Overview of some pro-Assad Militias

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

At this site I have previously profiled several pro-Assad militias, such as the Muqawama Suriya, the Coastal Shield Brigade and Dir’ al-Watan. Below are profiles of five more pro-Assad militias.

Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra

LiwaSuqurQuneitraEmblem

Emblem of Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra: ‘Quwat Dir’ al-Watan’ (Homeland Shield Forces).

Translating to ‘Quneitra Falcons Brigade’, this formation appears to comprise local pro-Assad militias to support the Syrian army in the remaining regime-held parts of Quneitra governorate, such as al-Ba’ath city. The existence of this force is acknowledged in pro-regime media outlets like Sama TV, issuing reports on the continued defence of al-Ba’ath city against the rebels. The origins of Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra trace back to its most famous ‘martyr’: Fadi al-Haj, also known as Abu Sakhr, depicted in the graphic below.

FadialHajAbuSakhr

The pro-regime site ‘Damascus News Network’ gives a profile of him, his two main associates (also deceased), and his Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra in an article published on 21 April 2015:

“Yesterday Fadi al-Haj, his brother Ali, and his comrade Rabi’ al-Khabi departed. They departed after an honourable undertaking of defending the land and honour. Indeed they are martyrs of Popular Defence, Quwat Dir’ al-Watan, Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra […]

In the beginning

They are sons of Quneitra who bore arms since the beginning of the war in Syria and their arms were against all who wanted to enter their villages from all sides, even the state, but then the terrorist threat to the area intensified and terrorist factions entered, supported by Israel. They rejected coordinating and cooperating with them, and asked the Popular Defence leadership to incorporate them into their forces to defend Quneitra.

They participated in all the battles and were at the head of the lance up to the fence of the occupied Golan. They formed Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra and called on the youth of the area to enlist and train to fight. And indeed hundreds joined among fighters and supporters. The Syrian Arab Army leadership armed them with different types of weapons- light and heavy- including anti-tank missiles and rocket launch systems.

Deeds of Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra

The Quneitra Falcons have participated in the war against terrorism in Quneitra governorate. And since they are sons of the land, they have managed to carry out military penetrations within the ranks of the terrorists, and have infiltrated to the hearts of their areas and carried out precise operations.

They have formed a well-fortified fortress around al-Ba’ath city, Khan Arbaneh and the secure zones in Quneitra, and among their military successes:

– Resisting the terrorists’ attack on Tel al-Qab’a from the side of the locality of Ufania.
– Participating in the liberation of the locality of Deir al-Ads in the Quneitra countryside.
– Blowing up and dismantling a number of terrorist sites and bases through intermittent stages in time, according to their expertise in the nature of the land of the battle in all that is the surrounding of the village of Umm Batina, Mashara and Tel Karum- Jaba.
– Destroying the dangerous terrorist Abdo al-Qarfa’i who led a terrorist cell in Kafr Nasij.
– Targeting the terrorist groups on a daily basis in the village of Mashara, the village of al-Hurriya, the village of Shabta, and al-Hamidiya.
– Assaulting the village of al-Ajraf, dismantling and blowing up the terrorists’ dens.
– Resisting the terrorist groups’ attack and destroying their vehicles in al-Hamidiya.
– Seizing weapons’ caches and ammo including American-made anti-tank missiles.
– Seizing the village of Rasm al-Baghal in the Quneitra countryside.
– And yesterday they resisted a great terrorist attack on al-Ba’ath city, routed and caught the attackers in a counter-attack on their dens in the locality of al-Samdaniya al-Gharbiya, aided by all of artillery, missiles and tanks.”

SuqueQuneitravideo
In this Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra video, the group’s insignia can be seen on the vehicle.

MuhammadHaymoud

The above photo is of Muhammad Haymoud, announced as a ‘martyr’ for Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra on 31 July 2015. The story of his death according to Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra in a post dated 2 August 2015 is most interesting: “He was killed at the hand of an armed group from the Ba’ath Brigades [another pro-Assad militia] as the group set up a treacherous ambush while he was moving from Khan Arnabeh to al-Ba’ath city when the group struck his car with two RPG rounds and after that light gunfire on his car in front of the eyes of the people. Although a number of people tried to provide first aid to the martyr, it was not long before he stammered that live gunfire was unleashed on these people, forcing them to move away. And the leader of the group is called Jaber al-Khalid and his brothers. This is the truth of the assassination of the heroic martyr.”

The fighting in Quneitra province remains at an overall stalemate as rebel forces including Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham fail to take any more regime-held areas, including most notably the staunchly pro-Assad Druze village of Hadr. Local support for the regime arguably remains the most crucial factor in holding back the rebels. At the same time, the regime lacks offensive capability here even when backed by foreign forces, as was the case with the failed Deraa-Quneitra offensive earlier this year that featured heavy involvement from Iranian-backed militias including the Afghan Shi’a Liwa al-Fatemiyoun and the Iraqi Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada’.

Liwa al-Quds

LiwaalQuds

Liwa al-Quds Emblem

Liwa al-Quds- ‘The Jerusalem Brigade’- is a Palestinian Syrian pro-regime militia operating in the Aleppo area. The pro-regime site al-Hadath News explains in a profile from March 2015:

“A new organization has appeared alongside the Syrian army in Aleppo fighting the armed takfiris, for after the entry of Hezbollah onto the line of  battle and the appearance of ‘Quwat al-Ridha‘, which is considered the core of Syrian Hezbollah, in addition to the National Defence Forces and the Iraqi military formations, a Palestinian faction has appeared fighting under the banner of the Syrian state.

Information indicates that the new formation adopted the name of the Palestinian capital al-Quds as its banner, while it is formed of Palestinian fighters who have lived and live in Syria, having expressed their support for the Syrian state and its army.

The formation, which was established in October 2013 by the engineer ‘Muhammad al-Sa’id’ who is considered its real leader, held the bond of silence and thus its activities were not advertised in media, until the recent battles of north Aleppo countryside where an important military role for them became apparent. This is also clear on the ‘al-Nayrab’ camp front where through frontline duty the formation’s fighters face the takfiri fighters who are besieging the Palestinian camp.

The formation’s fighters who call themselves the ‘Syrian Arab Army Fedayeen’ are distributed on the periphery of the camp and south of al-Nayrab military and civil airport. They are also present in Aziza village, Sheikh Latfi, and around the Air Intelligence building and the Greatest Messenger mosque. They are also greatly active as a strong force on the first al-Rashadeen front ablaze in west Aleppo. This front is considered among the most dangerous and difficult fronts, with protection of this front entrusted entirely to Liwa al-Quds.

In addition to these fronts, the brigade is present in the village of Haylan, and west of Aleppo central prison, around Handarat camp, and in a number of areas south and east of Aleppo, as well as in Jama’ia al-Jud south of the two besieged villages of Nubl and Zahara.

The brigade is composed of three main battalions, which are: Lions of al-Quds Battalion, which operates in al-Nayrab camp and its surrounding as well as in southern and eastern countryside; the Deterrence Battalion, which operates in the north Aleppo countryside south of the villages of Nubl and Zahara; and the Lions of al-Shahba’ Battalion, which operates on the fighting fronts inside Aleppo city.

According to information, among the brigade’s successes are protecting al-Nayrab camp, ‘the only camp that has not been penetrated’, protecting the civilian and military airport, as well as the missiles base south of the camp. And on the walls of the camp the victories of ‘Liwa al-Tawheed’ have been broken and its defeat has begun.

A commander in the brigade estimates the number of wounded since the beginning of the events at more than 400, and the number of martyrs at more than 200, the majority of whom have fallen on the blazing fighting fronts, which are considered to be the air intelligence building front as the most prominent. Meanwhile he estimates the number of battles Liwa al-Quds members have waged alongside the Syrian Arab Army since its establishment until now at more than 140 battles.”

To be sure, pro-regime militia activity in the al-Nayrab camp was not unknown before the formation of Liwa al-Quds. Already the familiar Popular Committees had taken root there, with the first ‘martyr’ reportedly being Hussein al-Masri, who was killed on 26 September 2012. In any case, a number of ‘martyrs’ have been advertised officially by Liwa al-Quds, as per the photos below.

OmarQarmazi
Omar Qarmazi, whose death was announced in August 2015. He died of his wounds from fighting in the Zahara’ area.

KamalYusufAsad
Kamal Yusuf As’ad, originally of the al-Raml camp in Latakia: his death was announced in June 2015. Before dying in Mahambal in Idlib province, he most notably fought on the Handarat front.

MoJunaid
Muhammad Nadhir al-Junaid, who died on 29 May 2015 apparently from drowning in tidal waves in Latakia, where he had been dispatched on assignment by the leader of Liwa al-Quds. He had previously fought on the first al-Rashadeen front.

NuaimTaha
Nu’aim Muhammad Dib bin Taha, who died fighting on the Zahara front. Two of his brothers (Muhammad and Basil) died fighting for the Syrian army in the Aleppo area.

AhmadKhalidDirbas
Ahmad Khalid Dirbas: killed in July 2015. Note his Liwa al-Quds insignia.

Besides military operations, Liwa al-Quds also engages in social outreach and offers military training sessions. On the former, from May 2015, note the invitation below to attend the final of a soccer tournament in the Nayrab camp.

LiwaQudsfootball
“In relation to Martyrs Day on 6 May, under the supervision of Liwa al-Quds, we invite you to the final round of the al-Nayrab Camp Youth Heroes Soccer Cup : Liwa al-Quds vs. Palestine Stars. And that will take place in the Youth stadium (al-Nabhan) on Monday 25 May, at 6 p.m. General Invitation. The Media Office.”

As for military training, note the advertisement below put out by Liwa al-Quds in April 2015.

LiwaQudstraining
“The Liwa al-Quds leadership announces the opening of a military session: physical fitness, military tactics, martial arts and self-defence, blitz. The length of the training session is 30 days. All who wish to register from age 15 and above should head to the Liwa al-Quds base in the al-Nayrab camp and register from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m., beginning from Wednesday 24 April. All who are subjected to the session of the blitz teacher should head to the Liwa al-Quds base.”

Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini

JayshTahrirFalastini
Emblem of Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini. On top: “Martyrdom or Victory.”

Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini is the ‘Palestinian Liberation Army.’ This militia in Syria is led by one Muhammad Tariq al-Khadra’, who characterizes the civil war in Syria as follows: “The vicious barbaric international conspiracy against Syria and the Arab nation aims to redivide and repartition this nation to form weak madhhabist, sectarian and racist entities in conflict with each other, to justify the establishment of the racist entity on the Jewish foundations of the Zionist state, dominating over the Arab nation.”

Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini has fought in a variety of engagements over the years, such as in Adra in the Damascus area and more recently (April 2015) in northern Suwayda province, where the group lost 13 fighters. Other recent battles include Darayya in the Damascus area, Tel al-Sawan on the peripheries of Douma in the Damascus area, the siege of Moadhamiya al-Sham, and perhaps most controversially, the ongoing assault on rebel-held Zabadani, as per the screenshot from the video below.

jayshtahrirfalastinizabadani
“From the heart of Zabadani: the road of al-Quds. The Men of Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini.”

Indeed, Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini claimed last month a ‘martyr’ in the Zabadani battles: Muhammad Ali Saba’i, originally of the Handarat refugee camp of Aleppo province. In total, according to the same report, an opposition advocacy group for Palestinians in Syria has documented 142 Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini ‘martyrs’ in Syria.

Nusur al-Zawba’a

NusurZawbaa
Emblem of Nusur al-Zawba’a

Nusur al-Zawba’a translates as ‘The Whirlwind’s Eagles’, referring to the whirlwind/vortex logo of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). Of all the militias documented here, Nusur al-Zawba’a seems to have fought in the largest number of engagements, spanning the range of western Syria. The SSNP’s involvement in the Syrian civil war has already been documented to a considerable extent before. For instance, the SSNP has built noteworthy support bases in Homs’ Old City, the Christian villages of Wadi al-Nasara area and Latakia. It also works alongside other pro-regime factions in Suwayda province. This is so even as strictly speaking, the SSNP’s Greater Syrian nationalism is not compatible with Ba’athist Arab nationalism. Sometimes, there is overlap between the SSNP and the regular Syrian armed forces. This entry on Nusur al-Zawba’a explores some sample ‘martyrdoms’ and the manner of characterization.

SSNPChristianfighter
An invitation from the SSNP, the family of the ‘martyr’ Nasri Estefan Injil and others to attend departure prayers for the ‘martyr’ at 11 a.m. on 29 August 2015 in the Mar Yohanna al-Ma’amadan church in the Wadi al-Nasara locality of al-Qalatiya, with further condolences to be offered from 30 August-1 September 2015. The opening quotation at the top is from the Gospel According to John (11:25): “Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, shall live.” The SSNP has made particular shows of solidarity with Christians, so its appeal should not be surprising, particularly in western Syria where it seems to offer the only alternative to Arabism, whereas in the northeast of Syria non-Arab Christian-specific identities- most notably Assyrian and Syriac- have established a much stronger foothold.

SSNPChristianfighter2
Raymun Suleiman Sam’an, of the Christian village of Rabla near Qusayr. According to the poster above, he died fighting in Slanfeh in Latakia on 23 August 2015. Account of funeral proceedings here.

Funeral2
From the funeral proceedings.

RaymunSuleimanSamaan
The Nusur al-Zawba’a announcement of Raymun’s ‘martyrdom’ differs slightly in putting the date of his death on 24 August 2015 in Jabb al-Ahmar, Latakia. As this graphic puts it: “He was martyred in the battles of heroism and resistance in confrontation with the internal Jews.” The phrase “internal Jews” (yahud al-dakhil) deserves comment here. As my friend and colleague Carl Yonker notes, this language is tied to SSNP founder Antun Sa’adeh’s argument that the Jews could not constitute a part of the Greater Syrian nation, as Zionism posits an independent Jewish state in the Israel-Palestine area, while SSNP Greater Syrian nationalism requires these lands to be part of Greater Syria.

AlaKhayratalKhatyar
Ala’ Khayrat al-Khatyar, who according to this Nusur al-Zawba’a announcement also died fighting the “internal Jews” in Jabb al-Ahmar, on 23 August 2015. His biography states that he was born in 1988 in Bayt al-Haj, Tartous. He joined Nusur al-Zawba’a in 2012, and participated in a number of battles, “from Kassab [Latakia province], to Homs, al-Zara [Homs province], Sadad [Homs province], Mork [Hama province], Taldara [Hama province], Sahl al-Ghab [Hama province], Tallat Khattab [Idlib province] and others besides these.”

ThairAhmadBala
Tha’ir Ahmad Bala, who according to this Nusur al-Zawba’a announcement died on 18 August 2015 in Zabadani. According to his biography, he was born in Latakia in 1978 and joined the SSNP in 2003. His most notable engagements include Kassab, Sadad, al-Zara, Quneitra, Saidnaya [Damascus province], Ma’loula [Damascus province], Mork and finally Zabadani.

AbdAzizMoHilal
Abd al-Aziz Muhammad al-Hilal, declared to have been killed in Jisr al-Shughur on 31 May 2015. His biography states that he was born in 1993 in Kharufia Kabir, which is in the Manbij area of Aleppo province currently controlled by the Islamic State. His most notable engagements include Kessab, Mork, Hisn [Homs province], al-Nabk [Damascus province], Sadad, al-Zara & finally Jisr al-Shughur.

Katibat al-Jabal

KatibatJabal
Emblem of Katibat al-Jabal: “National Defence: Latakia: Nabi Yunis Summit.”

Katibat al-Jabal means “The Mountain Battalion” and a division of the National Defence Forces in eastern Latakia province. Nabi Yunis lies to the north of Slanfeh. As its affiliation suggests, its role is defensive in nature, to prevent further rebel and jihadist pushes into Latakia province- a prospect that increasingly looms large with the regime losses in Idlib province.

KatibaJabalmural
Members of Katibat al-Jabal pose in front of a mural of Bashar and Hafez al-Assad, which bears the inscription “Katibat al-Jabal”. Alongside this uploaded photo, Katibat al-Jabal offered a message of solidarity to Jabal al-Arab [Jabal al-Druze in Suwayda province] in June 2015, as both Suwayda and Latakia provinces faced the threat of rebel and jihadist encroachments.

MartyrsKatibatJabal
Poster from 2014 dedicated to the ‘martyrs’ of Katibat al-Jabal.

Aliprayer
Photo released by Katibat al-Jabal during Ramadan 2015. The picture of Imam Ali on the wall and the inscriptions of “Ya Ali” (Oh Ali) should make clear the group’s Alawite membership.

Comments (37)


1. Syrialover said:

Here we go again.

Young (very young) Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi has produced yet another promotional web site for an extremist militia.

It would be different if he simply wrote objective reports about them.

But these detailed “hero” profiles he files about all these extremist splinter groups must be a big ego boost and recruitment gold for them.

Way bigger and better than anything these small transient groups could ever produce online themselves.

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September 1st, 2015, 5:23 pm

 

2. Syrialover said:

Here’s depressing satellite proof that Assad legacy ISIS has now flattened the world famous Temple of Bel in Palmyra, contradicting claims of the Syrian head of antiquities.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34111092

Let’s have the world also see satellite images of the nearby town of Palmyra, which is being smashed to rubble by pointless massive ongoing barrel bombing by the Assad regime.

But not a dent made on ISIS, who are busy doing whatever they feel like – including helpfully destroying Tadmur prison in Palmyra and all its evidence.

Yet more powerful proof Assad’s focus is instead on “burning” Syria, destroying its housing stock and urban infrastructure and emptying Syria of its non-essential citizens.

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September 1st, 2015, 5:44 pm

 

3. Tara said:

This is for Joshua Landis,

فراس طلاس : يعترف بأن المساعد الأول العلوي أهم من أبيه 09/05/2015 كتاباتكم اضف تعليق 1043 مشاهدة عندما يكون 85% من ضباط الجيش في سوريا علويون ، والباقي من كل الطوائف يكون النظام الحاكم نظام علوي . يعاونه البعض من بقية الطوائف . وعندما يكون اي معلمة مدرسه أو موظفة تموين أيضاً ، في أبعد محافظة سورية تخيف قائد الشرطة في تلك المحافظه لأنها علويه وهو سني فالنظام علوي . وعندما يتحكم بالأمن والشرطة وال
المزيد: http://www.souriyati.com/2015/05/09/7452.html (موقع سوريتي)

The son of the ex-defense minister in Syria admits that an Alawi Sargent is more influential than the defense minister himself .

All Syrians know this but I wonder if the world can even start to imagine. What a rotten country and rotten countrymen!!!!

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September 2nd, 2015, 9:29 pm

 

4. Tara said:

This is for Joshua Landis,

فراس طلاس : يعترف بأن المساعد الأول العلوي أهم من أبيه 09/05/2015 كتاباتكم اضف تعليق 1043 مشاهدة عندما يكون 85% من ضباط الجيش في سوريا علويون ، والباقي من كل الطوائف يكون النظام الحاكم نظام علوي . يعاونه البعض من بقية الطوائف . وعندما يكون اي معلمة مدرسه أو موظفة تموين أيضاً ، في أبعد محافظة سورية تخيف قائد الشرطة في تلك المحافظه لأنها علويه وهو سني فالنظام علوي . وعندما يتحكم بالأمن والشرطة وال
المزيد: http://www.souriyati.com/2015/05/09/7452.html (موقع سوريتي)

The son of the ex-defense minister in Syria admits that an Alawi Sargent is more influential than the defense minister himself .

All Syrians know this but I wonder if the world can even start to imagine. What a rotten country and rotten countrymen!!!!

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September 2nd, 2015, 9:29 pm

 

5. Mina said:

wonderful cousins
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34132308
…The Arabic hashtag #Welcoming_Syria’s_refugees_is_a_Gulf_duty has been used more than 33,000 times on Twitter in the past week.

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September 3rd, 2015, 2:28 am

 

6. Majedkhaldoun said:

آلاف الأطفال السوريين قتلهم المجرم الكبير بشار الأسد، ،قتلهم على يد اعوانه من العلويين ، قتلهم بالسلاح الكيمياوي، قتلهم في سجونه الشنيعة، قتلهم غرقا، قتلهم بالرصاص، قتلهم جوعا و مرضا و يتما، و ساعده في هذا القتل تقاعس اوباما و نفاقه و كذبه، هؤلاء الأطفال هم في عمر البراعم، ما هو ذنبهم، باي حق تتهمونهم بأنهم اسلاميون و لم يعرفوا الاسلام بعد، اوباما شريك في الجريمة الشنيعة، ان صورة الطفل الذي وجد على الشاطىء تثير الاشمئزاز ، و لكن لا ننسى ان الف و اربع ماءة طفل في الغوطة قتلهم الأسد بالكيماوي ، و لا ننسى آلاف الأطفال في سجون الأسد ،و لا ننسى آلاف الأطفال ماتو جوعا ،ماتو في الثلوج في الشتاء ، ماتو مرضا،ماتو ليس لأنهم ارهابيون، و لا لأنهم اسلاميون، و سيحمل الأسد و اوباما لعنتهم الى الأبد

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September 3rd, 2015, 5:23 am

 

7. Majedkhaldoun said:

This blog missed to mention the numerous massacres in Douma committed by Assad , and it may miss the the murders of many, thousands, of children dying in this war because of the Alawi regime, and may miss the great tragedy of the Syrian refugees we all watch on TV, but the comment section allows us to mention all these things , and we will, we will continue to talk about them here, these tragedies are much larger in their importance, Assad regime is a black spot in recent history, someone said it is of a biblical event, he is right, it is a major event , lasted long , while the west , who claims to support freedom and democracy , we witness them close their eyes on such huge catastrophe, they are not following the teaching of Christianity, when they ignore the suffering of Syrians, when they see the arch criminal ,Assad , bombing daily civilians , killing innocent children , yet they do nothing, the Syrian Revolution will win, it is human revolution, it is for freedom and dignity, at the end Good will defeat the Evil, and the Syrians will win

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September 3rd, 2015, 6:33 am

 

8. Majedkhaldoun said:

The Iran nuclear deal will pass, but the congress must block the release of Iranian money, Iran must pay for the crimes of supporting Assad the major criminal, Iran money must pay compensations to Syrians suffering from Assad and Iran is supporting Assad, Iran must pay to the victims of Iran crimes in Syria

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September 3rd, 2015, 6:40 am

 

9. Sami said:

Syrian babies are drowning in hopes of refuge and yet we have another post about thugs and their Na3was.

Ignoring the human catastrophe and perusing this sick facination with thugs on both sides will only enable the extremists further and compound the tragedy that Syrians are going through

These posts have long lost any value. To reiterate post after post the same recycled material with yet more photos of dead thugs from Facebook is increasingly becoming cumbersome to read and honestly feels like intellectual trolling.

Enough with ignoring the human tragedy, enough with these posts that glorify thugs. Searching facebook for pictures of thugs should not be considered “research”!

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September 3rd, 2015, 8:25 am

 
 

11. Hopeful said:

It is interesting how in the eulogy of these “martyrs”, they say that they died in the battle against the inside “Jews” (يهود الداخل). And then we claim that our culture is not anti-Semitic – that we are “only” anti Israel!

Let’s stop criticizing others for just one time: the Europeans, the West, Iran, Obama, Israel, etc…. We have enough hatred and desire for revenge within our societies to go around for decades!

10,000 Icelanders are ready to open their homes to Syrian refugees! I know Syrians who locked their houses up in Damascus and refused to even “rent” them out because they were worried that the renters from “outside the city” might never leave!

Look in the mirror!

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September 3rd, 2015, 1:15 pm

 

12. Alan said:

Mina. Thank you for your latest post/ the true face of pendoses and their Co.

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September 3rd, 2015, 2:43 pm

 

13. Syrialover said:

Stop. Will media and politicians please start talking about this.

In the desperate scenes facing genuine Syrian refugees in Europe sits a monster elephant in the room.

It’s that a number of democracies outside Europe need to be held accountable and drawn into resolving the illegal migration crisis.

They include Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Ghana whose young men make up a large proportion of illegal migrants coming to Europe, and have done for years. People from these and other non-conflict areas (e.g. Iran) form a big part of the current crisis, far outnumbering genuine refugees, and causing administrative overload, confusion, suspicion and hostility in European target counties.

Large numbers of non-Syrians are now ripping up their papers and claiming to be from Syria – one of the headaches in sorting things out in Hungary at the moment, according to eyewitness reports.

These other people are also a tragedy, destroying their futures and often losing their lives on the journey, driven by adventurism and delusions about magical rewards and happiness in the west. And also a lack of connection with their own governments who are too inept to create a national vision they can buy into.

Here’s a stunning insight from Algeria, a democracy with oil and gas wealth, confusedly trying to stop haemorrhaging its young to this syndrome.

Article: “Risking death to escape boredom”

Large numbers of young Algerians are willing to risk death crossing the Mediterranean because they are bored and fed up with the lack of opportunities at home.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34111092

Or hear the audio version – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02yxbsd

COMMENT: Make these democracies run proper internal information campaigns and send aircraft to take their own nationals home. This is THEIR problem.

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September 3rd, 2015, 6:07 pm

 

14. Syrialover said:

And another critical truth lost in the frantic crisis and furious outcry:

“..the people most responsible for the terrible scenes we see are President Assad in Syria and the butchers of Isil and the criminal gangs that are running this terrible trade in people and we have to be as tough on them at the same time.” (UK Head David Cameron)

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September 3rd, 2015, 6:31 pm

 

15. Syrialover said:

Several years before the present crisis in Syria, some commenting on SyriaComment remarked that the Assad regime sees no value in about 80% of the Syrian population and wouldn’t care if they disappeared.

It seemed like exaggeration at the time.

But now we see it’s TRUE.

The desperate mass exodus of millions of Syrians and deaths of hundreds of thousands isn’t a problem to the regime and its Iranian controllers. It’s a solution.

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September 3rd, 2015, 6:49 pm

 

16. SYRIALOVER said:

MAJEDKHALDOUN #6 and #7

I like your idea that Iran should pay compensation to Syrians and finance Syria’s reconstruction. (Though the Iranian people are also suffering in lots of ways as a result of its “leadership’s” decisions.)

The Assad regime is going to be in the history books in two special categories: deliberately destroying its own country, and casually handing it over to Iran.

And ISIS is going to be seen as a core part of the Assad legacy, not separate. All part of the one thing.

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September 3rd, 2015, 8:03 pm

 

17. Majedkhaldoun said:

Recent British intelligence said that some leaders in ISIS are working closely with Assad, Assad and ISIS are two faces to the same coin , weakening ISIS will certainly weaken Assad, Turkey, sooner or later will send troops to eliminate ISIS, John Kerry hinted about that today,

Syrialover
Assad will not succeed in handling Syria to Iran, the reluctance of Obama to seriously fight ISIS, and Obama policy toward Iran will be the subject of debate in the future American election, this will be soon, Obama policy will hurt the democrat chance for keeping the White House

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September 3rd, 2015, 9:53 pm

 

18. Elian said:

The same liars radicals Muslim brotherhood are posting here for years!
Gufran is the exception what happened to others Norman hitham kouri who thought this is a. Secular revolution?
Is he paying the Gizya to ISIS yet.
This revolution is made by USA and Isresl no more Syria as a country.
The goal is not Assad but destruction of Syria
I said that in 2011 and it is still true in 2015.
I predicted Assad will be in post after Obama finishes his second term and that’s true.
People living in Stone Age mentally don’t deserve freedom or liberation from assad

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September 4th, 2015, 12:27 am

 

19. annie said:

Latest Maysaloon

Thursday, September 03, 2015
Can the last person out of Syria please turn off the lights?

It took a dead baby for the world to notice. Wait, I thought it took seventy refugees suffocating in a refrigerator with wheels for the world to notice? Or was it the pictures of babies floating face down in the water that did it? I thought we were at the tipping point when chemical weapons were dropped on the Damascus Ghouta in 2013, and politicians in the Western world wobbled their lower lips as they made their speeches denouncing Assad and calling for accountability. I don’t buy it, and I’m not getting swept away with the optimism and emotion. A few thousand refugees let in through the net aren’t going to fix this problem or make it go away. The refugee problem is mainly a Syrian refugee problem, and it stems from a dictator who continues to use barrel bomb attacks to depopulate towns and villages. Syrians aren’t fleeing because of Jabhat al Nusra or even ISIS. They’re fleeing because they can’t live safely in their towns and villages when there is a constant fear of airstrikes and barrel bombs – the most barbaric of indiscriminate weapons.

I’ve spoken to people in Syria, and they’ve told me they could put up with the odd mortar shell, sniper or tank fire. They could even put up with living in IS areas or living with Jabhat al Nusra, just about, but not a weapon that can flatten an entire building, turning it into a tomb for those unlucky enough to be trapped alive beneath it. Those who come to rescue any survivors become themselves victims with the regime’s “double tap” method, where a second barrel bomb is thrown down to get rid of the survivors. It’s diabolical, it’s perverse, and it is contrary to all morality and logic. This is what’s driving people to risk their lives and everything they have for a better one abroad.

The West lacks the political will to do anything while Assad’s allies back him to the hilt. Yes, foreign fighters have done a lot to undermine the Syrian revolution, but that pales in comparison to the material support given to Assad by Iran and Russia. It took two years for the Assad regime to realise that President Obama is actually doing everything he could *not* to touch Syria, and after that the Russians threw him a lifeline, a way out, from the corner of red lines that he’d talked himself into. The disarmament deal that was supposed to “punish” the Assad regime really just gave him a green light to use all other weapons to brutalise the Syrian people, including his airforce, which is nowhere to be seen whenever Israel conducts its airstrikes inside Syria.

Today Prime Minister Cameron might grudgingly agree to allow a few thousand more Syrian refugees into the United Kingdom, as will Europe, but what will the world do in six months? In a year? How long will these band-aid fixes continue to be applied while everybody shirks their international obligations and does nothing to stop the slaughter in Syria? By doing something, I’m not talking about the meaningless term “political solution”, but taking hard action to stop a dictator’s regime from tearing the entire Mediterranean apart so that he can stay on his throne. Sorry, the picture of a dead baby, however heart breaking, is not enough to sway the world’s conscience into action. People will keep risking their lives in the hope of safety and a better life, it’s human nature.

Made up of bloated corpses, blood, guts, stale semen, decayed food, sweat and petrol fumes, there is a stink rising from our Arab countries, and the world just wants to pinch its nose. The only thing this poor baby might have done is to awaken the fetid consciences of the Arab bourgeoisies, as they tweet their heartbreak over social media from across the Arab world’s glittering capitals. To them, I say shukran for your condolences and your Arabian hospitality. Oh, and can the last person out of Syria please turn off the lights?

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September 4th, 2015, 2:04 am

 

20. Majedkhaldoun said:

Annie
Beautiful comment,thank you
What the west would do if Mr. Erdogan let the Syrian refugees in Turkey leave to Europe , one and half million , let them or encourage them to go west, to Europe, I like him to do that,

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September 4th, 2015, 6:39 am

 

21. Mina said:

good idea
“Somebody should ask Cameron what he proposes doing with Shia, Alawite and Christian refugees from Syria after Assad goes.”

http://www.rt.com/uk/314227-refugee-crisis-cameron-denial/

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September 4th, 2015, 6:40 am

 

22. Mina said:

read this on moonofalamaba today. posting it for the archive

“I first travelled to Syria in 1995 and have connections with this marvellous country by marriage and home. After retiring in 2010 we moved to Damascus and stayed until the summer this year. Despite being inside this war I cannot say I fully understand all that is happening, I like many others have a narrative that helps make sense of events, but I wouldn’t say it is the truth. I kept away from expressing a loyalty to either the government or the opposition, to avoid troubles.
My narrative on the refugee crisis for Europe is that for individuals and families, there are pull and push factors. The pull is the thought that you can get away from the daily grind and threat of random violence, that Germany and Sweden are shown in social media to be welcoming Syrians, that agents are working in the open to make the ticketing/travel arrangements for upwards of $2000 a person, and that with travel documents you can leave. Who recently gave the green light for people to travel and why I don’t know.
The push is that for many there has not been work for 5 years, living on depleting savings in a time of continual inflation puts pressure on families to survive. The young men seen in the current surge of refugees seek to continue their education and avoid military service that follows their education. But most of all is the loss of hope. The conflict has no sign of approaching resolution, it seems as if whatever plan is driving the war, it hasn’t reached a point where the sponsors have what they want.
The rumours suggest that the plan is to clear out the population and the illegally built suburbs and by the international trade in refugees resettle the people. For many years Canada took Iraqi Christians via Damascus, who paid and why they were taken I don’t know, but I fear that what is happening to the Syrians is comparable to the Nakbe.
The factors that influence this war have been discussed in this forum and how/when it started. I think that the green light was given after Blair and Kerry visited Assad to tell him to give up Hezbollah. Assad knew he was going to get the khazouk whatever choice he made. It is to the credit of the Syrians that most public services continue, like schools, hospitals, emergency services, street cleaning, rubbish collections. The people are still warm and friendly, they all are doing their best and deserve better. Maybe this is why for some they couldn’t take anymore and left their homes.”

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September 4th, 2015, 7:09 am

 

23. Tara said:

And Mina is suddenly unleashed to provide distraction! A typical behavior.

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September 4th, 2015, 11:11 am

 

24. Alan said:

بعير الخليج، قازورات التاريخ، حذاء اي سوري اشرف من اشرافكم. ليس ببعيد يوم سداد الديون ايها السفلة

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September 4th, 2015, 1:42 pm

 

25. Ghufran said:

Despite Iran’s and Turkey’s dirty hands I still prefer the Turks and the Persians over the goat lovers in the GCC.
Aljazeera is criticizing the west for taking less refugees when the GCC oily
Desert countries took none.

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September 4th, 2015, 4:12 pm

 

26. Syrian said:

The Druze of Al Sweida started revolting big time in the last few hours, destroying Assad’s statue attacking his forces and raising the revolution flag

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September 4th, 2015, 4:56 pm

 

27. Majedkhaldoun said:

Druze in Sweida found out how murderous the Alawi regime is, but did the Alawis realize how stupid the regime they support? Killing Wahid Balous, one of Druze leader , is such a dump stupid act we see this Alawi regime commit

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September 4th, 2015, 6:40 pm

 

28. Tara said:

Do you guys notice how Syria comment avoid anything negative about the regime on the main post? I guess killing a Druze elder by Assad’s thugs is not newsworthy but glorifying the dead Nasif and his filth was.

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September 4th, 2015, 7:08 pm

 

29. Syrian said:

Tara: Mathew once claimed that Assad’s crimes are forgone conclusion and it goes without saying.Obviously that’s not the case any more.
On another note, I fear Daryl of Australia will have a heart attack tonight when he hears that Germany and Austria have decided to let tens of thousands of Muslims into his beloved “Western countries” in spite of his campaign to kick all Muslims back to Arabia.
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/05/world/europe/migrant-crisis-hungary.html
“The Austrian chancellor, Werner Faymann, said on his Facebook page on Saturday morning that he had spoken to Mr. Orban and — in agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — the refugees would be allowed in. “On the basis of the current situation of need, Austria and Germany agree to allow in this case the onward journey of these refugees into their countries,” the Facebook statement said.”

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September 4th, 2015, 8:38 pm

 

30. Tara said:

Syrian,

Hahaha. I am fearing that Daryl of Australia is suffering a mental breakdown from that news. I have always advised aspirin for heart attack prevention but I am at loss in what I can advise his devastation that more Muslims are entering Europe … Not only that but we are lobbying the US too to accept more refugees

Sorry Daryl. Your campaign to prevent the West from accepting Muslim refugee was born dead. Nice try from a hate-full person.
—–
Some may argue that with people like you Darryl, jizia migh have been a good thing . Like at least when he eventually showed his face, one doesn’t feel bad that he was one of us.

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September 4th, 2015, 8:52 pm

 

31. Syrian said:

Tara.
There is no cure for him
As the Arabic poem goes
لكل داء دواء يستطاب به
الا الحماقه اعيت من يداويها
And by the way his campaign went even further than preventing Muslims refugees from entering the West,’he wanted to kick Majed, you and I from our country where we have been living in for many years.
Another bad news for Daryl’s campaign was yesterday’s NYTimes lead editorial blasting his country Australia treatment of war refugees, I guess Daryl ls living in begot’s heaven after all.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/opinion/australias-brutal-treatment-of-migrants.html?_r=0

EDITORIAL
Australia’s Brutal Treatment of Migrants
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
SEPTEMBER 3, 2015
Some European officials may be tempted to adopt the hard-line approach Australia has used to stem a similar tide of migrants. That would be unconscionable.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has overseen a ruthlessly effective effort to stop boats packed with migrants, many of them refugees, from reaching Australia’s shores. His policies have been inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war.”…
“Those who have not been turned back are held at detention centers run by private contractors on nearby islands, including the tiny nation of Nauru. A report this week by an Australian Senate committee portrayed the Nauru center as a purgatory where children are sexually abused, guards give detainees marijuana in exchange for sex and some asylum seekers are so desperate that they stitch their lips shut in an act of protest. Instead of stopping the abuses, the Australian government has sought to hide them from the world.”
….

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September 4th, 2015, 10:28 pm

 
 

33. Majedkhaldoun said:

We need the people in the USA to decide if the Supreme Court decision to legalize homosexual marriage is right , the people should express their opinion on such rule , the Supreme Court members are not elected by the people, they are appointed by the president, while Kim Davis was Elected by the people, ,this is a problem in USA it allows the dictatorship of one side over the will of the people, this is not democracy, and it is against the balance of power between the three government parts, this is a case of the Supreme Court over reaching its authority, that decision by the SC must be overriden, must be revisited, how can one branch of government be stronger than the other branch? This is dictatorship, it will interfere with people decision to choose their religion, it is interfering with personal decisions

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September 5th, 2015, 7:59 am

 

34. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

The writer is so into it with these murderous gangs.
Must be on their “friendly” mailing lists.

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September 5th, 2015, 4:32 pm

 

35. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Alan’s Score Card

صفر بمادة الإملاء

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September 5th, 2015, 4:35 pm

 

36. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Obviously

I had hoped that Goofi would have gotten over his goat phobia.. .

doesn’t look like it.
so, professional help may be needed…

https://www.goat-trauma.org/

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September 5th, 2015, 4:37 pm

 

37. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

MAJEDKHALDOUN

Your suggestion requires lawsuit… drown them with the law .. send them to every court in every town that has a Syrian living in it. We all have lost family members, homes, businesses due to the crimes of official iran criminal gangs in Syria …

a class action lawsuit and a court judgement will freeze the money, even Obama and his iranian “family” advisors will not be able to do anything about it.

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September 5th, 2015, 4:47 pm

 

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