Interview with Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali: Commander of the National Ideological Resistance in Syria

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Following on from my previous post here at Syria Comment on the National Ideological Resistance in Syria (a ‘Syrian Hezbollah’ militia brand primarily based in Tartous and Hama governorates but also operating militarily at least in Aleppo province as well), below is an interview I recently conducted with the group’s leader: Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali.

Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali, who is based in Tartous.

Some things to note in particular about this interview:

1. ‘Syrian Hezbollah’ brands at the grassroots level- whether or not actually set up by Hezbollah- with propagation of Iranian-aligned Shi’ism among Syrian Alawites predate the onset of the civil war in Syria, if the Sayyid’s testimony is true.

2. As ever, a contrast exists between what is stated here in this interview and what is propagated as open source social media advertisement. For example, in the case of extent of military operations, little from open source advertisement points to operations in Quneitra or Deraa.

3. It is interesting that the Sayyid says there is no connection with the Muqawama Suriya, even as the latter claims a media office branch in Masyaf (Hama province), for instance. This may indicate tension between the two despite the public advert ‘brotherology’ here (cf. his reference to Ali Kayali as ‘brother’).

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Muqawama Suriya: Masyaf Branch

Q: When was the National Ideological Resistance in Syria [NIR] established?

A: In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. The NIR was established in the beginning in mid-2009 before the events in Syria, as a resistance movement from within the components of the Syrian people against the Zionist enemy: nationalist, of the people (ideological), and [established] without intervention or support from any state or any other faction. We began with a small, limited number [of members] and we undertook special training sessions to undertake martyrdom missions against the Zionist soldiers. But [because of] our very weak capabilities…we undertook a number of simple missions…and we continued lying in wait for any opportunity to be offered to us to undertake a mission against the Zionist soldiers, in any case. And before the beginning of the crisis in Syria we perceived the danger and visited some of the oppositionists in a number of provinces and our weapons were the freedom of speech we possessed and we always expressed our opinions even if they were against the government, and we did not fear the truth…

Thus we were before the events and thus we still are, and thanks to God, we managed to connect with some of those who thought that what is happening in Syria is a revolution and a number of them joined our ranks, either transmitting information to us or participating in battle. The resistance was established in the mosque of Sayyida Zahara’ (peace be upon her) in the village of Namriya in the Sheikh Badr region of  Tartous.

Q: How many ‘martyrs’ does NIR have?

A: We have 27 great martyrs of righteousness and men of our Lord the Companion of Time [Imam al-Mahdi] (peace be upon him). We also have, thanks to God, around 70 wounded…and the wounds among them are serious and light, thanks to God.

Q: Does NIR support Ayatollah Khomeini’s wilayat al-faqih*?

A: With regards to your question about wilayat al-faqih, allow me to respond to your question with a question: are we able to be in the presence of one knowledgeable in religion to guide us? And why should we become confused in our matter so long as the sayyid and knowledgeable one is present? And we are the ones working for our Lord- the Companion of Time- to accept us in his army,** so as long as our work is pure to the face of God- Exalted is He- so it is obligatory for us to be bound by the program of the Commander of the Faithful and our impeccable imams. And we must embrace the original Islamic religion of Muhammad.

Q: What are your relations with Hezbollah in Lebanon?

A: On the question of our relations with the heroes and mujahideen of Hezbollah, we say with total pride that they are our model, whose manners, commitment, faith and power- which are from trust in God and Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah (may God protect him)- we imitate. Their cooperation with us gives us power, constancy, and faith in the divine victory.

Q: What are your relations with the Muqawama Suriya led by Ali Kayali?

A: On our relations with the brother Ali Kayali, sadly we are not connected by any relation because we work on internal fronts in Aleppo, Hama, Damascus, Deraa and Quneitra, but not in Latakia. So we don’t meet with them but in any case we respect all the honourable ones in this crisis and we are completely ready to cooperate with them within the ethical framework and direction of the Ahl al-Bayt [Muhammad’s family revered by Shi’a in particular] (peace be upon them).


*- Iran’s ideological system of governance.
**- Whence NIR’s ‘armed wing’: Jaysh al-Imam al-Mahdi

Comments (15)

ALAN said:

In the future we can expect two distinct sets of US allies – those who try and outdo it by aping its dirtiest deeds and those who provide it with “healthy criticism.” Future coalitions will, perforce, have to contain both kinds of ally. Whether this will allow the US to run away from itself by bombing everyone else to bits remains to be seen, at least for now … and we can expect more of the same recriminations from all concerned.

The US is running scared – it knows what it has done in the Middle East, it knows that other people know it, so now it is trying to run away. It is trying to make out that its allies are acting on their own initiative in a way the US does not want. Given the litany of regime changes and other interference the US has inflicted upon allies which that refuse to toe- -the-line, can anyone not believe what is actually happening in the Middle East? Obama is now poised to leave behind a Middle East quagmire that closely resembles the one he was elected to end.
Follow the Raven to guide you to the ruin
Best regards….

October 15th, 2014, 4:06 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

This is like looking at a caricature, or watching a sketch or a satirical play. I especially liked this line, “…our impeccable imams”.

October 15th, 2014, 4:26 pm


ALAN said:

“…our impeccable rabbis”.
Rabbis in the State of Israel .. theft, rape, and partnerships with the Mafia!

October 15th, 2014, 4:43 pm


Hopeful said:

What started as a peaceful expression of legitimate demands of freedom and dignity (remember in the first two months no one even called for a regime change) is now a regional conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, being waged on the land of Syria and fueled by Syrians.

And yet, some are still ready and willing to send their sons to die for the “wise leader”, the “protector of the nation”.

It is time to recognize that the problem started at the top of the pyramid, with Assad and his failed leadership. It is time to recognize that a solution can only be found if he is removed. “Can only” does not mean “will be”. It is still a long shot, but I am convinced that it cannot be found with Assad in charge.

October 16th, 2014, 1:13 am


ALAN said:

How will achieve a decent living (and Freedom and Dignity) if the population was doubling every 17 years? Are there any economy in the world can keep up with this upward increase in the number of population?

October 16th, 2014, 2:33 am


Hopeful said:

#5 Alan

Yes the challenges are innumerable – poverty, corruption, ignorance, extremism, overpopulation, etc. That’s why Syria needs a smart leader who can at least unify the country to begin to address these challenges. Not a leader who’s got it in his head that all people love him and anyone who does not has to be a traitor working for some space aliens who are conspiring against him and his country. Not a leader who divides his own population so he can stay in power. Not a leader who invites foreign forces to fight for him against his own people (unprecedented in history by the way!). Not a leader who buries his head in the sand when thousands of his country men, women and children die every day. Not a leader who is despised by his neighbors and the whole world community (even his allies by the way). Not a leader who buys loyalty. Not a leader who sees half of his country utterly destroyed and yet decides to “stay the course” so he won’t lose face.

Some in Syria will forever say that Assad is “their hero”. I honestly do not have a big problem with that. History will change minds and hearts. But for now, I know that for these people to keep sending their children to die for him is insane. Syria needs a new leader and a fresh start. I do not have a name, but I know for sure it isn’t Assad. His supporters and defenders better see this before it is too late for them and for Syria. You included. And I am saying that with all the best intentions and wishes for you and for all Syrians.

Please convince me otherwise – I am open.

October 16th, 2014, 3:15 am


Ghufran said:

Kingdom of Sandy Arabia gives the world an example of how it treats minorities who dissents (the guardian):

Saudi Arabia is facing an international outcry and accusations of promoting sectarian hatred after a Shia Muslim religious leader from the country’s volatile eastern province was sentenced to death.
Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who led protests in Qatif at the height of the Arab spring in 2011, was convicted on Wednesday of sedition and other charges in a case that has been followed closely by Shias in the kingdom and neighbouring Bahrain.
Shia Muslims make up 10%-15% of the population of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, which bills itself as playing a lead role in the fight against the jihadis of Islamic State (Isis) in Syria and Iraq. Riyadh has supported Sunni groups fighting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad but denies backing Isis.
State prosecutors had reportedly asked for Nimr to be crucified. The sentence is thought likely to be commuted on appeal.
Nimr was arrested in 2012 and ill-treated during his two-year detention, much of it spent in solitary confinement. He was denied surgery for bullet wounds suffered when he was arrested. He was charged with “disobeying the ruler”, “inciting sectarian strife”, and encouraging and leading demonstrations.

October 16th, 2014, 9:10 pm


mjabali said:


Yes the criminal government of Saudi Arabia is going to kill Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr for no reason but because he is anti Saudi Family and for demanding to give the Shia in Saudi Arabia some human rights….

October 16th, 2014, 9:43 pm




Don´t cry. It is good to eliminate religious personalities with political ambitions. All muslim, Christian or jewish religious politics should be eliminated. All means all, from Iran to Saudi Arabia.

October 17th, 2014, 3:31 am


mjabali said:

Sandro Low:


Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr is a political figure more than a religious one. He is about to be killed for his POLITICAL views and not because of his RELIGIOUS work. He is against the Saudi family and rule. He is for the basic human rights for the Shia in Saudi Arabia.

PS: Nimr al-Nimr is anti Assad.

ثقف نفسك قليلا لايضر هذا

October 17th, 2014, 6:13 am


ghufran said:

Tony Cartalucci:

Kenneth M. Pollack a policy writer at the Brookings Institution and a signatory of the noxious 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report Brookings produced which advocated arming and funding listed terrorist organizations to fight Iran under the cover of street protests (exactly how the US went about plunging Syria into its current crisis), has recently penned his thoughts on what should be done in Syria. Titled, “An Army to Defeat Assad: How to Turn Syria’s Opposition Into a Real Fighting Force,” Pollack claims:
…there is, in fact, a way that the United States could get what it wants in Syria — and, ultimately, in Iraq as well — without sending in U.S. forces: by building a new Syrian opposition army capable of defeating both President Bashar al-Assad and the more militant Islamists.
Pollack correctly assesses that the real US goal, as it has been since 2011 when it triggered street mobs as cover for terrorists aligned to Al Qaeda, is to remove Syrian President Bashar al Assad from power. The US State Department would openly claim as much, using ISIS as a nebulous pretext for toppling the Syrian government. The Hill in an article titled, “State: Assad must go for ISIS to be defeated,” claims:
State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Friday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cannot be defeated as long as Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power.
Harf would go on to say:
“The best thing that the Syrian people can have going forward is not ISIS, it’s not the Assad regime, but it’s a new transitional government that leads them to a better future and ends this horrible bloodshed we’ve seen over the last three years.”
Of course, there is no “transitional government,” and neither Pollack nor Harf ever managed to explain just why the toppling of the Syrian government would help eliminate ISIS. Comments appear to infer that by doing so, somehow Syria would see the rise of a more “inclusive government” better capable of uniting Syrian society and thus counter ISIS.
Similar disingenuous propositions were used to sell the toppling of Libya’s government in 2011 which predictably led to precisely the opposite of peace, stability, and a cohesive, inclusive government. Libya lies in ruins with the sectarian extremists NATO intentionally armed and thrust into power, ruling over a divided and broken nation.

Tony suggested that if a regime change is needed to defeat ISIS, such a change should take place in the countries that supported jihadists and fueled the war in Syria especially the GCC !!

October 17th, 2014, 9:33 am


Sami said:

Tony cartalucci is not worth the pixels he writes on… Nor is his lying pseudo research group he writes for.

Any scumbag like Tony that keep defending this atrocious regime needs to spend a day in Assads dungeons and then let them write about how he is standing up to western “imperialism”.

What a hack!

Btw Omar Aziz was killed by Assad not for his religious views “which were nothing but moderate” bit because he dared to demand rights and freedoms for Syrians which assad was more than happy to torture his poor soul to death for.

So before pointing fingers at other governments condem the backwards Assad and his barrel bombing, and gassing civilians army that keeps him at his bloody throne.

October 17th, 2014, 11:18 am


ALAN said:

Off, Off, Off! slowly …. apparently western Political technology has on you Strongest influence.
* To Unify the country? leader is not Hercules, but it is the desire of all parties to unite. because I know you by force wanted to change the regime while sneezing on the will of others, and in the diplomatic struggle you deliberately did not go.
Are you aware of the significance of the demand personal in the removal of the regime, which is the same as the Israeli and American demand? If you choose those allies for Syrians in the future. And what about us? We do not want this alliance criminal for our country!
* Leader who divides his own population? this is ridiculous. to mine for a long time Saudi Arabia is engaged in etching! then a proxy war (Scenarios Iran-Iraq war), funding, and then the collapse of oil prices, the invasion of Kuwait and then a drama of eastern gate arab defender “as he was called by the Saudis”. Do you hide your desire to grab the countr? have you created for its economy? are you for change line of policy to pro-western? Would you like sale us to Gulf Monarchies-criminal blood investors? Are you worked in Syria? No, will not allow to do that. I noticed that you did not repeat the word Syria, why?
Other than the hatred of Assad in your comment useful for Syria did not find anything!

October 17th, 2014, 2:22 pm


Hopeful said:


I think when the other English-speaking Alan wakes up and reads this, he will be embarrassed by this Google-translate Alan.

Good call SyriaLover.

October 18th, 2014, 8:50 am


ALAN said:

ha ha ha ha 😉

October 18th, 2014, 6:02 pm


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