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  1. #1
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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; 5 Days Ago 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; 4 Days Ago 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; 3 Days Ago 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; 1 Day Ago 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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