• L’#Arabie_Saoudite aurait transféré des armes américaines à des groupes rebelles au #Yémen - Libération


    Les #Etats-Unis ont vendu des #armes à l’Arabie Saoudite et à son allié les #Emirats_arabes_unis. Une enquête de CNN révèle aujourd’hui que certaines armes auraient été transférées à des groupes combattant au Yémen, dont certains liés à #Al-Qaeda. Ceci constitue une violation des accords de vente d’armes entre l’Arabie Saoudite et les Etats-Unis, explique la chaîne américaine, qui ajoute que ces armes auraient ensuite été abandonnées, volées ou vendues lors des combats. Désormais, certaines seraient entre les mains de rebelles soutenus par l’Iran


  • Syria war: Jihadist takeover in rebel-held Idlib sparks alarm - BBC News

    In a dramatic takeover last month, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) swept through towns and villages in Idlib province, as well as adjoining parts of Aleppo and Hama.

    The group - which was known as al-Nusra Front before it broke off formal ties with #al-Qaeda three years ago - expelled some rebel factions and forced others to surrender and recognise a “civil administration” it backs.

    With almost 20,000 fighters in its ranks, HTS wants to impose strict Islamic rule in areas it controls. Civilians say the group’s practices are similar to those of IS.


  • The U.S. put a Yemeni warlord on a terrorist list. One of its close allies is still arming him. - The Washington Post

    TAIZ, Yemen — In 2017, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on a powerful Yemeni Islamist warlord, accusing him of being a “prominent military instructor” and fundraiser for #al-Qaeda who had also at one point “served with” the Islamic State and financed its forces.

    But Abu al-Abbas is not on the run. He is not even in hiding.

    By his own admission, Abbas continues to receive millions of dollars in weapons and financial support for his fighters from one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies, the United Arab Emirates [..]


  • #BBC One - Panorama, Jihadis You Pay For

    Millions of pounds of British aid money have been spent trying to bring security to Syria and to protect the UK from terrorism. But whistleblowers say our development efforts have been undermined by mismanagement, waste and corruption.

    Using hundreds of leaked documents, reporter Jane Corbin pieces together the shocking truth about one of the government’s flagship foreign aid projects. She discovers how some of the cash has ended up in the hands of extremists and how an organisation we are funding has been involved in executions and torture.



    Wed 6 Dec 2017

    Fri 8 Dec 2017

    #financement_du_terrorisme « #real_politic » #Syrie

    • Government suspends support for foreign aid project in Syria over claims cash is being diverted to extremists

      British foreign aid money has been used fund a police force whose officers stood by and watched a woman get stoned to death and handed cash to extremists, it has been alleged as the Government suspends the project. 

      The Free Syrian Police (FSP), a flagship UK-backed scheme, is said to have had officers handpicked by a branch of #al-Qaeda and handed over cash in a protection racket to Nour al-Din al-Zinki, the extremist group in control of the Allepo. 

      Dead or fictitious officers have also been discovered on the payroll of the force, which was intended to bring law and order to parts of the country that were controlled by opponents of the Assad regime.

      Following the claims by BBC Panorama to be aired this evening (MON) the government suspended all aid to the £12m project, which was first set up five years ago.

  • While defeat of Isis dominates global attention, #al-Qaeda strengthens in Syria | The Independent

    The open dominance of an extreme Islamic jihadi movement like HTS creates a problem for foreign powers, notably the US, UK, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, previous funders and suppliers of the Syrian rebels. HTS, whose attempt to distinguish itself from al-Qaeda has convinced few, is listed in many countries as a terrorist organisation, unlike its former ally, the Ahrar al-Sham. It will be difficult for foreign powers to do business with it, though the armed opposition to Mr Assad has long been dominated by extreme Islamist jihadi groups. The difference is that today there are no longer any nominally independent groups through which anti-Assad states and private donors can channel arms, money and aid while still pretending that they were not supporting terrorism. 

    Isis declared war against the whole world in 2014 and inevitably paid the price of creating a multitude of enemies who are now crushing it in Syria and Iraq. Many of the members of this de facto alliance always disliked each other almost as much as they hated Isis. It was only fear of the latter that forced them to cooperate, or at least not fight each other. It may not be possible to recreate the same unity of purpose against al-Qaeda.


  • Saudi Arabia’s Dream of Domination Has Gone Up in Flames

    Pour Patrick Cockburn les dirigeants des pays du #Golfe sont beaucoup plus d’énormes #bouffons disposant de moyens énormément indus que des disciples de Machiavel,

    Critics of Saudi and Qatari policies often demonise them as cunning and effective, but their most striking characteristic is their extreme messiness and ignorance of real conditions on the ground. In 2011, Qatar believed that Assad could be quickly driven from power just like Muamar Gaddafi in Libya. When this did not happen they pumped in money and weapons willy-nilly while hoping that the US could be persuaded to intervene militarily to overthrow Assad as Nato had done in Libya.

    Experts on in Syria argue about the extent to which the Saudis and the Qataris knowingly funded Islamic State and various #al-Qaeda clones. The answer seems to be that they did not know, and often did not care, exactly who they were funding and that, in any case, it often came from wealthy individuals and not from the Saudi government or intelligence services.


    The attempt by Saudi Arabia and Gulf oil states to achieve hegemony in the Arab and Sunni Muslim worlds has proved disastrous for almost everybody.


    • @kassem ils me fichent la trouille, en plus de détruire les Lieux saint de la Mecque (patrimoine de l’humanité) ils importent leur secte le « wahhabisme » dans le monde entier et en Europe avec l’assentiment des élites européennes qu’ils peuvent acheter aisément. Cela a commencé lors de la guerre inique contre la Yougoslavie un complot des membres de l’Otan, Usa et Allemagne en particulier. Ce pays anciennement socialiste a éclaté en myriades de petits états conformément aux voeux américains. http://docslide.fr/documents/comment-le-djihad-est-arrive-en-europe.html
      Jurgen Elssasser a écrit ce livre préfacé par Mr Chevènement ou clairement il est dit qu’Al Qaida se trouvait en Serbie, Kovoso pour servir de mercenaires contre les communautés chrétiennes, roms et ré-islamiser la région pourtant la plus laique possible. Faite des recherches sur les anciennes images de ce pays (Yougoslavie) et ce qu’il est devenu maintenant effarant. Les madrasas financés par l’Arabie Saoudite, ont ré-islamisés la population, importé la « sharia » avec des bastions djihadistes, faits reconnus par Interpol, des kosovars sont partis en Lybie, Syrie comme mercenaires étant donné que l’économie laminée de ces petites nations est déliquescente seul comptait pour les Usa et l’OTAN d’avoir une base arrière vers le moyen orient et le Caucase, Afghanistan avec la base Us du Camps Bondsteel..Merci Madame Albright et Mr Clinton et Soros.

  • U.S.-French Operation Targeted Elusive North African Militant, U.S. Says - WSJ

    AMBOULI, Djibouti—French aircraft struck and likely killed one of the most wanted senior al Qaeda operatives in southern Libya this month, marking a new level of cooperation between France and the U.S. on targeting militants, U.S. officials said.

    #al-qaeda #Lybie

  • Jihadism Transformed: #Al-Qaeda and Islamic State’s Global Battle of Ideas

    The contributors examine whether the challenge presented to al-Qaeda by Islamic State heralds a tectonic shift in international jihadism and how the former may respond to the threat of being usurped.

    #livre #ISIS #Etat_islamique #djihadisme #Al-Qaïda

  • CIA-Armed ‘Moderates’ in Syria Included al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front

    A new report citing former #CIA officers https://sofrep.com/63764/us-special-forces-sabotage-white-house-policy-gone-disastrously-wrong-with-c has revealed that the agency was knowingly providing weapons, including tow missiles to fighters that were effectively part of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, continuing to arm “moderates” so long as they at least nominally kept their moderate names.


    ... as the war continued, the FSA fighters were defecting en masse to the Nusra Front. Even being directly affiliated with al-Qaeda’s affiliate didn’t stop the arms flow to these groups, either, so long as they retained their FSA name so the CIA could feign arming “moderates.”

    The report concludes that the FSA was quickly becoming a cover name for Nusra, a fact which apparently didn’t phase the CIA, which was just as eager to use this pretense, so long as they were arming a group that was fighting against the Syrian government.

    #Syrie #al-Qaeda #Etats-Unis

  • Saudi-Backed Extremism is Fueling Yemeni Outrage

    #Al-Qaeda and IS are the biggest winners of the war. First, despite reports over the past few months that they were driven out of a number of southern cities, they continue to operate in Aden, Mukalla, Zinjibar, Jaar, and elsewhere—and will remain as long as Yemen lacks a strong government. About 70 people were killed on August 29 in the heart of Aden by an IS suicide bombing. That suicide bomber Ahmed Saif (also known as Abu Sufyan al-Adeni) was a Quran teacher living in Aden shows how al-Qaeda and IS are rooted in the educational and social system; this is the most dangerous aspect of the problem.‬ Leaders in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey take money and weapons and hand them to the “resistance,” which is often al-Qaeda and IS.

  • #Al-Nosra, #Al-Qaeda, Fath al-Sham : qui se cachent derrière les « rebelles » syriens ?

    En fait, le corridor de Ramouseh, ouvert au sud-ouest d’Alep est impraticable, car il demeure sous le feu de l’armée syrienne et les bombardements de l’aviation russe. La contre-offensive en cours devrait refermer la brèche ouverte dans les semaines à venir. La coalition menée par le Front al-Nosra a donc subi des pertes humaines considérables pour un résultat militaire quasi-nul. Mais l’objectif politique est atteint. Il est désormais difficile pour Barack Obama de participer à la lutte contre le Front al-Nosra aux côtés de la Russie, car cela signifierait qu’il aide le camp Assad à refermer « le siège d’Alep ». Le camp anti-Assad souhaite que Barack Obama demeure dans l’expectative jusqu’à la fin de son mandat, pensant que son successeur, avec une forte préférence pour Hillary Clinton, sera plus agressif contre Bachar el-Assad.

  • An offshoot of #al-Qaeda is regrouping in #Pakistan - The Washington Post

    The resurgence has been managed by a South Asian offshoot called al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), created by al-Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in 2014 in order to slow advances by rival Islamic State militants in the region.


  • Echoes of #Afghanistan in Syria

    The Afghan mujahedin’s war against the Soviets is the subject of fond Cold War memories of many people on the U.S. side of the Cold War divide. [...]. But it would be dangerous to attempt something comparable in Syria, where U.S. and allied aircraft and not just Russians operate. Distributing such [man-portable air defense] systems to anyone in the fractured Syria opposition would result in a significant chance they would be used against American planes.


    The role of extremists and of terrorists who have struck against the United States and the West ought to be of high concern to Americans reflecting on history of the Afghan conflict, and on how earlier American policymakers may have focused too narrowly and shortsightedly on defeating the Soviets. The comparison with Syria ought to be too obvious to need much reflection, given the current reality of the radical group #ISIS, as well as an #al-Qaeda affiliate, forming a major part of the alternative to the Assad regime.

    The Afghan experience as well as the Syrian conflict itself show why the oft-voiced counterfactual about how a bigger and earlier U.S. involvement in the Syrian war would somehow have produced a more viable and effective “moderate” opposition is invalid. [...]

    One of the biggest, and most relevant for current policy questions, differences between the Soviet phase of the Afghan war and the current war in Syria is that there isn’t a Cold War any more. There is no reason today to gauge the advance and retreat of U.S. interests worldwide in terms of the retreat and advance of the country whose capital is Moscow, as was habitually done during the Cold War. If Russia were to maintain all of the position and influence it hopes to maintain in whatever part of Syria the Assad regime controls, it would be small potatoes compared to how successfully the Soviet Union competed for influence throughout the Middle East during most of the Cold War. Countering Russia wasn’t even part of the original reason for the United States to get involved in the Syrian conflict. It would be one of the worst examples of mission creep if this comes to be seen as a reason, and doubly unfortunate if the potential proxy war were allowed to become a real one.

    #Russie #Syrie #Etats-Unis

  • Live du « The Telegraph » sur les bombardements russes en Syrie,

    Are the non-Isil groups being bombed terrorists?

    The groups they are bombing a spectrum of opposition groups from an alliance called Jaish al-Fatah - Army of Conquest - to brigades of “moderate” rebels backed and even, according to one account, trained by the US.
    Jaish al-Fatah made up of hardline groups that include Jabhat al-Nusra, which is aligned to #al-Qaeda, so they are formally designated by the West and the United Nations as terrorists.

    Good ! Hit ALL jihadi groups ! Create a coordination center !

    “So, who else could Russian jets be targeting? Ruth Sherlock writes:

    Russia may have targeted Jaysh al-Fatah as they are the rebel group that poses the greatest threat to Latakia, the regime’s heartland and location of the Russian controlled port of Tartous.

    Some background on who this group are: Jaysh al-Fateh - the Army of Conquest - is a broad alliance of hardline Islamist groups, which includes both Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham.

    In March this group captured Idlib, making it the second provincial capital to fall to the opposition since the start of the war.

    Since then they have been effective in fighting the regime in Idlib and it looks like they may be able to push on government strongholds in central Syria and Latakia.

    One interesting note - the Russians appear to have been watching this group for a long time: A year ago much of the Ahrar al-Sham leadership was wiped out by an explosion that took place where all the commanders had gathered.” Telegraph

    • Pour vérification plus tard,

      The Telegraph :

      Iran was on Thursday night moving up its ground forces in Syria in preparation for an attack to reclaim rebel-held territory under the cover of Russian air strikes, according to sources close to Damascus.

      Hizbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia which has come to the Assad regime’s rescue in battle-fronts across the country in the past two years, is being prepared to capitalise on the strikes, a Syrian figure close to the regime told The Telegraph

      Sources in Lebanon told Reuters that Iran, which is the main sponsor and tactical adviser to Hizbollah, was sending in hundreds of its own troops to reinforce them.

      Iran made no comment on the claims but Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said the move would be an “apt and powerful illustration” that Russia’s military actions had worsened the conflict.

      A Hizbollah-backed advance would fit the pattern of Russian air-strikes, which have predominantly targeted those rebels not aligned to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant who currently present the gravest threat on the ground to core regime territory.

      The long-term aim would be to defeat or demoralise the non-Isil opposition, so that Isil became the regime’s only enemy. That would force the West to back President Bashar al-Assad against it.

      “They want to clean the country of non-Isil rebels, and then the US will work with them as Isil will be the only enemy," the Damascus source said.

      In the first instance, an attack in north-western Homs province, the apparent chosen battle-front, would help distract the rebel alliance from attacking Latakia, the stronghold of the Alawite minority from which much of the regime is drawn.

    • Syrie : les Russes ont frappé des rebelles formés par la CIA
      Jeudi, 1 octobre 2015

      Les bombardements russes en Syrie de mercredi ont visé des rebelles entraînés et financés par la CIA notamment pour combattre le groupe État islamique, a affirmé l’influent sénateur américain John McCain.

      « Je peux absolument confirmer que ces frappes visaient l’Armée syrienne libre ou des groupes qui ont été armés et entraînés par la CIA », a affirmé jeudi matin M. McCain sur la chaîne de télévision CNN.
      Poutine s’attend à une guerre de l’information

      Vladimir Poutine a dit être prêt à la « guerre de l’information » après les accusations de meurtre de civils formulées par l’opposition syrienne en exil contre l’aviation russe, qui a entamé la veille ses premières frappes en Syrie.

      « En ce qui concerne les informations de presse à propos de victimes au sein de la population civile, nous sommes prêts à cette guerre de l’information », a déclaré M. Poutine, affirmant que ces accusations ont été formulées avant même que les avions russes ne décollent dans le ciel syrien.

  • Rouhani’s Dual Messages and Iran’s Security Strategy

    Gareth Porter : contrairement à ce qu’en disent les think tank occidentaux, il n’existe aucun désaccord entre les « gardiens de la révolution » (et Khamenei) d’une part et Rouhani (et Rafsandjani) d’autre part en ce qui concerne le choix des stratégies visant à empêcher une agression militaire israélienne et étasunienne contre l’Iran.

    When #Israel launched its war in Southern Lebanon in 2006, it was to destroy the key element in Iran’s deterrent. General Mohsen Rezai, the former head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, commented explicitly on that central reason for the Israeli attack. “Israel and the US knew that as long as Hamas and Hezbollah were there,” he said, “confronting Iran would be costly”.

    The Israeli war to disarm #Hezbollah was a major failure, however, and #Iran then supplied Hezbollah with far more numerous, more accurate and longer-range missiles and rockets, to supplement the few hundred Iranian missiles capable of reaching Israeli targets.

    But Hezbollah’s role in Iranian deterrence depended on the ability to supply Hezbollah through Syrian territory. The Israelis schemed unsuccessfully for years to exploit that potential Iranian vulnerability by trying to get the United States to overthrow the Assad regime militarily. Now, however, IS and #al-Qaeda are threatening to accomplish what the Israelis had failed to do.

    That is why Iran’s commitment to the defense of the Assad regime is not a function of the power of the IRGC, but a requirement on which Rouhani and Khamenei are in full agreement. Rouhani’s dual message of diplomatic engagement with Washington and insistence that cooperation on resisting “Daesh” is the priority in Syria reflect the essentials of Iran’s national security strategy.

    #Liban #Israël

  • Insurgents killed 56 government troops at captured air base: Syria monitor (note: des photos circulent sur Twitter)

    A group tracking the Syrian war said on Saturday that Islamist insurgents shot dead 56 members of Syrian government forces in a mass execution at an air base captured from the army earlier this month in northwestern Syria.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the mass killing at Abu al-Duhur air base happened a few days ago, citing sources on the ground. The air base in Idlib province was captured by an alliance of groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front on Sept. 9.

  • Why has Israel embraced al-Qaida’s branch in Syria? | The Electronic Intifada

    Une compilation rigoureuse des preuves de l’#alliance #Israel/#al-qaeda

    Once it became undeniable, Israel confessed it was treating fighters, but claimed that they were moderates.

    But after al-Nusra captured and ejected UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights last August, there was no longer any doubt that al-Nusra was the dominant force among opposition fighters in the area.

    Since then, Ynet has resorted to whitewashing al-Nusra’s connections to al-Qaida. Citing unnamed Israeli officials, the publication claims that al-Nusra’s members are “simply local residents who joined the organization to benefit from the logistical and financial support it offers them.”

    Retired Brigadier General Michael Herzog, a former chief of staff for Israel’s defense minister, told The Wall Street Journal that “Nusra is a unique version of al-Qaida. They manage to cooperate with non-Islamist and non-jihadi organizations in one coalition … They are totally focused on the war in Syria and aren’t focused on us. But when Hizballah and Iran and others are pushing south, they are very much focused on us.”

    Israeli soldiers have also been seen providing Syrian opposition fighters dominated by al-Nusra with material aid.

    Dozens of interactions between Israel and opposition fighters, as far back as 2012, have been documented by the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the peacekeeping mission responsible for monitoring the 1974 ceasefire line between Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights.

    The UN has good reason to observe these interactions closely.

    In August last year, al-Nusra detained 43 UN peacekeepers and seized their equipment, prompting the UN to evacuate many of its soldiers to the Israeli-occupied side of the ceasefire line.

    Quarterly UNDOF reports since the pullback reveal an ongoing pattern of Israeli coordination with those armed groups.

    According to the December 2014 report, UNDOF observed two Israeli soldiers “opening the technical fence gate and letting two individuals pass from the [Syrian] to the [Israeli] side” on 27 October. Unlike most fighters seen entering the Israeli side, these individuals were not wounded and the purpose of their visit remains a mystery.

    UNDOF “sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting” with the Israeli military across the ceasefire line, the report states.

    The next UNDOF report, released in March, notes that UN forces witnessed Israeli soldiers delivering material aid to armed Syrian opposition groups.

    “During the evening of 20 January, in the area north of observation post 54, UNDOF observed two trucks crossing from the [Syrian] side to the [Israeli] side, where they were received by IDF [Israeli military] personnel,” the report states. “The trucks were loaded with sacks before returning to the [Syrian] side.”

    The coordination between Israel and armed opposition groups continued into May, according to the June UNDOF report.

    Israel appears determined to keep the nature of these interactions as low key as possible, something Sidqi Maqt, a Druze resident of the Golan Heights, understands better than most.

    In February, Maqt was arrested by Israeli intelligence for posting photos and videos to his Facebook page of Israeli army interactions with armed opposition groups. Maqt paid particular attention to documenting encounters he believed demonstrated the Israeli army’s alliance with al-Nusra.

    Released in 2012 after serving 37 years in prison for engaging in armed resistance against Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights, Maqt is once again behind bars. He has been charged with “espionage, assisting an enemy during wartime and contact with a foreign agent,” according to Al Jazeera.

    On top of providing al-Nusra with material aid and punishing those who expose it, Israel has launched airstrikes almost exclusively against forces fighting al-Nusra.

    On 18 January, for example, an Israeli air strike on a convoy near Quneitra killed six members of Hizballah and a general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

    Days later, rockets landed in the Golan Heights, according to UNDOF. The Israeli army retaliated by shelling a location it said was the source of the fire.

    A Syrian army official, however, told the UN that “terrorists” had fired the rockets and that the Syrian army planned to target their positions. The UN relayed this message to the Israeli army, which responded with airstrikes against two Syrian army artillery positions.

    Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has said that some in Syria joke, “How can you say that al-Qaida doesn’t have an air force? They have the Israeli air force.”

    While Assad’s policies, including the bombardments that have devastated cities and towns forcing millions to flee their homes, have contributed to the chaos and vacuum that has enabled extremist groups to flourish in some areas, Israel’s actions on behalf of those groups grant credence to his claim.

  • Si les Américains disent qu’Assad est allié à ISIS, c’est certainement vrai. Après tout, ce sont les mêmes qui savaient déjà que Saddam Hussein était allié à Al Qaeda… (tu ne vois pas comme un schéma récurrent, là… ?)

    Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations

    Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations were made by U.S. Government officials who claimed that a highly secretive relationship existed between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the radical Islamist militant organization Al-Qaeda from 1992 to 2003, specifically through a series of meetings reportedly involving the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS).[1] In the lead up to the Iraq War, U.S. President George W. Bush alleged that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and militant group al-Qaeda might conspire to launch terrorist attacks on the United States,[2] basing the administration’s rationale for war, in part, on this allegation and others. The consensus of intelligence experts has been that these contacts never led to an operational relationship, and that consensus is backed up by reports from the independent 9/11 Commission and by declassified Defense Department reports[3] as well as by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, whose 2006 report of Phase II of its investigation into prewar intelligence reports concluded that there was no evidence of ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.[4] Critics of the Bush Administration have said Bush was intentionally building a case for war with Iraq without regard to factual evidence. On April 29, 2007, former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said on 60 Minutes, “We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period.”[5]

  • Syria’s Nusra Front rises as coalition fights Islamic State

    [The Nusra Front] has become increasingly aggressive toward local populations. In January, members of the group reportedly shot a woman dead in front of a crowd in Idlib after they accused her of being a prostitute. The group also has carried out public lashings, crucifixions and kidnappings — though it has not publicized the atrocities like the Islamic State group.

    Activists in southern Syria say the Nusra Front was behind the January bombing that destroyed the shrine of a 13th century Muslim scholar. The Nusra Front issued a statement denying it was involved but activists say its members were seen placing the bombs.

    “They’re trying to come across as rational, moderate, more dynamic,” Gerges said. “They don’t celebrate savagery in the same way like the Islamic State group.”

    Residents say among the group’s most worrisome action so far is forcing members of the minority Druze sect living in Idlib’s Jabal al-Summaq region to convert to Sunni Islam.

    The Druze, a 10th century offshoot of Shiite Islam, made up about 5 percent of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million people. In addition to Syria, Lebanon and Israel have large Druze communities.

    “The Druze in Idlib are being subjected today to religious persecution. The Nusra Front carried out shameful acts. They have dug graves and damaged shrines,” said former Lebanese Cabinet minister Wiam Wahhab, a Druze politician with close ties to the community in Syria.

    Activists estimate several hundred Druze have been forced to convert. A purported Nusra Front document, posted online and dated Feb. 1, outlined an agreement that saw Druze in 14 villages in Idlib convert. Under the deal, the Druze will implement Islamic laws, destroy tombs, impose Islamic dress on women and stop having mixed-sex schools. Idlib-based activist Asaad Kanjo said many Druze there have fled.

    “You are likely to see this sort of behavior from Nusra in Idlib province because they are increasingly the dominant party in this part of Syria, and are in the midst of a concerted effort to eliminate rivals there,” said Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. “Nusra ultimately wants to rule Syria.”

    An opposition activist in Kafranbel, a town in Idlib, said the group has established an elaborate network of social services and Shariah courts and rules uncontested. Remaining rebel groups in the province operate only with Nusra’s approval, he said.

    However, the group’s increasingly belligerent approach toward other rebel groups is starting to alienate former allies, said the activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

    The main Western-backed Syrian group, the Syrian National Coalition, which in the past has been wary not to criticize Nusra, has changed its tune.

    “We are concerned over Al Nusra’s latest actions and abuses against civilians and (Free Syrian Army) fighters,” said spokesman Salem al-Meslet, adding that the abuses were akin to the Islamic State group and Syrian government forces’ “criminal behavior.”

    The criticism has led the Nusra Front to issue a rare statement defending itself, saying its target are only those proven to have committed “crimes” against Muslims and fighters.

    “It was not our intention on any day to spread influence and expand and control the worshippers and the country,” the statement from its Al-Manara Al-Bayda media arm said. “Rather, our goal and aim is to lift injustice from the oppressed, and push away every enemy that attacks the honor, religion, and sanctities of the Muslims.

  • Emirati to Be Tried for Murder of American Teacher

    An Emirati woman has been referred to court on charges of murdering an American in an Abu Dhabi mall and attempting to kill another in his home, officials said Sunday. Alaa Bader Abdullah is accused of stabbing a teacher, Ibolya Ryan, 47, to death in a shopping mall restroom and attempting to murder an American doctor of Egyptian origin by planting a bomb outside his apartment. The attacks took place within hours of each other in the #UAE capital on December 1. read more

    #al-Qaeda #ISIS #US

  • #Israel Working With #Al-Qaeda ?

    Oui, selon rien moins que le très néocon « #Weekly_Standard », qui ajoute que les « intérêts » israéliens divergent de ceux des Etats-Unis qui eux soutiennent les « extrémistes chiites » (le Hezbollah)

    ... another article appearing in the same Weekly Standard edition—“Friend and Foe in Syria: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Enemy’s Enemy”—by hard-line neoconservative Lee Smith quite remarkably did [address the tie between Israel and al-Qaeda/Nusra]. The article is a compelling one: not only because it concludes that Israel is indeed colluding with al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, but also because it makes abundantly clear that, in Smith’s words, the United States and Israel have reached “strategic divergence” across the Middle East. Stated another way, U.S. and Israeli interests in Syria and elsewhere are no longer the same (if they ever were).

    Smith begins his article with Israel’s outgoing chief of staff, Benny Gantz telling a U.S. audience “that it’s important that the international community defeat both camps of regional extremists.” In the general’s view, Smith went on,

    [O]n one side there are Sunni radicals, like the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate. On the Shiite side are Iran and the Revolutionary Guards expeditionary unit, the Quds Force, as well as Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias.

    In saying this, according to Smith, Gantz was “tapping into a consensus position” that both sides are “equally bad.” But then Smith went on:

    The reality, however, is that the government Gantz recently served has made clear distinctions between extremist groups in the Middle East, and has backed its preferences on the ground for certain actors in the Sunni camp. The Obama White House has also signalled its priorities, acquiescing to, if not actively supporting, the Iranian-backed Shiite axis.

    (Personally, I find this latter assertion pretty questionable, since Obama has made pretty clear that his regional goal, as he told The New Yorker’s David Remnick a year ago, was to achieve “an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.” But let’s return to Smith.)



  • Les Inrocks - Pierre-Jean Luizard : « L’Etat islamique pourrait bien être le premier Etat salafiste à voir le jour »

    A l’instar de l’Etat irakien, l’Etat syrien n’a jamais permis l’émergence d’une citoyenneté partagée. Ceci explique qu’ils ont été la cible privilégiée des minorités (arabe sunnite en Irak et alaouite en Syrie) même si ce fut de façon différente dans chaque pays. La remise en cause des régimes a abouti à celle des Etats et, à ce titre, l’Etat islamique peut se prévaloir d’une longueur d’avance sur les autres groupes de l’opposition syrienne : il est le seul à ne dépendre d’aucun lien de dépendance envers un autre Etat et le seul à avoir traduit dans les faits la dégénérescence confessionnelle du printemps arabe, en Syrie notamment. En Irak, l’Etat islamique s’est imposé, en particulier face à Al-Qaïda, qu’il a purement et simplement intégré dans ses rangs. Il peut se targuer d’être le principal représentant de la “société civile” arabe sunnite du pays.


    • C’est là un autre volet, le volet occidental, de l’action de l’Etat islamique. Les sociétés démocratiques occidentales font peser un poids important sur les épaules de chaque individu, de plus en plus sommé de se définir sans l’aide des cadres traditionnels qu’étaient l’Eglise, les partis, les syndicats ou la famille. Il faut tenter de se faire une opinion et de se forger une identité par soi-même sans le recours à des autorités ou à des maîtres à penser. Une telle responsabilité n’est pas assumable par tous. Ce qui est possible pour des élites culturelles et intellectuelles ne l’est pas toujours pour d’autres. Le phénomène sectaire puise à l’aune de ce dénuement. On recherche un gourou, une identité que ni l’Etat ni la société multiculturelle et de consommation ne sont en mesure d’apporter. La passion du foot et du vélo ne suffit pas.

      Le modèle républicain français est particulièrement questionné : se voulant universalisme, il en a les défauts et les manques, notamment sur la question de l’identité. Il faut rappeler que l’histoire coloniale française s’est faite au nom de ces idéaux républicains et que ce sont bien ces idéaux qui ont échoué en Algérie. On a voulu faire des musulmans algériens des Français en tentant de les acculturer à travers un “islam républicain” tout en les empêchant de devenir français. La loi de 1905 n’a pas été appliquée aux musulmans d’Algérie. Les juifs et les chrétiens d’Algérie ont obtenu la citoyenneté française là où les musulmans sont demeurés “sujets français”. Et les écoles de Jules Ferry en Tunisie n’ont pas permis d’effacer un rapport de domination coloniale. Ce n’était donc pas seulement un problème d’éducation comme ont feint de le croire les élites républicaines françaises.

      Ayant mis un mouchoir pudique sur ces échecs, ces élites ont largement ouvert les portes de l’immigration à une population, souvent défavorisée, originaire des ex-colonies, qui constituait autant de main-d’œuvre bon marché. Là encore, sans jamais se poser la question de l’identité, essentielle pour un vivre-ensemble, ni celle de la possible exclusion économique des futures générations issues de l’immigration comme c’est le cas aujourd’hui. Les apprentis djihadistes français n’ont certes pas la mémoire précise de cette histoire, mais elle constitue un ressenti qui alimente la victimisation. C’est la raison pour laquelle il y a peu de chance de voir émerger un gallicanisme musulman ou un islam républicain dont les promoteurs seraient vite perçus comme des “harkis” de l’islam.

      #EEIL #Al-Qaeda #analyse