Sham al-Islam: Its Project and Promise in Healing the Wounded Lands of the Levant

Sham al-Islam: Its Project and Promise in Healing the Wounded Lands of the Levant
Translated by Daniel Abdullah  @Daniel_Abdullah
For Syria Comment, March 27, 2014

Here is the recent statement of the Emir of Sham al-Islam, Brahim Benchekroune (a.k.a. Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir and sometimes called Abu Ahmad al-Maghrabi) a veteran Moroccan jihadist and former Guantanamo inmate.  Sham al-Islam was formed during the August 2013 campaign into the coastal region of Syria around Salma. In a foundation statement published on Youtube on August 18, 2013 Benchekroune stated: “We consider democracy to be kufr against God Almighty and a doctrine that is in contradiction to God’s sharia,” Sham al-Islam has played a significant role in the Anfal campaign around Kassab of March 2014. The Sham al-Islam movement has a large North African contingent. [written by Joshua Landis]

[Addendum March 28] The following video was published by Sham al-Islam after this posted. It is a well produced documentary, explaining how Sham al-Islam has been planning the Anfal campaign around Kassab ever since the al-Salma campaign of August 2013. They believe that Assad is preparing an ethnic enclave along the coast in fulfillment of the French plan, devised during the Mandate period, to build an Alawite state. His military campaigns to destroy Alawite power along the coast are designed to thwart this effort, which would lead to the emergence of another minority state separating the coastal region from its Islamic and Arab heartland, much as has already occurred with the establishment of Israel and Lebanon. Abu Ahmed the Moroccan speaks to us in this video about two-thirds of the way through.

The following video depicts Sham al-Islam fighters (many foreign) near Kassab. The leader, Abu Ahmed the Moroccan, is narrating. “Today we have become men.” He adds: Our enemies are the “rus, hundus wa majous”. It rhymes: “Russians, Hindus, and Majii (Iranians, which includes Alawis).

Sham al-Islam Youtube Statement Posted March 27, 2014
The following video has been translated below by Daniel Abdullah

Thanks to Allah, who helps the people who have been wronged and made weak, who is able to prevail over the lawless and unjust, and who supports those who attempt to reform what has been distorted by the enemies of religion. May peace, grace and blessings be upon the one who was sent as mercy to the world with a book that guides toward what is right and a sword that brings victory. May the same be upon his family, his companions and all those who have followed them well – in speech, deed and in manners – all the way through to the Day of Judgement.

Our Islamic Umma has suffered from long decades of injustice and tyranny.[1] It has been led astray by incorrect interpretations, on the one hand, and by a despicable adherence to Zionist-Masonic powers of oppression, on the other. It has been ruled by the iron fist of traitorous agents [of the West], who have pledged their lives to serve the interests of the enemies of our religion and Umma. It follows that the oppressed masses who have been misled and have had to pay the price as a result of successive campaigns of ignorance, dispossession and unprecedented injustice. Only a select few managed to escape from these campaigns. They formed the first line of resistance and gladly offered their hearts and blood and their time and thoughts in defence of the honour of the Umma – each according to their position and to what Allah made them aware of. Among these pioneers are preachers, reformers, scholars and scientists. We believe that those who have worked sincerely will be compensated. They will be granted in proportion to what they have offered or will be granted the double.[2]

Among those who have worked for the religion of Allah has been a group dedicated to fight for Him, a group that has waged Jihad with both their lives and money. They have fought the enemy who roamed freely in their lands. They wasted no effort in explaining and advising. With their efforts, Allah has saved the lives, (ard) honor and financial means of many people; He has brought out what is right.[3] Consequently, people were made aware of the betrayal of their leaders and of the lowness of the schemes spun against them.

The righteous dawn has arrived, the beginnings of the Umma regaining its freedom from the shackles of tyrants and the bonds of slavery are quivering on the horizon, the contrived gap between the Jihadi front and the rest of the Umma is being bridged; all this by virtue of the uprisings of our people against the regime of injustice and tyranny. The people have broken the wall of fear and have announced the beginning of a new era on the way to ultimate victory.

In this important historical context, the movement of Sham al-Islam has arisen from the lands of the wounded Levant – currently undergoing a blessed revolution against the criminal Nusayri regime, which has debased both worldly and religious pursuits and was unjust towards Muslim possessions and lives.[4]

Our movement was established to strengthen those who are right and the knights of Jihad. It is a breath of fresh air in the sail of Jihad, meant to empower and develop Jihad. It will enable this blessed revolution such that it does not allow it to be lost to the snares of Jahiliya that strive to entrap it under the roof of international legitimacy and within the borders of Sykes-Picot.[1]

Sham al-Islam strives to eliminate all that stands between the Umma and the Jihadi Front. No matter the source: people, terminology, groups or factional politics, we will work to thwart it. Sham al-Islam calls for a commitment to unity on Allah’s righteous terms that leads to the rule of His fair Sharia and that ensures access to a happy life on earth and paradise in the afterlife.

We strive to fight off the injustice that has been inflicted on our wronged people in Syria. We are prepared to sacrifice our lives and all that we possess to achieve this goal. We are bent on unity according to Allah’s laws, and on strengthening them by a totalitarian approach that addresses all the requirements of our current stage of development, such as Jihad, preaching, and tackling public needs. In all this we intend to follow the example of the mercy sent from Allah, may peace be upon him.

We ask Allah the Almighty and Exalted to grant us honesty and dedication, to show us the ways of righteousness, and to make us a building block for the approaching Caliphate that is built upon the example of the Prophet.

[1] Jahiliya – جاهليّة refers to the “Age of Ignorance” that preceded the revelation of the Qur’an, when Arabs were pagans. In this context, Abu Hamza is, presumably, referring to democracy and the acceptance “man-made” laws, which Salafists consider, en bloc, a central antithesis to Islam.

[1] Umma – أمّة is used to denote the wider Islamic society.

[2] Here, Abu Hamza is referring to an Islamic principle of divine compensation. If a Muslim studies a situation for which there is no precedent and reaches the correct conclusion and acts upon it, he has a double reward. If, however, his conclusion is wrong – according to the religious values of absolute right and wrong – but his effort was honest, he receives a single reward.

[3] Ard – عرض is an Arabic word that refers to worldly possessions عرض الدنيا or to a man’s lineage and his family. In colloquial Arabic, it refers to his female relatives who are seen as part of the honour he is bound to defend.

[4] Nusayri – نصيري is pejorative reference to Alawites. It originates from the name of the founder of their religion, Mouhammad bin Nusayr, and is used to suggest that they follow a man made religion. For the same reason, Muslims prefer not to be called Muhammadans because they do not believe that Muhammad is the founder of Islam.

The Arabic transcription of the video follows

الحمد لله ناصر المستضعفين وقاهر الجبابرة المارقين ومعين المصلحين لما خرّبه أعداء الدين، والصلاة والسلام على المبعوث رحمة للعالمين بكتاب يهدي وسيف ينصر، وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين، ومن تبعهم قولا وعملا وخلقا بإحسان إلى يوم الدين، أما بعد:

فقد عانت أمتنا الإسلامية لعقود طويلة من الظلم والاستبداد، وتاهت بين المناهج المنحرفة، والتبعية المقيتة لقوى الطغيان الصهيوماسوني، وحُكمت بقبضة من حديد من طرف عملاء خائنين، نذروا حياتهم لخدمة أعداء الدين والأمة، وكان ذلك على حساب الشعوب المقهورة، التي ضاعت وسط الحملات المتتالية من التجهيل والتشريد والقمع المنقطع النظير. ولم يسلم من هاته الحملات سوى طائفة من الناس، شكّلوا حائط الصد الأول، ووهبوا دون كرامة الأمّة دماءهم ومهجهم، أوقاتهم وأفكارهم، كل حسب موقعه وما هداه الله إليه – دعاة ومصلحين، علماء ومفكرين. ونحسب أن كل صادق منهم كان بين الأجر والأجرين.
ومن بين هؤلاء العاملين لدين الله، انبرت عصابة من أبناء هذه الأمة للقتال في سبيل الله تعالى، وجاهدت بالمال والنفس لدفع العدوّ الصائل على أراضيها، ولم تأل جهداً في البيان والنصح، فحفظ الله بها النفس والعرض والمال، وأظهر على أيديها الحق فبان للناس خيانة حاكميهم وخساسة المخططات التي حيكت لهم.
بزغ الفجر الصادق، ولاحت على الأفق بوادر تحرر الأمة من أغلال الأنداد وقيود العبيد، وتقلصت الفجوة المدبّرة بينها وبين طليعتها المجاهدة، وانتفضت شعوبها ضد أنظمة الظلم والاستبداد، مكسّرة حاجز الخوف، معلنة مرحلة جديدة على ضرب النصر والتمكين. في هذا السياق التاريخيّ الهام، ومن أرض الشام الجريحة – التي تشهد ثورة مباركة ضد النظام النصيري المجرم، الذي أفسد الدين والدنيا، وصال على أعراض المسلمين ودمائهم، نشأت حركة شام الإسلام، لتقوية شوكة أهل الحق وفرسان الجهاد، ولتبث نفساً جديداً في التيار الجهادي – تطويراً وتمكيناً له من احتضان هذه الثورة المباركة، واستيعابها لكي لا تستنزف وتضيع وسط سبل وأنفاق جاهلية تروم إبقاءها تحت سقف الشرعيّة الدولية وحدود سايكس بيكو.
كما تسعى حركة شام الإسلام لرفع كل ما من شأنه أن يحول بين الأمة وطليعتها المجاهدة من حواجز وعقبات أياً كان باعثها، أشخاصاً أو مسميّات، جماعات أو تنظيمات وتدعو للاعتصام بحبل الله على أساس تحكيم شرع الله العادل، الذي فيه سعة الدنيا ونعيم الآخرة.
نسعى جاهدين لرفع الظلم والقهر الذي لحق بأهلنا المستضعفين في سوريا باذلين في سبيل ذلك أرواحنا ودماءنا وكل ما نملك بالاعتصام بحبل الله المتين، وتقويته بطرح شموليّ يمسّ كل متطلبات المرحلة من جهاد ودعوة وتدبير لشؤون الناس على منهاج الرحمة المهداة عليه الصلاة والسلام – سائلين المولى عز وجل الصدق والإخلاص وأن يلهمنا سبل الرشاد ويجعلنا لبنة في صرح الخلافة القادمة على منهاج النبوة. وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين.

Comments (108)

Ghufran said:

I do not know how erdugang will survive this scandal :
A leaked recording of top turkish army and intelligence officials With Oglu surfaced on YouTube. The video exposed sensitive details about Turkish direct involvement in Syria’s war and plans for upcoming military operations in Syria.
The ikhwanji government in Turkey responded by blocking YouTube after doing the same with twitter .
أمان ربي أمان طلعت الريحه يا إخوان
I will try to get the recording and post it here if I do not see it today on this site.

March 27th, 2014, 1:16 pm


Uzair8 said:

Rebels, once they have captured Tower-45, must immediately head further into Latakia, ignoring Hill-49, focus on Area-51, where I suspect Assad is hiding out…

March 27th, 2014, 3:07 pm


Uzair8 said:

And what the hell are rebels swimming in the mediterranean for anyhow? Shouldn’t they be wasting no time in rapidly constructing a naval base (FSN – Free Syria Navy)?

They can’t be far from Tartous (base)? Within swimming distance? Oh, maybe that’s why they’re swimming…

In that case I apologise for my harsh opening words…

March 27th, 2014, 3:17 pm


Uzair8 said:

I read Abu Sakkar is heading to the heart of Assad territory, Qardaha.

March 27th, 2014, 3:31 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


“…They (Tara et al.) are desperate for the war to end, but they know it can only end in a negotiated settlement or military defeat”.

No. The suffering Syrians in Syria want a negotiated settlement. Tara wants the head of Assad, chopped at any price.

This is no longer a “Syrian uprise”. Now it is a Jihadi campaign. I’m afraid that you will miss Assad very soon.

March 27th, 2014, 4:47 pm


ALAN said:
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

March 27th, 2014, 4:51 pm


ALAN said:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday denounced as “villainous” the leaking of a recording of top security officials discussing possible military action in Syria to the video-sharing site YouTube.
Turkish authorities ordered a shutdown of the site.

March 27th, 2014, 5:31 pm


ALAN said:

The Saudis knew that attempts to destroy Brotherhood branches in the region would be futile as long as the Brotherhood leadership ruled from Egypt?

March 27th, 2014, 6:11 pm


Syrialover said:

AMIR IN TEL AVIV (#6, and posts in previous thread),

OK you stick with your version, which is that the suffering Syrians should just accept indefinite hopeless suffering and “negotiate” with Assad.

They should agree to roll over in the ruins, magically manage to respect and trust the Assad regime, and agree to accept whatever that illegal, primitive regime has done and will do in future to their country and its citizens.

Their future a black hole, their lives governed by terror and corruption, living without economic hope or funds to rebuild. Their country a trophy for the terrorist “government” of Iran, becoming a no-go horror zone like North Korea and an outcast from the civilized world.

But your point is meaningless anyway. At what stage in the last 3 years has the Assad regime demonstrated any interest in negotiating?

March 27th, 2014, 6:18 pm


ALAN said:

Dear Professor J.Landis!
Please stop this farce led by Syrialover toward constructive comments.
The forum has become under the mercy of the Association of haters! This is unreasonable!!!

March 27th, 2014, 6:29 pm


Syrialover said:


I note your further version is that what is happening in Syria is now just a Jihadi campaign.

That version is a cruel insult to the people of Syria.

You’ll find a wide understanding out there that while Assad stays so will the jihadis.

Assad regime = the conditions that are encouraging and enabling jihadis to operate.

March 27th, 2014, 6:39 pm


ALAN said:

Are U logistic officer?

March 27th, 2014, 6:51 pm


Tara said:

Dear SL,

Thank you for your post on the previous thread. Amir sits in a “chosen” armchair or at least that is what he thinks. As you said, he can switch his views anytime he likes and has done just that in the past. A luxury that Syrians do not have. In what he thinks a “well chosen” armchair, he offered support to Russia occupying Crimea, or at least he expressed تشفي in what is happening to the Ukrainian people because their great grandfathers hated his great grandfathers.. A logic not very different than HA Shia fighters who are killing Syrians to exert a 1400 years old revenge.

In the same chair, while he is watching the Syrian channel, he rates the degree of evilness that he likes the people in Syria to observe. And just before he changes channel, he expressed his chosen opinion in regard to our sacred revolution.

Amir, I do not have patience for back and forth with you. طبيعتي ملولة وخلقي بيضيق بسرعة And I think you sit in a ugly chair.

March 27th, 2014, 6:52 pm


Observer said:

Ghuf are you not ashamed when you think that Erdogan may not survive a scandal and at the same time root for a regime that has nothing but scandalous barbaric behavior as a record? At least Erdogan will leave at the ballot box not in a coffin or on a plane like the Arab regime rulers do regularly.


March 27th, 2014, 7:04 pm


omen said:

here, demand from this 11 year old girl whose parents were killed what her solutions are to solve syria.

you can shout at her “where are your plans?”

Angelina Jolie puts spotlight on Syrian refugees

cnn video

March 27th, 2014, 7:20 pm


omen said:

6. Amir in Tel Aviv said: This is no longer a “Syrian uprise”. Now it is a Jihadi campaign. I’m afraid that you will miss Assad very soon.

there we have it. the truth bubbles to the surface. translation: amir prefers assad to the imagined alternative. a viewpoint various israeli officials themselves have been brazen enough to publicly acknowledge. the immoral “assad is the devil we know” argument.

nevermind assad is nothing but a puppet for iran. nevermind extremist mercenaries acting under the cover of jihadism are either regime moles – or – as even US dept of treasury acknowledges: iran is funding alqaeda.

iran acts as the covert arsonist fueling mayhem across the region which serves to taint the image of sunnis as radicals, especially in the eyes of the west – just so iran can posture as the firefighter savior in comparison. the “moderate” shia regime will save the day. a narrative iran media peddles and one that western media has been more than willing to echo unchallenged.

the calculus presented isn’t assad vs jihadists. it is iran versus a liberated syrian population.

is iran really your preferred partner, amir? because that is what you are advocating when you bother to look past the camouflage.

must syrians remain in bondage forever for the sake of preservation of the state of israel? why must your safety depend on the oppression of others? i cant think of anything more selfish.

March 27th, 2014, 8:15 pm


Tara said:


“iran acts as the covert arsonist fueling mayhem across the region which serves to taint the image of sunnis as radicals, especially in the eyes of the west – just so iran can posture as the firefighter savior in comparison. the “moderate” shia regime will save the day. a narrative iran media peddles and one that western media has been more than willing to echo unchallenged.”

Brilliant! That is exactly it. That is the line kept repeated by Iranian-paid propagandists. under different names and disguise. Iran fueling mayhem to posture as the “moderate” Shiaa regime will save the day.

March 27th, 2014, 8:35 pm


Akbar Palace said:


The American civil war took 600,000 lives.

Was it worthwhile? Feel free to ask any american.

March 27th, 2014, 9:06 pm


Ghufran said:

There is no truth to the claims that terrorists in northern Latakia made advances there.
Point 45 is still under army control while rebels continue to try to make sense of a battle that proves to be very expensive and less likely to lead to any major change in the battle lines. Turkish Othmani clowns are in hot water now because the Turkish army, so far, has refused to send tanks or military jets inside Syria and that refusal can end the latest adventure by jihadists much sooner than anticipated.
Another problem is the leak which clearly shows that Erdugang mafia is seriously penetrated by people who are opposed to their Syria’s policy, blocking YouTube will only make things worse for the ikhwanji sultan desire to stay in power. His image received a beating and that may prompt him to make a last minute attempt to start a war that will be disastrous for Turkey.

March 27th, 2014, 9:15 pm


mjabali said:

Turkey is a country that hurt the Syrians for a long time. They continue to do so. The events in Lattakia is an example of the direct involvement of Turkey in Syria.

The world must take notice of how Turkey let those jihadists come in and how Turkey helps these Jihadists. kill people right and left

March 27th, 2014, 9:25 pm


Syrialover said:


Americans who know anything about the origins and outcome of their civil war see it as the necessary price paid to create a civilized functional nation state.

The fight was a lot about stopping slavery. Just like the current Syrian civil war – which is a fight against the enslavement and “ownership” of Syria by the illegitimate Assad regime.

March 27th, 2014, 9:57 pm


Observer said:

No one hurt the Syrians more than the mafia brutal barbaric corrupt depraved criminal regime exemplified by the regime and its supporters in and outside of the country.

Shameless blaming will never exonerate the guilty

March 27th, 2014, 10:09 pm


Syrialover said:


Any concerns about the renewed accusations by US authorities that Tehran is harbouring some key al Qaeda figures who are helping fighters in Syria?

Iran sees an alliance with al Qaeda as useful for putting pressure on the west and Israel.

The Mullahs are that irrational. And indifferent to what happens to Syrians.

March 27th, 2014, 10:12 pm


apple_mini said:

When someone makes attempt to compare the Syria war to American civil war, you can smell that flagrant ignorance of history and reality having stinking out this forum.

Most Syrians have reached their conclusion about the opposition and rebel supporters: They have become disposable by now for their intransigence on pushing the country further to total destruction and treating the country and the whole population as disposable in their opprobrious revolution.

March 27th, 2014, 10:20 pm


mjabali said:

Angry Observacion 1400:

Do not be mad if I did not respond to your هراء

Keep seeing things from one angle. The Syrian crisis has multiple players causing all of this damage. One of them is Turkey. Turkey is a country that let thousands of Jihadists (that observation 1400 can never see..) come to Syria and raise hell…

Today: there are hundreds of these Jihadis, who came through Turkey, fighting in Northern Lattakia….

March 27th, 2014, 10:41 pm


Mjabali said:

Syria “lover”

I do not believe what you wrote that Iran is manipulating al-Qa’ida. For me, this is a ludicrous claim and a type of a smoke screen not to see who are the real players in al-Qa’ida.

al-Qa’ida, and its subgroups, are Sunnis, if you did not know. So, if you say that Iran is controlling them, I do not believe this. It is against all forms of logic.

What you wrote is pure propaganda made by some Sunnis to link Iran to the sins of al-Qa’ida.

I do not believe any word you said about Iran and al-Qa’ida.

good luck selling this.

March 27th, 2014, 10:45 pm


mjabali said:

Observeracion 1400 is angry: why I did not tell him about my religion. As if it is his business.

He is also mad because I called him out when he called Alawism and Shiism “Stupid.”

He tried to divert the attention: but ALAS…he made a mess…he started talking about how Christianity is “stupid” and the “trinity…and so forth… He put his foot in his mouth again. Leave the faith of others mr. Obeservacion 1400. You are in no position to call other people’s faith “stupid.”

March 27th, 2014, 10:51 pm


Syrialover said:

APPLE_MINI #45 said it!! All Syrians who oppose the Assads are disposable!

Long before the crisis it was regularly observed on this forum and elsewhere that the Assad regime and its cronies regarded 80% of the population as irrelevant to their needs and aims. Their actions since 2012 proved the depth of truth in that.

The Assads regard all those who have been killed or fled as having no value and good riddance. They were a burden and nuisance anyway. This “disposable” label also extends to most of the SAA and ordinary Alawites.

Assad and co for the past 40 years have only ever cared about keeping control of security and the country’s resources. And if they can’t have that, they will make sure neither will any other Syrians.

Hence “Assad or we burn the country”.

March 27th, 2014, 10:58 pm


Syrialover said:


You are shocked. But don’t try dismissing the claim that Iran is assisting al quaeda. It comes from the US Treasury. It’s in the latest Wall Street Journal, for example.

(The story is behind a pay wall but you can see part of it)

“Treasury’s Charge Sees Tehran Enabling al Qaeda in Syria”.

Search and you will see this is not a new claim by western authorities. You will find they have given names, dates and places in detail.

March 27th, 2014, 11:10 pm


Syrialover said:

And MJABALI if you believe it’s not possible because the Iranian “leaders” are fighting a purely sectarian battle, I suggest you read an essay I linked here recently.

It points out that the Iranian “government” does not represent Shia interests and ideology. They are just another regime pushing their weight around and interfering in the region to bolster their domestic status.

“The Myth Of The Shi’a Crescent”

March 27th, 2014, 11:18 pm


omen said:

remember earlier jordan acted to deny rebels from getting manpads.

Hussain AbdulHussain the American side compelled Jordan to shut down its border to arms shipments going to rebels in southern Syria.

statement made at the arab league.

Brahimi: No military solution in Syria, I call for stopping arms shipments to both sides.

March 28th, 2014, 12:07 am


omen said:

29. Syrialover said: APPLE_MINI #25 said it!! All Syrians who oppose the Assads are disposable!

omg…”hardly a massacre” managed to top himself.

25. apple_mini:

keep digging, pal.

you are so bright…such a shame. hard to believe you are this callous. what’s it going to take to win over your support? do you have be begged first? are you mad nobody first asked for your support?

please take back these ugly words. you cannot seriously endorse genocide.

March 28th, 2014, 12:44 am


Ghufran said:

Obama is said to have agreed to step up US involvement in Syria and that he will propose certain measures to KSA at his visit which are aimed at forcing Assad to change his mind about accepting a settlement on KSA terms.
As usual, American resources will be used and abused by foreigners who can not be trusted and have no intention to advance freedom and democracy in their own countries and abroad. If this new initiative fails Obama will conveniently withdraw claiming that the USA has no business interfering in a civil war in Syria and if the initiative bears fruits he will take credit for it, the end result is more blood shed and more destruction and potentially the partition of Syria along sectarian and ethnic lines, events in Sunni areas in Latakia today were limited and contained quickly but they highlight the potential for more serious cracks in syria’s last defense line against an Iraqi type partition plan, the trouble in Latakia was caused by angry alawites who were motivated by recent attacks on Latakia by nusra and other terrorist groups.
A lot will depend on how other involved nations especially Russia and Iran respond and how the Syrian army fairs in its attempt to secure Latakia, Damascus and few other hot spots. Nobody today seems interested in talking about Syriastan in areas like Raqqa and eastern provinces since jihadists dominate the scene there and are not likely to affect the fate of the regime unless they change their strategy and move west.
This is not a local or national conflict any more, Obama is yet to explain how he will sell this to us voters when most US reporters agree that the backbone of the rebels movement today is people who are anti American , anti Christian and are devout supporters of alqaida et al.

March 28th, 2014, 12:52 am


omen said:

27. Mjabali said: al-Qa’ida, and its subgroups, are Sunnis, if you did not know. So, if you say that Iran is controlling them, I do not believe this. It is against all forms of logic.

it’s well known iran supports hamas. even recently restored ties with them despite differences over syria. is hamas not sunni?

why is iran supporting hamas accepted as a norm but iran funding alqaeda is dismissed as nonsensical?

details from the US treasury report:

Treasury Department identifies another Iran-based facilitator for al Qaeda

In a series of designations released today, the US Treasury Department targets “a diverse set of entities and individuals located around the world for evading US sanctions against Iran, aiding Iranian nuclear and missile proliferation, and supporting terrorism.”

One of the newly designated individuals is a part of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network.

Treasury identifies Olimzhon Adkhamovich Sadikov (also known as Jafar al-Uzbeki and Jafar Muidinov) as an “Iran-based Islamic Jihad Union facilitator.” The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) is an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and both groups are closely allied with al Qaeda.

Sadikov “provides logistical support and funding to al Qaeda’s Iran-based network,” according to Treasury. He “serves as a key extremist smuggler based in Mashhad, Iran, near the country’s border with Afghanistan, and has provided visas and passports to numerous foreign fighters, including al Qaeda recruits, to facilitate their travel.” Sadikov has also “assisted extremists and operatives transiting Iran on their way into and out of Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

IJU and IMU operatives have long operated inside Iran. In September 2010, for example, Coalition and Afghan forces captured an IMU facilitator who was supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force.

The Treasury Department identifies Sadikov as “an associate of designated al Qaeda facilitator Yasin al Suri.” He has “provided funding to al Suri.”

The Treasury and State Departments first exposed al Suri’s role as the head of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network in 2011. Afterwards, the Iranian regime reportedly detained al Suri. He was then replaced by Muhsin al Fadhli, another longtime al Qaeda operative. At some point, however, the Iranians allowed al Suri, whose real name is Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, to return to work.

Al Suri has “resumed leadership of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network after being temporarily detained there in late 2011,” Treasury reports. This confirms recent reporting on al Suri’s return to al Qaeda’s operations.

“As head al Qaeda facilitator in Iran,” Treasury explains further, “Yasin al Suri is responsible for overseeing al Qaeda efforts to transfer experienced operatives and leaders from Pakistan to Syria, organizing and maintaining routes by which new recruits can travel to Syria via Turkey, and assisting in the movement of al Qaeda external operatives to the West.”

March 28th, 2014, 1:02 am


omen said:

21. mjabali said: Turkey is a country that hurt the Syrians for a long time. They continue to do so. The events in Lattakia is an example of the direct involvement of Turkey in Syria.

The world must take notice of how Turkey let those jihadists come in and how Turkey helps these Jihadists. kill people right and left

it’s not turkey whose at fault, it’s iran.

turkey is currently being attacked by ISIS. we can all guess who sent them.

3 policemen wounded in clash with ISIS in İstanbul

Gunmen linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the the Levant (ISIS) opened fire in İstanbul’s Ümraniye district, wounding three police officers, when counterterrorism units raided an address suspected of being a cell hosting ISIS fighters.

why would jihadists turn upon and attack their own benefactor? it’s doesnt make sense turkey would support extremists, as you claim, while being attacked by them at the same time.

March 28th, 2014, 1:13 am


omen said:

18. Tara

thank you kindly, tara. i gave myself a headache trying to get that out. i cant decide if frustration serves as inspiration or a hurdle.

March 28th, 2014, 1:26 am


ALAN said:

Attention of the Security Council!
Erdogan, having learned nothing from the backlash from his attempt to shut down Twitter, is trying to get the YouTube version of this video taken down.

March 28th, 2014, 2:23 am


Observer said:

Yes most of these creeds are stupid and irrelevant and have a world view that is incompatible with modernity.
Is not stupid when the Mufti of KSA declares that the earth is flat because in the Qoran it says ya itha alardu itha tahhaha
Is not stupid to believe that an Imam who went into a cave is going to return. Is not stupid to believe that God will kill the first borns in Egypt or that he will kill women and innocent children in a flood.
Yes to believe that Khamenei is infallible is stupid and to believe that Ali is God and Muhamad is the spirit and Salman is the Door is stupid. This is abracadabra.

I do not give a rat’s ass what Mjabali is all I can say is that when the fighting hits one group versus another it seems that his indignity is selective. Or perhaps he is ashamed of telling us what his religion is and what kind of family he grew up and what he was taught. His history lessons are of course an exercise in a one world view and an one narrative to aggrandize one’s importance and to dehumanize the other.

Renan was right: Nationalism is a skewed view of one’s history combined with utter contempt and dehumanization of the other in its extreme and ultimate form. This is because man is not that noble after all.

As for anger, once again the ultimate in self inflation and importance, for I am not angry, I am in contempt of the lack of decency and humanity and I look at the peoples of the ME and observe that they are excellent at destruction and blaming and obfuscation and dehumanizing and at the same time pretend to a superior creed and ideology and background. How does one react to the Hardly A Massacre gracing us with a single brush of deliberate call for the destruction of the country if not under the rule of the mafia?

March 28th, 2014, 8:14 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I just feel sorry to see Syria ruined. Believe it or not. And this is regardless of me being an Israeli. I cannot agree with attitudes such as “let’s fight Assad till the very end”, because this is destroying your country. Sometimes you have to step-back, and acknowledge that it is a disastrous mistake to follow the same path.

I hope I will not be blamed with supporting the Assads. They all deserve to be hanged. But not on the ruins that was Syria.


I never said I want Russia to occupy the Ukraine. I said I wish the Ukrainians a miserable life.
Yes, I changed my mind about this [previously rightly called] Syrian Uprise. Now it is a senseless slaughter house, and a Jihadi play ground.


The American civil war was over noble causes. The early stages of the Syrian uprise, was too, noble. Now it is not. If the rebels win, Syria will go back to the pre-American civil war days, where there were masters (Islamists), and slaves (all of the rest). But they will be much worse than the Assads masters.

March 28th, 2014, 9:29 am


Mjabali said:

Funny how the topic of the post is the International Sunni Jihadism as evidenced by this Moroccan who is fighting in Syria and many on this board want to divert the attention to Iran.

Also, funny how many on this board do not want to talk about how Turkey is caught now RED HANDED planning attacks in Syria, and still these cooks and paid propagandists want me the Syrian whose family is getting bombed in their homes in Lattakia to talk about the Iran and forget about the role of Turkey into this.

March 28th, 2014, 10:01 am


mjabali said:

Omen, the paid propagandist, is telling us about a fight the took place in Turkey between the Turkish police and some Sunni Jihadists.

What the paid propagandist forgot to tell us that these Jihadists are from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham an enemy to the Turkish state.

The Turkish state supports the other al-Qa’ida linked group/groups like Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Sham. This conglomerate of international killers would not work in Syria without the support of Turkey.

Turkey let tens of thousands of foreign fighter come in and out of Syria….many of them al-Qa’ida linked….can anyone deny this?

As for the long lame links, Omen linked us too..I say go and do a better work trying to support your ludicrous claim that Iran the Shia country supports al=Qa’ida.

March 28th, 2014, 10:06 am


mjabali said:

Observacion 1400:

مع أنني اكسر قاعدتي والتي هي تبع قول الامام علي حول مناقشة الأفكار الحمقاء لابأس بإعطاءك درساً صغيراً عن كثير من الأمور يااوبزفاسيون ١٤٠٠

1- I never see you talk about the “stupidity” of the sect you came from. I see you more interested to show the follies in others’ religions.

2- When you were asked about the “stupidity” of the actions of your sect: you ran away and said you are not familiar with them. An example: Ibn Taymiyah. You claimed not knowing anything about him.

3- Renan, your hero, is a known racist.

4- If I didn’t like the religion of my ancestors I would not defend it. Unlike you. You are ashamed of the religion of your ancestors.

5- من الغباء الواضح ترجمة كلمة “باب” الشيعية إلى “دور” كما فعل الاوبزفازسيون, لأن الشيعة عندما يذكرون ” أنا مدينة العلم وفلان بابها” معنى هذا ان فلان هو المدخل لمدينة العلم وليس الباب بمعناه الحرفي . من اهم ماأتي به الشيعة يااوبزفاسيون هو المعنى الباطني للكلمة. فلهذا عندما نرى ترجمتك الحرفية لكلمة باب ماعلى سوى الضحك على مستواك الضعيف.

ملاحظة: بصراحة بعدما ناقشتك لمدة طويلة عرفت انك لاتعرف شيئا عني…وهذا يدل على شيئ مهم لن اتكلم عنه الان

March 28th, 2014, 10:21 am


Hopeful said:

#41 Amir

I share your sorrow to see Syria ruined and I thank you for your sentiment. Unfortunately we have reached a point in the conflict when anyone who calls for a pause, a reflection and a compromise, will be called names and dismissed as an agent (on both sides). Perhaps we are at a point of no return.

The Syrian revolution has been hijacked by the Jihadis, mainly because they were the only organized groups who have come to the assistance of the army defectors and civilian rebels who chose to carry arms to defend themselves against the brutality of the regime. For many reasons, no one else came to the rescue. And now, They are leading the charge and fighting for a cause that has nothing to do with why the Syrian rose up against the regime. What Syrians wanted was dignity, freedom and civility.

The sermon in the video in the article above rallying the “jihadis” to fight is depressing on so many aspects. Most of the people sitting and listening will no doubt be dead soon, if not already dead. They will find no paradise waiting for them. Their leader is an ignorant brainwashed sectarian thug – the type that all muslims and all arabs should disavow and be ashamed of. This is not the type of education we want for our people and our children. Shame on anyone who condones it!

SL, Tara and Akbar, your beef should not be with Amir. I believe he genuinely cares about Syria. You may disagree with his pacifist approach, you may disagree with his attempt to paint all rebels with the same brush, but at no point did he write anything that would have me believe that he was defending the regime and its actions.

Many of us, myself included, do believe that Syria will not rise again without the regime’s demise, especially Assad’s and his thugs. Our beliefs are based on facts, not hate or revenge seeking. We should avoid the temptation of alienating those who dislike the Assad’s regime, but do not necessarily share our belief and focus instead on those who shamefully and publicly support Assad and his thugs.

March 28th, 2014, 10:34 am


Rose Damas said:

Joshua Landis,

1- Were the two videos authenticated? And how?

2- The first video is a speech by some one whose name is Abu Ahmad al-Muhajer; I.e.: Ahmad’s Father the Immigrant. Who is he?

3- Ahmad’s Father the Immigrant’s tone of speech was whiny and subdued. Which discredit him and make it difficult to believe that he is a threat to the government.

Furthermore, he did no explain any vision nor plan of action. How would such rhetoric attract a large number of followers.

4- The speaker in the second video was hysterical and annoying. A young man in the audience started to scratch his head and play with his hat in a sign of discomfort.

What qualities/signs in these two videos provide a confirmation to your notion that the extremist jihadis in Syria constitute a serious threat to the regime or to the free world?

5- Speakers in both videos are not Syrians.

6- Number of “fighters” in the second video is around 35. Of course, there is no way to confirm if they are all truly fighters and are not there merely for the show and perhaps to attend a feast afterwards.

7- The above questions make me wonder what was the purpose of sharing such ((fishy)) videos of mediocre performers.

Is it a propaganda telling the International community beware of the jihadi extremists in Syria?

Is it a message addressed to the free world in an effort to influence it to justify the destruction, the killing, the rape of men and women and children, the ethnic cleansing, the torture, the starvation, the barrel bombs, the scud missiles, the corruption governing all ways of life, etc. perpetrated by the Syrian regime against the ordinary Syrian civilians?

Anxious to hear from you.

March 28th, 2014, 11:47 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Hopeful #45,

Thank you for your kind words, and for your well written, well thought comment. I share your sadness and feelings.


You may recall that I opposed the armed phase of the uprise from day one. I think that if the protest stayed peaceful, the Assads would have been a distant memory by now.

March 28th, 2014, 1:05 pm


Mina said:

Alan (9)
It is true that the MB in Egypt had established it as the new MB-hub, for Qardawi, Caucasian djihadists, Hamas people, and the rest of the “sympathizers”, invited to come for a Friday preach at al-Azhar broadcasted nationwide. See also Morsi’s visit to Khartoum “Inni ubashirukum anna misr nahadat” !!!
Now what I cannot see is how long they’ll manage the gymnastics between Russia and KSA.

March 28th, 2014, 1:25 pm


Uzair8 said:

A couple of military updaes from IMF:

‘As this map pointing nothing is critical.The rats are holding just a small piece of coastal area.SAA is sending reinforcements to Lattakia.One of our convoys had been ambushed on Idleb road.The ting that is annoying me is however Iran stance.Its a shame.’

[Another user responds]:

Terrorists have captured al-Naba’in as well now, it seems Syrian military is still on retreat in Latakia front.

Btw, earlier I read an update on AJE blog which echoes the first comment. Tweet by Aron Lund:

Aron L @aron_ld
Before getting too carried away with Syria’s northwest rebel offensive, remember it’s so far all inside this red ring

Aron Lund, the spoil sport…

March 28th, 2014, 1:29 pm


ALAN said:

US targets Russia with further sanctions

Some Western countries expanded their sanction lists, adding more Russian citizens, and such measures cannot be left unanswered, says Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich

March 20, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed reciprocal sanctions against a number of American officials and lawmakers. The black list includes: Caroline Atkinson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics; Daniel Pfeiffer, Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications; Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication for to the President; Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader; John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; Robert Menendez, Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; Mary Landrieu, senator; John McCain, senator; Daniel Coats, senator.
‘US desperate to isolate Russia on all fronts’

March 28th, 2014, 4:24 pm


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL (#45),


Let me put it this way. I am powerfully frustrated by people who may be genuinely moved by the suffering of Syrians, but also suggest that it could be “fixed” if people would just come to their senses and negotiate with Assad. And that all those fighting Assad are jihadis, and well, we know what that means.

In a way that is harder to hear than people who are rabidly pro-Assad. Because by expressing sympathy those people then automatically appear to wear a cloak of authority and insight into the Syrian situation. And then run around negatively influencing and misinforming others on the subject.

People like that are more than a nuisance – they can be a serious problem for Syrians. They are faking it as experts in the media, incompetently advising politicians etc.

And they are also out there as enthusiastic individuals, naively pouring fuel into the tanks of closet shabiha (those who mask their support for Assad with fake expressions of dismay about what he’s doing while sticking the knife into his opponents).

That’s why AMIR in TEL AVIV (probably innocently and unwittingly, in his view) pushed some hot buttons with me and others here.

I can only suggest to AMIR the old saying “If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing well”. This applies to taking a sympathetic and informed interest in the situation in Syria and commenting on it.

March 28th, 2014, 4:43 pm


Syrialover said:

And by the way, HOPEFUL, just checking, did you see the original fire ignited by AMIR in a previous threat, where he wrote:


It is very convenient to armchair warmonger from the safety of Amrica, where your lovely family and you enjoy. Take your dear family and move to Syria to fight “until Assad is defeated”. Or shut up.”

MY COMMENT: Many reading that would argue that young Amir is getting kinder treatment above than he deserves.

March 28th, 2014, 4:53 pm


Syrialover said:

I can’t let it pass, though I am sure TARA and others are just clutching their heads and closing their eyes at AMIR in TEL AVIV’s comment in #47:

“I think that if the protest stayed peaceful, the Assads would have been a distant memory by now.”

Come on AMIR, here is a fair challenge and excellent training for you.

Please tell us how the protests could have stayed peaceful.

Seriously. Let’s hear your explanation.

(And you’ll understand why if you’ve read what I said in #51).

PS Amir, I am not being sarcastic, but sincere when I ask if you’d like some links to reading that might help you sort out the matter in your mind.

March 28th, 2014, 5:06 pm


ALAN said:

Obama! your 5 kinds of anti-aercraft systems will be destroyed! Obama forced to unleash a major war to reach a diplomatic solution ! Must retrieve the Nobel Peace Prize from you! you are the face of war!

March 28th, 2014, 5:09 pm


Sami said:

There is absolutely no nobility or civility in civil wars, not the American, French or Syrian. Nobility in wars only exist in the minds of authors and Hollywood motion pictures. when brother kills his brother, and neighbour turns on their neighbours the ugliness in mankind prevails. You want the American Civil war to be a romantic novel go ahead, but the over 500,000 Americans that perished and the hundreds of thousand that were injured statistics would argue otherwise.

Now having said that, I as a Syrian have only supported the peaceful struggle to topple this regime, to me the opinion of an Israeli or an American or anyone else for that matter means f*ck all. If idiots and sectarians with historical grievances want to judge the Syrian revolution as a “Jihadi campaign” go ahead. Your opinion to those Syrians that are struggling not only against one form of evilly but two have been taught by your callous indifference that you do not matter at all. So go ahead and judge us while sitting comfortably in your safe armchair showing nothing but indignation to those opposing Assad.

Syrians shall overcome in spite of the Jihadists, the Sectarians, and most importantly the Assadists.

Assad shall fall, and the Jihadists will become a mere footnote in our struggle for freedom and dignity.

عاشت سوريا حرة أبية

March 28th, 2014, 7:54 pm


Ghufran said:

Sami, one of the sane voices on this forum is hopeful and I like that as a Syrian American who does not believe in violence as a solution except against a military foreign occupation.
However, Syria today is full of foreigners, terrorists and weapons and everybody wants a piece of the small but valuable Syrian pie, that includes regional powers like Turkey and Iran and world powers like the US and Russia, even the dirty Beduins of the GCC are eager to end this war in a way that fits their interests.
The real victims are ordinary Syrians who in my judgement were dragged into this mess by the Assad regime and the filthy terrorists funded and supported by foreign powers, that does not mean that I am willing to exonerate Syrians themselves. Unfortunately, a pure Syrian solution is not possible today, this war is much bigger than Syria.
Denouncing attempts to destroy the only national institution that is left, the Syrian army with all of its ills, does not mean I want Assad and his men to stay in power but I am like millions of Syrians deeply skeptical of the armed opposition for obvious reasons especially after seeing what happened in Libya and Iraq. The Syrian opposition backed by the GCC and the West ( and Turkey) had 3 years to provide an exit but they failed miserably.
هربنا من الدلف و جينا تحت المزراب
You do not have to agree with Amir but it is hard not to admit that he has a point.

March 28th, 2014, 8:22 pm


omen said:

loyalists bitch about foreign extremists.

giving nazis a run for their money, the regime has 72 concentration camps.

and a shabiha force recruited from prisons.

this is the lesser evil?

March 28th, 2014, 8:51 pm


omen said:

this is what the great syria army of assad is doing to Kessab. must be 50 missiles in 25 seconds.

March 28th, 2014, 8:55 pm


Ghufran said:

SOHR poll
هل تتوقع ان تتقدم الكتائب المقاتلة في ريف اللاذقية خلال الايام القادمة ؟
نعم – 47.1%
لا – 52.9%
yay Sayers need Turkey to win

March 28th, 2014, 8:57 pm


ghufran said:

News about a possible major agreement in South Damascus that if implemented will end the fight around Damascus and leave Jobar and Douma as the only spots that have not participated in the arrangement.
It is premature to confirm the news but attempts to reach a deal started 2 months ago.
«انسحاب وشيك وشامل تنفّذه كل المجموعات المسلحة من مناطق جنوب دمشق، وبموجب اتفاق مع الدولة السورية». ووفقاً للمصدر، فإن «مفاوضات طويلة جرت بين لجنة عسكرية سورية، وقادة المجموعات المسلحة في جنوبي دمشق.
ما أفضى إلى اتفاق يبدو تنفيذه وشيكاً». ووفقاً للمعلومات، سيضمن الاتفاق انسحاب المسلحين من بيت سحم، يلدا، ببيلا، الحجر الأسود، التضامن، القدم، العسالي، إضافة إلى اليرموك، بحيث يجري الانسحاب في اتجاه درعا والقنيطرة، اللتين ينحدر منهما معظم المسلحين المنضوين في المجموعات المشاركة في الاتفاق، فيما سيضمن الاتفاق للمسلحين من أبناء هذه المناطق تسوية أوضاعهم، لمن يختار ذلك. وقال المصدر إن الانسحاب سيجري عبر ممرات آمنة يوفرها الجيش السوري لمسلحي «جبهة النصرة»، «ألوية أبابيل حوران»، «أحفاد الأمويين»، و«كتيبة شهداء الحجر الأسود». ليجري تسليم المناطق إلى «وحدات دفاع محلي»
If this goes through it will signal the first time Nusra agrees to negotiate with the army and the Syrian government.

March 28th, 2014, 9:35 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh,

Why on Earth would you post the rantings of “Sham al-Islam”? You may as well interview Charles Manson.

March 28th, 2014, 10:07 pm


observer said:

Wrong again Mjabli I did mention the stupidity of the Mufti of KSA when he declared the earth flat. You do not read and when you read the hatred is blinding you.
You are not ashamed of your religion but you claim I am ashamed of mine.
I do not and I repeat I do not and if you do not understand have someone next to you read it aloud for you: I do not have a religion. I do not believe in God and if he existed he would disavow these religions as heresy.
The Sunnis are as stupid as the Shia as the Alawi as the Christians and even the Buddhist of Myanmar are stupid and retarded when they exclude the other.

Any religion or ideology that excludes the other, claims to know the truth, has doors to its inner secret meaning, has an overt and a covert face is pure garbage. The Free Masons have a secret side and yet they and others claim that they are for the greatness of humanity. Why the secrecy, why the esoteric, why not use the brain and reason to show that there is no such thing as the book of Genesis or that Noah lived for a thousand years or that Jesus came back from the dead or that an Imam disappeared in a cave some time ago and is coming to give us justice.

Why wait, let us have justice now.

Once again you insult and belittle and make a mockery of others for deep down inside you have not accepted the other as equally human and yet different.

Often enough this is clear demonstration of an inferiority complex disguised in a superiority complex. I do not care what you are and what religion you come from the only thing that is glaring is the sectarian nature of the religion of the upbringing of the misplaced pride in a creed based on a abracadabra ideology and cooked up history. You have graced us with the air of superiority and deep historical knowledge but when the surface is scratched a little one finds us mud under the snow and perhaps nothing else.

Renan may have been a racist but what he said remains the truth.

I have not had a single argument or a coherent position presented here except to howl and obfuscate.

Now explain to me why the sarcasm when you mention Observacion 1400? You do not even know how to spell do you?

Now to the news: not much is going on. There is every reason to believe that the Senate will pass into Republican hands and that the House majority will be further consolidated.

Again the news from Alam Manar Mayadeen and Rt are not stellar today. As for Cham Press there is a huge drop in the water production of Fijeh source indicating that not even water management is possible under the mafia rule.

March 28th, 2014, 10:27 pm


Observer said:

Millions of Syrians have been skeptical of the regime for more than 40 years Ghuf

You still live in lala land when you think that there is going to be any stability.

There will be millions killed before this is over

There is no way that these people can live together anymore.

Please spare us the garbage of the SAA as an institution. My cousins when they served in the army worked as farm boys and chauffeurs to the families of officers and now the only thing that this garbage of an army can do is to kill innocents and destroy whole cities.

Have a popsicle

March 28th, 2014, 11:10 pm


Ghufran said:

I can not disagree with some of what observer said about the regime, however if this war was only about the Syrian army killing innocent civilians we would not have 30,000 casualties in the army, the slogans regurgitated by some of you are getting old and boring.
I understand why most people have a problem with the truth but without accepting the truth we as people will never be free, that fact is not limited to Syria or to one side in this war, it is why denial is a common human disease.

March 28th, 2014, 11:38 pm


observer said:

What goes around comes around. The number of dead on the regime side is closer to 70 000 if you include the local defense forces. The army that Ghuf is talking about exists in the figment of his imagination for if the 400 000 army still existed it would not have had so much trouble “pacifying” the country. The TRUTH IS THAT THIS IS NOT A NATIONAL ARMY. It is an instrument of oppression and brutality and dictatorship and destruction and torture and rape and theft. I guess Ghuf forgot the SAA leaving Lebanon having stolen even the fixtures of the bathrooms and the windows of houses and how we could possibly invade the Golan heights with the number of Mercedes cars that the “officers” with their “meager” salaries were able to purchase at $75000 a piece.

I do not know in what universe Ghuf exists but Syria is NOT a civilized country it is a brutal farm running by criminals and supporters and apologists of the worst kind.

March 29th, 2014, 12:16 am


Observer said:

Here Ghuf I found this video on Syria Video that accompanies this blog.
There is no way your so called SAA is going to win

March 29th, 2014, 12:19 am


Hopeful said:

#52 Syrialover

You quoted Amir as saying to Tara: “It is very convenient to armchair warmonger from the safety of America, where your lovely family and you enjoy. Take your dear family and move to Syria to fight “until Assad is defeated”. Or shut up.””

You know what? I heard almost the same thing from my brother in law, who lives in Damascus, trying to survive and support his wife and two children. He hates the regime and all they have done to the country. He openly admits he is a coward not a revolutionary-type. He is exhausted, confused, bitter, and hopeless. At this point, he could care less who rules Syria. He just wants peace and security.

There are millions like him today in Syria. And who can blame them?

I do not agree with my brother in law, but I can understand his sentiment. I do not agree with Amir. I do not agree with Ghufran. While I also wished that the revolution stayed peaceful, I knew there was no way it would. It was the natural human progression towards months of brutality and violence by the regime and its forces in all parts of Syria. Blaming the rebels for “taking up arms” is like blaming an “earthquake” from happening on a fault line.

I also do not agree with anyone who says that Syria can have a future with this regime in power. And I wish that the people who supports this regime out of fear of the alternative would understand that. Syria can only rise up again if this regime is gone. Yes, the jihadi problem is a serious one in Syria today, and it is one that any honest person should not only admit to, but also reject and fight, but it is a secondary problem. We need to face up to it, but make it a second priority. We have a cancer that has spread over 50 years – the regime. And we have another cancer that is spreading quickly and dangerously. They are both cancers and we need to uproot the, both.

March 29th, 2014, 4:34 am


apple_mini said:

A well-known Sunni family just lost 5 family members in the latest rocket attack by the rebels in Lattakia.

The best way to convince Syrians what they are facing is to mete out the suffering across the sect lines. The rebels are just doing that. Otherwise the regime would play some tricks there.

If the rebels believe they could just defeat Alawite to win the war, they probably are fooling themselves. The recent gains in Aleppo were mainly due to very active Sunni pro-regime fighters and they are all local. The rebels are fighting their barbarian sectarian war. But they have not seen the full scale conflict against their “brethren” yet.

If the number of the rebels could be reaching 1 mil or so, it would be formidable. Then they can have Syria or let the west to deal with them. The reality is that this is not gonna happen.

It will take a while to wipe out part of the rebels, to drive some out and convince or force the rest to give up fighting. If it is the only path to peace, then we will see the war just keep dragging on.

March 29th, 2014, 4:53 am


Hopeful said:

#66 Observer

Wow – this is a very “telling” video. Thank you for sharing.

1. Yes it tells that the SAA cannot win.
2. It shows how little weapons the jihadis are actually receiving from the outside (their “bomb” was clearly a makeshift weapon).
3. It shows how that these groups can continue to recruit men.
4. It shows media sophistication and understanding of the value of propaganda
5. It also shows that, sadly, the ideology and motivation to fight is religiously-inspired and is not about democracy and freedom.
6. Once side is fighting for Assad and the other side is fighting for an “Islamic Imara”. Syrian flags are not seen anywhere!

March 29th, 2014, 5:02 am


omen said:

assadi army marking valentine’s day posing with flowers.

the regime executed non-violent protesters for doing the same.

March 29th, 2014, 5:58 am


omen said:

this still is bugging me.

James McMichael: If the “civilians” could be represented in peace negotiations, then perhaps a result different from Geneva II could occur.

during geneva II, both iran & assad regime argued the opposition at the table doesn’t represent syrians on the ground.

how weird is it this man, whoever he is, is parroting regime talking points?


March 29th, 2014, 6:11 am


omen said:

doesn’t he realize this is blaming the victim?

AMIR in TEL AVIV: I think that if the protest stayed peaceful, the Assads would have been a distant memory by now.

1. how many people have to die first before you deem self defense allowable?

2. how many years should syrians quietly suck up being massacred in large numbers?

3. would you tolerate the same level of atrocities for your own family & countrymen you so gallantly tolerate for syrians?

of course not.

i don’t understand the double standard people hold for others they would never put up with for themselves.

March 29th, 2014, 6:24 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


If not the patronizing tone in your comment, I would answer you more in length.

It’s too soon for a historic summery of the events in Syria. However, the protest could have stayed peaceful. It is a bit of a theoretical exercise, and it involves some IF’s.

Yes, I know that Assad started to fire on peaceful demonstrators. No need to remind me of this.

March 29th, 2014, 6:37 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Omen #72,

1+2, It’s not a matter of numbers (victims and months). It’s a matter of policy and of leadership, which the opposition lacks. Because there isn’t any leadership to set the policy, there is vacuum. Vacuum attracts extremism and lawlessness.

I’m not playing the blame game. I cannot blame the victim, and Syria’s people are the victims.

Theoretically, there could have been an opposition leadership to tell the people to not respond with arms.

See Ukraine. They have a leadership that decided to contain the Russian aggression, and not resort to using arms. Why wasn’t it done in Syria?

See Iran pre-1979. The people did not respond with fire. They kept the peaceful protest, which eventually, brought the Shah down.

What should be done from here on?
The sane elements within the opposition should negotiate a truce with the regime. If the regime insist on Assad remaining in power during a transition period, so be it. Yes, you heard it right.

Assad is finished politically, internally and internationally. Let a political process start, instead of the continuation of grinding Syria and it’s people into rubbles.

PS. Please do not remind me that Assad systematically imprisoned and killed the opposition. I know that…

March 29th, 2014, 8:02 am


omen said:

74. Amir in Tel Aviv

but you are blaming the victims. no where do i see you hold the regime responsible.

Theoretically, there could have been an opposition leadership to tell the people to not respond with arms.

there were LCC activists who continued to argue against picking up arms. looks like they were outvoted by popular consensus.

without going thru what they have, we are in no position to second guess syrian decisions. what’s done is done. people can only tolerate so much.

from a recent column:

Help Syrians under siege
by Trudy Rubin

When the Syrian uprising began, civilians in Moadamiyeh demonstrated peacefully for an end to a corrupt Assad family dictatorship that had lasted more than four decades. A middle-class suburb of four-story apartment houses, adjacent to open farmland, the suburb sat between key regime military bases, and the government forces began arresting, torturing, and raping residents.

“They would beat young men and throw them in garbage cans, and tell them to stay there, or they would go to houses and beat people,” recalls Zakaria, a former hotel worker. “It was too much humiliation to handle.” In mid-2012, regime tanks rolled into Moadamiyeh, killing around 500 civilians and arresting 600 to 700, including some women and kids.

It was only after the regime brutalized civilians that residents of Moadamiyeh decided they must defend their community.

March 29th, 2014, 8:39 am


ALAN said:

Alaska is a Russian land! Why leave it to someone?

March 29th, 2014, 8:53 am


omen said:

74. Amir in Tel Aviv said: See Iran pre-1979. The people did not respond with fire. They kept the peaceful protest, which eventually, brought the Shah down.

khomeini bribed the shah’s military & imperial guards to switch sides and bought their loyalty.

that’s how that was done.

this is a complaint i hold for the west. it’s reported many regime insiders and military officers want to defect & are looking for a way out but there is no one offering guarantees of salary and support for their families if they were to do so. so they are stuck.

if the west really wanted this regime to topple, it would be offering enticements like crazy. the US doesnt even bother to offer logistic support for defectors to escape. it’s the french who have been doing that.

one indication out of many that despite the rhetoric, the west doesn’t support regime change.

March 29th, 2014, 8:54 am


ALAN said:

It has been revealed that NATO has been planning a false flag attack against Turkey to justify the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, the International Business Times reported in its article, “Turkey YouTube Ban: Full Transcript of Leaked Syria ‘War’ Conversation Between Erdogan Officials.”

March 29th, 2014, 9:20 am


ghufran said:

There is no doubt that the Assad family and their security chiefs had no intention to allow demonstrations that call for the fall of the regime, to them staying in power is a “natural right” and those who want to take that out are traitors. Syria under the Assads was a reoublic on paper, a kingdom in reality. Therefore, I agree with those who believe that it was time to challenge Assad, but not with guns, and those who blame the regime for using violence and failing to make concessions that could have prevented the escalation of violence.
Now, let us move to the part that some of you prefer not to talk about: why did this uprising fail to win support from minorities, moderate Sunnis and the West ?
I will only touch on 3 examples:

1. Rebels started proactive (not reactive)attacks on the Syrian army in less than 2 weeks after Daraa demonstrations, the attack in Banyas in particular raised many eyebrows, the town until then witnessed no violence and there was no army presence inside the city. Armed men ambushed soldiers and officers on the highway who were going back to their families and killed a number of them in cold blood. This was followed by the murder of a poor alawite street vendor,then things got out of control. Do not wait for the boneheads on this blog to tell the truth about how the troubles started in Banyas.

2. In Daraa, the birth place of the uprising, Assad thugs including his cousin Atef Najib were responsible for starting the violence then breaking promises they gave to the locals who at the beginning were not asking for Assad’s removal(except for few kids writing ” you turn has come, doctor-Bashar” on a wall). Within days of the death of a number of Daraawis in the streets people started carrying arms and even used a mosque in Daraa (the Omari Mosque)as their headquarter and as a weapons depot, the army attacked the mosque and then the headlines were:
“Assad forces attacked and killed peaceful demonstrators inside a mosque”. Later on, the Imam of the mosque, Ahmad Al-Siasneh, started talking about Shia, alawites, Rafida, etc instead of sticking to the “freedom and dignity” recommended slogan.
As early as April, 2011, local thugs in Daraa started sending death threats to the few alawite families living in Daraa and marked their homes with a sign.
Daraa is where the incompetence and the arrogance of Assad men were first exposed to non Syrians and to Syrians who were still unsure of what to believe.
(Google this to hear Ahmad Al-Siasneh’s version of what happened in Daraa, the man was giving a speech in Detroit in May, 2013
كلمة الشيخ أحمد الصياصنة خلال عشاء في ديترويت)

3. In Aleppo, the picture is much easier to explain, even today the bulk of the rebels movement in Aleppo is people who never lived in Aleppo and some are not even Syrian. Most Aleppines did not welcome the rebels and did not want their city to be occupied by Islamists who later looted factories and sold them to Turkish business men, humiliated locals and kidnapped scores of people from rich families to get ransom money. In Aleppo, the city was taken over by thugs and thieves, no doubt about it. The Syrian army bombed any place in Aleppo that has rebels and that killed a lot of civilians. It is fair to condemn the army for causing the death of many civilians but you have to ask why did the rebels attack Aleppo and why did they hide in crowded populated areas in the first place, the answer is in Turkey and Qatar.

The list can go on and on, I agree that the Syrian army is not an innocent player and that it was used to keep one family in power but I do not see any other national body that can prevent the total collapse of Syria. As bad as things are in Syria, the situation will be much worse especially in Damascus and the coastal areas if the army is dissolved and thousands of local militias, like in Libya, become the defacto government. The NC in unable to govern and the so called FSA is a joke, most NC members are pain expats and rebels today are hired guns headed by Takfiri or Islamist terrorists who committed numerous war crimes and showed unacceptable sectarian animosity towards minorities, that is why the only thing those rebels are good at nowadays is bombing civilian areas with mortar shells and rockets, desecrating churches and cutting heads. I clearly do not trust the rebels to replace the army.

Finally, most victims of terrorist acts in Syrian cities are Sunnis and most refugees are Sunnis too, this caused some of you to stay silent or even cheer the crimes against minorities including the displacement of 600 Armenian families from Kasab (to prepare the city for a takeover by Turkey in the future) and the kidnapping of alawite civilians in Northern Latakia. It is OK to say that what goes around comes around but be mindful of the price of losing the moral high ground, in a nutshell that is why this “revolution” has failed, nobody today except some deniers sees this as a revolution, it is a war and a lot of nasty things happen in a war. We want this war to stop.

March 29th, 2014, 12:43 pm


ALAN said:

Mr. Putin!
surely will you have to wait so far until the result of work Obama – King Abdullah – Erdogan would be the fact?

March 29th, 2014, 12:52 pm


omen said:

79. ghufran said: 3. Most Aleppines did not welcome the rebels and did not want their city to be occupied by Islamists who later looted factories and sold them to Turkish business men, humiliated locals and kidnapped scores of people from rich families to get ransom money.

you cannot solely blame this on the rebels.

An Extortion Racket

Months of crackdowns and killings precipitated armed conflict, as rebel groups organized to fight Assad. The small groups of army defectors and civilian volunteers weren’t a match for Syria’s military, but they provided a pretext for Assad to escalate his repression. Armed villagers terrified many residents of Aleppo, especially its sizable Christian population. The growing prominence of rebel groups also helped corrupt officials extort wealthy residents.

A prominent Christian merchant received phone calls in the winter of 2011 from a man who claimed he was a commander with the Free Syrian Army, demanding $100,000 to protect a factory. The businessman had paid his fair share of bribes to the state over the years, and consulted with a trusted police sergeant about the man. To his surprise, he was identified as a mukhabarat agent. The sergeant advised the businessman to pay, which he did. The extortion went on for months, until the agent was apparently killed in combat.

Looting Rebel Brigades

When rebels entered Aleppo in July 2012, splitting the city into government and opposition enclaves, most of my friends and relatives fled. A stalemate set in, and many of the government’s tales of the criminal nature of the uprising came true. Homes, shops, and factories were looted. The Christian businessman who was swindled by the mukhabarat paid ransoms to rebels to free relatives and lost millions in stolen inventory and factory equipment.

Many residents in Aleppo supported the rebels and turned a blind eye to their abuses, hoping that they’d eventually succeed and that the city would become a viable example of post-Assad governance. But frustration mounted as rebels enriched themselves and civilians suffered bombardment. Residents murmured darkly about tacit agreements between rebels and the government. An Armenian priest told me he was shocked to see rebels and government soldiers drinking tea at a checkpoint in December 2012.

March 29th, 2014, 1:24 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Omen #75,

“…but you are blaming the victims. no where do i see you hold the regime responsible”.

Of course this mafia regime is responsible! It is brutal, totalitarian, merciless. The Assads broke the opposition by killing, imprisoning and forcing them into exile. This regime is the source of evil, and the cause for every thing that is broken about the Syrian society. They are war criminals. I was saying this here on SC during when Mr Landis was supporting the Assads, and used to promote them as the saviors of Arabism against the evil Americans, Zionists and Europeans.

The question is, where do you go from here?
Do you compromise, because this regime is more durable then expected, or do you continue to grind Syria into rubbles?

I say, accept Assad just tactically, and in order to end the bloodshed. Assad have zero legitimacy to survive any political process.

March 29th, 2014, 1:30 pm


ALAN said:

Juergen! what are you say?
Deutsche Politiker fordern Reaktionen auf türkische Kriegsspiele
29.03.2014 · Die türkische Regierung erwog, Syrien militärisch zu provozieren. An der Grenze zwischen den beiden Staaten sind deutsche Soldaten zum Schutz der Türkei stationiert. Das sei „vollkommen absurd“, sagen nun deutsche Politiker.

Erwägungen der türkischen Regierung, eine militärische Provokation zu fingieren und dann einen Angriff auf syrischem Territorium zu unternehmen sind von deutschen Politikern scharf kritisiert worden. „Die Nato soll diesen Vorgang aufklären. Ich erwarte außerdem, dass sich Erdogan deutlich von den Kriegsplanungen distanziert“, sagte Rainer Arnold, verteidigungspolitischer Sprecher der SPD-Fraktion sagte der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung.

Arnold fügte hinzu: „Wenn sich bestätigt, dass er sich damit auch nur beschäftigt hat, kann er für uns kein verlässlicher Partner mehr sein. Die Nato müsste dann mit Deutschland neu über den Sinn des Einsatzes an der Grenze zu Syrien nachdenken.“ „Was die türkische Regierung da geplant hat, ist absoluter Wahnsinn“, sagte der außenpolitische Sprecher der Grünen, Omid Nouripour . „Das ist nicht eine innertürkische, sondern eine internationale Angelegenheit“.

Es sei „vollkommen absurd“, dass deutsche Soldaten die Türkei beschützten, „während der türkische Staat verschwörerisch plant, das eigene Territorium zu beschießen.“ Nouripour forderte von der Bundesregierung, sie müsse „Erdogan gegenüber klarmachen, dass sie dieses Spiel mit dem Feuer nicht akzeptieren kann.“

Hingegen mahnte der stellvertretende Vorsitzende der Unionsfraktion, Andreas Schockenhoff zur Besonnenheit. Schockenhoff sagte der F.A.S. über das heimlich mitgeschnittene Gespräch zwischen türkischen Regierungsmitgliedern, Militärs und dem Geheimdienstchef: „Man muss der Sache nachgehen, aber man darf jetzt auch nicht so tun, als ob das offizielles Regierungshandeln der Türkei wäre. Sonst kann im Zeitalter elektronischer Medien sehr leicht eine Provokation konstruiert und inszeniert werden. Den Vorgang muss man genau analysieren, abgewogen und verantwortungsvoll. Aber ich glaube nicht, als dass die Nato nun gefordert wäre.“

March 29th, 2014, 2:47 pm


ALAN said:

What Saudi Arabia wants from the US now is obedience and assistance in its long term project for Sunni triumphalism under Saudi domination throughout the Islamic World. In Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan, etc., the program is the same everywhere.

Is Obama dumb enough to accept such a role for the US. I doubt it. The level of his resistance to Saudi, Israeli and R2P/neocon excess is sometimes

March 29th, 2014, 3:44 pm


Syrialover said:


Your brother in law living in fear and exhaustion in Damascus has 1,000% right and reason to make those remarks.

But AMIR in TEL AVIV does not!!!! It can be seen as insulting, insensitive and idiotic for someone in his position (and with his proven inadequate knowledge of the situation) to fling the “go to Syria and fight Assad or shut up” challenge at a Syrian.

If AMIR actually mixed with Syrians outside he would meet people who have become so emotionally burned out they just want to go back home to Syria and die with their families. Their families inside have to beg them to stay outside.

But I agree with everything else you say.

March 29th, 2014, 4:12 pm


mjabali said:

Ovservaciyunee 1400:

1- صرعت مؤخرتنا with your screams about inferiority and superiority complexes. It is proven that anyone who resorts to this attitude, has nothing to say. Keep running away from the ludicrous claims you scribe into analyzing my personality. Try for once coming up with a real answer.

2- Stop your lies, when did you critique the religious figures of your sect. You barking once at a cleric from Saudi Arabia does not count. How many times you barked at Ali and the Door and the Moon and the Shia and the stupidity of Shia and Alawism. Who lives in a house made of glass…does not hurl stones at others…

3- How many times you ridiculed Ali and the Shia? How many times you ridiculed any Sunni figure? How many times you ridiculed Christianity? You got caught.

4- Your explanation for why you called Shiism and Alawism “stupid” is lame.

5- My knowledge of the history of my people is a big problem for you that you can not handle.

6- My knowledge of the history of your sect is a big problem for you that you can not handle.

7- It is obvious that you like to make matters personal, wake up….

March 29th, 2014, 4:36 pm


Syrialover said:


Don’t you have sympathy and worry about the ordinary young men in the Syrian army? Those being ordered to kill other Syrians and destroy their country, while themselves being disabled and killed in their thousands?

Most of the foot soldiers and front-line cannon fodder in the Syrian army are the victims of very bad luck. Bad luck of being born in Syria.

If you are a Syrian man of military age in regime-controlled territory you are facing the choice of being rounded up and sent to the front line, paying big extortion money to the military thugs sent to find you, or living in hiding.

Don’t forget it has been compulsory to serve in the SAA – it’s one record system kept very carefully by the Syrian authorities.

Many are serving in the army with guns at their back, kept going by relentless propaganda and fear of what will happen to them and their families if they try to quit.

And many have zero job prospects and nowhere else to go if they want to have clothes and food.

The SAA is a corrupted, viciously exploited and misused institution. But its masses are made up of ordinary Syrians who have few options.

March 29th, 2014, 4:47 pm


Syrialover said:

I feel emotional when I see this picture of young fighters enjoying the sea.

I see the spirit Syrians yearn to feel again on their own soil.

It’s also a reminder of the precious resources of human energy and youth being wasted en masse because of a pin-headed, weak, filthy criminal figurehead and his gang.

March 29th, 2014, 5:32 pm


Syrialover said:


There is a huge dimension missing in your reasoning.

You see the rebels as a “replacement” for the Syrian army, and for that reason do not want them to win.

You seem unaware of all the constructive thinking, planning and hoping being done outside that small box.

The scenario is getting rid of the rotten cancer infecting the head of most Syrian institutions, cleanse and rebuild these institutions and allow the majority of Syrians to get back to normal life.

March 29th, 2014, 5:46 pm


Uzair8 said:

Great opinion piece on AL Jazeera:

Assad’s fatal strategic mistakes

Bashar al-Assad’s support for armed groups might lead to his regime’s demise.

29 Mar 2014

Lina Khatib

The Syrian State Army’s victory in the battle of Yabroud in early March is widely seen as evidence of the regime’s increasing military dominance in the Syrian conflict. But this win is undermined by two strategic mistakes by President Bashar al-Assad, which are likely to eventually lead to his demise. Those mistakes revolve around the growing influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the National Defence Force (NDF).


March 29th, 2014, 5:53 pm


Mjabali said:

The guys Syria “lover” is admiring are the same guys firing rockets at my family and friends in Latakia indiscriminately.

Today: two rockets fell short of the city. They fell in the Baksa area. The two rockets before fell in the city center killing many.

March 29th, 2014, 6:03 pm


mjabali said:



” But this win is undermined by two strategic mistakes by President Bashar al-Assad, which are likely to eventually lead to his demise. Those mistakes revolve around the growing influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the National Defence Force (NDF).”

hahahahaaaa… Dude it is the other way around. Your contribution for this blog should be limited to djaying for Tara…

If you gonna blame al-Jazeera…I never expect al-Jazeera to know any better..

March 29th, 2014, 6:09 pm


Syrialover said:


So, if they are not on “your” side they are not human, they have no value to Syria and their young lives are not being wasted.

But I have not noticed you agreeing with my sympathetic comments about Syrians in the SAA in #87 either.

I have friends with close family in Latakia and they blame Assad as the cause of every bullet and rocket fired.

March 29th, 2014, 6:54 pm


Syrialover said:

I have burning anger and disgust for fantasist, predatory jihadists and believe they deserve to be dumped in a places far worse than Guantanamo when they are chased out of post-Assad Syria.

BUT it is entirely different and normal for ordinary people to call on God in times of battle when they need strength and courage.

When you can turn nowhere else for support, you turn to religion.

And when it becomes a unifying and qualifying force in a battle to the death against your enemy, you use it.

Those who don’t understand that are ignorant about real life war conditions. And limited in their understanding of what’s happening on the ground in Syria.

March 29th, 2014, 7:20 pm


Ghufran said:

SL, I do not know your real intentions, judging by your previous writings I find it hard to believe that you want free and democratic Syria but let me give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not part of the cancer sweeping the Muslim world and called Islamist extremism.
Things in Syria would have been much better if we had a truely national insurgency that is unified under one flag and one command but we do not. The rebels are dominated by competing and fractured groups financed and supported by the GCC and Turkey and heavily infiltrated by terrorists. Until this is changed, and it will not, I would not bet my money on those rebels if the goal is indeed a free and democratic Syria.
One benefit of watching the war crimes and the atrocities committed by rebels was that it gave us a very good idea of what can happen to millions of Syrians if those people win.
Speaking of terrorists, a thug that was released by the US from Guantanamo was killed in Kasab today.
Sadly enough, Amir , a Jewish poster from Israel, has more political sense than most of you.

March 29th, 2014, 7:30 pm


Syrialover said:

A team of young men at one bakery in Deir Al-Zor province make and distribute bread to 35,000 people.

They manage to defeat chaos, corruption and aerial bombing of bread queues.

And if they need to take advantages of al Nusra resources to do it, that’s what they need to do.

March 29th, 2014, 7:53 pm


Sami said:

“One benefit of watching the war crimes and the atrocities committed by rebels was that it gave us a very good idea of what can happen to millions of Syrians if those people win.”

As opposed to the regime that has committed far greater atrocities?

Choosing the evil we know should not be a solution. It is the evil we know that brought us to this point.

I do agree with Observer, there is no national army. Lobbing barrel bombs at schools, strafing breadlines, gassing civilians is not the conduct of a national army but rather thuggish behaviour of criminals.

what was the Syrian Arab Army has become a brutal militia of suppression.

Recently I was with a Syrian that was a former supporter. He was saying had Havez or even Basel been alive things would’ve not become so bad. They would’ve solved the “2azmeh”. The reality though is that it would have been the same story but with a different headline. This “army” was stripped to its core and its sole job was to protect the throne no matter how empty it is.

what we see today out in the open from the regime has been there all along, it was just easier to pretend it was not there before.

March 29th, 2014, 8:05 pm


Syrialover said:


Your statements are getting beyond ridiculous.

If there was a test of comments here on who was most against Islamist extremism: I would come out way, way in front with top marks, while you would score worse than a “doubtful”

You always make sure to salute and inflate them by insisting have a good chance of taking over Syria.

And then you do the usual little dance of claiming the rebels are infinitely more savage and destructive than the regime.

Now you get right in there endorsing the shamelessly confused young AMIR of TEL AVIV. Of course.

What was it I said about poorly informed armchair players like AMIR pouring fuel into the tanks of closet shabiha (See #51)? Hmm?

Very revealing. AMIR’s role is now confirmed.

March 29th, 2014, 8:21 pm


mjabali said:

Syria “lover”

I, from day one, against any violence. I am against violence by al-Assad and I am against the violence of the anti Assad groups. So what about now when my direct family and close friends start getting shelled while at home by the guys you admire?

People like you, are egging the participants on to continue with the madness we are witnessing. Syria today need real lovers who call for the end of violence.

March 29th, 2014, 8:43 pm


Syrialover said:

Gaddafi’s son Saadi (the debauched thug “footballer” son) apologizes to the Libyan people.

He doesn’t go anywhere far enough. If you know details of his dirty junk life you’ll agree he should apologize for being born.

The picture shows him unharmed, well fed and well clothed in prison. A very different fate from anyone who entered his family’s prisons.

March 29th, 2014, 8:46 pm


omen said:

am i dreaming?

Rumour mill has it that Assad’s cousin Atef Najib, ex political security chief in Daraa is now in JAN’s hands. #Latakia


Resistance forces in Latakia have reportedly captured a senior regime officer, Brigadier Atef Najib, the head of the regime’s political security division in Latakia and a cousin of Bashar Assad.

March 29th, 2014, 9:27 pm


Syrialover said:


People make a mistake thinking that just stating they are “against violence” is enough to convince others that they want it rooted out of Syria political culture forever.

What is the “day 1” from which you say you were against any violence by Assad (shorthand for the Assad regime, of which the current situation is an evolutionary chapter)?

Before the Hama massacre? Before all the other atrocities and brutalities that the Assad dictatorship has illegally exercised for decades to control Syrians?

Of course I am distressed to hear Latakia is being attacked. And not just because I had family there until recently. I’m not selective. I also desperately didn’t want Homs, Hama, Aleppo and all the countless other places in Syria to be attacked.

And as I flinch and feel sick with every attack I hear of, it has added up to around 95 flinches caused by the regime against 5 collectively by the rebels and the separate enemy of both sides ISIS.

Contrary to what you say, I am certainly not egging on this violence. I want the chief source of the violence, the Assad regime, stopped (and with it, the counter violence by its opponents). Because we know now the Assads are not going to stop themselves.

Or am I and the rest of the world wrong, do you think Assad (and now his Iranian controllers) will suddenly decide to stop the violence?

March 29th, 2014, 9:35 pm


omen said:

two journalists held hostage – freed!

javier & ricardo.

March 29th, 2014, 10:39 pm


Observer said:


I do not believe that the SAA that you are describing exists any longer. Again if it did exist the more than 400 000 troops made of conscripts would have pacified the country. The SAA started with 7000 tanks 10000 canons 12000 APC 400 combat aircraft. If the country is in such dire situation why would the regime not call the reserves? If we are in a fight against a Universal conspiracy what are reserves doing at home. How about replacing the more than 40000 killed and the many more injured? This is because it is made up of regime supporters on the one hand and HA and Iranian fighters on the other for it has lost its conscripts.

I also believe that any army that accepts to fight the people is not worthy of remaining in place. The one revolution that is successful today is that of Tunis because of the army refusing to enter the fray. Likewise Ukraine’s army did not go into the streets and kill civilians. Some Lebanese pro regime commentators claimed that Putin was furious with Yanukovich for he refused to act like Assad. Precisely because the army is a professional army it refused to enter the fray in Kiev.

Syria does not have a professional army and as you read on this post it should be there only to protect certain populations and certain areas. Next we are going to be told that we have a Chosen People worthy of life when the rest are worthy of serfdom.

The fig leaf is down, the mask has fallen, the emperor has no clothes.

March 29th, 2014, 11:31 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Amir said:

 I was saying this here on SC during when Mr Landis was supporting the Assads, and used to promote them as the saviors of Arabism against the evil Americans, Zionists and Europeans.

I’m thinking this could be the reason why Professor Josh doesn’t post here very often. If the MSM could ask a few hardball questions when interviewing our resident Syria expert, he may find his way back to his own website.

March 30th, 2014, 12:14 am


omen said:

are people boycotting the new thread?

what i tell you? i thought i smelled rat.

March 30th, 2014, 7:04 am


habib said:

And the Kassab adventure went great, didn’t it? Lol.

March 30th, 2014, 4:32 pm


Rose Damas said:

This translation to enclosed Sham al-Islam video is accurate to my best ability.
Translating the video gave me the opportunity to look at it more closely. And I found the following:
– Whoever made this video has access to significant resources.
The style presented is a western style different from what is usually presented out of Syria. The video looks like a CNN production.

– Contrary to al-Nusra. Sham alIslam is interested in publicity. alNusra does not publicies its work.

– Most importantly, there is no way for anyone to confirm that the fighting groups presented in the video or the people who made the video are the same groups who are actually conducting the fight on the ground, specifically on the coast.
Preparing for this battle began in Aug., 2013 immediately after rebel’s sudden withdrawal from the coast. One factor contributing to the withdrawal was the betrayal by supposedly revolutionary agencies.
And what made us ring the bell of danger was that the same agencies later caused subsequent military operation in that region to fail and afterward to be canceled.

At the same time, talks began to circulate about conspiracies aiming to divide Syria into small states the most important of which a state for the Alawites on the Syrian coast.

Efforts were united to stop this international conspiracy and these efforts
resulted in rebels setting foot on the Mediterranean sea coast for the first time as a result of al-Anfal battle.

Following the events on the ground we have decided to publish this work which exposes the size of this conspiracy and the main players.

Syrian coastal region consists of two provinces: Lattakia and Tartous.
Lattakia province is located at the North West of Syria. It has a large sea port. Turkey borders it to the North. To the south is Tartous province. East: Idleb and Hama.

Lattakia province consists of the following counties: Lattakia, Jabla, Haffa, and Kardaha. Kardaha is home town of Bashar Assad. Lattakia province’s population is more than one million according to 2010 census. Most are of the Alawite sect as in Tartos province which its population is almost one million. Lebanon is at the southern border of Tartous. To the east Hama and Hims.

A boy chanting:
Our revolution is Islamic.
Our revolution is a revolution conducted by Muslims.
We want the Khilapha back.

After three years the Syrian revolution has reached a point of no return. The gruesome crimes committed against the people prevents any solution except the demolition of the Statue of Assad.
The International position looks awkward. Until now it is not able to find an appropriate substitute for the regime who would be approved by the people and also guarantees the interests of the International order.

Naom Chomsky:
So what [Americans] are doing is giving some support to the rebels, you know the rebel forces, obviously giving them some support and arms but not enough to make much of a difference. I think the reason is: I don’t think they like Assad but they are even more worried about what might follow.

The different brigades fighting on the ground have declared themselves Islamic and raised the banner of No Deity but the One God. Each day they are gaining grounds. Not caring for all conspiracies aiming to profit from the blood of the people of the Levant.
Taking into account all probable scenarios, the Nusairi regime in Syria is readying a contingency plan the objective of which is to retreat into the Syrian coastal region and create an Alawite State in order to preserve itself, its sect, and the interests of states supporting the regime. The notion of creating an Alawite state is not new.

It goes back to the period of the French mandate on Syria in the 1920s after the collapse of the ottoman empire. Then, France occupied Syria and Lebanon. Maxim Vegen was the French general.

In order to dissipate Military struggle (jihad), France intended to divide Syria by creating a state for the Alawites in 1920 claiming protection of minorities as an excuse.

France’s intentions were faced by vicious resistance. And that forced it to create its own agents inside Syria. To become agents of France was welcomed by the sons of the Alawite State.

The Alawite sect then preferred to secede and unite with the region of Lebanon. Its young men enlisted heavily in the French army.
Being an agent [spy] for the French became the reputation of al-Assad family.

Soulaiman al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad’s grandfather was one of six Nussairi [I.e.: Alawite] who cosigned a petition addressed to the French president Leo Blon in mid 1936.

Text of petition:
– The Alawite people who preserved their independence year after year with much sacrifices is a nation who differs from the Sunni Muslim people culturally, religiously, and historically. The Alawite people never submitted to inland cities.

The historical petition confirmed the cosigners willingness to partner with the Jews instead of assimilation into the Muslim community.

Text of petition, 2nd point:
– We can see today how Damascus residents force the Jews who live among them to sign a treaty promising not to send supplies to their devastated brethren Jews in Palestine. The situation of Jews in Palestine is the strongest proof of the importance of the religious case for Muslim Arabs towards anyone who is not Muslim.

Those good Jews who brought the Arabs civilization and peace, and spread gold and prosperity on Palestinian land, and did not harm anyone and did not take anything by force. Despite that the Muslims declared Holy War against them and they did not hesitate in slaughtering their children and women despite the existence of Britain in Palestine and France in Syria.

A dark fate awaits the Jews and the other minorities in case Muslim Syria are united with Muslim Palestine. This union is the ultimate goal for the Muslim Arab.

The Nusairis/Alawites is a secretive extremist Shia group.

6:13; Akram Hijazi, of the Muslim Thinkers Organization:
The Nussairi believe in incarnation, i.e.: divine in the flesh. Therefore, Bashar al-Assad for the Nasairis is the God now. That is why we have observed since the beginning of the uprising how they [Assad’s militias] prostrate to the images of Bashar and how they force people to pronounce expressions of divinity to Bashar. Like ordering people to say: “There is no God except for Bashar”.

An old video clip circulated on the net either in 2011 or 2012 showing a man being buried alive.

Man saying: There is no Diety but the one God and Muhammad the messenger of God [This is like Anointing of the Sick / Last Rights for Christians].

Voice saying: “You animal, say there is no God but Bashar”. Voice continues: “Bury that animal, bury him”.

In 1937 the Alawite state became part of the Syrian soil after France left though assured since the Alawites have penetrated the Syrian Army in preparation to consolidate their power and control of Syria.

That became possible when Hafez al-Assad in 1970 took control of Syria.
Since the Alawites whom Hafez al-Assad belong are a minority and does not constitute more than 10% of the general population, an uprising by the majority Sunni population was a constant concern for Hafez al-Assad and the International community supporting him.

Therefore it was crucial for Hafez al-Assad to have a strong security grip on the land. And once he became president he did a series of changes in the ranks of the army, security agencies, and the state.

He detained numerous leaders replacing them with faithful Alawite individuals.

In 1973 Hafez al-Assad started developing the North Western region. Development of these areas was far more intense than development of other needy regions in the country. Which lead observers to wonder why.
The explanation for this unequal development was that the region is considered the heartland for the Nusairi sect who the regime is dependent on.

French speaking person:
Hafez al-Assad developed manufacturing in his sect’s region. Alawites do not represent more than 10% of population but they make 20% of government employees. Not because the region is an export region. That was only to provide work opportunities for members of the sect.
The support of the Alawites is not baseless. There is a mutual interest between the regime and the Alawites through providing sect individuals with work opportunities. This is the main reason they are sticking to the regime.

Demographically, after Alawites were concentrated in Lattakia and Tartous provinces they spread into Hama and Hims. Aiming to expand their influence. And they also began to move down into cities.

A 2006 estimate states that Alawites’ population has increased from 19% in 1947 to 70% in 2006 in the city of Tartous, from 29% to 55% in the city of Lattakia, from 3% to 65% in the city of Jabla. Always quoting estimates by the French Fabris Balanch.

In 2000 Hafez died. Bashar succeeded him. And all circumstance were to his sect’s advantage to continue controlling the country.

Yet the new president was not as careful as his father to reinforce the position of his sect in the coastal region as if he felt secure that no threat will come out of the majority and he was almost sure that Sunnis will never stand up to his rule.

After ages of terror and torture (Hama massacre in 1982) however, in March of 2011 what his father feared did take place.

Muslims woke up from their slumber. They took out to the streets demanding their stolen rights and demanding to hold their executioners accountable.

The uprising started unarmed then developed into armed struggle; its goal is the elimination of the regime in its entirety.

Abu Ahmad the Migrant; 10:57:
The armed struggle of the Levantines was initiated by the Syrians themselves.

And the Syrian people are the ones who prepared a base for the armed struggle after they were convinced of the futility of peaceful methods to get back their rights and resolve their grievances.

The Islamic trend was clear since the beginning. And the divine care was clear since the beginning, confirming what the Messenger of God Muhammad peace upon him has said: Indeed God has sponsored the people of the Levant.

As the armed forced advanced on the ground, the Bathist regime began to ready a refuge for it in the coastal region in case it lost control of Damascus using the same excuses the French occupation used when it wanted to divide Syria: the preservation of the minorities.

Signs of these intentions:
Moving of Alawite families from other provinces into the coastal region.
Committing ethnic cleansing massacres against the Sunni population residing on the border region in order to scare them away. Like al-Hola massacre in Homs province on 25 May, 2012. Perpetrators of that massacres were militias, so called security forces, and members of neighboring Alawite villages.

Last of similar massacres took place in al-Baida and Banias, two towns close to the coastal city of Tartous.

12:56; Ali Kayali an Alawite officer making statement about the importance of putting a siege on the city of Banias and then cleansing it.

We came to expect that at the regime would tolerate loosing strategic locations like airports and armories, yet it would not tolerate any losses inside what is considered part of the potential Alawite state.

The regime put all of its resources in addition to help from Hizbollah to regain the city of al-Qusair while destroying it in the process.

This state if created will be a thorn for Syria. It will take resources from the country, most importantly its water access. It will take away fertile land and decent manufacturing activities. In addition to power plants and two oil refineries. In addition to potential offshore natural Gas fields.

14:36; Showing Syrian Coalition president Ahmad Jarba, narrator continues:
As for the International order, the reality is: It supports dividing Syria if it were not able to deceive the Syrian people into accepting a substitute president that will guarantee the interests of the international order and which put the Alawites back in control of the people again.

14:51; Akram Hijazi of the Muslim Thinkers Organiztion:
The Nusairi sect is advantageous to the international order. That is true. Its job is to secure stability of this order in the region.

The proof [of Akram Hizaji’s words] is the silencing of the coastal battle, and the rebels not being able to gain any grounds there for a while. Which indicate that there are unseen hands who are wrongly considered part of the revolutionaries but follow outside orders.

15:14; A young FSA fighter:
The beneficiary of bringing [coastal confrontation] to a halt is the opposition leaders staying in fancy hotels in Turkey paying for their food and drinks with myrtar’s blood, and foreign states playing games with the FSA considering it a game of cards.

Outside forces include Assad’s conventional partners Russia and Iran on one side. On other side, it is the Zionist entity who is considered the West’s favorite child.

All of those groups have an interest in keeping the Alawite sect in control of Syria, or at least in control of its most important part which is the country’s sea front.

Russia would like to keep its military base in Tartous which is its last base in the Mediterranean sea. This base supplies Russian ships with fuel and provides maintenance work. Russia also would like to keep Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States from cheaply exporting their natural gas and oil to Europe through the Mediterranean sea.

This will allow Russia to stay in control of what is truly important to it. That is Europe.

As for Iran who is interested in expanding in the region, it will welcome the creation of a Shia state to help it gain control and put economic pressure on the Arab countries in general and Gulf state in particular. This will lead to Iran controlling access to the Mediterranean and therefore take political freedom away from Arab Gulf states. As it in the past used the slogan of resisting the Zionist enemy through supporting Hizbollah.

As for the Jews [of Israel], they will be the biggest winners in case an Alawite state has been established. The debate about the Alawite State validity will give them the opportunity for the Judaization of Jerusalem, enforce their control on the West Bank, suffocate the rest of the Muslims in Gaza, and permanently close the Golan Heights file.

An Alawite state will also allow the Jews to frankly declare their state a Jewish [religious] state similar to the Alawite State. And most importantly, tear the region into small city states that do not threaten the existence of the Zionist entity.

All of the above signs indicate that their is an international agreement to neutralize the coastal front. Which make it easy for those conspiring against the Syrian Muslim blood to control it in case they are not able to bring the rest of Syria under their control.

And even when coastal battle took off [in 2013], observers could not help but describe it as the most important event of the year, quoting Safwat Zayyat, a military analyst for Aljazeera Arabic.

Neither the regime nor other entities considered to be part of the revolution who signed agreements promising the protection of the minorities (reminding us of the French mandate period) [the video is showing the Syrian Coalition president Ahmad al-Jarba] expected the coastal confrontation.

These entities [National Coalition] follows orders from the international community.

Fayez al-Doary, Military analyst:
We have to admit that battalions leading this offensive are not FSA.

The Battle of the Coast in August 2013 was carried out by Islamic battalions. They follow no one’s orders but God’s. And they do not accept concessions nor negotiations at the expense of the interests and the faith of the Muslim nation.

A group of truthful as we think of them, migrants and supporters, united in love of God and faith.

The battle of the Coast shook Assad’s sect. We heard of Assad withdrawing troops from Homs and Damascus sending them to the coast, resulting in relieving pressure on other rebel fronts.
As expected, the regime amassed all of its forces and the armed rebels had to retreat after inflicting heavy losses on Assad troops.

The battle of the coast in 2013 left inquiries about its priority and about its supporters.

The battle has ended leaving doubts within the Alawite community. They are now suspicious of the regime ability to protect them.

The Syrian conflict will not come to an end until resources are given to the Coastal battle and until moving the battle into regime areas.

20:57; Akram Hijazi:
If the rebels obtained weapons, coast will be within reach. In this case there will be reaction from within the Alawite community. And the regime does not want to get to this point because the sect is its guarantee for survival. Interviewer: Yes because the community is safe while the Alawite dogs go out to kill the Syrians. Hijazi replies: Yes they are defending their interests. Bringing the armed conflict to the coast means the Alawite community will pay the same price as the rest of the population and therefore rebellion [within the Alawite community] will occur. And so far they have no options because all recommended solutions are through the regime.

Indeed. This was Kerry’s plan. This was Lavrov’s plan. This is how they wanted to divide our beloved nation.
This is how they want to quench God’s Light.
But never. God shall complete his Light via the work of the group who fights for Him and pays no regards for any blame.
Anfal coastal offensive, 2014. Chanting: I am steadfast. Praise the Struggle.

Your brothers at Okab institute for Journalism and Publishing.
Month of joumada al-Awwal, 1435.

April 7th, 2014, 12:37 pm


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