Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi: A Syrian Army Shi'i Militia - Syria Comment

Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi: A Syrian Army Shi’i Militia

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

LiwaSayfMahdiemblem
Emblem of Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi. The top of the emblem features the Dhu al-Fiqar, the sword of Imam Ali. The group’s name means “The Sword of the Mahdi (may God hasten his emergence) Brigade.”

The Syrian civil war features multiple Syrian Shi’i formations primarily affiliated with Hezbollah, such as Quwat al-Ridha and Liwa al-Imam al-Mahdi. Another militia- the Ja’afari Force– had a more interesting evolution over time from origins in the National Defence Forces in Damascus, eventually emerging as an affiliate of the Iraqi Shi’i Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada’ but now claiming to be an independent group. Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi is particularly interesting on account of its affiliation. According to one Abu Hayder al-Harbi, who is an Iraqi fighter currently in the ranks of Hezbollah and previously served in the ranks of the Iraqi Shi’i Sadrist splinter militia Liwa al-Imam al-Hussein, Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi is affiliated with the elite Fourth Armoured Division of the Syrian army, was set up three years ago and comprises Syrian Shi’a that he estimated as a sect to be 1.4% of the total Syrian population. Indeed, the affiliation is not the only case of links between the Fourth Armoured Division (also known as just the Fourth Division/al-Farqat al-Rabi’a) and Shi’i militancy in Syria, for Liwa al-Imam al-Hussein also works closely and overlaps with the Fourth Armoured Division, particularly as both forces have been participating in the assault on the rebel-held suburb of Darayya.

From social media output, the links between Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi and the Fourth Armoured Division become clear on account of the particular inclusion of the portrait of Maher al-Assad, the youngest brother of Bashar al-Assad who has served as commander of the 42nd brigade in the Fourth Armoured Division. Rumours emerged in March 2016 that Maher al-Assad was removed from the Fourth Armoured Division and transferred to the general staff of the Syrian army, but Russia Today, citing a source from the Syrian army, subsequently denied that he had been removed from the Fourth Armoured Division. Al-Quds Al-Arabi explained that Maher al-Assad was transferred from command of the 42nd brigade to the general command in the Fourth Armoured Division- a move required for organisational purposes on account of his promotion in rank.

LiwaSayfMahdiposter
Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi fighters, behind whom is a large placard/poster for the group. Note the militia’s emblem in the centre, with Bashar al-Assad’s portrait on the right and Maher al-Assad’s portrait on the left.

In terms of operations, Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi has mainly performed two functions. The most notable has been maintaining security in the Sayyida Zainab area in Damascus through the operation of checkpoints. This function continues to this day and was noted by Abu Haydar al-Harbi. The militia has advertised such activities in social media output.

LiwaSayfMahdisecuritySayyidaZainab

LiwaSayfMahdisecuritySayyidaZainab(2)
Photos posted on a page for Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi in February 2015 showing Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi members managing a checkpoint in the Sayyida Zainab area. Note the unique Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi insignia in the form of the armpatches the personnel are wearing. The poster in the latter photo with portraits of Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad reads: “An Ummah that has been blessed. You are its leaders. The soldiers of al-Assad.”

Besides responsibility for internal security in the Sayyida Zainab area, the militia has claimed to have fought in defence of the country’s petroleum assets. This role has mainly entailed fighting in the Homs desert in defence of these resources against the Islamic State in areas such as the Sha’er oil and gas field.

LiwaSayfMahdiShaerfieldFeb2015
“One of the heroes of Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi in al-Sha’er field”- photo posted in February 2015. Note his Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi insignia.

LiwaSayfMahdiShaerfieldFeb2015(2)
Another photo from February 2015 featuring Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi fighters purportedly resting after fighting in the Sha’er field area.

In September 2015, Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi announced that a group of its fighters had been killed in the Jazal field in the Homs desert area, as per the graphic released below.

LiwaSayfMahdiJazalmartyrs

“In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful:

‘From the believers are men who have truthfully fulfilled what they pledged to God, for from them is the one who has fulfilled his vow and from them is the one who expects and they did not alter anything’ [Qur’an 33:23].

With all pride, contentment and taslim, we present to you the names of the pious hero martyrs from Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi who died defending the homeland in the Jazal oil field in the Homs countryside, and they are:

1. The hero martyr Hadi Razzaq Abd
2. The hero martyr Ala’ Sa’id al-Ali
3. The hero martyr Nouri Hamada Suleiman
4. The hero martyr Mahmoud Nasir al-Ali
5. The hero martyr Yaman Ghazi Halal

To their pure souls, may God have mercy on those whom He guides, Al-Fatiha.”

Details on who exactly these ‘martyrs’ are remain rather obscure though at least one of them can be readily identified elsewhere: Hadi Razzaq Abd (al-Sheibani). His name indicates that he was in fact of Iraqi origin, though he had apparently been residing in Syria.

HadiAbdRazzaqphoto(1)
Hadi Razzaq Abd posing in front of a poster for Iraqi Shi’i militia Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib.

HadiSheibanicoffin
‘Martyrdom’ portrait of Hadi Razzaq Abd, mentioning his Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi affiliation.

HadiSheibanitomb
Hadi Razzaq Abd’s tomb: according to it, he was born on 27 January 1998 and was killed on 17 September 2015. The person who posted these two photos and the previous image- going by the name of Karar al-Sheibani- also appears to be related to Yassin al-Habij, who was killed in September 2012 and portrayed at the time as a defender of the Sayyida Zainab shrine in Damascus and as being part of the ‘popular committees’ set up to defend the shrine. The concept of ‘popular committees’ to defend the Sayyida Zainab shrine was an important early manifestation of Shi’i militancy in Syria.

BaniSheibanmourning
Mourning in Iraq for Hadi Razzaq Abd by locals of the Banu Sheiban tribe (from which the name al-Sheibani comes). Photo also posted by Karar al-Sheibani.

More recently, in terms of operations, a private account posted photos claiming that Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi had participated in the recapture of Palmyra in the spring of 2016. Some photos put out as part of this claim are featured below:

13087834_111118029297978_2688369043873077947_n

13094287_111118515964596_1280369193542928418_n

13124731_111117692631345_1174135196728403934_n

Overall, Liwa Sayf al-Mahdi is a minor formation but is an interesting case of formal ties between the Syrian state and official military apparatus and Shi’i militancy. Such a framework ultimately helps give a more Syrian face to the development of Shi’i militias and the ‘Islamic Resistance’ in Syria.

Comments (60)


Syrialover said:

For years now we keep getting so many detailed, excited accounts of so many different militia groups by young Aymenn Tamimi.

So many. The supply seems to have no limit or end.

I often wonder if some of these guys belong to 3 or 4 militia groups, some of these groups have several different names, and some merge and mix and float off after a couple of weeks, depending where the loot and payout lies.

Anyway, lots of faces and names now on file for later recriminations, war crimes investigations and denial of refugee status in the west.

Does he think about that while acting as a starstruck publicist?

August 6th, 2016, 11:35 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Militias led by religious zealots whether shia or Sunni are a reflection of how backward and confused arabs and Muslims have become. Civilized people are loyal to their countries and to universal values not to their sects or religious figures.
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

August 6th, 2016, 11:58 pm

 

Abdel said:

Iran invasion the world next well be Israiel and gulf

August 7th, 2016, 4:18 am

 

mjabali said:

Syria “lover”

Stop harassing a hard working writer like Ayman Jawwad al-Tammimi….

If what he writes does not fit your agenda: you could read other news outlets that match your ideas…it is very simple and could guarantee you happiness….

August 7th, 2016, 6:43 am

 

Mina said:

We hear the French news rejoycing of the ‘rebels’ victory, while admitting they were helped by the djihadist groups. They failed to mention the use of at least half a dozen suicide commandos. This seems to be a war tactic some readers of this website are encouraging.

August 7th, 2016, 7:06 am

 

ghufran said:

النشيد الوطني للنكاح
youtube it and laugh or cry.
The National Nikah Anthem should be a required view for all prospective terrorists-to-be (ie: Mujahideen and Mujahidat).

August 7th, 2016, 2:30 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Assad again is using Phosphorus bomb, he used Napalm bomb , he used Sarin ,

Rebels expanding their control, in Aleppo, many prisoners are taken , and it is estimated that over 700 dead , 200 at least are among Rebels,

August 7th, 2016, 3:52 pm

 

Syrialover said:

MJABALI,

If anyone who thinks the tone and enthusiasm with which Tamimi writes up these sectarian-badged murder-and-looting squads is OK, they are welcome to join their fan club.

If this was a thorough, unbiased information piece he would have mentioned the reports that Shia militias who “recaptured” Palmyra this year (showcased above) carried out large scale looting and vandalism of civilian homes there.

At least Tamimi has quit filling his reports here with mega-images of corpses.

August 7th, 2016, 4:45 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Wow! Amazing twitter stat.

Our friend Omen (SC user) has long surpassed a quarter of a million* tweets! Must be some sort of record!

That’s dedication!

Well done and keep up the good work on bahalf of justice.

* 248,028 Tweets

https://mobile.twitter.com/omen_syria?p=s

August 7th, 2016, 5:22 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Rebels and their backers are not in the business of improving lives for Syrians but that was the excuse they used when they decided to take up arms, kill Syrian soldiers and increase division among Syrians. Judging by the outcome of their actions, Rebels get a flying F:
Millions of refugees, destroyed towns and a tired and poorer population. With ” friends” like these who needs enemies ?

August 7th, 2016, 8:22 pm

 

mjabali said:

Syria “lava”

You want Ayman Jawwad al-Tammimi to write about how the Shia Militia looted the homes of the people of Palmyra… no problem…I will try to hunt him down for you and get him to write you a very detailed list of all of the fridges, mattresses, TV’s, washing machines looted …no problem…

But, please could you ask Tara for me how did she knew Ihsani is Christian?

August 7th, 2016, 11:59 pm

 

ALAN said:

MJABALI
/how did she knew Ihsani is Christian?/
i support you in this Q about her super prophecy!

August 8th, 2016, 5:40 am

 

Tara said:

Alan an mjabali,

Yup. I told you I have superpowers . I know everything about you Alan and you mjabali too.:)

August 8th, 2016, 7:04 am

 

Tara said:

You missed me mjabali , didn’t you? You just want to hear something from me ..

August 8th, 2016, 7:09 am

 

ALAN said:

13. TARA
Equally!
From here mаybe seen all your skilet.

August 8th, 2016, 9:52 am

 

Uzair8 said:

‘Russia wants a strong regime in place not a person, while Iran insists on the person of Assad.’ – 27min – Elijah Magnier

https://mobile.twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/762749811292565504?p=p

There are differences in the regime camp and now the cracks are beginning to appear including in battlefield co-operation. Withdrawing support in one area to teach the other a lesson or prove a point.

The person of Assad is a particular stumbling block for them which is big enough to prevent moving forward smoothly and in cohesion.

Checkout Elijah’s tweets (+ convos) from the last hour:

https://mobile.twitter.com/EjmAlrai?p=s

August 8th, 2016, 5:07 pm

 

Tara said:

Alan ,

Batta knows me. No worries 🙂

August 8th, 2016, 8:01 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Naming the invasion of ramouseh after a criminal , Ibrahim Al-yousef, was not a mistake it was dedication, it showed who are the rebels and why they should not be allowed to win. Even Nadim Qtaish, a saudi media pimp, is uneasy about it:
نديم قطيش : تسمية عملية ” مدفعية الراموسة ” باسم ابراهيم اليوسف ” وصمة عار ” في جبين الثورة السوريه

August 9th, 2016, 2:45 am

 

Mina said:

Sane reading on the day of Turkxit
http://tinyurl.com/jsdullf
(Alastair Crooke)

At least on this move the Turks are right (and the EU is in complete disarray): why pretend to follow the US when the central countries of the Middle East (Egypt and KSA) are now pivoting to Russia?

August 9th, 2016, 5:30 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

قالو الجيش الحر انتهى و غير موجود ، و الان اثبت الجيش الحر انه الأهم و موجود

August 9th, 2016, 9:56 am

 

ALAN said:

With Professor Tim Anderson
https://youtu.be/2VBWEOhYMeI

August 9th, 2016, 9:58 am

 

AKbar Palace said:

For years now we keep getting so many detailed, excited accounts of so many different militia groups by young Aymenn Tamimi.

So many. The supply seems to have no limit or end.

Syrialover,

Yes, I’ve certainly noticed. Methinks this is a good gig for those who make their living identifying all the Syrian militias in existence. I still think it would help to have militia trading cards. Like Pokemon or baseball cards.

I often wonder if some of these guys belong to 3 or 4 militia groups, some of these groups have several different names, and some merge and mix and float off after a couple of weeks, depending where the loot and payout lies.

No doubt. I suppose it depends whose winning an who isn’t.

Anyway, lots of faces and names now on file for later recriminations, war crimes investigations and denial of refugee status in the west.

Nice idea. But I doubt it will amount to anything except, perhaps, a martyr photo.

Does he think about that while acting as a starstruck publicist?

I think he just has his eye on a nice military consultant job.

August 9th, 2016, 1:08 pm

 

watani sourya said:

SYRIA LOVER & CO !

YOU HAVE SOMETHING AGAINST “WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATIONS” OR “DENIAL OF REFUGEE STATUS” TO BLATANT SECTARIAN KILLERS ?

August 9th, 2016, 1:52 pm

 

Syrialover said:

WATAN SOURYA #23

I strongly support those things. (But what about you? Your comment is confusing.)

There are a number of facebook pages that identify and expose war criminals enjoying life as “refugees” in Europe.

They run photos of these guys strutting around in Europe next to photos from reports like Tamimi’s. This information and evidence is helpful to European immigration and security officials.

August 9th, 2016, 4:16 pm

 

Syrialover said:

For a stunning clear picture watch this.

A journalist giving evidence at the UN session on Aleppo on August 8 2016.

A reminder of the uncontrolled savagery and spite of the Assad regime.

World memories have faded of how it terrorized, bombed and smashed half of Aleppo into dust back in 2012. Work now continued by its Russian buddies.

August 9th, 2016, 4:46 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The uncontrolled savagery and spite of the Assad regime.

Let’s re-run and review it from the start.

It makes EHSAHNI’S selective version in the previous post feel … well, strange.

August 9th, 2016, 5:08 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Another monumental exercise in futility and failure. Hezbollah.

It’s now permanently lost its standing in the Arab world and painted itself into a corner with no chance of actually succeeding anywhere.

Article: “As its war in Syria drags on Hizbollah faces many crises”

Excerpts:

The organisation has gone from a pan-Arab movement enjoying wide support to a sectarian militia promoting Iran’s controversial agenda. In March this year, Hizbollah was labelled a terrorist organisation by the Arab League, following a similar decision by the European Union.

The organisation has also faced challenges in Lebanon. During recent municipal elections, the communist party and leftist independents managed to garner an unprecedented number of votes in Hizbollah’s southern fiefdom. Many did not abide by Hizbollah’s edict to vote for the party.

It has to preserve a semblance of stability in Lebanon, fight a costly sectarian war in Syria, and ensure it is still capable of fighting Israel, while maintaining its popular base. Unless the organisation is capable of achieving total victory on one of these fronts, its popular base will be placed under increasing strain and eventually reach a tipping point. The question remains when that will be.

http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/as-its-war-in-syria-drags-on-hizbollah-faces-many-crises

NOTE: The article outlines how Israel has been striking it in Syria with impunity but Hezbollah pathetically blames rebels for these losses.

August 9th, 2016, 5:34 pm

 

Syrialover said:

MINA #19

Let all those places pivot, pivot away towards Russia.

A country with an economy the size of Spain’s – and shrinking.

A country controlled by a corrupt dictator. A nasty little man who is bluffing, puffing and strutting his country into an international confrontation that is way out of its league.

A military mediocrity that can’t even secure half of Aleppo against amateur non-united forces despite putting its full strength into it. (“Pity poor Aleppo as Putin drops his bombs to salvage Russia’s pride” – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/07/aleppo-putin-russia-afghan-syria?CMP=share_btn_tw.

Let those countries join Putin’s Loser League and get smeared with the distrust, dislike and disrespect – and eventual total disregard – the world feels for him. He’s got no money, no positive status, nothing real to offer.

It says everything about Putin that the only card he has to play is his brutal destruction of Syria.

August 9th, 2016, 7:55 pm

 

mjabali said:

Syrian “lava”

You are not a Syrian and still adopting the anti Shia stance the Jihadis espouse.

August 9th, 2016, 7:55 pm

 

Mjabali said:

Tara is trying to play around instead of telling us how she knew Ihsani is Christian.

August 9th, 2016, 7:56 pm

 

mjabali said:

The Free Syrian Army should not fight along with al-Nusra, Jizb al-Tahrir al-Turkistani and the rest of this type of garbage…

August 9th, 2016, 8:00 pm

 

Syrialover said:

MJABALI,

I respect you and am disappointed to see your outbursts.

You seem to see this war as an abstract arena to fill with all kinds of angry, bitter prejudices. Obsessing about people’s religion and so on. Not looking at their actions and responsibilities for what has happened – or for stopping it from continuing.

What about human beings?

I have family in the regime zone in Aleppo. Do you know the feelings of sickness and panic and helplessness watching from the outside? I am not a special case, it is what all Syrians now live with, every day for years.

We just want it to STOP.

Don’t you?

August 9th, 2016, 8:44 pm

 

Ghufran said:

There was a time when I understood why some Syrians will take up arms but that time is gone. Syrians who allied themselves with terrorists and kill young syrian soldiers are traitors at most and criminals at best, I support pardoning those who quit but can not understand how some of you believe that Nusra could be a negotiating partner. Having a bad regime is not a justification to fight under Nusra banner. The so called FSA now only exists on Facebook and on blogs like this one, everybody with a gun in Syria who is shooting at the army is an islamist, some are terrorists in the making (on diet ) but most are estsblished terrorist thugs. Erdogan will definitely has to pay something to please Putin and part of the payment is in Syria, not sure how far can Erdo go without causing Saudi ruling mafia’s hemorrhoids to flare up.

August 9th, 2016, 11:09 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Both sides are preparing for the next decisive battle in Aleppo

This battle is so important, it will decide the fate of Syria

August 10th, 2016, 5:04 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Egypt economy is deteriorating , this most likely will be on the front news in the next few months

الجيش السوري هو ليس جيش وطني ، هو جيش الاسد المكون من مرتزقة طائفية ،شبيحة و حزب الله و عراقيين و ايرانيين ، هو جيش خان وطنه و شعبه لخدمة نذل و خدمة ايران، المعركة القادمة ستذل حزب الله الذي هو جيش للدفاع عن مصالح ايرانية

August 10th, 2016, 6:39 am

 

ALAN said:

UK troops have been photographed operating in Syria they are surrounded in Aleppo with officers from Pindostan, KSA, and Israhell , Now the f-n warmonger Britches PM wants to talk to Putin. UK needs to get out of Syria, they have not been invited by the Syrian Government nor do they have a UN mandate. Operating in Syria illegally could make a case for compensation once the conflict is over.

August 10th, 2016, 11:29 am

 

ALAN said:

Rotting agency,with stinking heads
Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to “pay the price.”’ – ex-CIA chief
https://www.rt.com/usa/355291-morrell-kill-russians-clinton/

August 10th, 2016, 12:16 pm

 
 

Uzair8 said:

*** Happy 41st Birthday to Her Excellency the First Lady of the Syrian Arab Republic. ***

https://mobile.twitter.com/Navsteva/status/762062521268375552?p=p

August 11th, 2016, 4:50 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Russia is in a QUAGMIRE. Obama was right.

Iran is deeply embroiled in it’s own ‘VIETNAM’.

Hezbollah is in big TROUBLE.

Hezbollah was born in Lebanon, fostered in Iran; and will soon be buried in Syria.
– Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi – May 2013

https://mobile.twitter.com/Shaykhabulhuda/status/338445767444398080

August 11th, 2016, 4:59 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

If you thought Omen’s (quarter-million) twitter tally was huge, think again.

This rabid regimist (a pakistani) is miles ahead.

https://mobile.twitter.com/dr_shahid?lang=en-gb

August 11th, 2016, 7:03 pm

 

Ghufran said:

It looks like Erdu will sell the Rebels to mend relations with Russia to make a buck and stop the Kurds. Disagreement over Assad remains if you believe the press, but I think Erdu is looking for a face-saving exit hoping that the regime will lose Aleppo so he can argue that Assad is unable to rule. Aleppo as a whole is too big of a meal for Nusra and Ashrar alsham
to swallow.

August 11th, 2016, 10:24 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

.

The shift in Turkey Alliance is due to the hostile policy that Obama chose,, Obama made serious mistake toward Erdogan and the democracy in Turkey , and that Obama policy is the what should be blamed for Turkey -USA deteriorating relations ,

Turkey improved relations with Russia is intended only to face PKK and PYD attempt to create a Kurdish state to isolate Turkey from the Arab states, this long ,narrow corridor is a wedge between Turkey and Syria , this state is not Kurdish but Arabic, the population are Arab , so it will not succeed and is doomed to fail.

If USA wants to keep any good relations with Turkey US must change its policy , Change its policy advisors and change of Obama

August 12th, 2016, 1:20 am

 

Passerby said:

Erdogan merely lost in Syria. Assad beat him.

He has to do something. Darn convenient coup, since the defeat is about to become clear. As for Russia, if you cross Russia, you pay a penalty, if you cross the US, they give you more money.

Crawling on his knees to Iran too. Looking for a way to make the best of his humiliating defeat there too. Stab the “rebels” in the back just right and Iran may let him save face.

August 12th, 2016, 9:24 pm

 

Passerby said:

…It’s all about domestic politics now. What will keep him in power.

Internationally, the entire planet was mad at him. Everyone. Even ISIS had abandoned him.

Assad is the strong man, Erdogan is the weak man.

August 12th, 2016, 9:32 pm

 

Mina said:

Erdo is fed up of being the guy doing the dirty job of the white man (not to mention the Gulfies who range #1 for cowardice, but what else should be expected from people who always had to rely on slaves and slave-trade). From now on he will let the EU deal with the mess it created. Expect a new guantanamo to open up in your neighborhood soon. And don’t forget yo drop a tear on democracy

http://tinyurl.com/hhcmyu8

August 13th, 2016, 5:35 am

 

Tara said:

Since passerby joined SC, all what he concludes at the end is ” Assad wins, everyone else loses” even after Aleppo loss

If this is not a mental problem , what is?

August 13th, 2016, 7:41 am

 

Hopeful said:

#40 Uzair8

Meanwhile, in America, the stock market reached record highs, the housing market recovered to pre-recession levels, unemployment is at a record low, the dollar is stronger than ever, gas prices are lower than they have been in more than a decade, and the country is less dependent on foreign oil than ever! Who is laughing now Mr. Putin?

August 13th, 2016, 11:16 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

أهل الفتنة هم من تجدهم في كل فتنة ،هم الفتنيون، و زعيم أهل فتنة حسن نصر الله لم يجد في حلب ما يفتخر فيه، فهاجم اسرائيل، فبدا سخيفا
Fitaniyoon, are those that you find them behind every sedition, Fitna, and their leader Hassan Nasrallah today , has found nothing to brag about in Aleppo, so he attacked Israel , he appeared so silly talking about fighting Israel, while his terrorists soldiers are fighting in Aleppo

August 13th, 2016, 2:23 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Rajab Tayyep Erdogan was received in Moscow with full respect and appreciation like a strong leader, while we all remember Assad was smuggled secretely , and received in humiliating reception by Putin

August 13th, 2016, 2:37 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

The American Turkish relations are bound to deteriorate as long as Obama is still president , reflecting failed foreign policy by reluctant indecisive president like Obama, while improving economic conditions in US has nothing to do with Obama and has everything to do with the independent federal reserve , we still hear people support Obama.
As for the next election , we have two candidates who are bad choices, I do not think that choosing one evil who is less evil than the other is correct choice, it is important now to have different choice

August 13th, 2016, 2:51 pm

 

Ghufran said:

The same people and countries who tolerated and covered for isis are introducing Nusra as an alternative to win the war against Assad and his allies. The truth is that rebels and their backers are terrorists or terrorists cheer leaders. You can not make chicken soup out of chicken poop.
The FSA only exists on Facebook and blogs. The answer to Assad is not Nusra but a grand settlement that leads to elections and includes a compromise where all parties get something to sell as a victory, however in the arab and islamic world conflicts last longer than what they should and only end when one side loses. The last terrorists propaganda that is being promoted by rebels media is a statement by a Nusra chief which claims that Alqaeda was not bad for Greater Syria (Bilad Al-sham).
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

August 13th, 2016, 10:07 pm

 

Passerby said:

Well, Tara, I suppose it’s a matter of probability. If nothing else, like Schrodinger’s Cat, it’s neither one or the other until we look. But I think it’s a safe bet that when we review this later, in the war in Syria, Assad won. Not that any sane or moral person won in Syria. Aleppo is still gone. Will he control the entire country? Seems unlikely. He gets his Alawite state, with those big cities thrown in.

Erdogan? He’s a dictator now, so he will continue in power for some time. And since that’s his priority, not Turkey, it’s not a complete disaster. He’s crawling on his belly like a reptile to Russia and Iran, Assad is next. He’s going to have to live next door to Assad. After all, there’s no international rule that he gets to send in terrorists to Syria and Assad can’t do the same thing to Turkey. It’s NATO standing behind him. And the way he’s going, he may not have that much longer.

August 13th, 2016, 10:16 pm

 

Passerby said:

Reuters video of the citizens of Manbij celebrating being rescued from ISIS…they don’t seem to be particularly concerned about them being Kurds.

http://www.reuters.com/video/2016/08/13/elation-in-syrias-manbij-after-islamic-s?videoId=369563902&newsChannel=topNews

August 13th, 2016, 10:36 pm

 

Hopeful said:

Whatever happened to Haytham Manaa? He stopped showing up in the media since April. Something must be cooking.

August 14th, 2016, 12:07 am

 

ALAN said:

54. PASSERBY
Are you praising the taste and flavor of the American-Israeli cooking?
The map Oded Yanon will not be implemented in Syria. Never.

August 14th, 2016, 7:20 am

 
 

Observer said:

Israel must be terrified

August 14th, 2016, 8:51 am

 

ALAN said:

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressed speech to Daash only to be heard from those gray ppl who are running Daash , and only for this reason!

August 14th, 2016, 9:57 am

 

Ghufran said:

Why it is taking 5 years for some people to understand that losing Syria to the GCC and the Muslim brotherhood is not an option for Russia?
قال فيصل القاسم، إن أهمية سوريا بالنسبة لروسيا تتجاوز ما يمكن أن يصفه البعض بنظام، أو معارضة أو حتى الشعب فالموضوع أكبر من ذلك بكثير ،“الاستثمار الروسي في سوريا استثمار استراتيجي هائل : “سوريا بالنسبة للروس هي ممر الغاز الروسي . ولا ننسى ان حقول الغاز العظيمة في المياه السورية أصبحت تحت سيطرة روسيا لمدة نصف قرن بعد توقيعها اتفاق لاستخراج الغاز من الأراضي والمياه السورية”.
وتابع : “اللعبة الدولية في سوريا أكبر بكثير من نظام ومعارضة وحتى شعب. نحن السوريين كلنا مجرد تفاصيل بسيطة في مشهد دولي أكبر منا جميعاً”.
I think it is a strategic mistake for rebels to join Nusra. The opposition clearly prefers Clinton over Trump but betting on a Clinton win is a gamble, even if she wins she will be restrained by a reluctant congress and a skeptical public opinion. Rebels and the anti regime camp should focus on a regime change without Nusra because as soon as Nusra wins all other factions will be out.
Syrians may want Assad regime out but they did not vote for Nusra and the muslim brotherhood.

August 14th, 2016, 4:32 pm

 

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