country:syria

  • Syria the Latest Case of US ‘Stumbling’ Into War | FAIR
    http://fair.org/home/syria-the-latest-case-of-us-stumbling-into-war
    http://fair.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Sucked-Into-War-e1498164825279.png

    The US didn’t enter the conflict in Syria in September 2014 deliberately; it was forced into it by outside actors. The US didn’t arm and fund anti-Assad rebels for four years to the tune of $1 billion a year as part of a broader strategy for the region; it did so as a result of some unknown geopolitical dark matter.

    #Etats-Unis #narrative délirante


  • Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is good news for Israel and U.S.

    Saudi crown prince Bin Salman agrees with U.S. on Russia, Assad, Iran and ISIS and according to some reports, he’s also met with top Israeli officials

    Zvi Bar’el Jun 21, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-1.797007

    New Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s appointment as Saudi Arabia’s heir apparent was only a matter of time. The “boy,” who will mark his 32nd birthday in August, has been leading the country de facto anyway. He already calls the shots on foreign policy. Many expect that in the not-too-distant future, King Salman, who is ill, will step down and hand the scepter to his son.
    Bin Salman has been undergoing training for the throne since Salman’s coronation two and a half years ago, both through foreign missions carried out on behalf of his father, and also through the war in Yemen that – as defense minister – he planned and carried out (albeit not particularly successfully).
    >>Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro: The impulsiveness of the king-in-waiting should worry Israel and the U.S.
    Before the new crown prince’s advent, his cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, had been in charge of relationships with Washington, especially with the CIA. In short order, Nayef was pushed out and the Americans understood exactly who the strong man in town was.
    Bin Salman became the contact not only between the kingdom and Washington, but also with Russia: the new heir met with President Vladimir Putin several times to coordinate policy on Syria and Iran.
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    Until now, Mohammed bin Salman has been good news for Israel and the United States, as his firm anti-Iranian positions make him an important partner – and not only in the struggle against Iran. Bin Salman agrees with America on the need to thwart Russian influence in the region; to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria; and to act firmly against ISIS and other radical organizations, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Hezbollah. During the last two years, several Arab websites have reported that bin Salman also met with top Israelis.

    File photo: US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House on March 14, 2017.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP
    >> Cluster bombs and yachts: 5 things you should know about Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince
    According to these reports, one such meeting took place in Eilat in 2015; another on the margins of the Arab summit in Jordan this March, and there are regular meetings between Saudi and Israeli officers in the joint war room where Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States coordinate. What is not yet known is to what extent Bin Salman can and might want to advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan, and whether he can turn around relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
    In a series of tweets this week, the Saudi blogger known as “Mujtahidd” revealed a “plot” by Crown Prince bin Salman and the heir to the Abu Dhabi throne, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to stage a coup in Qatar.
    Mujtahidd – many of whose tweets have proven accurate, and who apparently relies on whispers from the Saudi Arabia monarchial court – wrote, among other things, that the two heirs intended to send Blackwater mercenaries (of Iraqi notoriety) to Qatar, together with forces from the UAE, to seize the government. After that, somebody from the ruling Al-Thani family who would be loyal to them would be appointed. Thusly, according to Mujtahidd, the two thought to reduce the crisis and bend Qatar to Saudi Arabia’s will. Based on these tweets, it was the United States that pressed, indirectly, to torpedo the notion.
    By the way, this information has not been verified, and there is no certainty that these tweets rely on any actual fact. But what is unquestionable is the depth of relations between the two young heirs, a relationship that has created an axis of youth confident of the global mission – or at least Arab mission – placed on their shoulders, and confident that none but them are suited to run the Middle East.

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 19, 2017. HANDOUT/REUTERS
    This is a new generation that includes the ruler of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 37. It is a generation that came late to the Gulf states, having been predated by youthful leaders in Morocco, Jordan and Syria.
    Arab leaders like Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and King Abdullah have felt the whip of Saudi foreign relations. Both have been lashed over their “behavior” – and they were punished, too. Saudi Arabia cut off the oil supply to Egypt six months ago because of Cairo’s support for the Russian proposal on Syria, and because what Saudi Arabia felt was Egypt’s retreat from the proposal to return the Sanafir and Tiran islands in the Red Sea to it. Saudi Arabia also suspended aid to Jordan until recently because Jordan refused to let Gulf forces operate from its territory against Syrian forces.

    Mohammed bin Salman, newly appointed as crown prince, left, kisses the hand of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, June 21, 2017./AP
    But the hardest blow was suffered, of course, by Qatar, which was declared non grata by the Gulf nations, Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, which turned the terrestrial and aerial blockade of the Gulf state into an economic one.
    The new crown prince was the living spirit behind all these decisions, which required no more than a formal nod from his father.
    The appointment, which has passed without opposition so far, and with the overwhelming support of the Allegiance Council (which, under the constitution, has the power to approve the appointment of heirs) is not expected to cause any new jolts in the kingdom.
    Potential opponents have already been “summoned for a chat” in the king’s court. The new interior minister, Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, is another youngster, just 34, and is very close to Mohammed bin Salman. From now on, he will be the one responsible for managing the struggle against internal terrorism. He will also be the crown prince’s partner in oppressing subversion.
    To gratify the subjects ahead of the change, King Salman announced the extension of Id al-Fitr (to mark the end of Ramadan) by another week. He also returned all the financial emoluments that were recently taken away from government and army officials. A pay raise is a time-honored way of maintaining quiet calm in the Saudi kingdom.


  • The number of forcibly displaced people grew to a record in 2016
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/06/daily-chart-13
    https://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/20170624_WOC221_0.png

    Three countries account for more than half the world’s refugees (…)
    Prolonged conflict in Afghanistan, and younger wars in Syria and South Sudan, have created large refugee outflows and also uprooted people from their homes

    #réfugiés #asile #déplacés


  • Aleppo: Russia and Syria Kill 440 Civilians, 90 Children in a Month

    The Russian-Syrian coalition committed war crimes during a month-long aerial bombing campaign of opposition-controlled territory in Aleppo in September and October 2016, Human Rights Watch said today.

    The Violations Documentation Center, a Syrian civil monitoring organization, documented that the bombing campaign killed more than 440 civilians, including more than 90 children. Airstrikes often appeared to be recklessly indiscriminate, deliberately targeted at least one medical facility, and included the use of indiscriminate weapons such as cluster munitions and incendiary weapons. Satellite imagery that Human Rights Watch analyzed shows more than 950 new distinct impact sites consistent with the detonation of large high explosive bombs across the area during the month.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dn824aLec


    #Alep #Syrie #guerre #conflit #décès #morts #enfants #enfance


  • Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/opinion/isis-syria-iraq-civilian-casualties.html

    Two weeks ago, the American military finally acknowledged what nongovernmental monitoring groups had claimed for months: The United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State since August 2014 has been killing Iraqi and Syrian civilians at astounding rates in the four months since President Trump assumed office. The result has been a “staggering loss of civilian life,” as the head of the United Nations’ independent Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian civil war said last week.

    “On May 26, an American military press officer confirmed that the Pentagon will no longer acknowledge when its own aircraft are responsible for civilian casualty incidents; rather they will be hidden under the umbrella of the “coalition.” The United States military has been responsible for 95 percent of airstrikes in Syria and 68 percent in Iraq. Centcom should own up to its own actions rather than dispersing responsibility.

    #Etats-Unis #crimes #victimes_civiles #civils


  • U.S. Will Lose Syria to Iran and Abandon Kurdish Allies, Former Ambassador Says
    http://www.newsweek.com/us-military-kurds-lose-iran-syria-former-ambassador-627395

    Robert Ford, who served as envoy to Syria under former President Barack Obama from 2011 through 2014, said during an interview Monday with the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that “Obama did not leave the Trump administration many options to achieve its goal” of defeating the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and curbing Iran’s foothold in the region. While Iran and Russia back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against various insurgents and jihadists trying to topple him, the U.S. supports an irregular coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces, made up mostly of Kurds, but including other ethnic minorities and Arabs. Despite the group’s recent successes in storming ISIS’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Ford said “the game was finished” for U.S. plans to overthrow Assad or compete with Iran’s success in the country.

    (...) The Syrian Democratic Forces were mostly neutral in the battle between pro- and anti-Syrian government forces, but tensions have risen between the U.S. and pro-Syrian government forces that now share extensive front lines since ISIS’s collapse on multiple fronts. Recent clashes between the Syrian army and the Syrian Democratic Forces were followed by the U.S.’s unprecedented decision to shoot down a Syrian military jet it claimed was operating too close to positions held by the Syrian Democratic Forces. Siding with the U.S,, however, will turn out to be a grave mistake for the Kurds, according to Ford. He said U.S. support for Kurds would disappear, as it did in post-invasion Iraq, after ISIS was defeated in Raqqa and in other areas.

    “[The U.S.] will not defend the Kurds against Assad’s forces,” the former envoy said. “What we’re doing with the Kurds is not only politically stupid, but immoral.”

    Syrian Kurds are making their biggest mistake in trusting the Americans,” he added.

    De fait, on peut imaginer que ce seront les Kurdes qui finiront par payer la note en #syrie, même si c’est immoral comme le dit un ex-ambassadeur qui s’y connaît dans ce domaine...


  • Foreign Policy - Situation Report
    http://link.foreignpolicy.com/view/52543e66c16bcfa46f6ced165vxvx.23w3/1ea399c6

    Syria ops normal. Mostly. Tensions remain high between the United States and Russia after Sunday’s shoot down of a Syrian jet, and Moscow’s threats to begin tracking all coalition flights west of the Euphrates River with its warplanes and missile defense systems. There’s already been a bit of fallout. Australia announced Tuesday it had suspended its flights into Syria, "as a precautionary measure,” Australia’s Department of Defence said in a statement.

    Strikes continue. A daily roundup of airstrikes released by the U.S. Central Command Tuesday showed eight strikes around Raqqa, which sits directly on the Euphrates. “Coalition aircraft continue to conduct operations [unescorted by Russian aircraft] throughout Syria,” Col. Ryan Dillon, the Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, told SitRep in an email Tuesday.

    He added that despite Russian claims to have shut down the “hotline” between American and Russian military officers in Syria, “we continue to use the de-confliction line with the Russians. The Coalition is always available to de-conflict with the Russians.”

    Syrians on the move. In southern Syria, government forces recently took the al Waleed border crossing, an ISIS-held crossing close to the al Tanf garrison where 150 U.S. Special Operations Forces are based. For the first time in years Syrians greeted Iraqi troops, who pushed the Islamic State from their side of the border crossing over the weekend. U.S. military officials said they believe the reports of the border meet and greet are true, but had no further comment. FP’s Paul McLeary has more on the latest complications in the almost three-year American effort in Syria.


  • Australia suspends air strikes in Syria
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb//News/Middle-East/2017/Jun-20/410251-australia-suspends-air-strikes-in-syria.ashx

    Australia said on Tuesday it was suspending air strikes into Syria following the U.S. downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday and Russia’s subsequent threat against U.S.-led coalition aircraft.

    “As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,” Australia’s Department of Defence said in a statement.


  • UN sees spike in meetings between Israeli army, Syrian rebels, warns of escalation -

    Israel says the meetings are held for humanitarian purposes, but the UN warns they could trigger clashes between rebels and the Syrian army

    Barak Ravid Jun 19, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.796536

    During the last seven months, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force has noted a significant escalation in contact and interactions between Israeli armed forces and rebel organizations along Israel’s border with Syria, chiefly in the area of Mt. Hermon, says a report released in recent days by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the members of the UN Security Council.
    The report expressed Guterres’ concern, for the first time, that the interactions between the Israelis and the rebel organizations could lead to escalation, causing harm to UN observers.
    Published on June 8, the United Nations report describes the activity of the UN observers from March 2 to May 16. Every few days during that time, they observed meetings and contacts between the Israel Defense Forces and the rebels in the area of the border, including by the Hermon. Altogether they listed at least 16 such meetings in that time.
    The meetings took place in proximity to UN outposts in the Mt. Hermon area, in the area of Quneitra and in the central Golan Heights, near moshav Yonatan.
    “Relative to the previous reporting period, there has been a significant increase in interaction between Israel Defense Forces soldiers and individuals from the Bravo side, occurring on four occasions in February, three in March, eight in April and on one occasion in May,” the report stated, referring to the Syrian side of the border.

    Members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) ride armored personnel carriers (APCs) in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights before crossing into Syria, August 31, 2014.Reuters
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    That increase in the number of interactions between Israeli soldiers and representatives of the rebels continues a trend evident in the previous report, which had been published on March 17. That report covered the period between November 18, 2016, and March 1, 2017, and listed at least 17 interactions along the Golan border, including in the vicinity of the Hermon.

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    According to both reports, UN observers saw 33 interactions between Israeli and rebel representatives over the last seven months.
    In comparison, only two such meetings took place from August 30 to November 16 of last year according to UN reports, and they were only by the border, not by the Hermon.
    One topic addressed in the latest report was meetings that took place in the area of the Hermon in the last three months. It stated that all such meetings happened in the vicinity of one of the IDF outposts there and all followed the same pattern: Unidentified people apparently affiliated with the rebel organizations, some of them armed, arrived at the IDF outpost accompanied by mules, and were greeted by the soldiers.
    “In some instances, personnel and supplies were observed to have been transferred in both directions. On all occasions, the unknown individuals and mules returned to the Bravo side,” the report stated.
    The UN secretary general clarified in the report that the nature of the interactions could not be observed.
    “The Israel Defense Forces have stated that the interactions were of a humanitarian and medical nature,” the report said.
    Israel contends that all the interactions with rebel representatives on the Syrian side were for humanitarian reasons, but in recent months the UN has started to view these interactions askance and began to warn they could lead to escalation. The report especially noted concern about the meetings around the Hermon, which the UN secretary-general defined as an area of strategic importance.
    “Interaction between the Israel Defense Forces and unidentified individuals from the Bravo side, including in the area of Mount Hermon, has the potential to lead to clashes between armed elements and the Syrian Arab Armed Forces. I reiterate my call to both parties to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement regarding the requirement to maintain stability in the area. All military activities in the area of separation conducted by any actor pose a risk to the ceasefire and to the local civilian population, in addition to the United Nations personnel on the ground,” the secretary-general wrote in the report.
    The UN secretary-general’s latest report on the activities of the UN observers on the Golan Heights, as well as the three preceding reports, criticized the Syrian army for bringing heavy weapons to the area of the border, violating the disengagement agreement. The UN also criticized Israel for the same thing.
    According to the last four reports, in the last year the IDF has kept one or two batteries of the Iron Dome system in the Golan, and also holds heavy 155mm cannons and rocket launchers in the area, in violation of the disengagement agreement with Syria. UNDOF has protested the violations to both sides.
    On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported Israel has been secretly providing aid to Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights for years, with the goal of maintaining a buffer zone of friendly forces to keep ISIS and forces aligned with Iran at bay.


  • MoA - When AP Spreads #Fakenews - A Forensic Appraisal
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/when-ap-spreads-fakenews-a-forensic-appraisal.html#more

    Another such hack is the Gulf paid promoter of #Takfiri “rebels” in Syria, Charles #Lister: Russia’s Baghdadi Claim Needs Verification

    By Charles Lister
    “Russia’s claim to have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an airstrike in Raqqa on May 28 should be taken with a heavy grain of salt.
    ...
    Russia has a long track record of issuing fake claims and deliberate misinformation during its campaign in Syria.
    ...
    Beyond Russia’s likely bogus claim, ...”

    Cruickshank and Lister both spread factless propaganda sold as conclusion of the news content of an AP report. But the AP report was fake news.

    #propagande #désinformation


  • En quelques heures, les tensions internationales montent d’un cran en Syrie - L’Orient-Le Jour
    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1057941/en-quelques-heures-les-tensions-internationales-montent-dun-cran-en-s

    L’aviation américaine abat un chasseur syrien, des affrontements ont lieu entre les troupes gouvernementales et les rebelles soutenus par les Etats-Unis, l’Iran annonce des tirs de missiles dans la région de Deir ez-Zor.

    • Россия приостановит действие меморандума с США по полетам над Сирией
      https://ria.ru/syria/20170619/1496826209.html
      https://cdn2.img.ria.ru/images/149495/64/1494956431.jpg

      Минобороны РФ с 19 июня прекращает взаимодействие с США в рамках меморандума о предотвращении инцидентов в небе над Сирией, говорится в сообщении российского оборонного ведомства.

      Авиация возглавляемой США коалиции по борьбе с ИГ сбила сирийский Су-22 в провинции Ракка после того, как тот якобы сбросил бомбы вблизи позиций SDF, сообщили ранее в коалиции. Дамаск заявил, что самолет сирийских ВВС выполнял задание против ИГ.

      «Министерство обороны Российской Федерации с 19 июня с.г. прекращает взаимодействие с американской стороной в рамках меморандума о предотвращении инцидентов и обеспечении безопасности полетов авиации в ходе операций в Сирии и требует тщательного расследования американским командованием с предоставлением его результатов и принятых мерах», — говорится в сообщении Минобороны РФ.

    • En angliche: Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19
      https://www.rt.com/news/393028-syria-russia-us-plane

      “In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.

      Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.

      The actions of the US Air Force are in fact “military aggression” against Syria, the statement adds.

      The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.

      “The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.”

    • Syria conflict : Russia issues warning after US coalition downs jet - BBC News
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40329036

      Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and treated as targets,” the Russian defence ministry said.
      It denied the US had used a communications channel before the Su-22 fighter bomber was downed.
      […]
      Russia’s ministry of defence has responded sharply. In addition to the usual rhetoric - the charge that the US is violating Syrian sovereignty and breaking international law - there is a practical step - the immediate suspension of the co-ordination channel set up to avoid clashes between US and Russian forces.

      There is a threat too, namely that in areas where Russian aircraft are operating, coalition drones and aircraft west of the Euphrates river will be tracked and “treated as targets”. It should be noted that the co-ordination mechanism has generally worked well and its operation is as much in Moscow’s as Washington’s interest.

      Dans la déclaration de S. K. Choïgou (non nommé dans la dépêche) il ne s’agit pas d’une « menace » mais d’un état de fait.



  • Understanding What Syrian Refugees Want

    An extensive survey of Syrian refugees in Turkey finds very few of them are en route to #Europe. We speak to one of the researchers who conducted the poll about what made Syrians flee, and what they want from the peace process and the future.

    Fabbe: Not at all. In fact, one of the most striking results of our survey pertains to the Syrians’ future plans for settlement. When asked where they would like to live ideally five years from now, the vast majority of our respondents named Syria as their first choice, while only 6 percent said they wanted to live in Europe. When asked for their second choice, 85 percent of them said that they wanted to stay in Turkey, and only 9 percent said Europe. We did our interviews in the summer and fall of 2016, after the E.U.-Turkey refugee deal was struck in March 2016. Our conclusion based on these findings is that the Syrians who have not left Turkey to arrive in Europe before the deal have little intention of doing so in the future.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/06/13/understanding-what-syrian-refugees-want
    #réfugiés_syriens #Turquie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #sondage


  • Protests Break Out Across Idlib Against Syria’s Al Qaeda Branch · Global Voices
    https://globalvoices.org/2017/06/17/protests-break-out-across-idlib-against-syrias-al-qaeda-branch
    https://globalvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Screen-Shot-2017-06-13-at-11.12.00-AM-773x450.png

    Under the slogan “The People Are Stronger Than You”, thousands took to the streets in Ma’arat al-Nu’man, a city in the northwestern Syrian governorate of Idlib, on June 11, 2017, waving Free Syrian flags to protest Hayat Tahrir a-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch) and its latest crackdown.


  • White House Officials Push for Widening War in Syria Over Pentagon Objections | Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/16/white-house-officials-push-for-widening-war-in-syria-over-pentagon-ob

    A pair of top White House officials is pushing to broaden the war in Syria, viewing it as an opportunity to confront Iran and its proxy forces on the ground there, according to two sources familiar with the debate inside the Donald Trump administration.

    Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria, where, in recent weeks, the U.S. military has taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Their plans are making even traditional Iran hawks nervous, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, who has personally shot down their proposals more than once, the two sources said.


  • Israel’s Quiet Campaign to Gain a Foothold in Southern Syria
    https://www.newsdeeply.com/syria/articles/2017/06/15/long-read-israels-quiet-campaign-to-gain-a-foothold-in-southern-syria
    https://newsdeeply.imgix.net/20170615125223/image31.jpg?w=640&fit=max&q=60

    “UNEITRA, SYRIA – Over the past five years, Israel has been quietly working to establish a foothold in southern Syria to prevent Syrian government-backed forces from controlling the area and to bolster its claim over the Golan Heights.

    What began as tentative contacts with opposition factions and residents across the fence in 2012 has turned into a full-fledged, multifaceted operation that has military, logistical, political and humanitarian dimensions, according to an investigation by Syria Deeply, which interviewed residents, Syrian intelligence officials and opposition members for this story.

    Israel’s “safe zone” now unofficially runs roughly 6 miles (10km) deep and 12 miles (20km) long beyond the demarcation line of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The effort is intended to prevent the Syrian government and its allies, specifically Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, from maintaining a foothold along the Israeli fence. Israel used a similar tactic to establish a zone of control in the south of Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war.”

    • More recently, Israel has stepped up its military involvement in southern Syria. Over the past year, it has funded and supported its own Free Syrian Army faction, known as the Golan Knights (Liwa Forsan al Joulan), led by local Syrian fighters Abu Suhaib al Joulani, opposition sources in the area told Syria Deeply. The group operates in Jabata Khashab, a Quneitra town in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) zone.


  • Why #Iran approaches #Qatar crisis with caution | Middle East | DW | 14.06.2017
    http://www.dw.com/en/why-iran-approaches-qatar-crisis-with-caution/a-39255825
    http://www.dw.com/image/39172974_304.jpg

    Despite their supposed rapprochement, there is still little trust between Qatar and Iran. The two countries share a 250-kilometer-long sea border, where they share the world’s largest natural gas field, South Pars. This has already led to conflict. When Iran was under wide-reaching sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, making it unable to act as an exporter, Qatar alone profited from the gas field.

    Both states have different ideas about gas transport: Qatar wants a pipeline running through Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria into Turkey, where the gas could be delivered to Europe. Iran however, has plans for a pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria leading to the Mediterranean Sea. Five years ago, Iran had such an agreement with Syrian leader Assad, but the war in Syria put an end to that billion-dollar project.

    Further involvement by Iran in the current Qatar crisis could prove to be counterproductive - which is why the leadership in Doha would rather go without support from Tehran.

    “Qatar will not turn to Iran in this crisis,” said political scientist Sadegh Zibakalam of the University of Tehran. “They do not want to further provoke Saudi Arabia. Qatar is trying to manage this crisis with the help of Turkey and Pakistan.”

    The Iranian leadership will likely also gladly take a back seat for domestic reasons; otherwise, powerful conservative circles in Iran - such as the Revolutionary Guard - who would like to go head to head with Saudi Arabia could receive fresh support.


  • J’ai vu ma ville mourir. Un webdocumentaire sur trois villes en guerre

    http://cityatwar.icrc.org

    http://cityatwar.icrc.org/assets/img/ISMCD_OpenGraph.png

    The wars decimating the ancient cities of Mosul, Taiz, and Aleppo have contributed to the greatest global refugee and migration crisis since World War II.

    Some 17.5 million people have been displaced in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.

    #guerre #villes_en_guerre #conflits #mossoul #taiz #alep #syrie #yémen #irak


  • Iraq/Syria : Danger From US White Phosphorus

    (Washington, DC) – The use of artillery-delivered white phosphorus by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State (also known as ISIS) forces in Syria and Iraq raises serious questions about the protection of civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. This multipurpose munition should never be used as an incendiary weapon to attack personnel or materiel in populated areas, even when delivered from the ground.

    https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/styles/1070w/public/multimedia_images_2017/201706arms_iraq_syria_white_phosphorus.jpg?itok=OgmGNOrV
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/14/iraq/syria-danger-us-white-phosphorus
    #Irak #armes #conflit #guerre #Syrie #phosphore #phosphore_blanc (?) #white_Phosphorus #armes_chimiques


  • Syria: Key Concerns for #Raqqa Battle. Detainee Rights, Indiscriminate Attacks, Treatment of Displaced People

    (Beirut) – The United States-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and other local armed groups should make protecting civilians and respect for human rights a priority in the offensive to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. The offensive was announced on June 6, 2017.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/13/syria-key-concerns-raqqa-battle
    #Syrie #guerre #conflit


  • Raqa campaign cements rising profile of Syria’s Kurds

    Syria’s Kurds were once a marginalised minority, but now they are leading the charge for the Islamic State group’s Raqa bastion and hoping to cement their gains in the war.

    The surprise turnaround in their fortunes is the result of several factors, including the Syrian regime’s decision to focus attention elsewhere and a key alliance with Washington against IS.

    They are now receiving direct US military support, and hold large swathes of the Kurdish-majority parts of Syria they call “#Rojava”.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/1/2017/06/07/03/wire-721101-1496802825-231_634x422.jpg
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4579318/Raqa-campaign-cements-rising-profile-Syrias-Kurds.html
    #Kurdistan #Kurdes #Kurdistan_syrien #Syrie #conflit #guerre


  • U.S.-led forces appear to be using white phosphorus in populated areas in Iraq and Syria - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/06/09/u-s-led-forces-appear-to-be-using-white-phosphorous-in-populated-are

    The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria appears to have used white phosphorus-loaded munitions on at least two occasions in densely populated areas of Mosul and in the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, according to videos posted online and human rights groups.


  • ISIS recruiter who radicalised London Bridge attackers was protected by MI5
    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/isis-recruiter-who-radicalised-london-bridge-attackers-was-protected-by-mi5-
    https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*nh49yS5IH-rMea2v7Ql8EA.jpeg
    “The terrorists who rampaged across London on the night of 3 June were part of a wider extremist network closely monitored by MI5 for decades. The same network was heavily involved in recruiting Britons to fight with jihadist groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya.
    Police have confirmed that Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba were the three terrorists shot dead after participating in a brutal van and knife attack in the London Bridge area.
    According to press reports, both Butt and Redouane were longstanding members of the proscribed extremist network formerly known as al-Muhajiroun. After 9/11, the group operated under different names such as Shariah4UK, Muslims4Crusades and Islam4UK. Originally founded by Lebanese firebrand, Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was banned from returning the UK after the 7/7 attacks, the network was later run by Bakri’s deputy, Anjem Choudary.”


  • Al Arabiya, « principale concurrente arabe d’Al Jazeera », est une chaîne sérieuse. Ici elle t’informe que l’émir du Qatar est désormais reclus dans son palais où il est protégé par les Gardiens de la révolution iranienne. (Et sans doute aussi le Hezbollah libanais et Bachar Assad en personne.) Iran Revolutionary Guards ‘protecting Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim inside his palace’
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/06/07/Iran-s-Revolutionary-Guards-protecting-Qatari-emir-inside-palace-
    https://vid.alarabiya.net/images/2017/05/09/45fd1c19-c43c-4919-817a-5e6fca2dc9df/45fd1c19-c43c-4919-817a-5e6fca2dc9df_16x9_788x442.jpg

    Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are allegedly protecting the Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani inside his palace, Egyptian sources said on Wednesday.

    The sources added that the Revolutionary Guards arrived in Qatar under the cover of training.

    Gulf states that have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in recent days accuse it of having a strong relationship with Iran, despite apparent differences in Syria.

    Ça doit être ça, la source du dessin de Plantu hier…
    https://seenthis.net/messages/604824


  • Selon le Financial Times, le raison de la colère des séoudiens, c’est une rançon de 500 millions à 1 milliard de dollars payée par le Qatar à des gens à qui il ne faudrait pas donner d’argent, ce qui revenait ainsi à les « financer » : The $1bn hostage deal that enraged Qatar’s Gulf rivals :
    https://www.ft.com/content/dd033082-49e9-11e7-a3f4-c742b9791d43

    Qatar paid up to $1bn to release members of its royal family who were kidnapped in Iraq while on a hunting trip, according to people involved in the hostage deal — one of the triggers behind Arab states’ dramatic decision to cut ties with the government in Doha. 

    Commanders of militant groups and government officials in the region told the Financial Times that Doha spent the money in a transaction that secured the release of 26 members of a Qatari falconry party in southern Iraq and about 50 militants captured by jihadis in Syria. 

    By their telling, Qatar paid off two of the most frequently blacklisted forces of the Middle East in one fell swoop: an al-Qaeda affiliate fighting in Syria and Iranian security officials. The deal, which was concluded in April, heightened concerns among Qatar’s neighbours about the small gas-rich state’s role in a region plagued by conflict and bitter rivalries.

    Ça fait tout de même des années que les Syriens accusent le Qatar de subventionner leurs clients jihadistes sous le couvert de ces réglements de « rançons ». Se demander (ou pas) pourquoi cette fois-ci ce serait insupportable pour les séoudiens.

    Intéressant : par contrecoup (et sans doute de manière bien involontaire), l’accusation séoudienne du moment valide rétrospectivement tout un pan des critiques des pratiques du Qatar en Syrie.