Syrian Hezbollah Militias of Nubl and Zahara’

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The Syrian Shi’i towns of Nubl and Zahara’ to the north of Aleppo city, like other Shi’i areas in Syria, have been associated with support for the regime from the outset. In addition, given that the religious affiliation (Twelver Shi’i Islam) happens to coincide with that of Iran and its Lebanese client Hezbollah that are leading backers of the regime, Nubl and Zahara’ have become one of many areas for the building of the concept of a native Syrian Hezbollah and ‘Islamic Resistance’ (al-muqawama al-islamiya).

At least two Syrian Hezbollah militias I have documented elsewhere have recruited people from Nubl and Zahara’. One of these militias is the National Ideological Resistance (Jaysh al-Imam al-Mahdi, whose name translates as ‘The Imam Mahdi Army’). The militia’s home base is in the Tartous-Masyaf area, but it has also fought in the Aleppo area, recently claiming a ‘martyr’ in the latest round of engagements as the regime seeks to impose a siege on the rebel-held eastern parts of Aleppo city. Back in February 2015, the group claimed a ‘martyr’ originally from Zahara’ as part of fighting in the Ratyan area just to the east of Nubl and Zahara’. The other Syrian Hezbollah militia of relevance here is Quwat al-Ridha (The al-Ridha Forces, named for the eighth Shi’i imam). Like the National Ideological Resistance, its recruiting base primarily lies elsewhere: in this case, in the Homs area. However, it has also recruited some people from other areas including Nubl and Zahara’, as we will also see below.

Besides the aforementioned Syrian Hezbollah groups that have recruited people from Nubl and Zahara’, there exist at least two formations that have a similar image but are specifically intended to recruit from these two towns. The older formation is called Junud al-Mahdi (‘Soldiers of the Mahdi’), while the more recent formation is called Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja (‘Imam Hujja Regiment’, also a reference to the Mahdi). In terms of affiliation, there is no difference between these two groups. According to a person from Nubl presently residing in Damascus and another person from Nubl who was in Quwat al-Ridha but now works in Hezbollah’s information portfolio and is currently in Iran, both Junud al-Mahdi and Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja are affiliated with Hezbollah. These groups will be documented below.

For further context, it should be emphasized that recruitment for militias is not the only evidence of Hezbollah activity in the area: there also exists a branch of the group’s youth wing- the Imam Mahdi Scouts- that has apparently been operating since at least 2012. With organisation into area sectors as well as multiple contingents and sub-divisions, the Imam Mahdi Scouts engage in outreach to the local youth with activities like swimming trips, hiking and religious lessons including the promotion of Iran’s ideology of wilayat al-faqih. In March 2015, a leader in the Imam Mahdi Scouts from Nubl- Abdo Mahdi Saman– was killed in fighting. Interestingly, one source listing ‘martyrdoms’ among regime personnel in the Aleppo area at the time presented him as “from the men of the local defence,” adding that he was killed on the front of the periphery of Aleppo international airport. The ‘local defence’ here refers to the Local Defence Forces (LDF), regime auxiliary forces specific to Aleppo with roots in a variety of pro-Assad networks in the province. The LDF was set up in 2012 by Iran, and one of the formations in the LDF comes from Nubl and Zahara’. Thus, here in the case of Saman is a notable case of apparent overlap in affiliations pointing further to the links between the LDF and Hezbollah that I have previously examined in looking at the LDF in-depth.

Emblem of the Imam Mahdi Scouts for the Nubl and Zahara’ area. Note the Syrian flag in the emblem.

Junud al-Mahdi

A logo for Junud al-Mahdi. Besides the familiar extended arm and rifle associated with Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a distinctly Syrian flavour is added through painting over the globe (which signifies the concept of the global Islamic Revolution envisioned by Iran) with the Syrian flag. The figures to the left of the arm and rifle are Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. On top: “The soldiers of the Mahdi are those who overcome” (a play on the concept of Hezbollah as “the party of God”- cf. ‘The party of God are those who overcome’- Qur’an 5:56). On bottom: “The Islamic Resistance in Syria.”

The exact date of the formation of Junud al-Mahdi remains unclear and open-source information on the group remains scarce, though one source currently in Nubl, who did not know the exact date of formation, said “possibly [the group dates] from the beginning of the Syrian crisis in Aleppo,” which would place its origins in 2012 if correct, perhaps around the same time Hezbollah set up the Imam Mahdi Scouts branch for Nubl and Zahara’. Clear references to Junud al-Mahdi can be found at least as far back as 2014. For example, a post from July 2014 mentions operations at the time against rebels to the northeast of Aleppo city (in particular the area of the industrial quarter of Sheikh Najjar and its vicinity) involving Junud al-Mahdi. In particular, there is mention of a “squadron of 100 persons from the elite of the youth of Nubl and Zahara’ under the name of Junud al-Mahdi, being aided by a group from Hezbollah.” Ultimately, these operations culminated in the rebels’ loss of the Sheikh Najjar area in early July 2014.

Later in 2014, a reference turns up for Junud al-Mahdi in relation to operations in a variety of locations in north Aleppo and Aleppo city, such as in Handarat, al-Jubeila and the cement factory area. Other formations mentioned at the time include a Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas contingent, and a Fawj Shuhada’ Nubl wa al-Zahara’ (Nubl and Zahara’ Martyrs Regiment), which appears to be the same as the local LDF formation for Nubl and Zahara’. Turning to the current year, it is possible to find at least one reference to Junud al-Mahdi, as per below.

“From the land of battle live: the finest youth of Junud al-Mahdi: Ratyan.” For context, the person responsible for this post, Abbas Assaf, comes from the local Assaf family of Nubl. Similarly, my source from Nubl who was in Quwat al-Ridha is also from the Assaf family. As with many militias in the Syrian civil war, fighters from Nubl and Zahara’ often come from the same families and households, as illustrated by recurring family names.

Graphic for the Assaf family of Nubl, incorporating the extended arm and rifle, playing on the idea of Hezbollah as the family’s “military wing” (al-junah al-askari).

Information on ‘martyrs’ of Junud al-Mahdi likewise remains obscure. A page named for Junud al-Mahdi and active in 2015 named a number of people apparently as ‘martyrs’ for the group. Some of these individuals can be matched with some members of a series of six ‘martyrs’ who were killed in the Ratyan area in February 2015 but were only buried in June 2015 following an exchange of bodies between the regime and rebels. Their ‘martyrdom’ placards notably featured the flag of Hezbollah.

Nahad Ahmad Dib

Hussein Mahdi

On left: Taher Mustafa Khatib

Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja

Emblem of Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja. On bottom: “Nubl and Zahara’.” As with the Junud al-Mahdi emblem, note the extended arm and rifle.

Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja is the newer Nubl and Zahara’ formation affiliated with Hezbollah. According to my source from Nubl who was in Quwat al-Ridha, Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja was formed approximately 8 months ago, which would put its formation in January 2016. It may reasonably be asked what was the purpose in setting up this group at the beginning of this year considering the already existing Hezbollah affiliate for Nubl and Zahara’ in Junud al-Mahdi. It is possible that Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja was set up to coincide with the intense push led by Shi’i militias at the time to break the rebel sieges of Nubl and Zahara’, a goal that was achieved at the beginning of February 2016. More generally, there is a familiar modus operandi here in the creation of multiple linked groups that can help to create the impression of a bigger overall front.

A distinct flag and distinct insignia can be identified for Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja, as seen below.



Ali Abd al-Ghanni al-Taqi, a fighter from Nubl recently announced to have been killed fighting in south Aleppo countryside. With the breaking of the siege of eastern Aleppo by rebel forces in opening a corridor through Ramousah in the southwest of Aleppo city, additional forces from Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja and Fawj Shuhada’ Nubl wa al-Zahara’ have reportedly mobilized to participate in the fighting.

Similar to Junud al-Mahdi, an official page to track Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja is lacking, and so information on its activities must be compiled from patches of different source material. In April 2016, at least 11 people from Nubl and Zahara’ were reported to have been killed fighting in the area of al-Eis in the south Aleppo countryside. From another source, at least 4 of the individuals listed can apparently be identified as members of Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja. The following month, it was reported that convoys from Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja, Fawj Shuhada’ Nubl wa al-Zahara’ and Fawj al-Tadakhkhul al-Khas were departing from Nubl and Zahara’ to support the Syrian army in Aleppo city. In June 2016, following the onset of Ramadan, another set of ‘martyrs’ from Nubl and Zahara’ were declared (not all killed on the same day), at least one of whom was identified in another posting as a member of Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja (specifically one Mansour al-Abras), identified as “a new martyr in the series of martyrs of Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja.” Finally, of note regarding the ‘martyrs’ of Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja, a commander called Ali Muhammad Mustafa Khalil (known by the nickname al-Zilzal) was announced on 9 July 2016 to have been killed. A more detailed biography subsequently emerged, which stated that he was from Nubl, was 34 years old and had two children. He had reputedly participated in the Aleppo fighting from the outset and eventually received a leadership position in Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja.


In terms of the building of the ‘Islamic Resistance’ in Syria, the Syrian Shi’i communities represent the most fertile ground for Hezbollah and Iran to give a native Syrian face to the concept, taking advantage of the shared religious affiliation and playing on the sectarian atmosphere, reinforced by sieges that the rebels have imposed on their villages. Though multiple local formations exist for the Nubl and Zahara’ area, the boundaries between them are unsurprisingly not so clear-cut, and it can be difficult to tell individuals apart by affiliation. In the end though, Syrian Shi’a are still a very small minority in the country. A big question in assessing the potential to build a Syrian ‘Islamic Resistance’/Hezbollah movement is how far there can also be successful outreach to other sects and components of society within regime-held Syria. In the predominantly Druze Suwayda’ province, for example, there have been concerns- especially among more third-way circles- regarding Iranian/Hezbollah outreach and a suspected Shi’ification campaign. These issues of wider networking will be examined further in future posts.

Comments (79)

eugene said:

What a waste of human life and resources. To see and read of this war as presented, which I might add, one has to seek out same, not readily available from the Western MSM, though they promote the western PR view. I understand the concept of having a revolution, but this ongoing killing by outside members-proxy forces-has transcended into the ugly spectacle we see today. Regardless of original motive(s), the perpetrators behind this, should be made to pay for the rebuilding, but as we have seen so far, that will not be the case. As for fighting in the name their God, this proves that religion is nothing more than a blight on the human existence shown by the history books.

August 15th, 2016, 6:14 am


ghufran said:

What you see here is the results of the lack of freedom including the right to be free from religion. none of the Islamist militias, Sunni or shia, believe in elections or democracy. The tragedy is that the opposition had the correct diagnosis but delivered the wrong treatment. Shia militias have the potential to become another ISIS if left unchecked despite the fact that the brutality of those militias and the damage they caused pale in comparison to Sunni militias affiliated with ISIS and Nusra.
Turkish PM officially delivered an Uthmani finger to the rebels by dropping demands for a regime change and replacing the famous slogan of “Assad must go now” with a new timid version “Assad can not stay for the long term”. What is sad is that many of us said just that in 2012 and were called “regime collaborators ” !!

August 15th, 2016, 12:45 pm


Hopeful said:

There is no possible outcome – other than a civil war – to a minority-supported brutal dictatorship in any society. You can blame the rebels and outside forces all you want, but ultimately what led to this mess was a dictatorship which refused to listen to the demand of its people, acted brutally to suppress dissident, and was ignored (if not supported) but its base among the minority community. There was no other possible outcome than a full blown civil war. And there is no possible end to the civil war than the removal of the dictatorship (or the forceful transfer or elimination of the entire population that opposes it)

August 15th, 2016, 1:31 pm


Mina said:

Really? Could you tell me how many sunnite have been studying at universities and how many are professors of all levels and how many are in higher positions in administrations etc?

August 15th, 2016, 5:51 pm


Passerby said:

Alan, Alan Alan… Why on earth would Israel or anyone that’s not some dead end terrorist want anything to do with Syria? Everyone’s trying to get out of the country, not in. Nothing there of value. Israel makes the CPU and operating system for the computer you use, they don’t need Syria. They just want to live in peace.

The trick was to stick Russia to the Syria Tar Baby. Their problem now. Their fault.

August 15th, 2016, 11:14 pm


Passerby said:

Ok, for those that think ISIS and Nusra are about to be driven off the battlefield in Syria, and you know it will go fast at the end, what happens next?

Does the Free Democratic Forces hand over their territory/arms to the Assad government? Doesn’t seem likely.

So, what happens next? Force those Western Syrian Sunnis to live under Assad? Yeah, they are no doubt sick of ISIS, but Assad?

One more time, right or wrong, no one else is coming up with original ideas to end the war…(Granted few here seem to want to.)…

Take the ISIS all Sunni part of Iraq, and the Sunni refugees in Turkey etc that don’t want to live under Assad, and make the western half of Syria part of Iraq.

It solves everything. Hopeful is talking about minority ethnic rule being a guaranteed recipe for trouble. In this case, Assad could probably win a moderately honest election. And the threat of ethnic minority, (or absolute majority like Iraq), rule won’t come up. All ethnic groups are minorities, all have to get along to get a piece of the action.

Assad would be thrilled, it’s his gramp’s Alawite State, with the big cities thrown in. The Sunnis Syrians hostile to Assad would prefer that to living under Assad. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, etc could get rid of the refugees. Perhaps the thugs running Iraq wouldn’t go for it, losing their absolute majority, but countries have this nasty habit of wanting to expand their borders. Never seen one pass it up yet.

Hey, not like anyone else has any swell original ideas around here.

August 15th, 2016, 11:33 pm


Hopeful said:

#6 Passerby

Here is an idea: a plan similar to the Taef’s accord in Lebanon. It ended the war in Lebanon and it created a long period of peace and prosperity, not to mention a solid shield against future civil wars. With all the mess Lebanon finds itself in (hezbulla’s involvemnet in Syria, no president, terrorism, etc.) it is still safe. Lebanon’s problems after Taef were due do Syria, Iran and Israel, not their internal accord. Hopefully the future of Lebanon will be bright once the political system in Syria changes and the Iran meddling stops.

The best way to slowly build and strengthen democratic institutions is to start somewhere where no party can overpower the system and turn it into a dictatorship. The idea of building democratic institutions under an “enlightened” dictatorship is a myth, especially one that gives favorites to minorities at the expense of the majority, as was the case in Syria and Iraq. Israel recognized that in 1948, and they have since built a successful democracy, and this is why they never annexed Gaza and the West Bank.

August 16th, 2016, 12:46 am


Observer said:

This is for the regime troll from the PBS newshour yesterday

So please stop supporting and abating this war criminal regime

August 16th, 2016, 6:54 am



SYRIACOMMENT has become the wikipedia of shia dirty criminal militias. Are we supposed to discuss about these foreign bastards and their religion or warrior jihadist beliefs?

August 16th, 2016, 11:47 am


Passerby said:

Hi Hopeful,

I don’t see how a Taef’s accord type solution would work in this case. Still have the issue of Assad still in power, still have the issue of Al-Qaeda and ISIS that can’t be allowed to survive, controlling territory. Seems we have to destroy ISIS and Nusra first, regardless, and what then? No one’s left except Assad and the Kurds/Syrian Democratic Forces.

Granted my proposed solution, you also have to get rid of ISIS/Nusra first. Seems that’s the first order of business, and seems it’s becoming clear to just about everyone involved. The days of Erdogan/Gulf State insistence of getting rid of Assad before ISIS are over.

August 16th, 2016, 2:02 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Bogdanov is wasting time, Muaaz Khateeb is not part of the opposition , he represents himself

It is wrong to call this revolution Arab Spring , it is a major revolution in the Arab world who looked at democracy in Neibouring country and we admired it, we yearned for democracy that will unite us , dictators always want to keep their power , and they will never give up their power , so it is impossible for dictatorship to unite while democracy can lead to unity, that is why القوميون العرب the Arab nationalists made major mistake supporting dictatorship as their goal is to unite , so they contradict themselves, they are opportunistics, and contradictorians,

August 16th, 2016, 2:05 pm


Hopeful said:

#10 Passerby

A true Taef-like solution would not keep Assad “in power”, but it may keep him as a “president” similar to Iraq’s president for example. The power would be in the hands of a prime minister who would be elected by a parliament which itself is elected (as in Iraq). Daesh will be fought by all, and I think Alnusrah must be brought into the solution. Of course such a solution will have to be imposed from the outside to end the civil war – exactly the way it happened in Lebanon.

August 16th, 2016, 3:18 pm


Ghufran said:

قال رئيس الوزراء التركي بن علي يلدرم اليوم إن بلاده قادرة على إيجاد حل للأزمة السورية بشرط الحفاظ على وحدة الأراضي التركية والأراضي السورية معا، وشدد يلدرم على ألا يفرض أي نظام لإدارة الدولة السورية على أساس طائفي.
Arabic translation of the Uthmani finger given to the Rebels by Turkish PM.
Turkey selling the rebels in return of Russia and its allies selling the Kurds.
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

August 16th, 2016, 4:21 pm


Mina said:

Even leaving aside ‘freedom, dignity and justice’ which are hard to find anywhere nowadays, where did this man ever see a ‘decentralized, civil state’ in the Arab world?

August 16th, 2016, 6:14 pm


Ghufran said:

The U.S., pro US rebels and Turkey allowed more than 200 vehicles from isis to leave Manbej with an unknown number of “civilians” (if you believe that there was civilians). Some may have stayed inside Syria but most went inside Turkey !!
The military source claimed that the decision was made out of fear of harming civilians(!!).

August 17th, 2016, 7:38 am


ALAN said:

ha ha ha ha ha … US rebels ? in their way to anoter american Hollywood!

The cleric who was a key character in the beginning scenes, Sheikh Sayasnehشيخ الصياصنة, was first put under house arrest, and then he was smuggled out to Amman, Jordan in January 2012. He now gives lectures in America near Washington, DC. Just like aspiring actors usually find their way to Hollywood, which is the Mecca of the film industry, Sheikh Sayasneh found his way to the Mecca of all regime change projects.

August 17th, 2016, 11:44 am


Ghufran said:

Mouaz al-khatib has my support and many others, he is now the most acceptable figure in the opposition. People who oppose him have no alternatives. Do not take my word for it, watch his interview with Al-Hadath and tell me what is it that you did not like about what he said.

August 17th, 2016, 9:40 pm



What next?

Shall we book tickets to Syria for this Christmas?

August 17th, 2016, 10:37 pm


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL, it’s always great to read you.

Your statement on Syria in #3 is IT.

Root cause, complete story, last word.

Memo to Passerby and others who think in shallow headlines: Print out that statement, make it your screensaver, write it on the wall.

August 18th, 2016, 5:15 am


Syrialover said:


Bashar Assad leans towards iPad screen and types with both index fingers: “cluster bombs for hospitals pleath”


My comment: Haha. And the truth? Assad long ago lost the power to ask for or decide anything – he handed control over to Russia and Iran.

To them he’s a weak guy, inept, a junior employee.

August 18th, 2016, 5:22 am


Syrialover said:

Another burst of clarity against billions of words of junk theorizing and pseudo-analysis:


“The Islamic State (Daesh) is not a serious military force or a credible or legitimate sovereign entity, and once confronted seriously on the three battlegrounds where it operates it will fade away as surely as an early morning mist. As this becomes more obvious and the existing “state” or “caliphate” that Islamic State (Daesh) operates in parts of Syria, Libya, and Iraq soon disappear, the critical element in the years ahead will be to recognize the relationships among those three battlegrounds that define its life and, ultimately, its death.

“Islamic State (Daesh) was born because these conditions [autocratic dysfunctional and corrupt political systems] created its two most important birthing aids: masses of disgruntled and frenzied citizens who sought any alternative to their difficult lives, and hollowed, inept governments that were unable or unwilling to fight back against Islamic State (Daesh) once it set up shop amidst them. Changing the military equation is relatively straightforward, as we see these days, but changing the other two dimensions is what will achieve long-term victory, and, more importantly, offer a decent life for the citizens of the countries.”

Source: article by Rami Khouri August 17, 2016-

Comment: “Hollowed inept governments” that failed to fight ISIS. The Syrian version of this was the worst of the lot. I recently saw a reminder that Iraq’s Maliki regime (hollow and inept itself) complained in the international arena for years that Assad was harboring/training and sending terrorists to Iraq.

August 18th, 2016, 6:26 am


Observer said:

Even the Israelis are reporting on the so called resistance work

And here is the report for the regime troll on this pro regime blog

And some talk of laughing at these people: what a despicable figure

August 18th, 2016, 7:46 am


Passerby said:

I donno’ Syrialover, seems your and Hopeful’s plan for Assad to just occupy a ceremonial post with no power will be a tough sell to Assad, since he would be having intimate relationships with a bayonet like Khadaffi. And giving Al-Qaeda and ISIS their own territory? Seems there’s problems with that too.

August 18th, 2016, 9:42 am


Passerby said:

Can the well informed people here point out the rebels with over 5% of the guns that aren’t Al-Qaeda flunkies? I’m having a hard time locating them and that would be a big help sorting this out.

Thanks in advance.

August 18th, 2016, 9:45 am


Syrialover said:


That’s not what I said.

But thanks for confirmation that you prefer to read only your own ramblings.

We aren’t talking about a silly computer war game here, where swagger, swagger (in the mind of the player) rebels are “al Qaeda flunkies” and there’s an option about “giving ISIS and al Qaeda their own territory”.

HOPEFUL gave you thoughtful, well-informed answers.

August 18th, 2016, 11:30 am


Mina said:


Daesh was born initially for revenge against US invasion
Read about its beginnings here

The disgruntled citizens you mention seem to have popped up from all over the world to help them (Europe, the US, Australia, China, Libya etc.). How do you explain that?

August 18th, 2016, 11:50 am


ALAN said:

The former Pentagon official Michael Maloof !
Yes, the US is “being basically left out” with regard to its role in the Syrian conflict. It is absolutely right.
Now China and Russia are prominent members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization “SCO”. Iran wants to become a member. That’s 17 countries in all that are either prominent members, or partners, which also include Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan and countries in Central Asia. It’s a large organization…..YES “The SCO – not only economic organization in nature – it will become a counter-terrorism entity. And that’s where the Chinese feel that they need to be. It also reflects the fact that the SCO gives members a greater presence and influence in the Middle East alongside with Russia and Iran.
The fact that the United States are in a great need for complete change on a new foundations, otherwise it need to go to Mr. Gorbachev for advice …..

August 18th, 2016, 11:53 am


ALAN said:

In Afghanistan, Obama has slowed down the pace of withdrawing troops. Corruption is rife, and there seems to be no progress on talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

In Iraq, American special forces are back on the ground as the U.S conducts airstrikes against ISIS. Iraq’s political settlement is as shaky as ever, with Shia Muslims threatening to revolt.

In Syria, the U.S. wants to force Syrian president out of peace negotiations, and so acts to strengthen various rebel groups. The the war is thus extended indefinitely, leading to increasing death totals.

The Libya conflict is not over either. The American people have even discovered, through simple communiques from the military, that it is engaged in extensive airstrikes there against ISIS

In the Arabian Peninsula, peace talks between warring Yemeni groups have stalled. The U.S. has aided Saudi Arabia’s war against Houthi rebels on behalf of its Yemeni clients.

American special forces are on the ground in four ME wars now, or five if you include Afghanistan. all of them would be unpopular if they were put before Congress, the American people are simply not consulted.

In any case, there is a danger in involving America in so many conflicts that exist beyond the remit of popular opinion.

And these are just the conflicts in the Middle East. The U.S. push more provocative acts against Russia toward Ukraine and against China with more aggressive moves in the South China Sea.

President Obama decisions in the Middle East and elsewhere have set a number of deadly traps for the next president . we will see

August 18th, 2016, 2:25 pm



If it was not for Christians and other minorities, Syria would have been gone long gone. Thankfully, the educated and rich Sunni class stood to the right side of the equation.

August 19th, 2016, 2:17 am


ALAN said:

United States was getting ready to relocate the warheads from Turkey to Romania?

Transferring US nuclear weapons to Romania would be dangerous and illegal under international law.

The article one of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) specifically prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon states.

The article two of the NPT makes it illegal for Romania to accept the weapons

The play became hellishly. Seems it’s time to move Russians nukes to Cuba again.

August 19th, 2016, 11:20 am


Ghufran said:

Most Syrians in this war are tools and they deserve pity not hatred. Notice how the gcc sends money and fighters to die in Syria while the rich and connected spend their time vacationing in Europe. The same is true among Syrians on both sides, those who are dying are the poor not the expats, the bloggers or their kids.
The war was only possible because of Syrians who lost their moral compass and the regime that ruled and corrupted Syria since 1963. Islamists and foreign powers simply used the holes in the wall to get in. Look in the mirror before you blame others for your problems.

August 19th, 2016, 1:47 pm


Mina said:

Disgusting, even the nazis didn’t go that far

And we are to accept that the Yazidi women and girls are being sold and exchanged, and supposed to believe that people in these conditions (hostages of IS etc) must be kept in life and that they want to survive rather than to die?? The silence about the horrors going on, the absence of condemnation of the clerics and states who support it/don’t condemn it loud enough will create hundreds of suicidal nihilists. Death is nothing compare to the trade of these people, AND THAT OF THEIR PICTURES

August 19th, 2016, 2:30 pm



The Kurds on the other hand -as always- did not play their cards right. With Turkey taking a sharp turn towards the legitimate central government in Damascus, very soon we will see the Turkish armed gangs in Syria surrendering themselves to Syrian authorities just to be freed and redeployed against the Kurds.

It’s the irony of the Middle East to see Turkish soldiers fighting side by side with the Syrian army after 5 long years of hatred.

August 19th, 2016, 9:51 pm


Juergen said:

Syria ‘is being swallowed whole by its clients’: Assad may be losing control over his own militias

“Pro-regime militias that have thrived amid the chaos of Syria’s five-year civil war are becoming increasingly powerful and prone to warlordism as the state rapidly loses its ability to reign them in, defense analysts say.”

August 20th, 2016, 3:42 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Freedom is more important than both religion and secularism , neither protect freedom, both are wrong,
No freedom with lack of education , no freedom with poverty, no freedom with lies , no freedom with injustice, ,your freedom ends when others startl

August 20th, 2016, 9:57 am


ALAN said:

There is room for the proper evaluation.
Legitimate government help and contain natural ingredients of the Syrian nation.
There are those who try to demonize the Kurds.
We should not disregard. It is frightening to imagine an angry Kurdish nation transforming,to a backed resistance (مقاومة) by the west.

August 20th, 2016, 10:30 am


Passerby said:

Ok, it stands resolved, no one can state a “rebel” group with 5% of the guns, that isn’t Al-Qaeda or their bigoted, intolerant Sharia flunkie, that only survives by their grace.

(Other than the Kurds/SDF or IS/ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq/Saddam Regime)

Truly amazing, how much influence the Gulf States have on American politicians, that they can get us to support Al-Qaeda, and get us to lie to the American people about it.

And not just Al-Qaeda, ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq, that killed all our kids and all those Iraqi civilians and Shiites. The “JV Team” that there was nothing to worry about when they controlled everything between Baghdad and Damascus. And the token meaningless pin prick bombing of ISIS just to relive domestic pressure, the thousands of ISIS oil tankers crossing the Turkish border every day, and doing nothing until Russia showed the photos, than a race with Russia to see who could blow up the most thousands of them. But years of not doing anything, and the excuse was that the truck drivers were civilians and if any chance at all of civilians being hurt, the US can’t bomb, meaning it never bombs. The excuse after Russia spilled the beans to finally start bombing them? They dropped leaflets warning the drivers. Big coincidence it just occurred to them.

Well, despite it all, ISIS has lost, and Al-Qaeda has lost, and by making the mistake of making them their champions, the mistake of the Gulf States, the Turks and too many Syrians, they have lost, Assad has won.

The question now is what happens to the Kurds, and yeah, looks like Erdogan has focused everything on domestic politics, and crawled on his belly to everyone else. Both he and Assad, (and the rest of the insufferable bigots in the area) agree on tormenting the Kurds. Looks like it’s started…

US sends jets to protect forces from Syrian regime strikes
Saturday, August 20, 2016 11:21 AM
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has twice scrambled fighter aircraft to protect American special operations forces and allies after Syrian government warplane attacks near the northeastern Syrian city of Hassakeh, officials said Friday.

August 20th, 2016, 1:39 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Putin always back away from a fight when he realizes it is serious, Putin knows he has limitations on his interference in Syria , limitations set by USA
Assad jets flying over East of Syria , it is a joke

August 20th, 2016, 2:22 pm


ALAN said:

The upper hands in every millimeter of syrian territory are the syrian government’s hands for ever. It is not a joke.

August 20th, 2016, 3:30 pm



Secularism, divesed society and united country is more important than religion and cosmetic freedom. If you need to be Mula and Imam then you always can choose to live in Saudi or Iran.

August 20th, 2016, 5:52 pm


ALAN said:

The US helps to create “Kurdistan”, meaning Syria gets fractured,as well as Iraq ,Turkey, and Iran. In return the US gets a military base. And another 20 years of fighting and selling arms, and ending with a base on Russia’s southern border. Maybe Russia (and China) could host negotiations with those nations affected, make the Kurdish groups an offer more attractive than unending warfare.

August 21st, 2016, 6:37 am


Observer said:

From Michel Kilo to our Alawi friends

August 21st, 2016, 9:04 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Jarablus the next battle, this will separate Turkey from ISIS, separate Kurdish forces , , the direction would be toward Reqqa, Turkey needs to play a major role in this attack, Biden will visit Turkey on 24 of August

Michel Kilo letter , we asked the Assad sect to abandon Assad long time ago, they decided to commit suicide

August 21st, 2016, 6:09 pm


Ghufran said:

Kurds militias in Hasakah are taking advantage of the mess in Syria to pave the road for a mini state. The confused opposition may be tempted to support the Kurds to achieve short term gains but that would be a strategic mistake.
Kurds rely on the US and Israel for support, everybody else is against a Kurdish state, the Kurdish issue is creating strange bedfellows !!

August 21st, 2016, 11:47 pm


ALAN said:

Syrian Arab Army
Iranian army
Russian army
Chinese army
It became all your credibility at stake! United States violated the red lines. If the United States managed the implementation of its project in Syria, then you will need to undergo all with each other.
The US are occupied part of Syria now officially. This is a historic and dangerous development.
Over the last 24 hours, the United States has made clear its status as a hostile occupational force in Syria. Yesterday, the US issued a communique to the legitimate Syrian government and the Russian anti-terrorist coalition assisting the Syrians. The United States has indicated that it has carved out a swath of Syria with boots on the ground fulfilling the roles of active duty personnel, such as special ops forces, advisors, trainers, mechanics, and supporting units. The US has declared a no fly zone and threatened to target and shoot down Syrian and Russian planes within Syrian airspace (over the Kurdish zio-american autonomous region).
The US military’s official statement is violation of international law, constituting an illegal occupation of a sovereign state. US Lt. General Townshend in Northern Syria laid out plans to increase the area of what the US considers ” zio-american Kurdistan.” by force.

August 22nd, 2016, 12:58 pm


Ghufran said:

Al-hasakah is likely to become the capital of a new mini kurdish state with support from the U.S. and Israel and that was only possible because of changing a legitimate struggle for freedom and democracy to a fight over territory, money and influence. A new alliance is emerging which has already caught many by surprise. When we said that nothing good can come out of this bloody war thawrajiyyeh called us regime sympathizes. As always, arabs come out as the biggest losers !!
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

August 22nd, 2016, 9:07 pm


Ghufran said:

So, Iran and Turkey, not Syria and another arab country, are getting closer to an understanding about what to do with Assad. By the way, there are still many Syrians who are unable to admit that Syria is occupied by foreigners and has lost its independence. Keep politics aside, do you really believe that Assad should have been crowned king in 2000 ?
A terrible mistake in 2000 was supposed to be fixed in 2011 by the resignation, or proposed resignation, of Assad and bringing Syrians together to fix their internal problems, instead the man stayed president and jihadis and foreigners were put in charge of Syria !! Keep pushing a cart that has no wheels and waiting for a non existing good will from others to solve your own problems.
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

August 23rd, 2016, 6:53 pm



Where did the Kurds migrate from?

August 23rd, 2016, 9:47 pm


eugene said:

Wikipedia has a chronology of the kurds, to #51.

August 23rd, 2016, 11:14 pm


Ghufran said:

Turkish tanks are inside Syria now

August 24th, 2016, 8:45 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Major operation by Turkey in Syria , this will get rid of Pyd west of Furat river, and get rid of ISIS , as I said before get rid of ISIS is half way to get rid of Assad ,
Neither Assad regime nor PYD nor ISIS are happy , they are angry, this action by Turkey will leave Assad with two choices , either accept negotiations or accept division of Syria

August 24th, 2016, 12:58 pm


Tara said:

Where is passerby ?

Now with the liberation of جرابلس ، is Assad winning and Erdogan losing ?

Come on . Please tell us that Assad is winning .

August 24th, 2016, 5:53 pm


Tara said:

I am not against حقوق الأكراد

بس بيستاهلوا اللي صار فيهم

وهي باعتهم اميركا وروسيا

وخسروا الشعب السوري

August 24th, 2016, 5:56 pm



It’s not a liberation or occupation act of جرابلس city. The Turks coordinated with Damascus via 3rd and 4th party, and we’re happy for them to lead the war against the Kurd separatists. This move is in accordance with appendix (23C) of Adana Agreement 1998, beside Damascus has received guarantees that the Turks will withdraw after crushing the Kurds.

Actually high ranking Turkish officials dined kebba wo Mashawi in Damascus two weeks ago.

August 24th, 2016, 6:48 pm


Tara said:

أدانت وزارة الخارجية في حكومة النظام اليوم الأربعاء، دخول الدبابات التركية إلى الأراضي السورية ضمن معركة “درع الفرات” لتحرير مدينة جرابلس من أيدي تنظيم الدولة.

وقالت خارجية النظام على لسان مصدر مسؤول فيها نقلته وسائل الإعلام الموالية، إن “الجمهورية العربية السورية تؤكد أن محاربة الإرهاب على الاراضي السورية من أي طرف كان يجب أن تتم من خلال التنسيق مع الحكومة السورية والجيش العربي السوري الذي يخوض هذه المعارك منذ اكثر من خمس سنوات”.

Turkish artillery in Syria creating de facto safe zone and the regime is condemning but ASSAD IS STILL WINNING 🙂

August 24th, 2016, 8:18 pm


ALAN said:

الأكراد يوزنون قوة لا يستهان بها لدى أربعة دول في الأقليم ، و هم أمة عددها أكثر من تعداد سكان العراق ، و من البديهي أن تقوى سورية بهم و تضعف بدونهم. لم يبيع الأكراد أحدا لا روسيا و لا أمريكا و لا سورية. حقوقهم كانت و لا تزال محفوظة في الدستور السوري و بالممارسة. و لم يحصل معهم الا ماحصل مع كل السوريين بدون تمييز. بل على العكس لقد ساعدهم الأكراد الأتراك عبر الحدود. أما عن جرابلس فالدبابات التركية تحت رحمة السوريين و مع دباباتهم في الأرض السورية كحال الدبابات الاسرائيلية عندما دخلت جنوب لبنان 2006 و قبرت هناك.

August 25th, 2016, 12:39 pm


ALAN said:

That is not honor for a sovereign state, to welcome high ranking enemy officials who practiced stabbing a knife in the back for a five years period, when the smell of blood still blocks the noses, and it is not joyful, to participate those treacherous foreigners in internal affairs of our sovereign country This logic is regrettable, and sends welcoming message to repeat chapters of tragedy, which crowned with a kippah and barbecue …

August 25th, 2016, 4:45 pm


ALAN said:

Russia firmly believes that the Syrian crisis can be settled exclusively on the solid foundation of international law through an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue involving all ethnic and religious groups, including the Kurds, and based on the June 30, 2012 Geneva Communique, as well as UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2254, initiated by the International Syria Support Group.

Mr Putin:
It is time to pose deadly Russian nuclear capabilities in Syria
Head to head!

August 25th, 2016, 5:21 pm


Ghufran said:

It is out in the day light now, Ali Mamlouk and Haqan Vidan met 5 times and the early harvest is in Jarablis, what will follow is not certain but it is likely to include a marriage of convenience between temporary enemies. Only the little fish pay the price in the ocean of dirty politics. Erdogan outsmarted most and made a U turn when he realized that he is swimming against the current. Only arabs are able to stay the course even if that meant self destruction. In Dawin terms they are the weak link because they hold grudges and live in a bubble made of swollen egos and empty rhetoric. Pity the nation.
ياامة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

August 26th, 2016, 3:10 am


Hopeful said:

#63 Ghufran

The fall of Daryya today represents the end of the last small fish of the genuine grass-root local moderate untainted resistance to the Assad’s regime. Now it is just a game of thrones between regional and super powers, and between global ideologies, in which the Assad regime and all other Syrian groups are just pawns. For me, there is no one left in Syria to cast my vote of confidence and support for. Syria will forever have a place in my heart, but no longer in my mind. The hope has ended. From now on, my screen name will be “no hope”.

August 26th, 2016, 6:31 am


Uzair8 said:

Emile Hokayem @emile_hokayem
If you don’t know what Daraya is and how much it suffered but have an opinion on the “jihadi rebellion in Syria agst secular Assad”, zip it

August 26th, 2016, 6:57 am


Uzair8 said:

Remembering the Daraya Massacre:

Thomas van Linge @arabthomness
#Darayya: a little girl tried to bribe a soldier with money just to be spared. He excerpted the money, only to shoot her as she walked away

See more in this thread:

August 26th, 2016, 7:03 am


Uzair8 said:

Remembering the Daraya Massacre:

Thomas van Linge @arabthomness
#Darayya: a little girl tried to bribe a soldier with money just to be spared. He excerpted the money, only to shoot her as she walked away

See more in this thread:

August 26th, 2016, 7:06 am


Observer said:

Just read the article

Funny the regime and its supporters are not talking about Daraya as I reviewed Manar Alam Cham Press Al Watan and Al Akbar newspaper and outlets.

We are just at the beginning of this war.

It is again despicable to “laugh” at the misery of others: it bespeaks of even worse hatred and prejudice than the worst prejudice that Nazis had for others.

August 26th, 2016, 8:11 am


Ghufran said:

I am not as pessimistic as some here, I think the war is coming to an end and I do not believe Syrians will allow dictatorships, whether Assadist or Islsmist, to last. The biggest threat to Syria is foreign intervention and the lack of a national consensus that you need reconciliation not vengeance to rebuild Syria. Only freedom and democracy even in its dysfunctional form can bring the country forward. Islamists ignore the fact that equality in the eyes of the law is a must if you want a free country, that is why you see a lot of contradictions in their posts about the subject.
Islamism is a form of dictatorship, the new Syrian constitution should not specify the religion of the state or the president, and minorities including alawites should not be shy about distancing themselves from Muslims if they really believe they are not Muslims. Keep religion to God and keep at home and ignore the hypocrites here who want a militant sunni dictatorship in the name of majority rule, they are worse than Assadists in my opinion.

August 26th, 2016, 2:40 pm


No Hope said:

#69 Ghufran

The war may indeed be coming to an end, but the Syrians will have to live under Assad’s rule and face long-term Russian occupation. This means give it another generation and we will see a rerun of the war in the future. Unless the Assad regime is gone, and the Islamists are defeated, there will be no freedom and democracy.

August 26th, 2016, 3:02 pm


Mina said:

So now according to Tara, the Kurds are to blame for the problems in Syria. Last week it was the Syrian Christians. Last year it was the Shiites. Always sincere and peace-loving, as one can see.

August 26th, 2016, 3:12 pm


Passerby said:

Hi Tara (#56),

Yes, Assad is winning…

The Syrian uprising’s most famous stronghold is about to fall to Assad’s government

Thousands of Syrian civilians were preparing to leave the long-besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya on Friday after rebel forces there were forced to surrender under the pressure of starvation.

Once the symbolic heart of Syria’s 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, the suburb had become synonymous with the government’s unsparing war on the armed opposition and civilians living under its control.

The agreement, announced Thursday, may come to be seen as a turning point in the battle for southern Syria, marking the beginning of the end for an armed rebellion that has clung on in the Damascus suburbs for five years…

…“The regime needs to clear the area to free up manpower for the coming fights elsewhere.”

Analysts warned Friday that the fall of Darayya could have a domino effect, piling pressure on the last remaining pockets of rebel resistance around the capital…

Sad. Their suffering isn’t over.

Assad wins. The question now is if it’s all of Syria or if parts Assad isn’t interested in break off. And of course, how many more will die and suffer.

August 26th, 2016, 4:28 pm


Passerby said:

Ok we have an outline of the Russia/US deal, with Turkey, Iran etc. along for the ride. The current state of affairs, who is holding the cards, who is winning…

1. ISIS has to be exterminated.

2. Nusra has to be exterminated, regardless of the name change (with same old about everyone working together to sort them out from their best buddies that believe exactly like they do, but have a different name.)

2. Assad can stay for now, whether he can stay permanently will be dealt with later.

3. How they divvy things up, or whether Assad gets it all, will be dealt with later.

4. Other than the continuing extermination of ISIS and it’s rebellious creation, Nusra, (90% of the “rebel” guns), a cease fire.

Does it get any better for Assad?

After eliminating ISIS/Nusra, and those that continue to support them, who’s left to oppose Assad?

*** So, here’s the important thing. Up to now, Assad has wanted to eliminate any moderates first. Make sure there’s no sane alternative. But now, he needs a moderate opposition, to take over the parts he doesn’t want in his greater Alawite homeland. We may now see a blossoming of moderates, thanks to the grace of Assad.

August 27th, 2016, 12:17 am


Uzair8 said:

weddady @weddady 9h
This notion that the war in Syria is unwinnable is a fantasy worth deconstructing in due course.

He’s gonna write more on it soon. Storify or more…

[See thread in link]

August 27th, 2016, 6:01 am


ALAN said:

The entry of Turkish tanks to the ground Jarablos and artillery shelling in the city of Raju and on the banks of the Tigris River have to turn the fire burn Turkey’s expansionist ambitions
The Syrian Kurds are more than capable to defeat the NATO dog at the northern strip of the Syrian National Geographic.

August 27th, 2016, 9:59 am


Passerby said:

Can anyone name a religious/ethnic majority, that is in power, in any Mid-East country, that doesn’t oppress the minority? That doesn’t stack the deck against them?

If not, why would we expect any different in Syria, if the Alawites, Christians etc. just handed over power?

There are minority religion/ethnic groups running countries, but only with even worse oppression, Assad, Saddam, etc. Not a good alternative, but the only one up to now.

That’s the fundamental problem, the bigotry and intolerance. A majority oppresses the minority and the minority tries to seize power so it can oppress the majority, and defend itself.

Give the ISIS Eastern part of Syria to Iraq. And for the first time, there is no majority in either country. The Kurds and other minorities tip the balance between Shiite and Sunni. The cycle is broken.

Will that sewer of death and bigotry find peace and enlightenment? Not likely, but what other option is there? The US/Russia/Turkey/Iran plan is to destroy Nusra/ISIS, and leave Assad alone. I wouldn’t bet the ranch that Assad wants that Eastern Sunni part of Syria. Been quite happy for ISIS to grab it. Better to just leave it there for the Kurds and Turks and ISIS and Nusra and whoever to fight over. Without that and all those refugees, he might win a semi-honest election.

August 27th, 2016, 11:16 am


Uzair8 said:

Regimists unusually admitting the reality of the Regimes dire situation in South Aleppo with the daily routs:

Ivan Sidorenko @IvanSidorenko1 43m
#Syria #Aleppo the Artillery College Front is going horribly wrong for #SAA hopefully #SAA Can turn it around.

agitpapa @agitpapa 24m
Very high attrition battle going on there, SAA losses way 2 high.

August 27th, 2016, 5:21 pm


Mina said:

So fun! Give daesh a country and let millions of extremists flood there to learn and make bombs, trade women and prepare attacks everywhere. Then when the chunk of land get too small for the psychopaths watch them expand. And what about their victims? You watch them on YouTube?

August 28th, 2016, 6:09 am


ALAN said:

أما عن جرابلس فالدبابات التركية تحت رحمة السوريين و مع دباباتهم في الأرض السورية كحال الدبابات الاسرائيلية عندما دخلت جنوب لبنان 2006 و قبرت هناك.
Kurdish ATGM hit on a Turkish army tank in northern Syria
these turks thought it would be a cake walk and it was for a while, but no more. they are in the shit now.

Yet. In desperately trying to shoehorn their pet ideological theories and geopolitical fantasies into a reality that doesn’t have anything to do with them – some are still trying 😉

August 28th, 2016, 11:49 am


Post a comment

Neoprofit AI beylikdüzü escort