The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham Expands Into Rural Northern Syria

In the previous post, Aymenn al-Tamimi discussed developments in the relationship between two primary al-Qa’ida affiliates operating in Syria: Jabhat al-Nusra, and the ISIS. Through his analysis he concluded that in some areas the distinction between Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is blurry, while in other areas the two seem to visibly operate as distinctly separate groups. He also believes that though a “grand ideological clash” between the two groups is not impossible, it is premature to point to one at present. Now, in part two, Aymenn delves into the growth of ISIS power in specific communities and discusses the plausibility of predicted FSA – ISIS confrontation.

 

The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham Expands Into Rural Northern Syria

Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimiby Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi for Syria Comment


Introduction

In a post for Jihadology a few weeks back, I identified how the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) was playing an important role in the fighting on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo and in the surrounding countryside. Since that time, it has become apparent that the group has been seeking to expand outwards and to consolidate control over outlying towns in both the Aleppo and Idlib regions, particularly those of strategic importance along or near the border with Turkey.

Azaz

This initiative has already served to foster division. For example, in the town of Azaz, which is in close proximity to the Turkish border, a protest ocurred on July 1 against ISIS’ entry into the town and its attempt to establish headquarters there. Yet on July 5, Azaz saw a counter-rally in favor of ISIS featuring a slogan common for such demonstrations—‘Labbayka ya Allah’ (‘I am at your service, God’)—accompanied by conspicuous numbers of ISIS flags.

It should be noted that this pattern of division—between those members of Syrian society who support ISIS vs. those who do not—is also observed in the city of Aleppo itself, where ISIS supporters have generally held separate rallies from those of other demonstrators. (I have found one notable exception: a rally on June 4 for the then-besieged city of Qusayr in the area of al-Firdus, featuring both ISIS and Free Syrian Army [FSA] flags).

Resentment over the ISIS presence in Azaz grows. One notable outlet for this disapproving sentiment is a youth activist Facebook page called ‘The Youth of Aleppo—Azaz’ which posted the following status: ‘We ask the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham to establish their state from Iraq [meaning ‘in Iraq’?] since the system of prostitution [there] has not yet fallen.’

The group has also circulated an alleged statement from a local council in the town of Tel Abyaḍ in Raqqah Governorate claiming that the ISIS has confiscated internationally-donated generators intended to provide drinking water for the residents of the town.

On the other hand, ISIS is attempting some outreach to the locals of Azaz, offering Qur’an and Sunnah recitation competitions—among other religious activities—for the population during Ramaḍān.

Jarabulus

As for other towns, here is a photo of the ISIS headquarters in the northern border town of Jarabulus. The banner reads: ‘The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham: Province of Aleppo. Emirate of Jarabulus.’

ISIS headquarters, Jarabulus, Syria

Another photo shows the flag of ISIS flying over Jarabulus:

ISIS flag flies over Jarabulus, Syria

One activist page on Facebook called ‘Jabhat al-Nusra does not represent me’ claims the following to give context to the first photo: ‘Photo from Jarabulus following the seizure of it by al-Qa’ida after battles with the FSA. It is said that ISIS then killed scores of civilians, among them children, during al-Qa’ida’s attempt to occupy the town.’

In a similar vein, on June 15, the Arabic news outlet al-Waie News claimed to cite a local source in Jarabulus on clashes between ISIS and a rebel battalion known as the ‘Family of Jādir,’ which uses the FSA flag.

The source claimed that the clashes started after a member of ISIS was wounded during a round of celebratory gunfire that followed a concord reached between the two groups, giving rise to a renewed violent battle between ISIS and the Family of Jādir for fifteen hours, resulting in ISIS’ seizure of the town, as well as the killing of one ISIS fighter and several from the Family of Jādir.

On 13 June, the leader of the Family of Jādir—Yusuf al-Jādir—released video testimony in which he claimed that ISIS launched an attack on the home of Ahmad al-Jādir and then began shooting at dozens of innocent civilians, resulting in the deaths of several children: among them, Mahmoud Kerkaz, Sheikho Shawish, Ibrahim al-Ahmad, and a young Kurdish girl. He continues by documenting other alleged acts of ISIS aggression in the town.

It thus appears that ISIS seized control of Jarabulus by force. One thing that is important to note from the opposing testimony is the issue of naming. The source for al-Waie News from Jarabulus merely sees ISIS as a new name for Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) in the town, and Yusuf al-Jādir likewise deems the two names interchangeable.

Thus, even if my formulation for the city of Aleppo itself—that ISIS and JN are two separate entities—applies here, the perception of at least some residents of the town nevertheless differs. As in Raqqah, the two may well be interchangeable in Jarabulus.

The concept of interchangeability could make sense here in light of the fact that JN has had an active presence in the northern Turkish border areas in the past (cf. clashes with Farouq Battalions in April on the border in Raqqah Governorate). Certainly, Jarabulus has been known for a JN presence in the past: here is a video of a JN-led rally in Jarabulus from December 14, 2012, featuring the chant of ‘We are Anṣar Allah.’

In this context, one should also note a revealing report from the Damascus Bureau, which actually visited Jarabulus. The reporter, Youssef Shaikho, explains that Jabhat al-Nusra in Jarabulus supported the announcement of ISIS, and most of its fighters in the town are native Syrians, providing a notable exception to the media narrative of ISIS as a group solely composed of foreign fighters.

Further blurring the lines of group-alignment and public sentiment, not all those who, like al-Jādir, use the FSA flag in Jarabulus are necessarily opposed to ISIS’ ideological vision. For example, here is a Facebook activist page from Jarabulus that uses the FSA flag. Yet it has put up a status that laments the loss of the Khilafa (Caliphate) and denounces the UN and its decision-making as a mere front for occupation.

In any event, ISIS is now said to be operating an active Shari’a court in Jarabulus, which has allegedly executed three young men recently on charges of rape and murder. ISIS is also accused of detaining the son of a prominent martyr from the Family of Jādir known as Abu Furāt.

In terms of the reasons behind the Jādir-ISIS clashes, one should be cautious about presenting them as a simple ideological battle. It rather seems to have been a power struggle for control of an important border area. The Kurdish PYD, as the Damascus Bureau notes, also has a small activist presence in Jarabulus, yet it has been left untouched and tolerated by ISIS.

At the same time, ISIS is trying to counter the allegations put out about its conduct in Jarabulus by emphasizing local support in the town for the group, including children.

al-Bab

Another town in rural Aleppo where ISIS is establishing its presence is al-Bab. On July 5, the outlet Saḍa ash-Sham al-Islami put up a set of photos of a meeting for Dawah  held by the ISIS in al-Bab. [Da’wa means “invitation” and often refers to proselytism—the inviting of others to join Islam. In this case, it refers to outreach to Muslims to strengthen their faith.]

Da'wah meeting in al-Bab

In contrast to what appears to have been a more aggressive approach in Jarabulus, ISIS seems to be engaging in an active outreach effort to the population of al-Bab. Thus, the local outlet al-Bab Press reported that ISIS is running school bus services for children who have seen their education disrupted for many months by Assad regime bomb attacks. A local FB page in al-Bab also gave an account last month from an ISIS fighter of clashes between ISIS and Assad regime soldiers aided by Hezbollah fighters in the wider Aleppo area.

Manbij

The town of Manbij offers a case contrasting with that of al-Bab. Recently, Manbij has seen a protest rally against ISIS. The demonstration was sparked by two grievances against ISIS: first, ISIS is accused by some local activists of destroying works of art in Manbij, and second, of kidnapping a local sheikh. Protests continued into Friday of last week, on which day ISIS had been holding a daw’ah meeting in Manbij featuring a number of locals in support of the group, as per the photo below.

ISIS holds dawah meeting in Manbij, Syria

Prior to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s announcement of the formation of ISIS in early April, Manbij had been known for an active JN presence in alliance with Ahrar ash-Sham, who together took on the Farouq Battalions in violent clashes in the town at the beginning of the month, resulting in the expulsion of the Farouq Battalions from Manbij.

The clashes began after Ahrar ash-Sham had arrested a certain Abu Khaldun, a friend of the leader of the Farouq Battalions in Manbij. Ahrar ash-Sham and its allies justified the arrest on the grounds that this man had been one of the leading criminal figures in Manbij and had to be put on trial by the Shari’a committee in Aleppo, while emphasizing that there was no fundamental conflict between them and those under the banner of the FSA.

Following the defeat of the Farouq Battalions, Ahrar ash-Sham held a victory rally in Manbij on 6 April with dozens of supporters and allies, featuring the al-Qa’ida flag and a banner reading ‘The Ummah wants an Islamic Khilafa.’ The person who uploaded the video described it as being held in celebration of the expulsion of ‘gangs of thieves’- a common charge leveled against the Farouq Battalions in the north, which unlike the Ikhwaan-aligned Homs division lack ties to any major Islamist groups.

On a side note, the rally itself should illustrate that those who posit a strict dichotomy between supposedly ‘nationalist’ Salafists in Ahrar ash-Sham as opposed to transnational jihadists are mistaken. This rally in Manbij and Ahrar ash-Sham’s statement on JN’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qa’ida show that concepts of the transnational ummah that supersedes “artificial borders” and the nation-state of Syria are often blurred in Ahrar ash-Sham’s ideological thought.

Of course, one also must not generalize in the opposite direction and portray all of Ahrar ash-Sham as bent on an international Khilafa. Yet whenever non-Islamists protest against groups like ISIS, as a rule Ahrar ash-Sham can be expected to side with the latter (cf. the case of Raqqah which I documented last month).

In the context of Manbij, therefore, one should not be surprised about a blurring of distinction between Ahrar ash-Sham’s support base and what is now known as the ISIS presence. Indeed, it is also apparent that there is another virtual mirror front of ISIS active in Manbij: namely, Ansar al-Khilafa, which is composed of a mix of native Syrians and foreign fighters, though exact proportions are unclear.

Ansar al-Khilafa is most prominent in rural Aleppo and Latakia. In the April rally led by Ahrar ash-Sham, it is likely that there were Ansar al-Khilafa supporters among the crowd. Here is a recent mural put up in Manbij in support of the group:

Ansar al-Khilafa mural in Manbij, Syria

ad-Dana

The final case we come to on the subject of ISIS’ expansion is that of ad-Dana in Idlib, near the border with Turkey. Here, a protest rally is said to have taken place against ISIS (though no video footage of it has emerged so far), sparking violent clashes. Yet it is the only case where we have a mainstream media outlet allowing ISIS to give its full side of the story thanks to an al-Jazeera English report (H/T: @khalidelmousoui) from the town. In the report, ISIS fighters claimed that those denouncing their presence were actually agents of the Assad regime.

However, it appears that this testimony is contradicted in an account given by pro-ISIS activists in Idlib, who denounced the clashes as ‘the work of some of the apostates of the Free Army.’ Meanwhile, a pro-ISIS Twitter user complained at the time of the clashes that the ‘malicious Free Army’ was besieging ISIS and expressed concerns about the beginnings of a ‘Sahwa’ movement against ISIS.

As of now, the al-Jazeera report says that ISIS is the only remaining armed group in the town. This is corroborated by local Idlib activist testimony that there are now no armed clashes in the town and reconciliation initiatives are underway. At the same time, claims that ISIS executed dozens of supporters of those identifying under the banner of the FSA—stemming chiefly from an ad-Dana rebel leader’s testimony were denied.

That said, both the rebel leader whose testimony is given by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the al-Jazeera report corroborate each other on the ISIS fighters as being from outside Syria.

Now in control of the town, ISIS is running a school for the children, and the ISIS presence as reported by al-Jazeera is corroborated by a video that has now emerged of ISIS fighters manning the entrance into ad-Dana.

Conclusion

In short, these various cases illustrate ISIS’ growing power in the north of Syria. ISIS is clearly not a force to be dismissed as marginal without any real support on the ground, even as its presence is undoubtedly sparking backlash in many areas. Above all, these recent developments as regards ISIS’ expansion vindicate to an extent my prediction in March in a guest post for Syria Comment about the emergence and establishment of jihadist strongholds in the north and east of Syria.

In terms of the future, one needs to be skeptical of the narrative being put out by Supreme Military Command (SMC) supporters of a looming, grand-scale FSA effort to take on ISIS in the north of Syria in a fundamental clash of ideologies. Resentment at the ideological level is more to be expected from civilian protestors rather than armed rebels.

One should particularly note my distinction here between SMC supporters and those in general who go by the banner of the FSA. While SMC supporters would like to portray all of those under the banner of FSA as opposed to ISIS, the evidence speaks otherwise, exemplified in this recent statement by an FSA military council in Aleppo denying rumors of clashes between their ‘brothers’ in ISIS and JN.

SMC supporters are likely the source of at least some of the allegations against ISIS, including the recent claim that ISIS is planning to declare a wider northern state after Ramaḍān: plausible in light of ISIS’ expansion in northern Syria but as of now uncorroborated in pro-ISIS circles.

Other rumors likely originating from pro-SMC sources include an alleged statement by JN distancing itself from ISIS (not released through JN’s official channel al-Manārah al-Bayḍā, so therefore suspect) and claims that ISIS killed Abu Furāt of Jarabulus, when his funeral actually took place a few months before ISIS was announced.

In particular, the reports attempting to portray JN in open conflict with ISIS are building on a narrative stemming from a Reuters piece in which JN was portrayed as a group of native Syrians disillusioned with the machinations of the foreign fighters of ISIS, hinting at the possibility of JN teaming up with other rebels to take on ISIS.

The motivation for spreading rumors about ISIS is quite apparent: namely, the SMC’s bid to secure Western arms, which will then be supposedly used to take on what Western nations like the UK perceive to be the number-one threat emanating from Syria.

In any case, the current PR war between SMC supporters and ISIS supporters will continue. Feeling the pressure, the latter have recently announced the formation of a new forum intended to counter purported media disinformation about the group. Thus can the exchange of claims and counter-claims be expected to intensify. Ascertaining the full truth short of getting on the ground will remain elusive.

 

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University. His website is http://www.aymennjawad.org. Follow on Twitter at @ajaltamimi

Comments (491)


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451. zoo said:

Lakhdar Ibrahimi re-appears to repeat his old song

UN envoy to Syria still working on peace conference plan
July 23, 2013 6:49 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.: United Nations (UN) peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) he was pressing on with plans for a conference aimed at ending the fighting, though no firm date is in sight.

“It is extremely difficult to bring people who have been killing one another for two years just by a magic wand to a conference like this. It will take time, but I hope it will happen,” Brahimi told a handful of reporters on the sidelines of an event in Washington.

“There are still issues that have not been solved. We are hopeful. That’s all we can say.”

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July 23rd, 2013, 8:33 am

 

452. zoo said:

Are the Kurds helping the Syrian government by cleaning the North of Syria from Islamists while boosting the PKK and making Erdogan’s Turkey increasingly on the edge?

BEIRUT (AFP) – Syrian Kurds made rapid advances in the north of the country Tuesday, expelling jihadists from several villages, as a gulf of mistrust between Arabs and Kurds grew, a watchdog and activists said.

Tuesday’s fighting hit several villages including Yabseh, Kandal and Jalbeh, which lie in the northern province of Raqa on Syria’s border with Turkey and are home to a mixture of ethnic and religious communities, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It also reported that the Kurds expelled the jihadists from Kur Hassu, Atwan, Sarej and Khirbet Alu villages in the same area, which lies near the majority Kurdish town of Cobany.

In Hasake to the east, Kurdish-jihadist fighting went into the seventh consecutive day in the Jal Agha area and other villages in the majority Kurdish province, the Observatory added.

The latest battles come a week after fighters loyal to the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG) expelled the jihadist Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) from the strategic Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain in Hasake province.

Ever since, fighting has spread from Hasakeh in northeastern Syria to several hotspots in Raqa province in the north.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/23/syria-kurds-overrun-villages-expel-jihadists-ngo/#ixzz2Zszj16x3

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July 23rd, 2013, 12:19 pm

 

453. Tara said:

Batta asking for Israeli permission for an Alawi state. What a traitor!

Syrian Sunnis fear Assad regime wants to ‘ethnically cleanse’ Alawite heartland

http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jul/22/syria-sunnis-fear-alawite-ethnic-cleansing

All property records for Homs were destroyed in a fire earlier this month at the office of the city’s land registry and residents fear they can no longer enforce a claim to their land and homes.

“What else could be going on?” asked one resident who refused to be identified. “This is the most secure area of the city and it is the only building that has been burned. A conspiracy is underway.”

Former staff at the office say the records existed only on paper and had not yet been digitalised. Eyewitnesses in the Bab al-Hood district where the building is located, and several employees, reported seeing flames on the higher floors of the building on 5 July, where the files were archived, while regime forces were positioned on lower floors.
..
In Homs city, Sunni districts of Ashere, al-Khoder, Karm al-Zaitoun and Bab al-Sebaa have largely been emptied and replaced by Alawite families, numerous local leaders claim.

A mediator – a well-known diplomatic figure – is understood to have been asked by Assad to approach the former Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, late last year with a request that Israel not stand in the way of attempts to form an Alawite state, which could have meant moving some displaced communities into the Golan Heights area.

A source aware of the talks said that Lieberman had not rebuffed the approach but had first sought information on the whereabouts of a missing Israeli airman shot down over Lebanon, Ron Arad, as well as three Israeli soldiers captured in the Lebanese village of Sultan Yacoub in 1982, and the remains of Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy intelligence officer who was caught and executed in Damascus.
..more

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July 23rd, 2013, 12:21 pm

 

454. zoo said:

More fights and more death planned starting in August while the Geneva conference has been ironically postponed to September

Syrian Rebels Hope for US Arms in August – Reports
20:13 23/07/2013

WASHINGTON, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Rebel forces seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad hope to receive arms from the United States as early as next month after two key US congressional committees approved the weapons shipments, according to media reports.

“We think August is the date,” The New York Times cited a Syrian opposition leader as saying in an email Monday night.

The intelligence committees in both the US Senate and House of Representatives last week signed off on the White House’s plan to allocate US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) resources to provide weapons, training, and logistics and intelligence support to the Syrian rebels, though US officials only confirmed this week that the committees had approved the program.

The exact timeline of the deliveries was not immediately clear Tuesday, but the Washington Post reported that they are set to begin in the next several weeks.

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July 23rd, 2013, 12:23 pm

 

455. majedkhaldoun said:

Salim Idris in Washington , DC

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July 23rd, 2013, 12:31 pm

 

456. zoo said:

West should focus on a diplomatic solution
http://gulfnews.com/opinions/editorials/west-should-focus-on-a-diplomatic-solution-1.1212085

It has taken two years and 100,000 lives to realise there is no military route to solving the Syrian crisis

Western states may have matured in their dealings with the situation in Syria, realising that it is more complex than once imagined, but this realisation has come two years into the civil war that has killed 100,000 people and left large parts of the country in rubble. Western policy on the Syrian situation was unfortunately dominated by rhetoric and “red lines”, but little action. It must be asked how much of that rhetoric was aimed at Syria’s backers, namely Iran, Russia and China, whom the US sees as adversaries or rivals, than at solving the plight of the Syrian people and relieve them of the tyrant that rules them.

Perhaps the realisation should serve as a wake-up call that will lead western states to direct their diplomatic efforts at finding a non-military political solution to the crisis by working with the Russians to bring both sides of the Syrian conflict to the negotiating table. If the realisation that the West cannot impose a military solution had come earlier, not only could Syria have been saved from a significant amount of death and destruction, but the opposition may have entered negotiations from a position of relative strength. For the international community to have taken this long to realise that a diplomatic solution is the only viable option meant that Al Assad had enough time to sweep the country and dictate terms to a significantly weakened opposition. The opposition, therefore, cannot be blamed for wanting to take no part in such talks, which, in the mean time, will mean even more violence and bloodshed.

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July 23rd, 2013, 12:32 pm

 

457. zoo said:

Jarba and Idriss in France to beg for weapons and recognition. France will tell them to go to Geneva II instead

http://www.thelocal.fr/20130723/syria-opposition-chief-seeks-support-in-france

Syria’s new opposition chief Ahmad Jarba arrived in Paris on Tuesday for a two-day visit aimed at convincing France to boost its support for rebels battling Bashar al-Assad.
….
A French diplomatic source said Idriss was expected to press rebel demands for Western arms, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

The rebellion’s Western backers have been sceptical of supplying weapons to the opposition, amid fears they could fall into the hands of radical Islamists.

“The priority for the Coalition is to be able to obtain arms for the Free Army, not only because Bashar al-Assad’s regime is receiving enormous amounts of weapons from Russia and Iran and has retaken the initiative on several fronts, but also because there is a need to strengthen the Free Army in the face of jihadist groups,” said Ziad Majed, a professor at the American University of Paris.

But the diplomatic source said Paris would be insisting in the talks on the “political perspective” of resolving Syria’s civil war.
..

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July 23rd, 2013, 12:47 pm

 

458. Mina said:

After one has read the news in the mainstream media about Dempsey’s speech, it is healthy to read about what he was really aiming at:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-04-230713.html

(In Iraq, D. “saw first hand the ass-kicking by a bunch of towelheads with second-hand Kalashnikovs”)

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July 23rd, 2013, 1:14 pm

 

459. revenire said:

I really have a hard time believing Assad asked Israel if it was okay to carve out an Alawite state. It seems too fantastic.

Where would Asma live? Where would the majority-Sunni SAA live? How about the majority of the Syrian population, who are Sunni, that support the government?

I have to wonder where the Guardian find these stories.

It is almost as if the British want to set off sectarian warfare with this sort of reporting. Nah, that would never happen. ;)

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July 23rd, 2013, 1:20 pm

 

460. zoo said:

#456 Revenire

Since when Bashar al Assad ask Israel’s opinion? It sounds like an opposition fabrication to pressure the West for weapons.

In any case a safe geographical area for minorities and Sunni moderate will certainly include Damascus and its suburbs. It would be used and developed until the rogue areas are totally cleaned up from Islamists and their allies. This may take a very long time…
Similar areas, like Jounieh north of Lebanon had a huge economical development as a safe area for Christians during the civil war in Lebanon. That’s what happen during civil wars with a sectarian component.
The West of Syria will see an enormous economical growth.

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July 23rd, 2013, 1:35 pm

 

461. amal said:

411. AMEERA said:

La trdy ale, hada majed kharfan u mdaye3 jahshet khalto. Allah y3eeno. 3am befaker be jehad al nikah layl u nhar, u 3am yntezer al no fly zone sarlo sintain u nouss maskeen. Tamneenee keef Ramadan ma3ek? Nshallah klo bkhair?

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:05 pm

 

462. Tara said:

Moderate Sunnis do not want to live under al Assad dictatorship.

Damascus and Homs should be out of his plan.

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:06 pm

 

463. Uzair8 said:

Come on rebels! Capture the air defence base…

From AJE Syria Blog about 7 hours ago:

Video purportedly shows fierce fighting in the vicinity of the air defence base at Al-Maliha village in eastern Ghouta.

This video footage, uploaded to YouTube, purportedly shows fierce fighting in the vicinity of the air defence base at Al-Maliha village in eastern Ghouta.

[Video]

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:17 pm

 

464. amal said:

452. majedkhaldounsaid:

Salim Idris in Washington , DC

You don’t say! He must be here to pick up his official puppet credentials from his Israeli Lobby puppet masters in DC.

His big day to celebrate selling his country if you ask me.

There’s nothing the west like more than a traitor.

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:17 pm

 

465. revenire said:

Exactly so Zoo. I find the story preposterous. What next? A private state inside the Alawite state for Assad and his closest relatives?

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:20 pm

 

466. Uzair8 said:

Given that it’s a Guardian article, It may well make it to the imminent next SC post. Perhaps even given prominence…?

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:31 pm

 

467. Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya a couple of hours ago:

#Syria,Aleppo stopping a convoy heading toward Khanaser

[Video]

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:48 pm

 

468. Sami said:

What does “cleaning up Islamists” entail exactly? Do the “Islamists” get a trip to hamam al-souk or is it meant as in a final solution a la Hitler?

Another thing who decides who is “Islamists” and who is not and are the families of those “Islamists” a target for cleansing as well?

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July 23rd, 2013, 3:51 pm

 

469. revenire said:

It means killing all the Al-Qaeda/Nusra/FSA criminals in Syria. “Cleaning up” is just a nice word for sending them all to Hell. The government decides that’s who decides. I get the feeling you’re joking with us Sami and knew the answers before you asked.

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:01 pm

 

470. amal said:

“FSA” is offering Saudi Arabia a final solution in Syria a la Hitler

Nice catch Ziad! Thank you!

225. Ziad said:

“FSA” commander: “..We’re fighting a war on their behalf (the Gulf rulers). Give us just half of the B$12 what you gave to Egypt to get rid of MB.”

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:02 pm

 

471. revenire said:

Sami here you go: some “cleaning up” done today by the heroes of the SAA. Enjoy.

Scores reported killed in Syria army ambush
Activists say government troops kill 49 rebels fighters in Adra, a strategic suburb of Damascus

Syrian government forces have ambushed rebel fighters in a strategic suburb of the capital Damascus, killing at least 49 people, activists said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Tuesday reported that the opposition fighters were killed near Adra, a town which saw heavy fighting when Assad’s forces recaptured it from the rebels a few months ago.

The town is located on a route that rebels have been using to smuggle weapons into Damascus

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/07/2013723182219298817.html

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:05 pm

 

472. amal said:

Is that an Israeli order to our venerable moderator?!

463. Uzair8 said:

Given that it’s a Guardian article, It may well make it to the imminent next SC post. Perhaps even given prominence

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:05 pm

 

473. AMEERA said:

ازا عن جد صارت دولة علوية انا بتمنى انو تشمل الشام لانو صدقو او لأ انا بفضل العيشة مع الشبيحة و المخابرات على الجهاديين و عباد الفرج. على الاقل اكبر مسؤول بتعرف سعرو و مفتاحو يعني مافي مشكلة بس الاوباش تبع جهاد النكاح بدن يلبسوكي عباية و منديل بعدين يغتصبوكي و يصلو بين رجليكي و بعدين يقطعوا راسك و بعد هدا كلو بدن يطلعوا على الجنة ليناكحو الحوريات.

على الاقل العبد يلي بتعرف ديتو اقتلو

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:06 pm

 

474. AMEERA said:

زوو

معلوماتك اكيدة انو الدولة العلوية رح تشمل الشام و ريف دمشق؟
من تمك لباب السما

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:08 pm

 

475. majedkhaldoun said:

Amal Mutaz Dandashi
Your words are personal insults, the moderator must know that,and you must be banned again.
It is a shame that you are here talking nonsense, we know that you are Mutaz Dandashi and you are SNP and you commented under different monikers,

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:15 pm

 

476. amal said:

472. majedkhaldoun said:

Truth hurt?! When all fails play victim and demand censorship! A rare quality indeed, shared only by “FSA” supporters! Paranoia will destroya.

BTW How’s that no fly zone coming?!

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:34 pm

 

477. zoo said:

Syria says determined to implement political program to address conflict
23/07/2013

http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2324894&Language=en

DAMASCUS, July 23 (KUNA) — Syrian prime minister Wael Al-Halqi said Tuesday his government was keen on implementing its political program in order to address the crisis in the country, which has been ongoing since March 2011.
Al-Halqi, during a meeting with Mukhtar Lamani, chief of staff of the international representative to Syria, said the “Syrians were determined” to implement the political program because it was the “only” solution for the conflict in the country, a government statement said.
He said the Syrian government was ready to attend the Geneva II meeting without previous conditions.
The Syrian government, he added, was open on all international initiatives that would end the conflict but without preconditions or dictations.

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:35 pm

 

478. zoo said:

Jarba makes more promises to France and re-announces the creation of a provisional government located in Syria within a month ( End August>?).
The similarly announced government headed by Hitto never saw light.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-rt-us-syria-crisis-opposition-20130723,0,832508.story

The SNC has little physical presence in Syria and minimal influence over militant Islamist brigades that play a major role in the fight against Assad’s forces.

Jarba said he was working to make the coalition more visible in the liberated areas. He would visit areas in the south, including the cradle of the Syrian revolution Deraa, the east of the country as well as refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey.

As part of that process, the coalition will create a 10-person executive council, or provisional government, that would operate within Syria, Jarba said.

“I think within one month it will be set up. This government has to work within the liberated zones despite the security and military difficulties,” he said.

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July 23rd, 2013, 4:44 pm

 

479. amal said:

Family picture of Syria’s future first family :D

http://anna-news.info/sites/default/files/2011/u511/Al-Jarba_0.jpg

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July 23rd, 2013, 5:32 pm

 

480. Tara said:

A peasantry background is preferable? What a bunch of inferiority-complexed supremacists!!

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July 23rd, 2013, 5:43 pm

 

481. zoo said:

I doubt this will that make ‘perhaps’ Idriss happy. It sounds more like a bait to get the opposition to accept to go to Geneva II with the illusion of having the USA in their pocket. Little do they know.

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/23/source-obama-to-move-forward-with-plan-to-arm-syrian-rebels/

“White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday that the goal of the military aid expected to include small arms, ammunition and perhaps anti-tank weapons is to keep the Syrian opposition going against forces aligned with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”

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July 23rd, 2013, 5:51 pm

 

482. Tara said:

Amoura,

I am happy with Yaya today. She fasted until 12:00

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July 23rd, 2013, 5:56 pm

 

483. zoo said:

Syria crisis: Only full-scale war can unseat Assad, says Iraqi minister

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-crisis-only-fullscale-war-can-unseat-assad-says-iraqi-minister-8729075.html

Hoshyar Zebari tells Patrick Cockburn that Syria’s President will ‘survive’ rebel uprising

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not going to lose power unless there is foreign intervention amounting to a full-scale war, according to a leading Middle-East politician.

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, said with a united army in control of Damascus and the major Syrian cities, Assad “will survive for the foreseeable future”. Mr Zebari, pictured below, is one of the few leaders to be in touch with all parties in the Syrian civil war, including the government and various factions of the opposition, along with their foreign backers.

In an interview with The Independent he expressed pessimism about peace negotiations in Geneva proposed by the US and Russia, but said he believes that the best way forward may be a ceasefire policed by the UN prior to any agreement on a transitional government. He said: “I think it would be possible to do that with strong engagement by the UN to follow through and maybe some international peacekeepers.”

Mr Zebari believes it unlikely that the oft-postponed Geneva II conference will take place at all and says that a conference on the sidelines of a UN meeting would not be taken seriously. The opposition still hopes that if it hangs on long enough there will be international intervention to overthrow Mr Assad along the lines of Nato military intervention in Libya in 2011. Mr Zebari said he has always told opposition leaders this is a pipedream.

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July 23rd, 2013, 5:57 pm

 

484. zoo said:

The new FSA strategy: directly targeting civilians

Rebels target civilian areas to induce cease-fire
July 24, 2013 12:27 AM
By Lauren Williams

BEIRUT: Mainly Sunni Syrian opposition rebels in Homs have adopted a new strategy, firing grad missiles into Alawite residential neighborhoods, in an attempt to sow discord between loyal civilians and pro-government militia groups there. The new strategy, according to residents and opposition activists, is being used to prompt Alawite civilians to pressure pro-government and loyalist militia groups to adopt a cease-fire following a blistering two week siege on the rebels in the neighborhoods of Khaldieh and Bab Houd.

While Free Syrian Army representatives and fighters were reluctant to admit the tactic, residents and other FSA and opposition activists have tacitly admitted the new strategy is being used as a desperate attempt to ease the siege on Khaldieh after negotiations for a cease-fire failed.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jul-24/224816-rebels-target-civilian-areas-to-induce-cease-fire.ashx#ixzz2ZuOZ9cIc
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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July 23rd, 2013, 6:02 pm

 

485. AMEERA said:

لك تؤبشني ما شالله عليها للامورة
مافي شي صورة للحلوين؟

انا بكره ما عندي صيام بتعرفي ليش.

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July 23rd, 2013, 6:08 pm

 

486. Tara said:

Ameera,

Because you are traveling.

Where to? Iran?

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July 23rd, 2013, 6:14 pm

 

487. AMEERA said:

هاهاها ولي عليكي شو سهيانه و تشيكي بالانكليزي
لا حبيبتي انا ما علي حرج لخمس ايام. فهمتي ولا لسه؟

على ايران لا ليش اركب طيارة و سافر لأ بنزل على الضاحية الجنوبية بلبنان ماهي محافظة ايرانية ولا شو رأيك

شو اخبار المسلسلات معك؟ عم تباعي اي شي؟

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July 23rd, 2013, 6:21 pm

 

488. Akbar Palace said:

Resistance Professional Theology – Rule No. 1

461. amal said:

452. majedkhaldounsaid:

Salim Idris in Washington , DC

You don’t say! He must be here to pick up his official puppet credentials from his Israeli Lobby puppet masters in DC.

His big day to celebrate selling his country if you ask me.

Amal,

Don’t you think it’s possible Assad sold Syria to Hezbollah, Russia and Iran?

I guess for Muqawamistas like youself, you can only “sell” to the US or Israel and no one else.

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July 23rd, 2013, 6:38 pm

 

489. don said:

Obama Supporters Petition to Grant Him Immunity for All Crimes He Committed

Obama supporters in San Diego, California petition to grant the President immunity for any crimes he has committed or will commit while in office. Media analyst and author Mark Dice simply asks random people if they’ll sign a petition to support Obama by granting him immunity for his crimes, and one person right after the other signs it to show support for dear leader.

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July 23rd, 2013, 6:46 pm

 

490. Hesperado said:

“If the realisation that the West cannot impose a military solution had come earlier, not only could Syria have been saved from a significant amount of death and destruction…”

Why does Syria have to be “saved” by the West? Why can’t Muslims save themselves from their own fitna and fasad?

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August 26th, 2013, 12:22 pm

 

491. Musings of an Iraqi Brasenostril on Jihad: The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham’s Messages and Self-Presentation in Syria and Iraq « JIHADOLOGY said:

[…] particularly in towns where ISIS is the dominant faction (dubbed “emirates”- such as the “Emirate of Jarabulus”), the group goes beyond provision of food to running schools for children. From Raqqa, ISIS […]

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September 9th, 2013, 11:00 am

 

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