Best analysis of the situation in the Middle East so far: “Theocratic regimes back secularists; tyrannies promote democracy; the US forms partnerships with Islamists; Islamists support Western military intervention. Arab nationalists side with regimes they have long combated; liberals side with Islamists with whom they then come to blows. Saudi Arabia backs secularists against the Muslim Brothers and Salafis against secularists. The US is allied with Iraq, which is allied with Iran, which supports the Syrian regime, which the US hopes to help topple. The US is also allied with Qatar, which subsidizes Hamas, and with Saudi Arabia, which funds the Salafis who inspire jihadists who kill Americans wherever they can”
Source : http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/nov/08/not-revolution/?pagination=false
#Iran #Iraq #Syria #Qatar #USA #Hamas #Egypt #democracy
L’auteur est https://twitter.com/Karybdamoid. Je l’ai trouvée à http://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/1ecal1/one_analysis_of_the_current_syrian_battlefield_11 où elle était crucipostée de http://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/1e6dbk/map_of_the_syrian_battlefield_may_11_2013
Comme le souligne un commentateur, l’étendue attribuée aux rebelle est trompeuse : il s’agit pour une large part de zones désertiques. De plus, le contrôle total par l’une des parties est probablement plus rare que ça.
In Cairo, desperate Egyptian men search in vain for Syrian brides
“They ask us where the office is to buy a Syrian woman, as if they are buying a chicken. They don’t believe us when we tell them it doesn’t exist,” said Khalid, who said he was 26. “Our women are not for sale. We are here because we did not want to be killed.”
Iran says will turn Golan into ‘Fatahland’ - Israel News, Ynetnews
After alleged Israel attack on Syria, Iran issues war-like declarations, orders Assad army to protect homeland, according to Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper. ‘Front open to Syrians, Palestinians, to all who wish to fight Israel’
Will the latest attack allegedly carried out by Israel on the Syrian front awaken a military response from the Assad regime and its supporters?
On Wednesday, the Hezbollah-identified Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar quoted Iranian officials who claimed that Iran received a message from the United States and Russia stating that the alleged Israeli airstrike was not an attempt to launch a war against Syria.
According to the sources, Tehran responded to both sides by stating that operational command officers of the Syrian army were ordered to automatically respond to any attack against their homeland.
As with other reactions in recent days, it appears that the involved parties are intent upon warning against future attacks, and not eager to enter into a full scale war.
Iranian officials have warned that their reaction to preceived aggressions would likely would be expressed in one of two ways. The first, one of the sources said, would be “a blow below the belt in more than one location,” both within and outside of Syria, as they approached “the Day of Judgment.”
The same source indicated that “a final decision has been taken to turn the Golan Heights into the new ‘Fatahland’ and the front will be open to “Syrians, Palestinians and to all who want to fight Israel.”
The second manner of response, according to the same sources, would be expressed on the political level. Preparations are currently underway for a far-reaching Syria conference, to be held in Tehran, in which the Syrian regime will be represented by Syrian Minister for National Reconcilation Ali Haider and by the Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil.
In addition, preparations are underway for an international conference of states designated “Friends of the Syrian people,” which is scheduled to take place two weeks from now in Tehran. Forty states have been invited to participate. Iran will take the opportunity to announce a new initiative to solve the crisis in Syria.
The Kuwaiti newspaper, Alrai, quoted statements by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in closed meetings. He rejected the possibility that Israel would enter into southern Lebanon, because, according to him, Israel knows Lebanon would become its “cemetery.” He was quoted as saying that “the Iron Dome (missile defense system) which Israel boasts about has proven that it is more feeble than a spider web."
The report also said that Nasrallah recently participated in more than one session of the Hezbollah’s “Jihad Council.” The newspaper claimed that during these meetings, the secretary-general stated, “Israel believes that if it attacks facilities and strategic stockpiles, it changes the resistance capabilities. This is an erroneous assessment.” He said,"The reason being that the stocks of the resistance have been filled with all that it needs."
Nasrallah also warned, “If Israel attacks any (arms) cache of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the response will be immediate and total war.”
Israel tells Assad it is not on side of rebels | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper, Monday, the Netanyahu government had informed Assad through diplomatic channels that it did not intend to meddle in Syria’s civil war.
Israeli officials did not immediately confirm the report but one suggested that such indirect contacts were not required.
“Given the public remarks being made by senior Israeli figures to reassure Assad, it’s pretty clear what the message is,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
False Flag Chemical Attack on Syria - DailyCensored.com - Breaking Censored News, World, Independent, Liberal News | DailyCensored.com - Breaking Censored News, World, Independent, Liberal News
It doesn’t surprise. On April 27, WikiLeaks Supporters Forum headlined “Syria False Flag Chemical Weapons – Obama sets up America for invasion,” saying:
US intelligence “actively promot(es)” a false flag attack. Assad’s wrongfully blamed. Obama’s heading closer to full-scale intervention.
Britain’s “David Cameron demonstrates a willingness to assist the US military and Intelligence agenda.” UK controlled “BBC obediently falls into line, assisting in disseminating (false) information.”
US media scoundrels are worst of all. More on that below.
A previous article discussed hacked emails. They revealed Washington’s approved plan to stage a false flag Syrian chemical attack.
Syria has been subject to turmoil for anti-Israel stance and opposing US hegemony over Middle East
Sanandaj, Kordestan Prov, May 2, IRNA — Supreme Leaderˈs representative in Syria, Mojtaba Hosseini said on Thursday that Syria has been subject to turmoil for anti-Israel stance and opposing US hegemony over the Middle East.
Hosseini said that resistance of people in Palestine and Lebanon and popular movements in Libya and Bahrain and other countries have worried the enemy.
He noted that despite US pressure, Iran-Syria relations are good and President Assad continues to cooperate with Iran.
He said that the enemies have attempted to use economic sanctions and social disorder to destabilize Syria.
The Iranian representative in Syria said that the enemy is worried about failing to divide Shia and Sunni Muslims and creating religious war in Syria.
He reiterated that current civil war in Syria is not connected to Shia and Sunni Muslims.
Hojjatoleslam Hosseni criticized the western media outlets for broadcasting distorted news on Syria.
He expressed hope that through implementation of new reforms and restoration of law and order the Syrian security, the economic and political problems would be solved.
Geneva Document Key To End Syria Stalemate
Most players on either side of the battlements fear such an outcome for their own reasons. But too close or literal a reading of the Geneva understandings is unnecessary if a diplomatic outcome is favored. Assad, in his January 2013 speech and former opposition president Moaz al-Khatib, as well as Tehran, have noted interest in a political dialogue. Geneva, as Kerry himself implied in his Brussels remarks, offers the only hope of a diplomatic path that leaves the country intact. Bitter and esoteric disputes about its details in this context are all but irrelevant, and even counterproductive. Argument over the precise meaning of the text not only misses this important point but also risks discrediting the creation of an effective, joint US-Russian plan and distracting attention into fruitless debates about the real intentions of Geneva’s authors. As Kerry himself acknowledged, “you have Assad and you have the opposition, and until they come to some kind of an assessment of what they’re willing to do here, this remains a very, very difficult diplomatic initiative to achieve.”
It is enough to say that a diplomatic solution entails Washington “walking back” its pre-emptive demand for Assad’s departure and Moscow’s support for the regime’s pre-eminence. Geneva is the first way station along this road, a hesitant step in a long journey that has only just begun.
Au total une cinquantaine de #domiciles ont été investis, mardi 16 avril dans l’ensemble de la Belgique, pour appréhender les candidats au djihad en Syrie. 6 #hommes ont été officiellement arrêtés, d’après un premier #bilan associant plusieurs #procureurs .
Liban : une grenade explose devant le club des officiers de Kobbé (les grenades explosent régulièrement, en ce moment à Tripoli)
L’Agence nationale d’information (ANI, officielle) a rapporté qu’une grenade a explosé lundi devant le club des officiers de Kobbé, à Tripoli (Liban-Nord) sans causer de dégâts matériels ni faire de victime.
Ne pas oublier, il y a un mois :
qui référençait :
The commanders also singled out the most prominent military face of the Future Movement, former Lebanese army officer Amid Hammoud, saying he was responsible for much of Tripoli’s insecurity. In particular, they say that Hammoud is behind the recent spate of hand grenade attacks.
Chez NowHariri, le contrefeu prend la forme d’un long billet avec force graphiques (qui, en gros, ne servent en rien la démonstration), pour finalement affirmer que c’est Mikati qui arme les salafistes et les extrémistes islamistes de Tripoli, avec la complicité du Hezbollah : Sects and the city
The fighters, he believes, are pawns in a larger game which serves the interest of all those involved. On one hand, Hezbollah sees that their Sunni fighters’ very existence fits Assad’s narrative that extremists from the ‘Emirate of Tripoli’ are sending ‘terrorists’ across the border to fight the regime. On the another hand, Miqati sees a chance to expand his popularity by mobilizing them.
“But Miqati now holds the key to almost all fighters that surround the Alawites of Jabal Mohsen. The question is, what does he plan to do with them and how does he plan to protect them now that he’s no longer in government,” closed Ahdab.
Mais est-ce que, le 11 avril 2013 (date de cet article), Assad a encore besoin des groupes armés de Tripoli pour « faire croire » que son régime affronte des extrémistes fondamentalistes ? Sérieusement.
Syrie. Perception américaine des affrontements entre « extrémistes » et « modérés » en Syrie rapportée par le Washington Post. Accent mis sur le Front al-Nusra (déjà inscrit sur la liste des organisations terroristes par les Etats Unis) et sur al-Qaïda. Constat (pour le déplorer ?) que les « modérés » ne reçoivent pas autant d’armes que les « extrémistes ». Regret chez certains que le Président Obama continue de croire à une transition politique négociée avec le régime d’Assad.
A muddled plan for the clear danger in Syria By Editorial Board,
Apr 13, 2013 08:50 PM EDT
“The Washington Post Published: April 13
SENIOR OBAMA administration officials offered a stark and even frightening picture of developments in Syria in testimony to Congress on Thursday. March, they said, was the deadliest month yet for that country’s civil war, with more than 6,000 people killed; almost one-quarter of Syria’s 22 million people have been driven from their homes. “What started out as a peaceful demand for dignity and freedom,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of State A. Elizabeth Jones, “has become one of the most devastating conflicts of the 21st century.”
Worse, the intelligence community’s assessment is that the war will not end even if the regime of Bashar al-Assad falls. “The most likely scenario,” said Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., is that for “at least a year, a year and a half, there would be continued inter-sectoral competition and fighting.” It will matter greatly who wins, since, as Robert S. Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, put it, “there is a real competition under way now between extremists and moderates.”
(…) Mr. Ford said that the administration was still banking on “a negotiated political transition,” in which Mr. Assad voluntarily steps down. But as Mr. Clapper said, the intelligence community foresees the “most likely scenario” as a messy fight among factions, not a brokered handover. (…) Mr. Ford said that “we need to weigh in on behalf of those who promote freedom and tolerance.” Yet Ms. Jones reiterated that the administration was opposed to providing “lethal support” to any Syrian forces — notwithstanding the weapons and fighters that Mr. Ford said were being supplied by Iran or the growing military capability of al-Qaeda described by Mr. Clapper. Translation: It’s vital that Syria’s moderate forces win, but we won’t counter the military support the extremists are getting.
Senators from both parties expressed exasperation with this non-policy, but not as much exasperation as President Obama’s stubborn passivity deserves. (…)"
A New Deal for Israel
Rafe MAIR (Canada)
Strategic Culture Foundation (Strategic Culture Foundation provides a platform for exclusive analysis, research and policy comment on Eurasian and global affairs)
“Just like bouts of poison ivy, every few years we see a watershed visit to Israel by a sitting US president. And every time that happens we’re all supposed to take heart. Then the usual drift sets in, there are international incidents and resolutions of the United Nations.
President Obama has just concluded such a session with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and although it depends upon who’s reporting, Mr Obama was seen to be backing Israel while belittling the Palestinians. This is understandable in terms of US current internal politics but is folly for the long term…
(…) America must survey not just what is today but what the unfolding landscape will look like and judge its position with Israel in that light. In the mix it must be recognized that Israel’s population is over 20% Arab and growing.
Here’s what President Obama must do.
First he speak at home a new and more aggressive policy towards Israel, In that regard, Mr Obama must establish as a condition precedent to future discussions that she tear down the settlements – all of them – and pledge to desist in this practice. One suspects that the only reason Israel has followed this policy is an «up yours» to its neighbours.
Second, Israel must consent to a «two state» policy including Gaza.
Thirdly the United States must guarantee the safety of Israel’s new boundaries.
Fourthly, America must set up but not be part of, an organization much like the Organization Of American States (OAS) if only as a «talk shop» to keep dialogues going amongst the various states.
How can the US force Israel to seek reason?
With money, the oldest and best weapon in history. The US funds to Israel are critical. They must be the pressure points in US policy.
This isn’t intended to state that Israelis the only naughty child in the region but it is to say that she is the object of hatred throughout. No one expects that new firm boundaries will mean peace and harmony in the area. As I often say to my wife, we’ll have peace in the world just as soon as a village can draw up a dog by law that everyone can live with. (…)
Tunisie/ Syrie. Résumé: Entre 6 et 10.000 Tunisiens auraient rejoint les rangs des combattants anti-Assad. Les recrutements se feraient par le truchement des mosquées et d’organisations caritatives. Leurs familles, qui n’apprennent qu’a posteriori le départ de l’un des leurs, recevraient jusqu’à 4000 dollars par combattant. Les autorités tunisiennes estiment qu’elles n’ont pas le droit d’empêcher un jeune de partir combattre en Syrie.
INTER PRESS SERVICE
Tunisia Now Exporting “Jihadis”
By Giuliana Sgrena
Friday, April 12, 2013
TUNIS, Apr 6 2013 (IPS) –
“Tunisian families have begun to dread knocks on their doors, or late-night phone calls, fearing that the messenger will bear the news that their son has been smuggled out of the country to join the “jihad” in Syria. Families here told IPS that they have no way of contacting their sons once they leave — whether by choice or coercion they will never know — for the warring nation nearly 3,000 miles away. At most, family members receive an inaudible telephone call from Libya, where the soon-to-be militants are trained, the muffled voice on the other end of the line saying a quiet and final goodbye.
(…) There are no reliable data on exactly when young Tunisian men began rushing to join the Free Syrian Army, currently engaged in a battle to depose Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but experts and civil society activists are agreed on one thing: the number is increasing. On Mar. 29, local sources reported that between 6,000 and 10,000 men have left the country, while the Algerian press say the number could be closer to 12,000.
(…) The election of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda in October 2011 further raised hopes that the country would stay on track towards a more inclusive future. But beneath the moderate veneer, a strong ultra-conservative undercurrent remained, steered by Salafist-controlled mosques – like Fath, Ennassr, Ettadhamen, and the great mosque of Ben Arous located on the outskirts of Tunis – that are now serving as headquarters for the smuggling of fighters.
(…) Charity organisations like Karama wa Horrya, Arrahma, Horrya wa Insaf, which provide basic humanitarian assistance to the poor, also play a role in this network that gathers able-bodied Tunisians, transports them to Libya and then, after a brief stop in Turkey, sends them onwards to the frontlines of the Syrian war such as the north-western border with Lebanon, and the city of Aleppo. Young fighters’ first point of contact in Syria is with the Jabhat al Nusra (meaning the ‘Support Front for the People of Syria’), considered the most aggressively militant arm of the FSA. (…)”
Ce chiffre de 6000 est probablement exagéré. Les chiffres exacts concernant le nombre de Tunisiens partis combattre en Syrie sont quasiment impossibles à établir. Seul le nombre de ceux d’entre eux qui ont été faits prisonniers ou tués au combat pourrait, par comparaison avec d’autres informations, fournir une estimation la plus proche possible de la réalité. Encore faudrait-il connaître leur nombre sachant que beaucoup de combattants étrangers n’ont pas de document attestant de leur identité.
Les données publiques, véhiculées par des médias qui se copient mutuellement, vont de 800 à 6000. Le magazine Afrique-Asie fait état de 800 djihadistes tunisiens (1). L’Institut tunisien des relations internationales donne le chiffre de 6000 sur un total de « 65000 mercenaires islamistes » (2,3) Le magazine tunisien Investir (4) et Slate Afrique (5) évoquent la présence en Syrie de 3500 Tunisiens, reprenant des données fournies par Jeune Afrique qui, elles-mêmes, seraient basées sur un rapport de l’ONU. Enfin, AllAfrica estime qu’entre 3500 et 5000 jeunes se battent actuellement en Syrie (6)
(5) http://www.slate afrique.com/158581/tunisie-%E2%80%93-le-qatar-derriere-l%E2%80%99envoi-de-3500-jihadistes-tunisiens-en-syrie
Résumé. Si le Liban n’est pas une terre de djihad, les djihadistes n’ont jamais dédaigné utiliser le pays pour y conduire leurs activités. Ces dernières années, ils y ont notamment combattu les forces de sécurité libanaises (Bassam Kanj, al-Qaïda, 1999), se sont adonnés au trafic d’armes à destination de la Jordanie et revendiqué l’assassinat de Rafiq Hariri (Groupe Al-Nousra, 2005). Un ressortissant libanais faisait partie du groupe des 19 personnes impliquées dans les attentats du 11 septembre (Ziad Jarrah, pilote de l’avion qui s’est écrasé en Pennsylvanie). Certains d’entre eux continuent de jouer un rôle à partir des prisons libanaises ou des camps de réfugiés palestiniens (camp d’Ein el-Hilweh notamment). En 2007, les djihadistes palestiniens de Fatah al-Islam, retranchés dans le camp de Nahr al-Bared, ont combattu l’armée libanaise pendant plusieurs mois. Les Brigades Abdullah Azzam ont revendiqué des attaques sur les forces de l’ONU (FINUL/ UNIFIL). La guerre en Syrie contre le régime d’Assad a suscité des vocations libanaises. Des Libanais y ont rejoint des groupes djihadistes, comme le Front al-Nousra. L’auteur de l’article fait dire à l’un de ses interlocuteurs que le Liban pourrait devenir une terre de djihad.
Lebanon Is Pivotal For Syria’s Jihadists
By: Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse Posted on April 9.
“It was not until Sept. 11, 2001, that people started talking seriously about the Lebanese connection to al-Qaeda. The name of Ziad Jarrah, one of the 19 men who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks, emerged and people started asking seriously then whether al-Qaeda was present in Lebanon.
In Beirut, I met Abu Baraa, a code name used by our source who was once an inmate of Roumieh prison’s Islamist building. He fought with Kanj in Dounieh, but now he’s doing nothing but “preaching Islam.” He saw several of his “brothers,” the word used by Islamists when mentioning comrades, working from the prison without any interference from Lebanese security forces. “We had phones, and I have recently learned that prisoners have Internet access now; they used to communicate with the outside world and give orders.” According to Abu Baraa, Lebanese jihadists should be grateful to the Palestinians for where they are now. Palestinian jihadists, along with a few Lebanese, had the chance “to go to Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, etc. … and come back more experienced, with a larger network, capable of tougher tactics, and they also helped in providing hideouts for the brothers whenever they needed it.”
Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are a busy hub for jihadists. Ain al-Hilweh camp in Sidon, southern Lebanon, is home to several groups — Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Osbat al-Ansar, Jund al-Sham and others are active groups which are now exporting experts to Syria.” (…)
#Lebanon #Syria #Hariri #Al_Nusra #Ahmad_Abu_Adas #Bassam_Kanj #al-Qaeda #Abu_Aisha #Osama_bin_Laden #Ayman_al_Zawahiri #Ayman_Kamaldine #Ziad_Jarrah #Islamist #Jihadist #Ain_al_Hilweh #Abdullah_Azzam_Brigades #Osbat_al-Ansar #Jund_al_Sham #Fatah_al_Islam #Nahr_al_Bared #Palestinian_camp #UNIFIL #Syrian_revolution #Hezballat #Khaled_Mahmoud
#Syrie #Syria, #Djabhat En-Nusra argument valable au #régime et au #G8
Les #priorités , chacun selon son #poste
Les #ministres des #affaires #étrangères des 8 #pays les plus #riches du #monde se sont réunis mercredi à #Londres selon une dépêche de l’agence #Reuters . La réunion continue ce jeudi. 3 sujets essentiels des #relations #internationales les préoccupent : nucléaire iranien, la guerre civile en Syrie et la menace de conflit avec la Corée du nord.
Syrie. Propos sans surprise de Haytham al-Manna, chef du Comité National de Coordination des Forces de Changement Démocratique en Syrie (CNCD) : une solution militaire ne résoudrait rien ; la Syrie doit choisir entre solution politique ou somalisation ; les opposants au régime n’ont pas la possibilité de l’emporter par des moyens militaires ; Assad ne s’est pas résolu à négocier ; le régime est capable de supporter encore deux années d’affrontement. Il est également convaincu que le départ d’Assad ne mettrait pas fin à la violence et que les Frères Musulmans ne renonceront pas à leurs privilèges.
Syrian Opposition: Assad’s Overthrow Wouldn’t End Violence
By: Mohammad al-Shazli Translated from Al-Hayat
Posted on : April 9 2013
The head of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCC) in exile, Haytham al-Manna, said that the Syrian regime is seeking to “clone the Algerian solution” to solve the crisis in the country. He called on “friends” of the regime to pressure the regime for serious negotiations that can “rescue those whose hands haven’t been stained with the blood of Syrians.”
In an interview with Al-Hayat, Manna added that the conflict could not be solved militarily. He said, “We have the choice of either the somalization of the country or a political solution. We blame the regime for wanting to clone the Algerian solution; it will not succeed.” He added that the opposition “will not succeed in reaching a military solution.”
“Thus far, the regime has not made any progress toward serious negotiations," he said. “It is focusing on public relations and agreeing to anything it is offered. However, when it comes to implementation, there is no practical element to this approval.”
Syrie. La ville d’Amoud a été fin mars le théâtre d’affrontements violents entre des manifestants venus protester contre l’indigence des services municipaux et les milices du Parti de l’Union démocratique kurde (PYD, une branche du PKK) qui contrôlent une partie des zones kurdes du nord de la Syrie. Ces affrontements entre Kurdes sont récurrents. Cette fois-ci, ils ont conduit les partisans d’Öcalan (PKK) et ceux de Massoud Barzani, président de la région du Kurdistan en Iraq (KDP), à s’opposer. Il est douteux que ces affrontements conduisent à une guerre civile entre Kurdes, mais il est certain qu’ils affaiblissent leurs positions au sein de la coalition syrienne. Il n’est pas impossible qu’Ankara se soit résolu à prendre langue avec le PKK d’Öcalan par crainte de voir le Parti de l’Union démocratique kurde (PYD) renforcer son contrôle dans les zones syriennes frontalières de la Turquie.
Clashes Break Out Between Kurdish Groups In Syria
By : Wladimir van Wilgenburg for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse, Posted on April 4 (2013)
Kurdish protesters clashed with the militia of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the rebellious town of Amude on March 27 over the lack of services which resulted in several wounded and led to fears of more fights between Kurds in Syria
The clash lead again to tensions between the supporters of the imprisoned PKK-leader Öcalan and supporters of Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region in neighboring Iraq and head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Syria. The Syrian Kurds have been heavily influenced by Kurdish parties from outside, although they have their local parties.
Mohammad Ballout décrit comment les diverses composantes de l’opposition syrienne mènent, à la fois, un combat contre le régime d’Assad et une lutte interne pour la prise du pouvoir. Ces affrontements respectifs et concomitants retardent leur unification et, dans l’immédiat, la formation d’un gouvernement intérimaire. Ils se nourrissent, financièrement, politiquement et militairement, de forces extérieures venues d’Occident, du Qatar ou d’Arabie saoudite, chacune ayant son propre agenda (inclusion et protection des minorités pour les uns, islamisme pour les autres, etc.)
Sectarianism, Saudi-Qatar Jostling Prevail in Syrian Opposition
By: Mohammad Ballout Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon)
The Syrian opposition finds itself at a standstill, following the moment of rapture when the National Coalition appropriated Syria’s seat at the Arab League.
The pace of consultations within the coalition points to a lack of urgency in moving forward toward the next step of forming an “interim government,” following the appointment of Ghassan Hito as its head. The task of forming the government is hindered by an American and Qatari insistence on nominating people who would help restructure and expand its level of representation and legitimacy, so that posts and ministries are more equitably divided. It also awaits a Qatari-Saudi consensus on the manner in which Hito’s government would be run, and the nature of that government: technocratic or political.
The Saudis have put all their media and financial potential at the service of the Syrian opposition, with the aim of reducing Qatar’s monopoly over the opposition, to the point of encouraging and enlisting secularists in their fight with Doha. Furthermore, the Americans, in the last few days, have also requested that the formation process be put on hold, as a result of it becoming a great point of contention between the different political and military Syrian opposition factions.” (…)
#Syria #National_Coalition #Arab_League #Ghassan_Hito #Qatar #Saudi_Arabia #Muslim_Brotherhood #Burhan_Ghalioun #Georges_Sabra #National_Council #Khatib #Friends_of_Syria #Lakhdar_Brahimi # Organization_of_the_Islamic_Conference #recognizing_the_Syrian_opposition #Syrian_revolution #interim_government
Article de Bruce Riedel qui souligne la montée en puissance de Jabhat al-Nusra en Syrie (un quart des combattants selon lui) réalisant ainsi la prophétie auto-réalisatrice d’Assad qui laissait entendre, au début de la guerre civile, que la contestation syrienne n’était en réalité qu’une guerre menée de l’étranger. (Dans un message publié hier, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, responsable d’Al-Qaïda en Iraq, a confirmé que Jabhat al-Nusra était une branche de l’Etat islamique d’Iraq). Riedel voit dans cette expansion une menace directe pour Israël et les pays occidentaux.
Jabhat al-Nusra Is Growing Menace To Mideast and Beyond
By: Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor, Posted on April 8.
“As the Syrian civil war gets ever more violent and destructive, there is a big beneficiary: al-Qaeda and its franchise in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra— which is now the fastest-growing al-Qaeda front in the world, attracting fighters from across the Islamic world. Today it’s focused on destroying the Bashar al-Assad regime but its ultimate goals are much bigger, attacking America and its allies in the heart of the Middle East.
The Syrian franchise gets crucial support from the al-Qaeda core in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri issued a public call in February 2012 in which he urged “every Muslim and every free and honest person in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to rise and help their brothers in Syria with everything they have and can do.”
Zawahiri’s call, just after the announcement of the creation of Jabhat al-Nusra and its first major attacks in Aleppo, was clearly coordinated with the fighters on the ground. Since that call, at least one senior member of the al-Qaeda Shura Council in Pakistan has traveled to Syria to further coordinate plans and operations with the core hiding in Pakistan. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton termed the exchanges of messages between al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria as “deeply disturbing” in one of her final interviews in office.”
Bruce Riedel is the director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution. His latest book is Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back.
The west’s alliance against Assad is riddled with contradictions
The Guardian, Tuesday 26 March 2013 19.36 GMT
The tragedy in Syria lies as much in the dysfunctional international response as in the war on the ground
Over the past week there has been much wringing of hands over Syria, and rightly so. At every turn, the Gordian knot has been tightening, with little prospect of it being cut.
Monday’s grim news was that the founder of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the erstwhile Syrian army colonel Riad al-Asaad, was seriously wounded in a targeted car bomb just before the Syrian National Coalition assumed Syria’s seat in place of the Assad regime at the Arab League meeting in Doha.
In war things rarely run smoothly, but the tragedy of Syria lies as much in the fragility of the coalition supporting the rebels as in the inconclusiveness of the rebels’ own political and military battles. Since the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the UN in early 2011, there has been no single “international community” voice on Syria. On team A we have the US, EU, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Russia, China, Iran and sundry others make up team B. Far from resolving the crisis, these competing actors cancelled out each other’s efforts over the ensuing two years. As the main instigators of Libya’s liberation from Muammar Gaddafi, the French and British clearly want to do more than train rebel soldiers in Jordan, or increase humanitarian assistance to refugees. In pushing for arms to reach the FSA in Syria, however, they are failing to manage their own allies, much less the opposing team.
The Arab League, meeting this week, is once again calling for more robust UN action, but this reflects neither diplomatic realities nor developments on the ground. Journalists covering Syria from the inside have revealed how Turkey and the Gulf states are already training, funding and arming rebel groups; but from a Franco-British perspective, they are clearly the wrong ones. Last week’s news that a low-level, chlorine-based chemical weapons may have been deployed from an area controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamist militia supported by Qatar, sits uneasily with the more secular FSA’s appeals for hardware from the west.
So far, the US is sitting on the fence – the new secretary of state, John Kerry, having failed to convince President Obama that inserting more weaponry into Syria will save lives down the line. The alliance struck with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey over Syria remains circumstantial. It is not clear that all of team A wants the same thing. Opposing Iranian, or indeed Russian, influence in Syria is not the same thing as securing the best outcome for the Syrian people. With the shadow of 2003 Iraq hanging heavily over western intervention, which lacks domestic support in both Europe and the US, the next best options remain no-fly zones and humanitarian corridors. Neither is anywhere close to being legally viable or practical on the ground.
What worked in Libya in 2011 now looks like a fortuitous sleight of hand. Given the EU’s tensions with Russia over Cyprus, the solid veto of China, and the regional activism of Qatar and Turkey, the Nato-led Libyan campaign may go down in history as one of the last actions of a consensus-based “international community”. The closer the crisis, the more local agendas prevail. Whether this means the Gulf favouring jihadist strongmen over democracy, or Turkey backing some of Syria’s ethnic and sectarian communities over others, it is not the Syrian people who will emerge victorious in any of the senses championed by the US and EU.
Facing up to the dysfunctionality of its own alliance over Syria should now be the priority of any UK-French plan. The alternative is to continue to back one increasingly narrow, divided and poorly resourced set of Syrians against another armed and championed by the west’s own regional allies
La bataille pour Damas ? CBS News rassemble, à son tour, des informations qui tendent à démontrer que la grande offensive sur Damas (la sixième ?) est en vue. Si les financements qataris et saoudiens de fourniture d’armes à destination de l’opposition syrienne étaient largement médiatisés, en revanche l’implication des Etats Unis et d’autres Etats occidentaux était assez peu commentée. Ce n’est plus le cas puisqu’on dispose désormais d’un grand nombre de commentaires de presse sur les types d’armes exportées vers la Turquie et la Jordanie, sur le rôle de la CIA qui interviendrait pour s’assurer que ces armes finissent entre des mains « modérés et légitimes » (Kerry en marge d’une réunion de l’opposition tenue en Italie) et qu’elles rééquilibrent l’effort militaire fourni par l’Iran à Assad, enfin, sur l’abondance des matériels militaires qui arrivent en Syrie en préparation à une offensive finale sur Damas.
CBS/AP/ March 28, 2013, 5:26 AM
AP : "Master plan" underway to help Syria rebels take Damascus with U.S.-approved airlifts of heavy weapons
“Mideast powers opposed to President Bashar Assad have dramatically stepped up weapons supplies to Syrian rebels in coordination with the U.S. in preparation for a push on the capital of Damascus, officials and Western military experts said Wednesday. A carefully prepared covert operation is arming rebels, involving Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, with the United States and other Western governments consulting, and all parties hold veto power over where the shipments are directed, according to a senior Arab official whose government is participating. His account was corroborated by a diplomat and two military experts. Saudi Arabia and other regional powers have been arming Syria’s rebels for months, but the scale and coordination with the West — and the suggestion by the AP’s sources that the effort is linked to a plan for the rebels to try and seize Damascus — represents a potentially significant escalation in the civil war.”
Des nouvelles d’Iran sur la Syrie. Interview conduite par Press TV [Iran, anglophone) avec Daoud Khirallah, professeur de Droit à l’université de Georgetown, qui conteste la décision prise par la Ligue arabe de donner à l’opposition syrienne le siège occupé jusqu’à il y a quelques mois par le régime de Damas. (voir video)
26 March 2013. Arab League violating its own charter on Syrian crisis: Daoud Khairallah
“Khairallah: Well simply they can disregard the Charter of the Arab League, they can disregard any legal or moral rule and they can apply corruption and money in every way they can to prevent any peaceful negotiated solution in Syria. “