country:syria

  • “Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria” — says the White House oops
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/10/background-conference-call-presidents-address-nation

    #frontière_imaginaire #maison_blanche #Syrie #Arabie_saoudite

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I guess I would just add one thing on the coalition question — and I think this is important to really focus on, which is to say, in discussions with governments in the region, notably the Saudis and the Jordanians, what is clear is that we have a very common view of this threat. And this is really quite unusual.

    ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region. They view it as an existential threat to them. Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria. The Jordanians are experiencing a destabilizing impact of over a million #refugees from the Syrian conflict, and are profoundly concerned that ISIL, who has stated that their ambitions are not confined to Iraq and Syria, but rather to expand to the broader region.

    And what I also heard is that our partners in the Sunni moderate governments in the region agree on the need for a comprehensive strategy. They are quite concerned about the hundreds of foreign fighters flowing into Syria and Iraq from their own countries, and the potential for them to come back to their countries. They’re concerned about the financing. And they’re quite concerned about the, frankly, warped version of Islam; and in fact, it is not Islam that ISIL is promoting. And you saw statements from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the Grand Mufti in Saudi Arabia condemning ISIL.

    So what we have here is a galvanizing threat from ISIL that is I think leading our Sunni partners in the region to join us along the range of potential capabilities that my colleague mentioned.


  • #US-Israel Accord to Support Coordinated Air Ops in Syria
    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140916/DEFREG04/309160023

    TEL AVIV — A US-Israel defense agreement will support coordinated air power in Syria if and when the Israel Air Force (IAF) is tasked to operate in close proximity to American-led coalition air forces.

    The bilateral accord was signed more than a year ago, sources here said, as part of Pentagon planning for prospective air strikes against chemical weapon-related sites then serving the Syrian regime.

    In interviews here, defense sources said the agreement codified coordination procedures for scenarios where US and Israeli aircraft may need to operate simultaneously in Syrian airspace.

    It was put on the “shelf,” an Israeli official here said, after the Russian-led effort to remove, destroy and otherwise deny Syrian President Bashar el-Assad’s illegal use of mass destruction weaponry.

    But in the run-up to US President Barack Obama’s air power-based strategy to degrade and deny terrorist hegemony of the militant group Islamic State (IS), the official said the accord provides “a relevant mechanism” for potential operations in Syria.

    The official underscored that while Israel principally supports Obama’s call for a united front against IS and all forms of radical terror, Israel’s primary concern is preventing Assad’s strategic arsenal from reaching the hands of Hezbollah allies fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime.

    #Etats-Unis #Israel #Israël #Syrie


  • White House Has No International Legal Justification for Hitting ISIS in Syria - The Daily Beast
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/15/white-house-has-no-international-legal-justification-for-hitting-isis

    Tous parlent en sa faveur, tous s’assoient dessus : le #droit_international

    [State Department Spokesperson Marie] Harf implied that that the administration might claim the right to strike ISIS in Syria based on the principle of individual self-defense, a clear exception to the need for permission or UN Security Council. Such a rational might be applicable if the American government claims there’s an imminent threat to U.S. personnel in a state that is unwilling or unable to counter that threat. But if administration officials actually try to invoke individual self-defense as a justification, they would likely have to contradict repeated statements by top officials this week claiming ISIS does not present an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland.

    #Etats-Unis


  • Which Islam?
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/which-islam

    Western media are aghast: why can’t “Islam” condemn the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and expel it from “Islam.” For Western media, Islam is an office with fancy headquarters where bureaucrats produce fatwas around the clock. In the wake of September 11, Senator Dianne Feinstein used to tour the TV news shows and wonder in anger: why can’t Islam issue a fatwa to end all terrorism? If only things were that easy. read more


  • The Lebanese model for Syrian reconstruction: The ESCWA bid to hold Syria hostage to debt | Al Akhbar English
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanese-model-syrian-reconstruction-escwa-bid-hold-syria-hostage

    Debt and conditional grants, or continued devastation: These are the only options that the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) seems to be giving to the Syrians, as if to say that they have no choice but to go through the practical application of the so-called Shock Doctrine, where disasters are exploited by a handful of banks, corporations, and speculators to reap huge profits at the expense of the living standards of all Syrians. But isn’t this exactly what happened in Lebanon in the 1990s?

    “It is no longer possible to finance deficits using internal savings. There is no alternative to grants, foreign direct investment, or foreign debt in order to be able to continue financing the budget deficit.” This was more or less the gist of what chief economist at ESCWA and Syria’s former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdullah al-Dardari wanted to say. Dardari was giving the bottom line of the “technical” report released by ESCWA on Wednesday, titled “The Cost of conflict in Syria: The impact on the economy and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).”

    The dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Damascus, Ruslan Khaddour, called on ESCWA member states to lift the embargo and economic sanctions imposed on Syria, stressing that this would improve the socio-economic indicators that ESCWA is using as a pretext to suggest the country faces a de facto reality that imposes on it having to borrow from abroad and accept conditional grants.

    Khaddour believes that there is an “exaggeration” in the figures contained in ESCWA’s report, which indicate that around 50 percent of homes have been damaged in the conflict, and that 90 percent of the population has fallen below the poverty line. The economist also expressed concern over the so-called roadmap in the report, which he said had a “political-security” dimension.

    Khaddour argues that Syria has enough local sources of revenue to fund reconstruction. He also said that Syria is relying on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other non-NATO nations to provide credit facilities to finance the works, adding that the countries that participated in arming the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) and al-Nusra Front must pay reparations, rather than grants, for the crimes committed by the groups that they have been sponsoring.

    #reconstruction #Syrie


  • #ISIS kills British aid worker
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/isis-kills-british-aid-worker

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/4cols/leading_images/700665-01-08.jpg

    An image grab taken from a video released by the Islamic State in #Iraq and #syria (ISIS) and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group on September 13, 2014 purportedly shows British aid worker David Haines dressed in orange and on his knees in a desert landscape speaking to the camera before a masked militant. (Photo: AFP / SITE Intelligence Group)

    The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed the beheading of a British aid worker on Saturday, an act decried as “pure evil” by Prime Minister David Cameron who vowed Britain would do all it could to catch the killers. #US President Barack Obama offered American support for its “ally in grief,” while Cameron faced growing calls to allow Britain’s military to help in Washington’s planned (...)

    #UK


  • #ISIS kills British aid worker
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/21523

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/4cols/leading_images/700665-01-08.jpg

    An image grab taken from a video released by the Islamic State in #Iraq and #syria (ISIS) and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group on September 13, 2014 purportedly shows British aid worker David Haines dressed in orange and on his knees in a desert landscape speaking to the camera before a masked militant. (Photo: AFP / SITE Intelligence Group)

    The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed the beheading of a British aid worker on Saturday, an act decried as “pure evil” by Prime Minister David Cameron who vowed Britain would do all it could to catch the killers. #US President Barack Obama offered American support for its “ally in grief,” while Cameron faced growing calls to allow Britain’s military to help in Washington’s planned (...)

    #UK


  • #France says 930 citizens involved “in jihad” in Syria, Iraq
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/france-says-930-citizens-involved-jihad-syria-iraq

    Around 930 French citizens or residents, including at least 60 women, are either actively engaged in jihad in Iraq and Syria or are planning to go there, the interior minister said Sunday. In an interview with Le Journal de Dimanche weekly, Bernard Cazeneuve said: “930 French citizens or foreigners usually resident in France are today involved in jihad in Iraq and Syria.” According to the minister, “350 are on the ground, including 60 women. Around 180 have left from Syria and 170 are en route for the zone.” read more

    #ISIS


  • M. K. BHADRAKUMAR - Obama Launches His War, Finally -
    Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | 12.09.2014
    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/09/12/obama-launches-his-war-finally.html

    (...) The New Middle East

    Nonetheless, will Obama’s strategy work? Clearly, Obama’s strategy a cost-effective one and largely self-financing and might, therefore, be sustainable over a period of time. To be sure, there isn’t going to be any dearth of resources – financial or material or human – for fighting this war, given the involvement of the petrodollar states that have been pushing for regime change in Syria.

    The American public may not militate anytime soon against this war, either. The American strategic community – especially, the think tankers and the media – will also be largely supportive, since this war explicitly dovetails with Israeli interests. In fact, the US is reassembling the same old axis in the Middle East, comprising Israel and the Sunni Arab oligarchies of the Gulf region. At the same time, the US will not be accountable to the UN Security Council. It is a «coalition of the willing» that is fighting this war and internal dissent within that coalition is highly improbable, which in turn would ensure that Washington kept the command and control of this war.

    However, imponderables lie ahead. First and foremost, it is hugely significant that Obama avoided holding out any categorical affirmation of the unity of Iraq. He is also delightfully vague about what his expectations are out of an «inclusive» government in Baghdad.

    The point is, although Washington could engineer the replacement of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whether it still leads to Sunni reconciliation is far from clear as of now. This is important because the US strategy can work only if there is wholesome Iraqi Sunni mobilization against the IS. Or else, it may turn even uglier as sectarian strife continues to tear apart Iraq’s unity.

    But then, on the other hand, this also involves the question of Shi’ite empowerment in Iraq. Suffice to say, the US needs to invent some magical formula that refines the concept of democratic principles allowing majority rule in Iraq. Put differently, this is also a war that involves nation-building in Iraq and the US’s record in such enterprises abroad has been very dismal, to put it mildly. This is one thing.

    The most disconcerting part of this war is going to be its Syrian chapter. Perhaps, the US estimates that now that Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons have been destroyed, it is a safe bet to launch attacks on that country. Even assuming it is so, the Syrian opposition still remains a revolving door for extremist groups, as the saga of the Islamic State proves. The US has learnt nothing and still hopes to use extremist elements as instruments of regional policies.

    Indeed, failure comes at a very heavy cost, as Iraq and Syria in their present form may well cease to exist at the end of it all. Of course, the really intriguing part is that such a denouement may well be the US’s geopolitical objective. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Obama himself put his finger on the unraveling of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 as the core issue of the Middle Eastern politics.

    Equally, Obama’s intention to recruit as allies «Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities» virtually acknowledges the sectarian dimension to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Now, there is a complicated backdrop of regional politics playing out here, involving these every same Sunni Arab nations as key protagonists. Would Obama have some recipe to heal the regional tensions? He’s had nothing to say. Interestingly, not once did Obama refer to Iran, either.

    Obama’s strategy completely bypasses the UN and, in reality, undermines the UN Charter. He failed to convincingly explain the raison d’etre of this particular variant of US military intervention in the Muslim world – unilateralist but ‘risk-free’ and low-cost – since the US’ homeland security is not even in any imminent or conceivable danger.

    At the end of the day, the impression becomes unavoidable that the US continues to arrogate to itself the prerogative to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nation states on the basis of its self-interests. Indeed, that this hydra-headed war is going to assume many varied shapes as times passes and long after Obama disappears into history books is virtually guaranteed.

    Obama’s presidency has come full circle by reinventing the neocon dogmas it once professed to reject. On the pretext of fighting the IS, which the US and its allies created in the first instance, what is unfolding is a massive neocon project to remold the Muslim Middle East to suit the US’ geopolitical objectives. Call it by whatever name, it is an imperial war – albeit with a Nobel as commander-in-chief.



  • Guerre anti-Daech : Dix pays arabes suivent les Etats-Unis, Damas met en garde
    http://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/2014/09/12/etats-unis-ei-daech-syrie_n_5808770.html

    Les Etats-Unis ont obtenu jeudi de dix pays arabes leur l’engagement, y compris éventuellement militaire, dans l’offensive annoncée par le président Barack Obama pour « éradiquer » les jihadistes de l’Etat islamique (EI) en Irak et en Syrie.

    Le régime syrien, appuyé par la Russie, a toutefois mis en garde Washington contre d’éventuelles frappes sur son territoire sans son accord.

    • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/11/assad-moscow-tehran-condemn-obama-isis-air-strike-plan

      Isis air strikes: Obama’s plan condemned by Syria, Russia and Iran
      ...
      Russia said it would not support any military action without a UN resolution authorising it. “The US president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the US armed forces against Isil positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” said a spokesman. “This step, in the absence of a UN security council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.” China said that the world should fight terror but that national sovereignty must be respected.

      In Damascus, the Assad government warned against US raids. “Any action of any kind without the consent of the Syrian government would be an attack on Syria,” said the national reconciliation minister, Ali Haidar. Analysts believe, however, that Assad would be likely to ignore strikes on Isis targets – and even seek to quietly cooperate with western efforts.
      ...


  • Obama’s speech on ISIS: Perpetual war in Iraq, Syria and beyond - World Socialist Web Site

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/09/12/pers-s12.html

    Obama’s speech on ISIS: Perpetual war in Iraq, Syria and beyond
    12 September 2014

    In his speech Wednesday night to the American people, President Obama presented a perspective of open-ended and unlimited military conflict throughout the Middle East and beyond.

    The threat of a terrorist group that few Americans could identify six months ago, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as ISIL), is supposedly so great that it requires a major mobilization of US military and intelligence assets.

    “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist,” Obama said, thereby declaring that there is no geographical limitation to the new US military intervention. Besides Iraq and Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are all potential arenas for battle.

    #états-unis #obama #irak #syrie #isis


  • Syria and Iraq : Why US policy is fraught with danger
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-and-iraq-us-policy-is-fraught-with-danger-9722276.html
    Patrick Cockburn

    En Irak, le nouveau gouvernement est à peine moins sectaire que le précédent,

    The new [Iraqi] government may be less divisive than the old one – it would be difficult to be more – but only to a limited degree.

    ... the Sunni are more terrified of the return of vengeful Iraqi government forces than they are of Isis.

    They have reason to be frightened since revenge killing of Sunni are taking place in Amerli, the Shia Turkoman town whose two-month siege by Isis was broken last month by Shia and Kurdish fighters aided by US air strikes. Mass graves of Shia truck drivers murdered by Isis are being excavated and local Sunni are being killed in retaliation. The family of a 21-year-old Sunni man abducted by militiamen was soon afterwards offered his headless body back in return for $2,000 (£1,240).

    In the 127 villages retaken by the Kurds from Isis under the cover of US air strikes, the Sunni Arab population has mostly fled and is unlikely to return. Often Sunni houses are burnt by Shia militiamen and in one village Kurdish fighters had reportedly sprayed over the word “apostate” placed there by Isis and instead written “Kurdish home”.

    (...)

    En Syrie, la #CIA, peu convaincue par les « modérés » des wahhabites, a constitué ses propres « modérés »,

    Isis will be difficult to defeat in Iraq because of Sunni sectarian solidarity. But the reach of Isis in Iraq is limited by the fact that Sunni Arabs are only 20 per cent of the 33 million population. In Syria, by way of contrast, Sunni Arabs make up at least 60 per cent of Syrians, so Isis’s natural constituency is larger than in Iraq. Motorised Isis columns have been advancing fast here, taking some 35 per cent of the country and inflicting defeats both on other Syrian opposition fighters, notably Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate, and on the Syrian army. Isis is now within 30 miles of Aleppo, the largest city in Syria before the war.

    (...)

    The US is now desperately trying to persuade Turkey to close the border effectively, but so far has only succeeded in raising the price charged by local guides taking people across the frontier from $10 to $25 a journey.

    (...)

    ... Mr Obama (...) will (...) step up a pretence that there is a potent “moderate” armed opposition in Syria, capable of fighting both Isis and the Syrian government at once. Unfortunately, this force scarcely exists in any strength and the most important rebel movements opposed to Isis are themselves jihadis such as #Jabhat_al-Nusra, #Ahrar_al-Sham and the #Islamic_Front. Their violent sectarianism is not very different to that of Isis.

    Lacking a moderate military opposition to support as an alternative to Isis and the Assad government, the US has moved to raise such a force under its own control. The Free Syrian Army (FSA), once lauded in Western capitals as the likely military victors over Mr Assad, largely collapsed at the end of 2013. The FSA military leader, General Abdul-Ilah al Bashir, who defected from the Syrian government side in 2012, said in an interview with the McClatchy news agency last week that the CIA had taken over direction of this new moderate force. He said that “the leadership of the FSA is American”, adding that since last December US supplies of equipment have bypassed the FSA leadership in Turkey and been sent directly to up to 14 commanders in northern Syria and 60 smaller groups in the south of the country. Gen Bashir said that all these FSA groups reported directly to the CIA. Other FSA commanders confirmed that the US is equipping them with training and weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles.

    It appears that, if the US does launch air strikes in Syria, they will be nominally in support of the FSA which is firmly under US control. The US is probably nervous of allowing weapons to be supplied to supposed moderates by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies which end up in the hands of Isis. The London-based small arms research organisation Conflict Armament Research said in a report this week that anti-tank rockets used by Isis in Syria were “identical to M79 rockets transferred by Saudi Arabia to forces operating under the Free Syrian Army umbrella in 2013”.

    In Syria and in Iraq Mr Obama is finding that his policy of operating through local partners, whose real aims may differ markedly from his own, is full of perils.


  • Taking on ISIS

    Economic and Political Weekly
    http://www.epw.in/editorials/taking-isis.html

    Taking on ISIS

    Vol - XLIX No. 36, September 06, 2014 Editorials

    There is just no easy and clear way to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

    Actions by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have contributed to a deterioration of the already catastrophic Syrian civil war and the possible disintegration of Iraq. There is no question that this radical Islamist group, which thrives on medieval methods, primeval ideologies and brutality, has to be militarily defeated. How it is to be done is a difficult issue. The outcome of any event, even if it leads to the defeat of the ISIS, seems to be one that is going to be bloody, chaotic and one of further despair for the long-suffering people of Iraq and Syria.

    The rise of the ISIS has been facilitated by a number of forces and circumstances, each having its own set of consequences. The US invasion of Iraq and the post-occupation policy of dismantling the secular state apparatus in the country in the hope that a dependent nation could be created allowed the seeds of Al Qaida to be sowed on the back of Sunni anger against the new establishment. The sectarian attitude of the Shia-dominated governments led by Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister fanned the rising waves of Sunni resistance so much so that former Ba’athist forces sought an alliance with the battle-hardened ISIS which had made significant advances in the Syrian civil war.

    The Syrian civil war had provided ISIS the opportunity to utilise the “great game” played by various proxy forces intending to destabilise the Ba’athist regime of Bashar al-Assad. Suffused with finances and weaponry supplied to the Syrian opposition by various groups – financiers from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar – and helped by Turkish indulgence in allowing foreign recruits to the ISIS cause to get free passes through the Turkish-Syrian border, the group over-ran resistance from the Syrian regime and took control over a large area in northern Syria. The US also played its role in funding the rebellion against the Syrian regime, only to see the ISIS and other allied forces reap most of the largesse.

    Presently, the ISIS has control over one-third of Iraq and a significant number of towns, cities, and oil refineries in Syria, and has established a “de facto” state. The ISIS sought to expand its territory into the northern and oil-rich areas controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) beginning with the capture of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul. In doing so, it subjected Iraqi minorities – for example, the Yazidis – to brutality. The Yazidis were driven into refuge in the Sinjar Mountains, as the Kurdish peshmerga (armed militia of the KRG) withdrew protection when it could not take on the better-armed ISIS. It was left to the Kurdish militias from Syria and Turkey – the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the socialist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – to rescue a large number of Yazidis, even as the US finally swung into action to protect its KRG allies and assets. The pluralist and feminist YPG, an offshoot of the PKK’s Syrian affiliates, has remained the most effective force against the ISIS advance in Syria.

    Despite ideological differences, the Kurdish peshmerga has now formed a tentative alliance with the PKK and the YPG – even as the US has sought to help the alliance to take on the ISIS in northern Iraq. It is an uncomfortable position for the US; it has proscribed and categorised the PKK as a “terrorist” organisation. The PKK, which seeks a loose transborder confederation of Kurdish areas, persists with insurgency in Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, although the two are also engaged in a tortuous peace process.

    The US seems to have a Janus-faced policy towards the ISIS. In Syria, the US prefers the heat to remain on the Assad government and is reluctant to recognise the threat the ISIS (and other Islamist forces such as the Al Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra) poses to Syrian unity. This has meant that the ISIS has used its territorial acquisitions as buffers. With its financial resources and US-sourced weaponry captured from the Iraqi army, it is a formidable opponent to the Syrian government.

    Iraq and Syria are in shambles. The inability of the Iraqi government to stem the advance of the ISIS has emboldened the KRG to assert its autonomy even more and has increased the prospects of Kurdish irredentism. The radical Sunni character of the ISIS coupled with its attacks on the Shia community has worsened the already poor relations between the two communities in Iraq. The Iraqi citizenry has no desire for further US involvement, which should rule out US unilateralism. Besides, it is the unstated policy of the US to eventually balkanise Iraq and Syria (Iran’s ally) that has resulted in the rise of the ISIS in the first place, even as this was not intended. The US antipathy towards Syria and differences in the UN Security Council do not guarantee any agreement resulting in a reasonable resolution on intervention. The Gulf monarchies realise the threat that the ISIS poses to their own retrograde monarchies but are unable to look beyond their antipathy towards their geopolitical enemy, Iran. Yet it is clear that the only way ISIS can be militarily defeated is if the Syrian regime, the Iraqi government, the Kurds and Iran (which too sees the rise of ISIS as a threat) are empowered and unitedly take on the new caliphate.


  • Russian ambassador to #Lebanon deplores “incomplete” #Jeddah anti-terrorism conference
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/21468

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/4cols/leading_images/P-%282243%29_03T3328-copy.jpg

    The Russian ambassador to #Lebanon, #Alexander_Zasypkin, said the meeting hosted by #Saudi_Arabia today and tomorrow to discuss the creation of an international alliance against terrorism was “incomplete, because it does not include all parties fighting terrorism.” He described the conference – which excluded #Russia, Iran, and Syria – as “a meeting of the friends of the US and NATO.”

    #Articles #Beirut #Nouhad_al-Machnouk #Samir_Moqbel #Sergei_Lavrov #Vladimir_Putin #Walid_Muallem


  • Hezbollah prepares to fight IS in Lebanon - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/lebanon-islamic-state-caliphate.html

    For the above-stated reasons, Hezbollah is reviving its national arm, known as the Lebanese Resistance Brigades. The brigades were formed in March 1998 to absorb all non-Shiite Hezbollah supporters who wanted to fight Israel. Today, the brigades are taking part in the fight in Syria against extremist groups. Their role will soon be upgraded so they can cover vulnerable areas that might be of interest to Jabhat al-Nusra and IS.

    Suleiman, a 27-year-old Sunni from South Lebanon, was recently trained in the brigades. He said he was ready to do whatever possible to prevent IS from entering Lebanon. “I don’t want to fight in Syria. I’m a Sunni and ’Daesh’ doesn’t represent me, therefore I went to train to be able to fight them if they enter Lebanon,” he said.


  • Le programme scolaire de l’état islamique

    Chemie, Mathe, Geschichte, soziale Fächer: Erstmal alles streichen! | Telepolis
    http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/42/42725/1.html

    ....und sogar den islamischen Religionsunterricht: Der Lehrplan des Islamischen Staates
    Welcher Art Unterricht die Kinder in den Gebieten folgen, die unter der Kontrolle der IS-Dschihadisten stehen, ob sie regelmäßig zur Schule gehen, wer sie unterrichtet, ist nicht bekannt. Aus dem syrischen Raqqa, das häufig als „Hauptstadt“ des IS genannt wird, gibt es mehrere Berichte, die auf eine „generelle Direktive für alle erzieherischen Institute“ aufmerksam machen, das von der für Lehrpläne zuständigen Behörde des Islamischen Staates herausgegeben wurde.

    Das Dokument ist in Arabisch verfasst und trägt einen Amtsstempel. Übersetzungen ins Englische finden sich in größeren Teilen hier und in Ausschnitten in einem Bericht der Washington Post.

    https://justpaste.it/iseducation
    https://s01.justpaste.it/files/justpaste/d170/a7428971/10574333_1470679786551978_6274584447774302656_n.jpg

    Frontline Isis: How the Islamic State is Brainwashing Children with Stone Age School Curriculum
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/frontline-isis-how-islamic-state-brainwashing-children-stone-age-school-c
    http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1397102/isis-education-1.jpg?w=720&h=960&l=50&t=40

    A raft of new subjects have been established by the regime, and the schools are ordered to introduce them via written communiques. I recently received one such communique from a teacher friend in Raqqa, dated 30 August.
    ...
    It begins by saying:

    The following subjects will be removed from the school curriculum permanently: musical art education, national education, social studies history, fine art education, sports, philosophical and social issue, Islamic religious education and Christian education. Compensatory subjects will be added from the directorate of the curriculum in the Islamic State .

    It adds that teachers must:

    Remove reference to the Syrian Arab Republic wherever found and replaced with the Islamic state .

    Remove reference to the Ministry of Education and replace it with the Ministry of Education “of the organization”.

    Blur all images that do not agree with the Islamic law.

    Delete the Syrian Arab anthem wherever it is found .

    Not teach the concept of patriotism or nationalism, but of belonging to Islam and its people and the innocence of polytheism and its people, and that the Muslim countries are those that administer the law of God .

    Delete examples of the Arabic language which are not inconsistent with law or policy of the Islamic State .

    Replace the word home, homeland, Syria or national, wherever found, with an appropriate reference (Islamic state, a Muslim country, an Islamic state, the jurisdiction of Sham etc)

    Delete any example in mathematics that refers the benefits of usury, democracy or election .

    Delete from science everything to do with the theory of creation, and restore all creation to Almighty God.

    Alert students that the laws of physics and chemistry are the laws of God in creation .


  • Clashes between Druze, Bedouins rattle Syria’s south - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/clashes-bedouin-druze-as-suwayda-syria.html

    Southern Syria’s Suwayda province, close to Daraa, the cradle of the protests, is no longer removed from the battles ravaging other parts of the country. In the province, over which calm had prevailed since March 2011, the village of Dama witnessed a series of clashes beginning Aug. 16 between Druze residents supported by the Popular Committees and the pro-regime National Defense Forces (NDF) and Sunni-armed Bedouin groups backed by Jabhat al-Nusra as well as other armed opposition battalions stationed in al-Lajat, which borders Baraa and Suwayda.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/clashes-bedouin-druze-as-suwayda-syria.html#ixzz3CpEghnFj



  • The rising emergency of asylum seekers in Serbia

    http://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Regions-and-countries/Serbia/The-rising-emergency-of-asylum-seekers-in-Serbia-145131

    They flee Countries like Syria, where their lives are endangered, but are rejected by the local population who sets up barricades and fires. The tragedy of asylum seekers in Serbia

    A few days ago, some pictures published on the Serbian media caused dismay and indignation: they portray pictures of people who are forced to live in the Bogovađa snowy forests, 70 kilometers South of Belgrade. They are about 300 asylum seekers, mainly from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and the countries of Maghreb. Some of them have set up tents, others have found cover in wooden sheds and abandoned houses. They have very few clothes, inadequate for the winter, and gather wood to cook and stay warm. Many associations, among which is Grupa484, have launched solidarity initiatives to bring them food and clothes.

    #balkans #migrations #asile #serbie


  • US to Syrian Refugees : We’ll Give You Money But Stay Away, Please

    With the number of Syrian refugees in the Middle East hitting 3 million, it’s worth examining how the United States and other countries not on the frontline of the conflict have stepped in to help countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. These countries have the misfortune to be neighbors not only of Syria, but of Iraq and Israel/Palestine as well, other places that have been the source of millions of refugees.

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/09/02/us-syrian-refugees-well-give-you-money-stay-away-please

    #Syrie #réfugiés #asile #migration #USA #Etats-Unis
    Je ne trouve pas le bon tag pour dire ce que l’auteur dit soit « je vous paie, mais ne m’envoyer pas les réfugiés... »... Des idées ?


  • 10 Shocking Facts That Bring To Life the Realities of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

    1. Syria’s intensifying refugee crisis today passed a disturbing landmark of a record 3 million refugees. Reports of horrifying conditions inside the country detail cities where populations are surrounded, people going hungry and civilians being indiscriminately killed.

    http://www.unhcr.org.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/images/news_images/August_2014/1-3MillionSyrianRefugees-english.jpg
    http://www.unhcr.org.uk/news-and-views/news-list/news-detail/article/10-shocking-facts-that-bring-to-life-the-realities-of-the-syrian-refugee-c

    #Syrie #réfugiés #asile #migration
    cc @reka


  • How our allies in Kuwait and Qatar funded Islamic State - Telegraph
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/kuwait/11077537/How-our-allies-in-Kuwait-and-Qatar-funded-Islamic-State.html

    n the great jihadi funding bazaar that is the Gulf state of Kuwait, there’s a terror finance option for every pocket, from the private foundations dealing in tens of millions to the more retail end of the market. Give enough for 50 sniper bullets (50 dinars, about £110), promises the al-Qaeda and Islamic State-linked cleric tweeting under the name “jahd bmalk”, and you will earn “silver status”. Donate 100 dinars to buy eight badly needed mortar rounds, and he’ll make you a “gold status donor”.
    As the jihadi funders hand out loyalty cards, the West has belatedly realised that some of its supposed friends in the Gulf have been playing the disloyalty card. Had Kuwait not been freed by American, British and allied troops in 1991, it would presumably now still be the “19th province” of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. But the emirate has repaid the Western blood and treasure spent in its liberation by becoming, in the words of David Cohen, the US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, the “epicentre of funding for terrorist groups in Syria”.
    Islamic State (Isil), with its newly conquered territory, oilfields and bank vaults, no longer needs much foreign money. But its extraordinarily swift rise to this point, a place where it threatens the entire region and the West, was substantially paid for by the allies of the West. Isil’s cash was raised in, or channelled through, Kuwait and Qatar, with the tacit approval and sometimes active support of their governments.
    Though this has not yet been widely understood in Europe, it is no secret. Throughout 2013 and the earlier part of this year, on TV stations, websites and social media in Kuwait and Qatar, the jihadis openly solicited money for weapons and troops, much as charities in Britain might seek donations for tents and food. One of the main Oxfams of jihad is a group called the Kuwait Scholars’ Union (KSU), which ran a number of major fundraising drives, including the “Great Kuwait Campaign”, raising several million dollars for anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and fighters. Some of the money went to Isil and some to the al-Qaeda front Jabhat al-Nusra, Isil’s ally until this February.
    “By Allah’s grace and his success, the Great Kuwait Campaign announces the preparation of 8,700 Syrian mujahideen,” announced the KSU’s president, Nabil al-Awadi, in June 2013. “The campaign is ongoing until 12,000 are prepared.” The same year, the KSU ran the “Liberate the Coast” fundraising campaign to help pay for a sectarian massacre of hundreds of civilians in the Syrian port of Latakia. One of the KSU’s fundraisers, Shafi al-Ajmi, tweeted that the donations would go “to buy what is needed to expel the Safavids”, an insulting term for Shia. Last month, he was designated a funder of terrorism by the US.
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    The Kuwaiti government’s response to the KSU and other terror funders has been “permissive,” as Mr Cohen puts it. That is very diplomatic language. In fact, as recently as January, Kuwait appointed as its minister of justice one Nayef al-Ajmi, a man who has actually appeared on fundraising posters for the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front.
    Qatar, too, has a serious problem. Its government denied a statement last month by the German development minister, Gerd Mueller, that it bankrolls Isil directly. But Mr Cohen says that “press reports indicate that the Qatari government is supporting extremist groups operating in Syria”. There is no doubt, too, that key institutions and officials of the Qatari government have hosted and supported individuals who back Isil, including Harith al-Dari, a designated terrorist and leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) in Iraq.
    This June, as Isil took over Mosul, the AMS praised the “great victories achieved by the revolutionaries”. As they put it: “You have already seen how a great many of the media outlets have colluded, from the first instance of the start of your revolution, and worked on the demonisation of the revolution and distorting its image.” Only a month after Washington designated al-Dari as a sponsor of the group that became Isil, he was allowed to meet the Emir of Qatar. He has made numerous visits there since; the US designation of al-Dari as a terrorist mentions Qatar as an alternative location for him.
    At least two other men designated as al-Qaeda funders, Hajjaj al-Ajmi and Hamid al-Ali, have been officially invited by Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs to deliver sermons from government-controlled mosques calling for jihad in Syria, and donations to it. As Isil swept through Iraq this summer, Ali praised the “great cleaning of Iraq” and the “revolution of our ummah [the Muslim people] against the hateful occupier enemy”.
    Only in July, both the KSU’s Nabil al-Awadi and a man now banned from Britain as an Isil recruiter, Mohammed al-Arifi, were invited to address a Ramadan festival in Qatar co-organised by the Aspire Zone Foundation, the government-controlled body that played a major part in Qatar’s successful bid for the World Cup.
    Qatar and Kuwait, Sunni-majority states, have been helping, or at least not hindering, Isil because they saw it as a proxy counterweight to their Shia rival, Iran, and the Iranian-backed Assad regime. But like many governments before them, including America in Afghanistan, they have now discovered that the would-be puppets tend to cut loose from the puppetmasters. “Some leaders believed they could use terrorists as hired mercenaries, but suddenly found themselves stuck with terrorists who used the opportunity to advance their own interests and agenda,” in the bitter words of Ahmed Jarba, head of the moderate Syrian rebels.
    Alarmed by the savagery of Isil, and the growing hostility of the US, Kuwait, in particular, has started to crack down, sacking its jihadi justice minister and removing citizenship from a number of terror funders, including Nabil al-Awadi. But it is plainly too late. Armed with the loot of half the Iraqi military, Isil doesn’t need its Gulf patrons to buy it sniper rounds any more.
    And even before Isil started threatening the West, this was already more than a Kuwaiti or Qatari problem. As The Telegraph reported last weekend, Nabil al-Awadi is, or has been, partly resident in the UK. Until last year, he was director of the al-Birr private school in Birmingham and is described as a UK resident on his Companies House entry, with a past address in Brixton Hill, south London. He has close links with the hardline al-Muntada mosque in Parson’s Green, west London, whose imam and director are co-directors of the al-Birr school.
    After The Telegraph report, al-Awadi indignantly protested that he had “not travelled to Britain since 2011,” a denial rather undermined by his own tweets which repeatedly describe visits to Britain subsequent to that date. Several of the visits were to al-Muntada, which also raises funds for Syria – exclusively for “humanitarian purposes”, it insists.
    Al-Muntada has close links to British mosques accused of radicalising young people into Isil, including al-Manar in Cardiff, attended by Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, the first Britons to appear in an Isil propaganda video. Both mosques have also organised events with Mohammed al-Arifi, the now-banned extremist cleric accused of grooming the two young Cardiff men.
    Al-Muntada’s former imam, Haitham al-Haddad, is one of the most active radical preachers in the country, reportedly a principal target of the Government’s new “anti-extremism orders” aimed at those not directly involved in violence but who voice extremist views. Al-Muntada, too, has been closely supported by Qatari money; the UK branch held its annual meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha, on March 31, 2013, and its school has been bankrolled by Qatari finance.
    Before we get too censorious about foreign politicians who back extremists, it is worth mentioning, too, that al-Muntada has picked up quite a few British political endorsements. Andy Slaughter, its local Labour MP, praised its “outstanding track record of supporting others” and said he was “very proud to be associated with it”. Stephen Timms, deputy chairman of Labour’s interfaith group, said: “I know how much effort al-Muntada puts into its community relations.”
    Richard Barnes, Boris Johnson’s then deputy mayor, praised it as “one of the world’s foremost Muslim charities”. And al-Muntada was sent good wishes, too, by a spokesman acting on behalf of none other than the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg.
    As Qatar and Kuwait buy up more and more of Britain, maybe it is time to start asking a few more questions about what they really stand for


  • On n’en a pas terminé avec les théories du complot en Syrie : ici c’est le Atlantic Council qui en livre une assez jolie. L’Iran n’avait aucune influence réelle en Syrie, et toute cette histoire, c’est juste pour que l’Iran puisse enfin établir un « Hezbollah syrien » qui aurait le soutien des populations alaouites et, ainsi, devenir plus, hum, populaire que Bachar lui-même.
    A Friend of my Father : Iran’s Manipulation of Bashar al-Assad
    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/a-friend-of-my-father-iran-s-manipulation-of-bashar-al-assad

    Through media and propaganda campaigns, Hezbollah convinced the people that Assad could not protect them. When Hezbollah overtook the rebels in Qusayr, the surrounding Alawite communities were more adoptive of their propaganda and influence. Iran capitalized on this gain by establishing Syrian Hezbollah, investing heavily in the pro-government militias known as the National Defense Forces.

    Through Hezbollah and the National Defense Force, Iran fostered an effective future insurgency in Syria. This core group of fighters, and the civilian populations they control, are Iran’s new stronghold for influence and trust in Syria. As Assad’s barrel bombs drove large portions of Syria’s Sunni and other populations out of the country, Hezbollah and the National Defense Force stoked sectarianism, convincing the Shia and Alawite populations that Bashar cannot protect them—only Iran can. This strategy has now placed Iran as the key power broker for Syria, regardless of Bashar al-Assad’s fate.

    Ce qui est amusant ici, c’est qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un « constat » (influence grandissante de l’Iran dans les cercles du pouvoir en Syrie), mais bien de l’exposé d’une vaste conspiration iranienne, dès le début de la crise syrienne, pour arriver à ce résultat. Ce qu’on appelle classiquement une théorie du complot.


  • The Arab Sharkas cell: The quasi-covert military trial of #Ansar_Beit_al-Maqdes
    http://www.madamasr.com/content/arab-sharkas-cell-quasi-covert-military-trial-ansar-beit-al-maqdes

    New Jihadis: From Egypt to Syria and back

    It is impossible even for close followers and specialists in Jihadi movements to recognize any of the defendants’ names or pictures. Only two of them were previously arrested during ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s rule, (...)