACE, who only posts dull hasbara comments and you miss AIG another Israeli who sees Syria as an enemy of Israel and loves to stick it to the Syrians. I strongly suspect that you are a PsyOps implant here to promote the Israeli point of view. If I am wrong and you are a Syrian expat with right wing leanings, I suggest you read the documents “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”, “The Project for the New American Century”, and read/watch some of Noam Chomsky’s books, articles or videos, like this one:

If you do not recognize the pattern in what happened in Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Syria, then you and I have nothing to say to each other.


October 1st, 2013, 11:39 am


Akbar Palace said:


If you have any ideas, I’m willing to listen.

A month ago the big story was the chemical attack and Obama’s “Red Line”, which we now know, was a mirage, or more accurately, a Lie.

Then we had Syria supposedly negotiating a plan to have the CW stocks eliminated and neutralized. My feeling was Syria was feeling some pressure either real or imagined. Now we have this process growing into a more “regional” solution with Iran making “overtures”. This is a sign, to me, that the Syria-Iran axis is feeling some sort of pressure.

This COULD be good news. What do you think?


Maybe your an “Iran Firster”. How can we know for sure?

October 1st, 2013, 11:44 am


ziad said:

نعم، تنفست الصعداء وانا أقرأ الجملة القاطعة المانعة التي تقول: “منتخب سورية للشباب بكرة القدم لن يشارك في التصفيات المؤهلة إلى نهائيات كأس آسيا للشباب بكرة القدم المقرر إقامتها في فلسطين المحتلة لأنها لا تزال أرضا مغتصبة من قبل الكيان الصهيوني”.

فكل النار تأتي من شرارة عابرة. وكل التطبيع يبدأ بخطوة مراوغة.

وحين نهمل الشرارة، كما حصل مرارا وتكرارا، سنبكي ونحن نحترق متسائلين كيف حدث هذا!

وحين نهمل الخطوة المراوغة، سنبكي دما ونحن نسقثط متسائلين كيف حدث هذا!

شكرا لكل شخص، سوري/ة وغير سوري/ة، انتفض أمس ليصرخ بلا لبس: لا للتطبيع تحت أي مسمى وأي ذريعة..

شكرا للجندي السوري الشريف الذي لولاه لكنا جميعا الآن حيوانات في حظيرة صهيووهابية ذليلة خاضعة لكل مسخ شيطاني في الأرض.

أما أولئك الذين يتقيؤون بأن انتفاضة الشرفاء أمس ليست هي من أجبرت الاتحاد على هذا التصريح القاطع،

فأقول لهم:
طز فيكن جملة وتفصيلا! أنتم لستم/ن سوى غربان تفوح رائحتها النتنة حتى القبر! ابقوا تجعرون بتفاهتمكم وتحاولون التعرش على كل فعل إيجابي في وطني. فلن تنالوا سوى قيئكم يعود إلى أفواهكم.

Bassam AlKAdi

October 1st, 2013, 12:14 pm


ziad said:

Archbishop Hana: who kills in Syria, attacks holy places in Palestine are just as evil

Archbishop of Sebastia for Greek Orthodox Attala Hanna strongly condemned the recent attack on a Christian cemetery in Occupied Jerusalem by an extremist Jewish group.

” Any act of sacrilege to the holy places is a crime, but killing and humiliating people as witnessed in some areas in the Arab world are worse than attacking cemeteries,” Archbishop Hanna said.

He affirmed that attacking cemeteries in the Occupied Jerusalem, and killing people and abducting clergymen in Syria are all crimes against humanity.

Archbishop Hanna added that extremism has one face represented in hatred and violence, calling on all people around the world to reject every act of extremism, hatred, violence and hostility against humankind.

October 1st, 2013, 12:19 pm


ghufran said:

Kilo is not in favor of attending Geneva 2 until certain things change, he also criticized the GCC, I yet have to verify that from a second source, for not supporting democracy.
One statement that came out of Kilo’s interview was a good summary of why Syria is screwed:
” the Totalitarian fruit was the product of Arabism tree, and the Fundamentalism fruit is the product of political islam tree”
(political islam is like albaath with a beard)

October 1st, 2013, 12:32 pm


Sami said:


My comment was directed at the blog posting and not any of the comments. It is beyond me the amount of coverage Al-Qaeda gets on here while the worst kind of tyrannical evilly does not even get a foot note.

I guess they get more clicks with the Al-Qaeda bogeyman than anything Assad related…

October 1st, 2013, 12:33 pm


ziad said:

Critical distance and open minds on Syria

My recent posting of doubts raised by Robert Fisk about the likelihood of the chemical weapons used at Ghouta being from the Syrian army aroused predictable anger from those supporting another US military strike on a developing country (collateral damage, anyone?)

Fisk had pointed out that, according to Russian information, it had not supplied the missiles that delivered sarin gas at Ghouta. The missiles, it was claimed, had been sold to Libya, among other countries, where military hardware has been flooding the black market and is being bought by opposition groups in Syria. If true, this would bolster the case for those arguing that the rebels, not the Syrian army, were responsible for the attack.
As I pointed out in my earlier post, there is no evidence for this account so far beyond Fisk’s reliable sources. But then again, from what I can see, there isn’t strong evidence yet for the west’s version, despite it rolling out its great propaganda machine.

(And by the way, I have seen HRW, Amnesty and the UN bow to US pressure often enough in the Israel-Palestine conflict to refuse to simply take what they say at face value on any matter. Remember only a few days ago the UN General Assembly voted down a resolution that would only have recommended that Israel sign up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty on its nuclear arsenal, as it is obligated to do under international law.)

Apparently, according to my critics, simply giving house-room to a counter-narrative to the one that dominates the political and media discourse in the west – and bombards our consciousnesses every day – is to become a dupe of Russian propaganda.

October 1st, 2013, 1:15 pm


Syrialover said:

ZIAD #22

You say Israel is the enemy of Syria. Let’s be more accurate – it is the playfight enemy of the Syrian regime. The real and most serious enemy of Syria and the Syrian people, using military force against the population and destroying the country’s infrastructure is the Assad regime. Israel isn’t a competitor for that role.

If you had actually been reading my posts you would have seen that I have strong objections to many things about Israel and the undue influence of its US lobbyists.

The difference between us is that my views are based on my own thinking, not Assad regime propaganda.

The aim of the game you are playing is to blame Israel and use it as an excuse and distraction for the disastrous domestic and foreign policies and actions of the Assad regime.

And you have come right out and said it: people can only claim to love Syria if they love the Assad regime.

Coincidentally, that happens to be my own test measure, except the other way around. Anyone who supports the Assad regime and feels it’s fine for Syrians is saying Syrians don’t deserve any better or need anything different.

It’s saying that the freedoms, opportunities, security, choices, protection and options enjoyed by those living in other countries (like the west where you CHOOSE to live) is not for Syrians. They aren’t in the same category as other humans.

Which is why I refer to Bashar Assad as a Syriahater who has contempt (and now we are seeing hatred) for the people of Syria that he sees as expendable ie about 80% of the population.

October 1st, 2013, 1:31 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Believe it or Not: AIPAC isn’t Killing Syrians NewZ

It is beyond me the amount of coverage Al-Qaeda gets on here while the worst kind of tyrannical evilly does not even get a foot note.


OK. I’m not “seeing” what you are seeing. From my vantage point, I see 2 groups on this blog: those who support Assad and those who do not. I also see those who support the regime trying to accuse those that are anti-regime of being al-Queda supporters. I have not seen anyone on this blog anyone who supports al-Queda except that I do recall Visitor who was (I think) pro-jihadist (al-Nusra). Outside of that, all the anti-regime folk on this website are always distancing themselves from al-Queda and other “sunni” jihadists.

I you had actually been reading my posts you would have seen that I have strong objections to many things about Israel and the undue influence of its US lobbyists.


When Israel suddenly isn’t the cause of everything bad in the world (and frankly, I think Israel is doing a rather good job compared to others), I know I have someone to talk to.


Dear Israelophobe Ziad,

I have already labelled your friend Jonathan Cook as one of the original “3 Stooges”. Him, Noam Chomsky and Norman Frankenstein.

If you go to Jonathan Cook’s website, you’ll see every article is anti-Israel, because (as we know;) Israel is the only evil in the world. Meanwhile your Israelophobe friend Mr. Cook lives and reports from the once Christian town of Nazareth, Israel. If it were up to me, I would send him to an arab country instead, preferably Syria or Iraq so he can continue his work without distraction; and certainly surrounded with more supporters and well-wishers.

October 1st, 2013, 2:23 pm


Syrialover said:

SAMI #21

You are so right about the misplaced focus.

I see the excitement and preoccupation with the adventures of al quaeda as a kind of immaturity thing. A lack of perspective and interest in putting it in the context of the bigger picture.

Their presence in Syria is interdependent with the Assad regime, and they aren’t going to go away while the regime is there.

Reporting on ISIS and its affiliate’s structure, statements and policies as if they were normal entities is kind of glorifying and giving affirmation to something that is basically junk.

“al qaeda” and its various manifestations is like any other cult, except more violent and irrational. It’s a magnet for people with mental problems or other issues seeking escape from the reality of their lives for whatever reason. It provides a quick and easy illusion of power and importance, a delusionary adventure where it is “justified” to kill and terrorize people and play God in their lives.

Its ideal playground and rallying point is where governments are failing to govern properly and create competent sovereign states. Assad’s Syria and Malaki’s Iraq are textbook cases.

I have often said here that al qaeda is like a dog chasing a car -it won’t know what to do it if catches it.

When foreign Islamist extremists took over cities in Mali last year they were incapable of keeping the electricity, water and other infrastructure going. The local economy and food supplies collapsed and the population needed more and more extreme controls to make it “cooperate”.

Also the high proportion of mentally unstable and criminal elements in its ranks meant that rape and theft and sickening savagery was a constant feature of its “rule” despite all its pseudo-religious and moral posturing. It all got very hard for the “holy warriors” very quickly.

October 1st, 2013, 2:35 pm


omen said:

11. Syrialover said:
A simple guide to who is fighting who in Syria:

it’s missing christian shabiha.

just imagine jesus participating in a death squad.

October 1st, 2013, 2:39 pm


omen said:

22. Sami said: I guess to some it is much more important to cover what Al-Qaeda might or might not do

20. Akbar Palace said:
The central actor that is terrorizing the Middle East is Iran.

i had to hear about khobar towers and marine base bombing from netanyahu when obama has never mentioned them. these crimes have never been avenged nor justice sought.

instead of being punished for having waged mayhem, prospects are iran is being prepped to get rewarded by the west.

October 1st, 2013, 2:50 pm


Syrialover said:


If Israel is to earn respect and enthusiasm from me it has to bulldoze all the settlements on land where it has forced out others, knock down the wall and make an effort to use its coming $300 billion windfall from gas to help develop and build the region.

Just as the Assad regime and Iran’s current government has used Israel as a stage prop, distraction and device for their own twisted domestic and foreign policies, Israel has reflected this back.

Time for someone to stop the paranoia and nonsense. How about it, Israel (and don’t give me the “right to defend itself” lecture).

If Japan and Germany can become respected allies of their former fight-to-the-death enemies within a couple of decades, anything is possible.

October 1st, 2013, 2:57 pm


omen said:

3. William Scott Scherk said: A puckish headline to an otherwise sobering Foreign Policy article: Assad Rules Out Negotiations With Pretty Much Everyone in Opposition. The point being that any Geneva II process is stillborn if any side/both sides refuse to admit the other.

i liked your piece better. better suited as headline material.

October 1st, 2013, 3:01 pm


omen said:

from last thread:

One reason why the above article is wishful thinking

was she victim from regime airstrike school bombing in raqqa?
oh, pardon me, not victim, al qaeda terrorist.

October 1st, 2013, 3:08 pm


Akbar Palace said:

If Israel is to earn any respect from me it has to bulldoze all the settlements on land where it has forced out others, knock down the wall and make an effort to use its coming $300 billion windfall from gas to help develop and build the region.


Yes, I will tell the GOI to do whatever you say because….because why? Because you speak for Hamas and the PA?

I think the GOI and the PA have to negotiate this themselves because they represent the people and everyone has his own opinion. Also, I’m not sure who you respect, but as far as respecting arab’s rights (or anyone’s rights for that matter), Israel respects arabs more than the arabs themselves.

The evil wall has saved hundreds of lives and continues to serve that purpose. When a final settlement is reached, I hope the wall comes down and arrangements for apprehending criminals who cross into and out of Israel are formalized and adhered to. Lastly, I don’t know what a “settlement” is, that needs to be metted out as well. I think the issue was almost settled back in 2000/2001.

Just as the Assad regime and Iran’s current government has used Israel as a stage prop, distraction and device for their own twisted domestic and foreign policies, Israel has reflected this back.

Please explain how the Syrian regime’s “Israel as a stage prop distraction” is equivalent to the Israel’s “right to defend itself lecture”.

Tell me, how much is Israel responsible for the recent deaths of over 100000 Syrians, the destruction of Syrian towns and over 2 million refugees. Similarly, tell me why Israel doesn’t need to defend herself after all the battles she has fought with the arabs and why this amounts to “a lecture”. Is the Baathist and Zionist narrative (with these 2 examples) really equally “fiction”?

If Japan and Germany can become respected allies of their former fight-to-the-death enemies within a couple of decades, anything is possible.

Japan and Germany were aggressors in WW2 and responsible for the murders of 10s of MILLIONS. They were both occupied by victorious armies for years until their governments became democratic. After WW2, no country I’m aware of was dedicated to the destruction of either Japan or Germany.

I think it is a “stretch” to compare the history of Japan and Germany to Israel. I think their recent evolution is a completely different set of circumstances.

October 1st, 2013, 3:23 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

I wrote above about the Soviet-style repressions that have crushed independent civil opposition to the regime, from mass-graves to special Terrorist Court. Here’s a Human Rights Watch report that names some names. How can any solid opposition form within, when even the most anodyne act is deemed ‘terrorism’?

Syrian authorities determined to silence activists with bogus ‘terrorism’ charges

The trial of five peaceful activists in Syria on “terrorism” charges tomorrow is further evidence of the increasing and systematic repression against anyone speaking out against human rights violations in the country, Amnesty International said.

Mazen Darwish, Hussein Gharir, Hani al-Zitani, Mansour al-Omari and Abd al-Rahman Hamada from the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), are scheduled to appear before the Anti-Terrorism Court in Damascus tomorrow.

“The Syrian government should not use its overbroad terrorism law to punish peaceful human rights activists for their legitimate work. The authorities must drop all charges against these five activists and release Mazen Darwish, Hussein Gharir and Hani al-Zitani immediately and unconditionally,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

Mazen Darwish, Hussein Gharir and Hani al-Zitani are still in detention while Mansour al-Omari and Abd al-Rahman Hamada were conditionally released in February this year but continue to be on trial.

During the trial, the judge will decide whether to uphold the charges brought against them by the Syrian Government’s Air Force Intelligence and to proceed with the case.

The men were indicted in February this year and accused of “publicizing terrorist acts” under Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, enacted by President Bashar al-Assad in 2012. The law has been widely criticized by human rights groups due to its over-broad definition of “terrorism”.

Charges against the activists include: publishing studies on the human rights situation in Syria and documenting names of those detained, disappeared, and killed in the context of the Syrian unrest.

If convicted, they may be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

The activists were detained by Syria’s Air Force Intelligence over a year and a half ago and were held in conditions amounting to enforced disappearance for several months.

Amnesty International has learned that Hani al-Zitani, Mansour al-Omari and Abd al-Rahman Hamada were beaten with whips, sticks and electric shock rods during their mealtimes every day for a period of three months, while being held in military custody.

It understands that Mazen Darwish and Hussein Gharir were also tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

“The charges brought against the activists clearly violate their right to freedom of expression. We are also extremely worried for the physical and psychological well-being, given the treatment they have apparently been subjected to in detention and the length of their arbitrary imprisonment,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.
According to information received by Amnesty International, political and other peaceful activists, including women detainees, are being tried before the Anti-Terrorism Court, which is believed to have been set up to target opposition members in the country.

As I noted earlier, Michel Kilo, former detainee and signatory to the Damascus Declaration, recently had a second charge brought in Terror Court.

Who will the regime accept as interlocutors for a Geneva II process? As Joshua suggested, nobody but “stooges.”

October 1st, 2013, 3:32 pm


Syrialover said:

SAMI – Alert! Don’t look, I can hardly bear to.

Joshua Landis has just put up a new post – “Syria’s top 5 insurgent leaders”

He writes about them very seriously and deferentially. Nothing about their real life identities and backgrounds.

October 1st, 2013, 3:56 pm


omen said:

32. Syrialover said: SAMI #21 You are so right about the misplaced focus.

we are not this blog’s intended audience.

October 1st, 2013, 4:27 pm


omen said:


Syrian authorities determined to silence activists with bogus ‘terrorism’ charges

Amnesty International has learned that Hani al-Zitani, Mansour al-Omari and Abd al-Rahman Hamada were beaten with whips, sticks and electric shock rods during their mealtimes every day for a period of three months, while being held in military custody.

It understands that Mazen Darwish and Hussein Gharir were also tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

noted syrian filmmaker briefly detained remarked there was no rhyme nor reason for how security services behaved. he couldn’t understand why he was released when mazen darwish continued to be held even though darwish was much more “moderate” than he.

looking at images of mazen, that’s easy to believe. mild mannered looking man (probably soft spoken) doesn’t look capable of hurting a fly. how he must be terrified.

i have a theory that evil men relish dishing out extra brutality on people they secretly regard as being “good.”

October 1st, 2013, 10:42 pm


DavidP said:

Hi Joshua,
ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and …: it’s not “and Syria”, but “and al-Sham” or “and the Levant” (ISIL) = “Greater Syria”, that is, including Lebanon at least.

October 2nd, 2013, 10:45 am


DavidP said:

“All the same, the media reported this as an accomplishment of the FSA to the point that the Supreme Military Council leaders claimed responsibility for it.”

6/8 Minnig (Menagh) airport “Our correspondent says the final push, carried out by at least nine different rebel groups, began with a suicide bomb attack on the headquarters, reportedly by a Saudi militant.”

Doesn’t sound like SMC / FSA.

October 2nd, 2013, 11:01 am


DavidP said:

“Adnani said that the leader of Liwaa Ahfad al-Rassoul went to France and brought back money … ”

22/9 Charles Lister, in a podcast, says that the Ahfad al-Rasoul fighter (under duress of course) confessed that his group was armed by France and the group was subsequently stigmatised throughout Syria.

October 2nd, 2013, 11:05 am


ziad said:

Syria: massacre reports emerge from Assad’s Alawite heartland

Alawites are fleeing their homes, recounting gruesome tales of executions and other atrocities

At dawn on 4 August their peace was shattered. Armed rebels, led by local jihadis as well as members of Jabhat al-Nusra and the al-Qaida linked group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, left their headquarters in the largely Sunni town of Salma. They sneaked into the al-Akrad mountains, taking control of five Alawite villages. The rebels called it Operation Liberation of the Coast and the aim was to send the government a message that even the Alawite heartland was no longer safe.

Rumours of massacres spread as some 25,000 Alawite villagers fled to Latakia. The next day the rebels captured more Alawite villages and reached Aramo, about 12 miles north of Qardaha, the Assads’ home town where Hafez al-Assad, the former president, is buried in a mausoleum. Over the next few days government forces regrouped and gradually recovered the lost ground with help from air strikes as well as local paramilitaries.

On 19 August Syrian state TV reported that all the Alawite villages had been freed. But they did not highlight any massacres and refrained from showing graphic images of mutilation.

October 2nd, 2013, 12:34 pm


ziad said:

Israel’s History of Chemical Weapons Use

The Zionist gangs under the directive and leadership of David Ben-Gurion, who became the first Israeli Prime Minister, had adopted a military policy of genocide, extermination and total destruction of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants and their towns in order to evacuate the land for outsider Zionist Jewish occupiers. The first WMD they used was biological weapons as documented by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

In May 1948 the Zionist gangs besieged the well-fortified Palestinian city of Acre, which could stand the siege for a long time. The city water supply came from a nearby village name Kabri through an aqueduct. To shorten the siege and to enter the city, the Zionist gangs injected typhoid in the aqueduct. Many Palestinians and some 55 British soldiers, who were in the city, got infected. This crime was called operation “Shlach Lachmecha” as described by the Israeli military historian Urin Milstein [Wendy Barnaby’s “The Plague Makers: The Secret World of Biological Warfare”, London, Vision Paperbacks, 1997, pp 114-116]

The ICRC delegate Mr. De Meuron, sent a series of reports under the reference of G59/1/GC, G3/82, from 6th to about 19th of May 1948 describing the conditions of the city population as struck by a sudden typhoid epidemic and requested efforts to combat it. The minutes of an emergency meeting between Mr. De Meuron and the British Medical Services officers stated that the infection was “water borne”. Burdened by the epidemic the city fell easy prey to the Zionist gangs, who went into a killing spree and a systematic looting campaign as reported by Lieutenant Petite, a French UN observer. He reported the cold-blooded murder of at least 100 Arab civilians, who refused to evacuate the city as ordered by the Zionists. Some of them were captured by the Zionist terrorists and were forced at gun point to drink cyanide; the case of Mohamed Fayez Soufi is one example as documented in “The Palestinian Catastrophe” by Michael Palumbo.

October 2nd, 2013, 12:38 pm


ziad said:

Even Israel’s Media Says Netanyahu Speech Was An Embarrassing Bomb: But I Loved It

Ha’aretz has a great report about the failed Netanyahu speech at the UN. What a miskane (Hebrew for pathetic guy). He had to bring his own cheering section with him, the always appealing Sheldon Adelson, Dore Gold, and Alan Dershowitz.

The hall was half empty and those who were there were busy adding the VSCO cam app to their iPhone 5′s. But not Bibi’s Gruesome Threesome. They cheered their porcine hearts out. Anyway, here’s the Haaretz story about it:

When Netanyahu made his entrance, in front of a half-empty, drowsy hall, his friends, advisors, supporters and entourage all rose to their feet and applauded for several minutes.

Still, the fans in stands hardly helped…. Netanyahu’s speech was tired, bothersome and boring. In contrast to the Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s sophisticated PR campaign, which led to his taking the UN by storm, Netanyahu sounded like an old, scratchy vinyl record….Netanyahu sounded like a defeated man who recognizes his inability to influence international dynamics.

Brutal. I, however, loved the speech. Here’s why:

Netanyahu’s speech at the General Assembly was another gift to all those who want to see Iran and the United States resolve their differences — particularly on nuclear issues — peacefully.

October 2nd, 2013, 12:41 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Ziad’s Blame Israel but Not the Arabs Post of Day NewZ


Thanks for the article about Israel’s “use” of CW. Your link refers to the following link below.

Now that we know Israel used tried to use biologic weapons, in both cases, the plan failed. Or so we are told. Ooops. No one died.

So what does your link mean? Tell us. Does it mean that 1500 or so people (427 children) killed by sarin in Syria is ACCEPTABLE as shown in this picture from Walls?

If Israel gets blamed by you and the anti-Israel crowd for attempted use of biologic weapons (which is heresay and never investigated), why wouldn’t you criticize Syrians for actually USING WMD in a MUCH MORE lethal way?

Let me guess, I’m betting you never bothered to make a post on a ME website about Saddam’s use of CW in Halabja. True or False?

October 2nd, 2013, 1:07 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Mathew Barber,

Just for your information, I’ve been to several anti-Israel websites over the past few weeks. Guess what they ALL have in common?

The refuse to allow pro-Israel posts or anything countering their anti-Israel bias. All my posts have been deleted the minute they are discovered. No joke. The Israelophobes can’t tolerate open discussion; only one-sided defamation. Sort of like Ziad.

Oh well. At least SC allows different points-of-view. So I have to give you credit for that.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:17 pm


ziad said:

Chillean Lady Terrorist Member of FSA

The following is an interview done by the Syrian TV with an arrested lady member of the FSA, Free (from) Syrians Army, she’s from Chile who came all the way to help liberate the Syrians from their lives with the help of the Obama regime and its regional stooges.

She joined Obama’s death squads in their revolution and was positioned in Latakia’s countryside where the Wahhabi Sex Cannibal anti-Islamic Islamist Jihadists released all their sectarian hatred against the villagers there. Most were smuggled by NATO Caliph wannabe Erdogan, the prime minister of Ottoman Turkey.

English subtitles are the translation of the Arabic subtitles.. It seems some text might be missing, not sure though.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:21 pm


ziad said:

Netanyahu’s UN speech: Sounds like a sociopath?

Iranian missiles will hit New York in “three to four years”. A nuclear Iran is like “50 North Koreas”.

This could be the sound of a deranged, dangerous sociopath, or this could be the sound of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu addressing the UN General Assembly.

Compare for yourself. Last week we had Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling for the world to surf a WAVE (as in World Against Violence and Extremism).

This week we had Bibi saying that was a “cynical” and “totally hypocritical honey trap”.

In the world according to Netanyahu, “Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Rouhani tried to present himself as “pious”, but he’s always been involved with “the terror state of Iran”. He’s like “a serial killer going to court dressed in clerical attire and giving testimony to his nature as an ‘ethical’ and ‘religious’ man.”

Ranting aside, Bibi did change his game. Now it’s not silly cartoons and begging the US to bomb Iran virtually on a weekly basis. Now it’s Iran’s “military nuclear program” that must be shut down – a program, by the way, that the alphabet soup of US intelligence agencies says does not exist.

And this after Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama to forget – forever – UN Security Council resolution 242, which determined total Israeli withdrawal from all lands occupied after the 1967 war.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:24 pm


ziad said:

Biden: If there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one

The United States would have invented Israel if it did not exist already, said US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, highlighting the depth of Israel’s influence on the American political system.

Biden made the remark during a speech at a pro-Israel lobbying organization called J Street in Washington D.C. He also pointed out several times to President Barack Obama’s commitment to Israel.

There’s a moral connection between the US and Israel, Biden said, but there also are clear national security interests.

“If there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one to make sure our interests were preserved,” Biden said. “America’s support for Israel’s security is unshakable, period, period, period.”

He added, “The president and I are absolutely devoted to the survival of Israel.”

The vice president claimed that Iran’s nuclear energy program is a threat to Israel’s existence and said we can’t accept such a threat to global peace and security. Iran has repeatedly rejected such allegations saying its nuclear program has peaceful purposes only.

Biden’s speech comes as Israel reportedly possesses hundreds of nuclear warheads.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:27 pm


ziad said:

Foreign extremists dominate Syria fight

Foreign fighters from across the Arab world and beyond are playing an increasingly dominant role in the battle for control of Syria, which has emerged as an even more powerful magnet for jihadist volunteers than Iraq and Afghanistan were in the past decade.

The number of Syrians battling to overthrow the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad outstrips by a large margin the thousands of Arabs and other non-Syrian Muslims who have streamed into Syria over the past two years to join in the fight.

But the flow of jihadist volunteers has accelerated, and non-Syrians have begun taking the lead in a variety of roles as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attempts to assert control over large areas of the rebel-held north.

Foreign fighters man checkpoints, serve as commanders on the battlefield and have become the de facto rulers of towns and cities in areas under rebel control, giving them a visible and much-feared presence across large swaths of territory, according to Syrians living in the north as well as analysts.

Saudis, Tunisians and Libyans are among the most frequently encountered nationalities, the residents and analysts say, but men from Chechnya, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates also are present. The Pakistani Taliban announced in August that it had established a presence in Syria. Among those killed in recent battles was a Moroccan commander who had spent years as a prisoner of the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was eulogized in one of the many videos prepared by the foreign volunteers to advertise their presence.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:30 pm


ghufran said:

The Kingdom of Sandy Arabia (KSA) royal sheikhs are throwing Bedouin-style temper tantrums right and left, they did not allow Ibrahimi to visit their blessed country, refused a seat at the UNSC, and criticized their big daddy, USA, over Syria and Iran.

Here is a piece on Mad Sandy from The Telegraph by Con Coughlin:

Anxious to head off any possible hint of anti-government dissent in their own country, the Saudis have embarked on a carefully orchestrated campaign to shore up the Arab world’s anciens régimes, rather than allowing revolution to flourish. They helped to overthrow the short-lived Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, and are working hard to ensure that other monarchies in Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates survive the tremors sweeping the region.
The mastermind of this strategy is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former darling of Washington’s cocktail party circuit, where he served for many years as Saudi ambassador before becoming the country’s intelligence chief. By alienating long-standing allies such as the US, he and his colleagues are clearly taking a huge gamble, since it is unlikely that the likes of China and Russia would ever give them the same level of protection. But with the entire Arab world in such a state of flux, the Saudis are taking the fight to protect their interests very seriously indeed.

November 2nd, 2013, 3:48 pm


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