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    Oh Syria the victory is coming (OP)




    shiekh muhammad al arifi

    Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Allah made everyone different thats what makes them special,so no matter what ppl say just remember you're SPECIAL!!
    "You are with the one you love"
    Nem0





  2. #441
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

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    Salaam

    Another perspective.











    A debate.



    The dangers of living in Idlib.



    They managed to escape.



    Last edited by Junon; 01-11-2019 at 11:41 AM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    A liberal perspective.

    Blurb

    Donald Trump makes a lot of mistakes, but the Syria Withdrawal is not one of them. If he pulls it off, Trump may have averted the war with Iran that was supposed to end the US Empire.


  5. #443
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update

    Outgoing Army Chief: Israel Attacked Thousands of Iranian Targets in Syria

    In a pre-retirement interview with the New York Times, the IDF Chief of Staff reveals details of the secret battle he fought against Iranian General Qasem Suliemani


    Over the last two years, Israel has carried out “thousands” of attacks against Iranian targets in Syria.

    In an interview given to the New York Times shortly before his retirement next week, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Force, has for the first time, in his voice, confirmed details of the secret war Israel has been waging on Iran’s Quds Force in Syria.

    The series of attacks on Iranian targets in Syria was authorized, according to Eisenkot, by the cabinet in January 2017. It followed attacks which had previously been carried out by Israel on Hezbollah convoys and targets since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011, but which had not directly targeted Iranian assets.

    Eisenkot decided to also attack Iranians in Syria following a perceived change in Iranian strategy.

    “We noticed a significant change in Iran’s strategy. Their vision was to have significant influence in Syria by building a force of up to 100,000 Shi'ite fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian air base,” he explained in his interview.

    Following the cabinet’s approval, since January 2017, “we struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit,” says Eisenkot. The Quds Force, commanded by Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, tried to retaliate in May 2018 with a failed rocket attack on northern Israel.

    Eisenkot explains that Soleimani made a strategic mistake by choosing Syria as a base for operations against Israel. “His error was choosing a playground where he is relatively weak. We have complete intelligence superiority in this area. We enjoy complete aerial superiority. We have strong deterrence and we have the justification to act.”

    As a result of Israel’s operations over the last two years, Iran is now “transferring their efforts to Iraq,” says Eisenkot, who in his interview also detailed Israel’s operations against Hezbollah attempts to build up its forces in Lebanon, with Iranian help.

    “I can say with confidence that as we speak Hezbollah does not possess accurate [missile] capabilities except for small and negligible ones,” he said. “They were hoping to have hundreds of missiles in the mid- and long-range.”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/...yria-1.6829836

    More news.

    Last edited by Junon; 01-12-2019 at 10:59 PM.

  6. #444
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update





    An international criminal gang has been smashed, freeing a British kidnap victim in Syria

    Kidnapped from Idlib in November 2018, British aid worker Muhammad Shabir's kidnappers demanded a $4 million ransom for his release


    An international criminal gang based in Syria which kidnapped a British aid worker in November and demanded a $4 million ransom in Bitcoin has been smashed. Birmingham-born Mohammed Shakiel Shabir was taken at gunpoint two months ago from outside his apartment block in war-torn Idlib.

    Kidnapping in this area of Syria has become an everyday risk for civilians and aid workers but Shabir never imagined that it would happen to him. Working in the country since the revolution began in 2011, he is a well-known and charismatic figure who has always managed to navigate his way skilfully through the minefield of warring militias’ on-the-ground politics.

    He became a committed humanitarian aid worker after taking part in the first Viva Palestina Convoy which travelled from Britain overland across North Africa to the besieged Gaza Strip in 2009. The enclave was reeling from Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” military offensive against Palestinian civilians. Later, he would witness Israeli brutality at first hand when he joined the Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid flotilla in May 2010 before the Turkish ship was stormed by Israeli commandos in international waters; nine Turkish peace activists were killed in the assault, and a tenth died later of his wounds.

    Never far from danger, the British aid worker continued to devote his time to the “people of Sham” and became admired by many charities operating in Syria. It was, therefore, perhaps inevitable that he would be targeted by the ruthless gang of kidnappers, made up mainly of Chechens and a few Syrian gangsters. They have conducted a reign of terror from Idlib and the surrounding district up to the border with Turkey, targeting mainly wealthy Syrian families. In the past year, they are thought to have made millions from kidnapping, using sophisticated banking networks across Europe for ransom payments which occasionally involved Bitcoin. It is now believed that the whole operation was run by just one group involving no more than 30 people.

    Giving the first interview since his release to MEMO, Shabir looked fragile after his ordeal. “Today was the deadline for the payment and I thought that this day would be my last one,” he reflected philosophically.

    He described his horrific experience like a plot with so many twists and turns that it could have come from a Hollywood movie. Throughout his detention he was tortured, electrocuted, beaten, drugged and at times denied food and water. During one of the many beatings that he received, his right foot was broken and left untreated and unsupported.

    The only act of kindness was when he was given a small copy of the Qur’an. “This is what got me through everything,” he said, holding up the precious book. “It was a wake-up call for me and an opportunity to assess my life and my work.”

    So will he be quitting the aid sector? Shabir gave one of his trademark smiles and said, “No way! I am more determined than ever to continue working in Syria for the people. Nothing is going to stop me.”

    However, while the experience has brought him closer to his faith, he did admit that the whole nightmare had shaken his trust when it emerged that several of the kidnappers turned out to be a group of men he had actually tried to help. There was little or no normal communication with his captors and he was kept hooded or blindfolded in their presence. As such, he had no clue as to the identity of those around him. It was only when his ordeal ended in dramatic fashion that he discovered their identities.

    “I was shocked. Among them were Chechens I’d helped and supported previously. I’d given them food, loans, and even offered them a bed for the night. To be repaid in this way has shaken me. It’s a betrayal of trust.”

    When he was initially taken he was hooded and kept in a house in the city before being moved to another location and finally to a house in a village called Jisr Shuhr, which is in the mountains. During the first few weeks, his captors kept changing the narrative in order to hide their true identities. Initially he thought that they were remnants of Daesh, which has been driven out of the region. Then he felt that they might belong to another militant group.

    At one point during his captivity, Shabir was accused of being a spy as well as stealing aid. “The questions kept changing direction and I think it was all designed to keep me confused,” he explained. “In the end I realised that this was a criminal gang motivated purely by money. They seemed to think that IHH would pay the ransom.” His work has involved partnership initiatives with the well-known Turkish charity.

    The kidnappers made videos of him asking for help. As the payment deadline drew close, the aid worker admitted, he knew that no one would be able to pay anywhere near the $4 million ransom demanded.

    While news of Shabir’s kidnapping was kept from the outside world, several charities and Syrian militant groups, including Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) tried unsuccessfully to find him. The major breakthrough happened when the same gang pounced on a 15-year-old boy with wealthy parents. Amazingly, the young lad resisted his captors; grabbing a hand grenade from one, he pulled the pin and threw it at them. He then fled and raised the alarm with neighbours.

    Members of HTS who happened to be nearby were able to seize two of the injured kidnappers. A phone without a battery was found in their possession, which aroused the curiosity of one of the militants. It was taken off them and deleted data was recovered, revealing one of the video messages from Shabir.

    After further questioning, one of the Chechen kidnappers took HTS to the remote house on the mountain where Shabir was being held. Fighters from the militant group surrounded the building before launching the rescue bid. Within a tense few minutes, the Birmingham aid worker was a free man.

    “I was dazed and thought I was dreaming when someone shouted my name. I had previously had dreams of being rescued and I thought this was another.” The footage of the rescue shows clearly that he was dazed. “It took a few moments to realise this was for real.”

    He had been shackled in chains for virtually his entire captivity. “When I woke up this morning,” he told me when we met a day after his rescue, “I went to move the shackles around my legs and realised they were no longer there. I was a free man.”

    Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which is largely made up of Syrian men and not foreign fighters, now insists that it will put the kidnappers on trial once all of the suspects are rounded up. They can expect the death penalty.

    For Mohammed Shakiel Shabir, meanwhile, life must try to return to normal, whatever “normal” is for Syria. At the moment, it is still too soon to know exactly what it will mean for him, a British kidnap victim about whom most of us know nothing, but he insists that he will be staying put in order to help as many people as possible.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...ctim-in-syria/
    Last edited by Junon; 01-13-2019 at 10:57 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb


    Yvonne Ridley is no stranger to facing danger while reporting from a war zone as she was once a prisoner of the Taliban. What brings her to Idlib? You'll never guess!



    Last edited by Junon; 01-15-2019 at 11:51 PM.

  9. #446
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update



    How Trump Thwarted Calculated Israeli Effort to Keep U.S. in Syria

    They worked hard only to have their plans scuttled. But don't expect them to stop the pressure.


    The Pentagon was not the only party pressing Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria last year. It turns out the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington were working very hard to get the Trump administration to use America’s military presence there to support an Israeli campaign of airstrikes aimed at threatening war with Iran.

    The Israeli strategy was aimed at dividing Russia from Iran and thus putting pressure on Tehran to withdraw its military personnel from Syria. A campaign by a pro-Israel think tank actually succeeded in getting such a policy ready for Trump’s approval last fall—although it was not supported by some Pentagon officials.

    The story of the Israel lobby’s latest attempt to capture American policy, recounted here for the first time, reveals just how far Israel was able to reach into the Trump administration before the president personally intervened.

    Israel’s Strategy of Provocation in Syria

    In early 2018, Israel had stepped up the pace of its airstrikes against Iran-related targets in Syria. The original rationale for the strikes had been to prevent Iran from transporting advanced, highly accurate missiles through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon (although Israeli military intelligence had admitted nearly a decade ago that Hezbollah had already received hundreds of such weapons). But by 2018, the IDF had added another reason for the attacks: to force Iran to give up its military presence in Syria altogether. This despite the fact that Israel had failed to cite any evidence of any permanent Iranian bases there.

    To pursue that objective, the Israelis adopted an ambitious strategy to create the impression that war could break out in Syria between Israel and Iran if the Russians didn’t intervene and force the Iranians out. On April 18, Dror Michman, a senior member of Netanyahu’s staff who had been on leave as visiting fellow at Brookings Institute, outlined that strategy in public for the first time. Michman explained that Israel had stepped up its strikes in Syria, which he said might well provoke Iranian military retaliation.

    Michman acknowledged that the Israeli ability to carry out such a bombing in Syria could freely disappear at any time because of a Russian decision to provide their most advanced air defense system to the Syrian government (which was reportedly completed in late November). His comments were meant as a spur towards an intensive effort to mobilize Washington on Israel’s behalf.

    The think tank on which Israel had long depended to influence U.S. policy—the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), founded by the leadership of AIPAC in 1985—was already working on that problem. On April 13, a WINEP policy proposal by a senior fellow, Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, cleverly welcomed Trump’s idea of pulling out U.S. troops—but not all of them. Jeffrey suggested that the United States could reduce most of its ground forces in Syria over nine to 12 months, and then rely mainly on airpower over Syria to carry out a mission he called a “show of force” to “shape Russian and Iranian decisions.”

    In July, Jeffrey’s initial proposal was elaborated upon in a longer WINEP paper on a “New U.S. Policy in Syria,” co-authored by the entire senior leadership of WINEP. It called for the United States to “[s]upport Israeli efforts to drive wedges between Iran, Russia, and Assad, including Israeli strikes on Iranian military sites.” The paper described an Israeli policy designed to “present Russia with a dilemma: either reign in Iran’s aggressive stance of face the possibility of a war between Israel, Iran and Hezbollah fought on Syrian territory….”

    The authors explained the role of the United States in that policy as being to able impose “constraints on Iran’s movements” in Syria by “retaining small numbers of U.S. troops and introducing a no-fly/no-drive zone across the northern territory currently controlled by the United States and Turkey.”

    Crafting a Policy to Support the Israeli Strategy

    In August, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was already on board with the general line of policy Jeffrey had advanced, created a small group of like-minded officials who supported Israel’s aggressive Syria strategy. He named WINEP’s Jeffrey to the newly created position of special representative to Syria. The Washington Post reported that Pompeo had tasked Jeffrey with creating a “coherent blueprint” for U.S. policy in Syria.

    Jeffrey was already declaring in an early September interview with the Post that “the new policy is we’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year.” Instead, he explained, the troop presence would remain to “ensure an Iranian departure” from Syria as well as the “enduring defeat” of ISIS.

    In mid-October, NBC News reported that this new policy had been “drafted and is circulating and is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.” But it was never formally approved by Trump. NBC reporter Carol Lee noted on air that those who were critical of the draft policy—identified in the article as “Defense officials”—were concerned that “this is the first step toward trying to provoke Iran into a military engagement.”

    Lee said those who had developed the policy denied that was their intention. But it was precisely the objective that Jeffrey and his WINEP co-authors had identified in their July paper for the larger Israeli strategy into which the U.S. policy was to fit.

    While the pro-Israel contingent in the administration was awaiting approval of the new policy, however, the IDF was becoming even more provocative in Syria. On September 18, Israeli jets carried out missile strikes against targets near a Russian military base in Latakia province, the Alawi heartland of the Assad government in the country’s northwest. Syrian anti-aircraft missiles firing at the Israeli planes hit a Russian military aircraft, killing 15.

    Russia responded by announcing on September 24 that it was selling S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems to the Syrian government—something it had threatened to do in the past. That was a serious challenge to Israeli strategy. Israel’s oldest ally in the Trump administration, National Security Advisor John Bolton, reacted immediately by declaring: “We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias.”

    In a State Department briefing on December 3, Jeffrey boldly restated Bolton’s position, asserting that the U.S. military would remain in Syria “until our conditions—enduring defeat of ISIL, as was said earlier, the withdrawal of all Iranian-commanded forces from the entirety of Syria, and an irreversible political process [are fulfilled].”

    The pro-Israel hawks were walking on thin ice. To get foreign policy decisions approved, Bolton had substituted one-on-one conversations for formal meetings, enhancing his own power and pushing through a new policy in support of the Israeli strategy.

    Nevertheless, Trump informed Mattis, Pompeo, and Bolton of his decision to withdraw from Syria on Monday, December 17, and the three officials tried to get Trump to change his mind on Monday and Tuesday before giving up Tuesday night. Netanyahu himself spoke with Trump once and Pompeo twice before Trump’s December 19 announcement.

    So Trump knew that in going ahead with the withdrawal plan, he would face the wrath of not just the national security elite but Israel and its supporters. He went ahead with his announcement anyway, reflecting an important shift in his political priorities.

    https://www.theamericanconservative....-syria-failed/

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update

    Blurb


    Whatever Syria's President has done, it now looks like he's going nowhere. Time perhaps to re-set for those who called Bashar al Assad a Monster. Suddenly he's a Monster with whom it might be sensible to do business.


  11. #448
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.





    You can make a difference.







    The need for charity never ends.

    Last edited by Junon; 01-30-2019 at 07:17 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Like to share.

    Blurb

    As the world knows, there are literally thousands of Expats (Muhajireen) who came to Syria during the course of the war. A group of them are coming forward with an exciting announcement about the future.


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  14. #450
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Like to share


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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update

    British Bombing in Syria Reaches Record High

    New data shows that Britain has fired over 4,100 missiles and bombs 1,925 strikes against Isis in Iraq and Syria from 2014-2018


    Britain carried out a record number of air strikes in Syria during the last month of 2018, despite mounting concerns over civilian casualties and costs.

    New data obtained by research group Drone Wars has “laid bare” the scale of British bombing in the region.

    The group found that Britain dropped 75 bombs over Syria in December, as planes and drones stepped up their attack on the last Isis stronghold.

    It was the most intense month of aerial bombardment last year, bringing the annual total to 464 munitions from 225 separate raids.

    And while the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published the number of air strikes, it is much more secretive about civilian casualties, causing concern about who was caught in the crossfire.

    As well as local Syrians, kidnapped British journalist John Cantile may also be among those at risk from air strikes.

    The war photographer was snatched by Isis terrorists in 2012 and presumed dead, but last week Security Minister Ben Wallace insisted he was still alive.

    Mr Cantile’s supporters said on Twitter that they “hope and pray that this turns out to be true.”

    Campaign group Stop the War said the new data “marks an astonishing increase in strikes in Syria.”

    Its convener, Lindsey German, said: “These were supposedly against Isis, which all sides agree has been much weakened in recent months.

    “The concern must be that many casualties from these strikes will be civilians.

    “There is neither monitoring of death and injury by the Ministry of Defence, nor is there any coverage of these attacks by media in this country.

    “Parliament voted for these interventions but doesn’t bother to discuss or assess the consequences.”

    The new data, obtained through freedom of information requests by Drone Wars, shows that Britain has fired over 4,100 missiles and bombs in a total of 1,925 strikes against Isis in Iraq and Syria from 2014-2018, costing over £300 million.

    However the MoD has only acknowledged one civilian casualty throughout the entire campaign.

    Reacting to the latest figures, Ms German said: “In a time of austerity we are spending millions on these strikes. Time to stop.”

    Analysis by Drone Wars shows a quarter of these strikes were conducted by Reaper drones.

    The weapons dropped on Syria and Iraq include the so-called “Hellfire” and “Brimstone” missiles.

    Chris Cole from Drone Wars said: “Although Isis has been virtually defeated as a military force in Iraq and Syria, with its territory reduced to a few square miles in the Euphrates Valley, UK ministers and defence officials insist that UK strikes will continue until the group is absolutely and totally defeated.

    “This [is] though other nations are withdrawing their forces and senior UK commanders acknowledge that Isis is no longer a credible military force.”

    An MoD spokesperson said: “We use whichever asset meets the operational requirement, that can be either manned fast jets such as Typhoon, or remotely piloted aircraft such as Reaper.”

    http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/...es-record-high

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    Anthony Loyd speaks to Shamima Begum, one of the Bethnal Green girls who fled to Syria in 2014.



    Reaction.

    Blurb


    Shamima Begum was one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green who fled to Syria to join ISIS and has recently made a plea to be able to return home to the UK. Macer Gifford and Moazzam Begg debate with Dal Babu and Yvonne Ridley on whether or not she should be allowed back.







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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Syrian war proves Turkey isn't ready as a global power, they struck too soon. A long way to go still for Turkey.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    Today on The BAK Show we have Moazzam Begg with us discussing how it is that British citizens who travelled to Syria are having their citizenship revoked whilst Asma Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, still retains her British citizenship.



    Questions being raised about the coverage.



    Oh dear.



    Corbyn being even handed.



    Last edited by Junon; 02-23-2019 at 11:57 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousonTruth View Post
    Syrian war proves Turkey isn't ready as a global power, they struck too soon. A long way to go still for Turkey.
    Assad is taunting Erdogan.



    More importantly the situation in Idlib.









    Last edited by Junon; 02-24-2019 at 06:41 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Situation is escalating in Idlib.

    Blurb

    After the Syrian Regime have been firing indiscriminately on civilians for weeks. The rebels decided that enough is enough and have been returning heavy fire on regime military positions.


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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Need this to be confirmed, but if true goes to show that war is big business.

    Blurb

    US forces are reportedly transferring tons of gold from ISIS-held areas in Syria to the US. According to Kurdish Bas News Agency, the US transferred about 50 tons of gold from areas seized from ISIS in Deir Ezzor province. The report says that the gold was withdrawn from Syria through the US military base in Ayn al-Arab. A part of it was allegedly shared with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which are the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    Separately, the Syrian state-run SANA news agency claimed that US forces relocated large boxes containing ISIS gold treasure from al-Dashisheh region in southern Hasakah. The UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) claimed that ISIS members in the Euphrates poses about 40 tons of gold, which is being used to buy a safe passage from the area besieged by US-backed forces. The SOHR claimed that the SDF and the US-led coalition “deliberately” do not attack the ISIS-held area in order to force ISIS to surrender its treasure.

    On February 28, the SDF acknowledged that ISIS had released 24 SDF members, whom were captured by the terrorist group in the previous battles. The US-backed force also confirmed that it had paused its anti-ISIS operation claiming that this is done in order to avoid civilian casualties. At the same time, according to reports, over 350 ISIS members surrendered to the SDF during the last few days.



  23. #458
    Junon's Avatar
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.







    What Assads regime is capable of and the foolishness of her husband





    Last edited by Junon; 03-02-2019 at 09:17 PM.

  24. #459
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam







    British citizens are being deprived of their nationality because of racism, not terrorism

    The case of a British aid worker in Syria who has had his citizenship revoked reinforces the growing belief that racism, and not national security, is driving such decisions

    It came as a surprise when, in 2017, my friend, Tauqir Sharif, a British aid worker based in the Atmeh camp in northern Syria, told me he’d received notification that his British nationality would be revoked.

    I first met Tauqir - or Tox as he is widely known - in 2012, when we travelled on an aid convoy together across Europe into Turkey to help Syrians fleeing the conflict. As we spoke, I learned about his journey on the Viva Palestina convoy to Palestine in 2009, and his trip to help survivors of the Pakistan floods in 2010.

    He also told me about his time on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that sailed as part of a flotilla attempting to bring relief to Palestinians in Gaza in 2010, and how a group of unarmed Turks were killed by Israeli soldiers after they boarded the ship.

    A true humanitarian

    In Syria, Tox was known for his humanitarian beliefs and work. He toured the camps for people displaced by the war and quickly established a working system of finding out what was needed, ensuring that aid was sent from Britain through convoys or containers, or bought from neighbouring Turkey. He was relentless and deeply compassionate.

    Despite the scale of the growing conflict - we’d often attend hospitals and funerals on a daily basis - Tox greeted everyone with his infectious smile. Although he’s fluent now, it was his attempts to translate words into Arabic through his East London accent, coupled with his smile, that ingratiated him with locals.

    I returned from Syria after about six months, but Tox remained. His British wife joined him, and they have since been broadcasting news about their projects online. This husband-and-wife team have become household names among Britain’s Muslim community and beyond.

    Tox appeared on mainstream British news distributing aid under bombs, speaking about the effects of chlorine gas attacks, working alongside the White Helmets as they pulled bodies out of the rubble, and dealing with the influx of refugees after the fall of Aleppo.

    Because of the work of people like Tox, British-built hospitals, clinics, aid centres, schools, houses and orphanages run by British volunteers, doctors and teachers - serviced by British ambulances, fire engines and refuse trucks - remain a lifeline to Syrians in the Idlib region.

    Blackmailed by IS

    So why, then, did the government decide to revoke Tox’s nationality? Perhaps they know something the people in Syria don’t.

    Tox told British media recently that he carried a weapon in the early days of his time in Syria, with the intention of using it only to defend himself and his aid convoys in hostile territory. As time went on, that hostility ranged from armed robbers to the Assad regime and the Islamic State (IS).

    A few months before he learned that his nationality was to be revoked, Tox told me that he’d received messages from members of IS demanding he hand over £50,000 ($65,700), or they would hand over photos of him holding a gun to the British. Tox assumed they were referring to the media because of his high profile. He was being blackmailed by the “caliphate”.

    Tox refused every demand, even as it lowered, incrementally, to £10,000. Eventually, the messages stopped - but it didn't end there.

    Tox has been an opponent and outspoken critic of IS from the start. This isn’t because of some attempt to ingratiate himself with the West, but because he knows many people who have been killed by them.

    Once, he discovered a bomb attached to his car; another time, a bomb exploded in a building where he had been due to be holding a karate class for children. Fortunately he was running late and nobody was killed.

    That’s one reason why he now has security for both himself and the aid he delivers, instead of relying on arming himself.

    ‘Guilty by association’


    Tox’s citizenship revocation was made under “closed evidence” rules, meaning he doesn’t know what he’s actually accused of. He’s appealed the decision, but even his lawyers don’t know exactly why he’s no longer a British citizen.

    All they can do is assume, and one hypothesis is that evidence - including the aforementioned photos - was provided by IS blackmailers to British security services, and the government acted upon it.

    If true, such a revelation would be devastating. But because of the secret way in which citizenship revocation appeals are handled, there is no way of knowing.

    The Home Office letter Tox received simply states that “it is assessed that you are a British/Pakistani dual national who has travelled to Syria and is aligned to an AQ (al-Qaeda) aligned group”.

    As Tox wrote in a recent tweet: “What does that even mean? Guilty by association with a degree of separation?”

    Considering almost every one of the hundreds of armed groups operating in Syria have been accused either by the Syrian government, Russians, Americans, Iranians or British of being “al-Qaeda affiliates”, the allegation is contentious at best.

    Currently, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the group in control of Idlib where Tox often operates, is the latest incarnation, after a series of efforts by the former Jabhat al-Nusra to distance itself from al-Qaeda.

    More concerning for the British government in making these assessments is consistency. Britain openly supported the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with non-lethal aid until late 2013, at a time when the FSA fought alongside and shared resources with Nusra.

    The former’s leader described the latter as “brothers” who were “proficient in fighting” and had “treated the people very nicely”.

    Failed by the system

    By this association, Britain is far more guilty of alignment with al-Qaeda than Tauqir Sharif is. But unlike many non-Muslim, white, British foreign fighters, Tox maintains he’s never joined any armed group.

    A few weeks ago, I appeared on Good Morning Britain as part of a discussion around the case of Shamima Begum, the London teenager who travelled to IS-controlled Syria, and whether she should return to the UK. My co-panelists included journalist and former Taliban captive Yvonne Ridley, former Metropolitan police chief Dal Babu, and former city banker Macer Gifford, who joined a Syrian Kurdish militia to fight against IS.

    In the discussion, Babu, Ridley and I argued that Begum and her friends had been groomed by IS and failed by police, their school and a Prevent programme that is supposedly designed to stop such things from happening. However, we all felt that Begum should return to home because she was British - at least she was that morning.

    Days later, Home Secretary Sajid Javid wrote to Begum’s family in the UK, stating that her British nationality had been revoked.

    On Good Morning Britain, Gifford said that Begum shouldn’t be allowed to return to the UK because she was ideologically motivated to join IS and was a "very dangerous woman".

    I found this position strange, considering that he joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is considered a terrorist organisation by NATO ally Turkey and linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is proscribed as a terrorist group in Turkey, the EU and the US.

    Gifford has openly argued to delist the PKK, while his British co-fighters have described Turkish forces as “terrorists”.

    British YPG fighters

    Last year, former British soldier Joe Robinson was convicted for membership of the YPG and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in Turkey. Last December, however, he managed to flee pending an appeal while on bail, and returned to Britain.

    Several other Britons not only joined the YPG, but took part in military operations against Turkish forces last year in the former Kurdish enclave of Afrin, Syria. At least eight are known to have been killed. The Turks have been battling their own Kurdish insurgency for decades, and intervened in Syria to both deplete IS and prevent the expansion of YPG forces as part of operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch.

    The YPG has been accused of receiving support and weapons from the Assad regime while the latter was engaged in committing massacres against the Syrian opposition.

    Amnesty International in 2015 accused YPG forces of committing “war crimes” - especially the destruction of homes and forced displacement - against Turkmen, Arabs and other Kurds in Syria. Last year, Amnesty also accused Turkish-backed rebels of "widespread human rights violations" in Syrian territory under Turkish control.

    Despite at least one of the British YPG fighters being of Chinese origin, there is no suggestion that he will be stripped of his nationality. As for those who are ethnically white, few have faced prosecution, let alone citizenship deprivation.

    Xenophobia and racism


    Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality”.

    Thus far, the discussion around nationality has centred on the Begum case, as though it had set a “precedent”. The truth is that since the process of nationality revocation increased during Theresa May’s tenure as home secretary, there have been more than 100 cases.

    That trend continued after she became prime minister. Most people now see this as a two-tier system driven by Brexit Britain - where Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism drive the conversation.

    Those who lost their nationality did so under the premise that they would technically not be left stateless, as they have recourse to the nationality of their parents or grandparents - not because they were guilty of terrorism.

    There are other cases, such as Tox’s, where the details have yet to surface. Many have chosen to remain silent for various reasons. Despite this open violation of their basic rights, many, like him, are not “begging” to come back. They just want people to see that race - and not risk - is

    what determined their fate.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinio...-not-terrorism
    Last edited by Junon; 03-09-2019 at 06:23 PM.

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  26. #460
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.















    Blurb

    The BAK is back again, but there's no Bilal Abdul Kareem this evening. Abdussamed Dagül is hosting the show and will be discussing Kashmir and Tox Sharif, a British aid worker in Syria who's British citizenship was revoked.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-11-2019 at 11:00 PM.


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