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The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. [2:185]
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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"
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

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    Salaam

    Another update.

    Former captive Iraqi doctor tells of dissent and despair within Islamic State's ranks

    Some foreign fighters regretted joining IS when they witnessed the reality of the group's rule, but were stuck, says physician who treated them


    Mohamed, an Iraqi orthopaedic surgeon forced to work in Mosul hospitals under the Islamic State group, said he saw firsthand cases of foreign fighters who regretted joining IS but felt unable to leave.

    “The foreigners who changed their minds after they arrived couldn’t leave. They couldn’t go back because they had no passport and IS had ordered that any IS fighter who escaped and ran away, especially from battles, must be killed,” Mohamed told Middle East Eye.

    Accounts of regret from former IS members themselves - fleeing the last pocket of territory that IS still occupies in Syria and now seeking clemency and repatriation to their home countries - are often treated with suspicion.

    Mohamed, however, confirmed that IS members were often unable to leave and would face severe penalties for trying to do so.

    Upon arrival in the so-called IS "caliphate", male foreign fighters surrendered their passports, were often given new Arabic names - the surname usually reflecting their home country - and were issued with IS ID cards. The only IS passport available was a "Passport to Paradise" - a one-way ticket to heaven - its design loosely based on standard-issue earthly passports.

    “When foreign IS fighters arrived here, they brought their principles, they took a different name and IS sent them to fight. But it was actually like a rat trap and IS was the cheese.

    "They gave the impression in their videos and propaganda that they were a force for good - helping patients and giving money to the poor - but, when the foreigners arrived, they saw this was not the case,” said Mohamed.

    Some foreign fighters quickly became disenchanted.

    “The Western IS fighters wanted to come here and they thought they’d be fighting bad people but after they’d arrived, they realised those people they were supposed to fight were not actually bad people but just ordinary Iraqis,” he said.

    “One Western IS fighter, I don’t know his nationality, was given orders to blow himself up in a nearby village. He went to do the bombing and saw all the people were at mosque, praying at prayer time. He didn’t bomb them but came back and said, ‘They’re not Kuffar [infidels], they’re Muslim,’ and he had a very big fight with IS about it. Local people said he was a good Muslim and not really IS at all,” said Mohamed.

    “[Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi loved foreign IS much more than Iraqi IS because they were stronger believers and were more committed and true to the IS cause than the Iraqis. Locals here often only joined for money or to have power and carry a weapon.”

    Foreign fighters and would-be IS brides were essential to the self-proclaimed "caliphate" and were largely recruited online or through widespread dissemination of IS propaganda. English language, music videos of nasheed - vocal-only religious chanting without instruments - such as "For the Sake of Allah", targeted young men, and many Arabic language propaganda videos were subtitled in English.

    “IS had doctors from all over the world,” said Mohamed, listing nationalities - Pakistani, British, Indian, Australian, Syrian and Russian - adding that these foreign doctors were only for treating members of IS and would rarely see civilian patients.

    “There was a British IS doctor here for six months. He was British-born but of Algerian descent and very religious. He’d had a long journey to get here and most of his radicalisation was over the internet, which is how IS talked to people all over the word and converted them,” said Dr Mohamed.

    He said the British doctor was called Abu Muslim, adding that foreign IS members always concealed their true names and identities.

    “These foreigners were indoctrinated by IS ideologies because IS had very good, strong and effective press and propaganda. They were excellent liars and made a lot of press and propaganda with pictures and videos about happiness under IS, glamourising IS, showing how great IS was and how it stood up to the EU and US,” said Mohamed.

    “I last saw the Algerian-Briton in mid-2016. We didn’t talk much, as he was never friendly or talkative, but I felt he was afraid of IS and had become very uncomfortable with the situation. I really felt he didn’t accept what IS was doing, or even what he himself did.”

    An Iraqi Special Forces medic who worked in Mosul and dealt with injured IS fighters captured in battle suggested around ten percent of foreign fighters regretted joining IS, especially more recent converts to Islam or those who had been brainwashed with IS’s extreme ideologies.

    “They came to Mosul to help, as IS had called them to do but, when they arrived, they saw the reality of IS was quite different, but they couldn’t leave because they didn’t have their passports anymore, just rubbish IS ID cards, some of which they appeared to have made themselves,” said the medic.

    He added that other foreign IS fighters were so completely brainwashed they were “beyond help,” including very young children rescued during fighting, who scolded Iraqi medics for smoking, telling them it was haram [forbidden].

    It wasn’t only Western foreign fighters who, having pledged allegiance to IS, became troubled when they saw the realty of the group. Members from neighbouring countries also expressed doubts.

    “One Syrian IS came here with severe migraines and, after talking to him, I understood these headaches were brought on because he was thinking too much, thinking all the time, ’Am I on the right path or am I on the wrong path? How do I know if what I’m doing is right or wrong?’” said Mohamed.

    He said he gave the fighter a vague diagnosis of psychological problems, so the man would not get in trouble with his IS superiors who, apparently deciding the Syrian was crazy and a liability, kicked him out.

    Disillusion and dissension

    IS fighters seized Mosul in June 2014. By 2015, there was serious dissatisfaction and dissension within IS ranks which sharply increased from late 2015, said Mohamed.

    “People saw things were being done in the wrong manner and started to realise IS were liars and then a lot of problems started inside IS,” he said. “We saw a lot of disagreement between IS themselves.”

    This was confirmed in a September 2018 interview on Iraqi TV with imprisoned former IS commander Issam al-Zobai (whose IS name was Abu Abd al-Haq al-Iraqi), who admitted that disagreements could be so fierce they left some commanders injured or imprisoned. The appointment of foreign IS commanders over locals was also deeply contentious.

    “They started to blame themselves or each other and became unhappy. They even started to fight each other, or to try and escape,” said Mohamed.

    Leaving was particularly difficult for IS foreign fighters, whose appearance and inability to speak Iraqi dialects made them stand out.

    Their escape could only be facilitated by paying large sums - reportedly up to $10,000 per person - to smugglers. With IS members also working as smugglers, there was an additional risk that a smuggler might be an IS spy.

    Mohamed saw only a handful of cases where foreign fighters gave indications of regretting their decision to join IS. Others, locals said, contributed to the increasing reign of terror the group inflicted upon Mosul residents.

    Mosul resident Ahmed said that after the first three months of IS rule, which he described as “very good and secure”, large numbers of foreign fighters and their wives started arriving in the city, coinciding with the time when IS became stricter and started meting out harsh punishments and public executions.

    “I saw a Russian IS member inside Souk Halib and he had a child with him, maybe 10 years old, who also looked Russian and he gave the boy a gun and told him to shoot people,” he said.

    “That happened here, if you did something wrong, they got their own sons to carry out the punishments.”

    The foreign IS wives, which some locals described as “beautiful” with tall slender physiques and light-coloured eyes, also became feared.

    “The IS wives were scary, to be honest. They carried guns under their abayas but I never saw any of them fighting, they were just in the Hisbah (morality police),” said Mosul resident Hassan.

    “They had a biting machine, made of metal, and if women were caught not wearing a full-face veil, they would be punished by the female Hisbah. This was mainly happening inside Mosul, in the city centre. We stopped going out because we were scared.”

    'From decent person to killer'

    The harsh reality of IS also dashed the hopes of many locals that the group’s self-proclaimed "caliphate" might have offered a viable solution to the sectarianism which blighted Iraq following the US-led 2003 invasion.

    “Social and sectarian problems were rife in Mosul before IS and people were angry about bad governance. IS presented itself as a solution to these problems and Mosul accepted this,” Mohamed said.

    “But then IS changed its face, from Islamic to criminal, from helper to purveyor of cruelty, from decent person to killer. With each passing day, people started to question this behaviour and started to reject IS.”

    IS members started covering their faces with balaclavas after around a year, he said, because they had become so widely hated and knew they would become “wanted” people in the future.

    Zobai, the imprisoned former IS commander, admitted in the TV interview that the increasing oppression and injustice IS inflicted on civilians was one of the main reasons IS lost both territory and local support.

    He said one of Baghdadi’s biggest mistakes in the Mosul battle was to forcefully keep 64,000 families of IS members and supporters, as well as thousands more ordinary civilians, in the city as human shields.

    “We expected that they would be evacuated, and were surprised that the roads were blocked by the Caliphate's office, and nobody was allowed to leave Mosul,” he said.

    "Nobody was allowed to leave, whether it was a family of an IS commander or just any Muslim family. It was a battle for life or death.”

    Such mistakes, he said, had led to IS losing virtually all its support base in Iraq, destroying the concept of a successful "caliphate", and reducing IS to a position of insurgency.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/f...c-states-ranks

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Situation is going from bad to worse in Idlib.

    As ISIS fight nears end, violence flares on other Syrian front

    BEIRUT — While the final battle to retake the Islamic State group’s last pocket of territory rages in eastern Syria, violence is escalating in the country’s northwest, pitting al-Qaida-linked militants against Syrian government forces.

    The alarming violence in the Idlib region threatens to unravel a truce reached between Turkey and Russia last year that averted a bloody assault by the government to retake the province, the last major rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria. The escalation raises fears once more of a major assault by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Idlib has been in the hands of opposition forces for years, even as Assad’s military has succeeded in retaking other rebel enclaves one after the other. The province is now home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced from other former opposition territory. Earlier this year, al-Qaida-linked militants took over the province, squeezing out most other factions after clashes with Turkey-backed opposition fighters.

    Since then, government forces have intensified airstrikes and bombardment of Idlib towns. Since mid-February, some 100,000 people have been displaced, largely by government bombardment, and have fled to villages deeper in rebel-held territory, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. The group said that around 140 people, including 69 civilians, have been killed.

    The mounting violence points to how Syria’s nearly 8-year-long civil war still has the capability to burst once more into major bloodshed. The focus of the US and other countries has been on defeating the Islamic State group, which once held eastern and northern Syria, and Assad’s conflict with his opponents has quieted in recent months after government victories and the truce. But the root of that conflict remains.

    The militants, from an al-Qaida-linked group called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, Arabic for the Levant Liberation Committee, have also stepped up their attacks — in retaliation, they say, for the government bombardment.

    In the early hours of a cold morning earlier this month, militants attacked several Syrian army positions and checkpoints on the edge of Idlib in the village of Masasneh, killing nearly two dozen soldiers — one of the most serious attacks on government forces since the truce reached in September. The attack triggered hours of fighting and bombardment that killed and wounded dozens of insurgents.

    The Syrian Foreign Ministry warned afterward that the military was in “full readiness” to deal with repeated violations of the truce.

    Russia, which backs Assad, and Turkey, which supports opposition factions, put together the truce in September. They agreed to establish a 15-20 kilometers deep demilitarized zone in Idlib in which they said militants will not have a presence. The deal also offered the Syrian government and Russia one of their main demands — opening two key highways that pass through Idlib and link northern Syria with Damascus and other cities. But neither provision was implementing despite a deadline for opening the roads by the end of 2018.

    Still, the truce has been vital to keeping a degree of calm and preventing an all-out battle for Idlib that could be extremely bloody and drag in Russia and Turkey.

    The US deputy ambassador at the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, last month expressed American concern over the increase in government airstrikes and other violence in Idlib.

    “Terrorism cannot be used as a pretext for targeting civilians,” he said in a reference to al-Qaida-linked group’s control of the area. “Any major military operation in Idlib would be a reckless escalation of the conflict and would result in a humanitarian catastrophe far beyond what we’ve witnessed.”

    The main immediate aim of the government operations appears to be to eventually force open the key highways crossing though Idlib — the M5 that links southern and northern Syria and the M4 that links the coastal city of Latakia with the northern city of Aleppo, said Akram al-Ahmad, a Turkey-based Syrian opposition activist who heads a monitoring group called the Syrian Press Center.

    The towns most targeted by government bombardment have been Khan Sheikhoun, Saraqeb and Maaret al-Numan, which control the M5 highway.

    An HTS military commander known as Abu Khaled al-Shami released a video statement Wednesday expressing pride for killing government soldiers and vowing more attacks.

    “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham will retaliate forcefully if regime forces try to advance toward liberated areas,” he said.

    The leaders of Russia and Turkey held another summit in mid-February after which both leaders said there will be no offensive by Syrian government forces on Idlib and promised to work together to prevent the province from becoming a “stronghold of terrorists.”

    On Friday, Turkey’s defense minister said Turkey and Russia will begin patrols in the demilitarized zone in Idlib — though violence continued over the weekend despite some patrols.

    Turkey has struggled to rein in HTS.

    According to al-Ahmad and Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Observatory, there appears to be a split within HTS. On one side is its leader Abu Mohammed al-Golani, who has gotten closer to Turkey, and on the other is an Egyptian religious figure in the group known as Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri, who represents hard-liners in HTS opposing Turkey’s role. Al-Masri defected from the group in February along with other hard-liners.

    Another militant group in Idlib, Horas al-Din, is also resisting the Turkish mediation. The group, made up mostly of non-Syrian al-Qaida-linked fighters, rejected the demilitarized zone, calling it a “great conspiracy.”

    The Syrian government has repeatedly vowed that its forces will eventually retake the whole country.

    The government “is determined more than ever to regain control of its land and liberate from terrorism and illegitimate foreign presence,” said the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari.

    http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/12032019













    Last edited by Junon; 03-14-2019 at 08:53 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update





    Another update from Idlib.

    Blurb

    After a long period of relative calm, Russia has resumed airstrikes on civilians in Idlib province. Many are wondering why. OGN explains that disagreements in trade between Turkey and Russia in relation to the Syrian M5 Highway, which runs through Free Syria, may be the reason.







    Trumps changed his mind about troop withdrawals.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-18-2019 at 10:43 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update. ISILs last redoubt is about to fall.













    'Suffocating smell of death' as SDF attacks last ISIL pocket

    Amid fierce fighting, ISIL fighters remain squeezed in a few hundred metres in besieged Baghouz village, SDF says.


    Asmar al-Bahr says he saw scores of bodies strewn across ISIL's last encampment in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz and stockpiles of weapons.

    However, it was the "suffocating smell of death" that he worries he may never forget.

    Bahr is a photographer with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed group fighting ISIL in Baghouz. He says he went to the village on Tuesday, hours after fierce fighting the night before.

    "I talked to several Daesh fighters," he told Al Jazeera on the phone, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.

    "There were Russians, Swedish, Germans [and others]," Bahr said on Thursday. "Many of them told me that they never surrendered and will come back for the heads of the infidels; some of them said they regretted joining Daesh but just couldn't leave easily so they stayed."

    On February 9, the SDF began an operation to wipe out the remnants of ISIL from Baghouz in Deir Az Zor province, the group's final holdout on the Syria-Iraq border.

    Since then, ISIL has been said to be near to defeat at any moment, any day, any hour. The operation undertaken this week has pushed ISIL fighters to the tiniest part of the sliver of territory it has been holding on to, SDF says.

    'Hiding in caves'

    According to maps posted on Twitter by SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali, the remaining ISIL fighters and their family members are squeezed in a few hundred metres along a stretch of the Euphrates River.

    However, Bali urged caution against a premature declaration. "SDF is in control of Daesh encampment area in Baghouz," he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

    "This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight against Daesh. Clashes are continuing as a group of ISIS terrorists who are confined into a tiny area still fight back."

    A day later, US President Donald Trump appeared ready to declare for the second time victory over ISIL - the first being in December last year.

    Those left, he said on Wednesday, would be "gone by tonight".

    Ahmad Sultan Abu Araj, deputy commander of Jaish al-Thwar, the Arab contingent with the Kurdish-dominated SDF, said on Thursday that Trump's comments came too early.

    "The US president has said the same thing before and no liberation was announced," Abu Araj said. In the commander's estimation, there were still obstacles to cross and sometime before victory was announced.

    "The declaration would be by the end of March or the beginning of April, if nothing unexpected happened, after we make sure that Daesh is completely over," Abu Araj said.

    "Still Daesh fighters may be hiding in the caves at the Euphrates bank east of Baghouz and near the camp. Those caves might be linked to the desert of Iraq or Deir Az Zor via tunnels, we don't know. We are about 500-1,000 metres away from them."

    Remaining cautious

    Asmar, the photographer, argued that "there will be no announcement" for Baghouz's "liberation" before "the full transfer of weapons and before SDF clears the area".

    "There are lots of trucks in Baghouz to clear the dead bodies," he said.

    Since the operation began, at least 60,000 people, mostly women and children, have left Baghouz and are now in the al-Hol camp in Hasakah in northeastern Syria.

    The SDF has said its operation was slowed down to avoid harming women and children.

    According to interviews of SDF leaders previously reported on Al Jazeera, the delay has also been a result of negotiations between SDF and ISIL over the release of hostages - Westerners, Kurds and Arabs.

    But they have largely seemed to fail.

    Ahmad Sultan Abu Araj, the SDF's Arab commander, said that there was no confirmed information about the hostages.

    "We haven't had any information about the hostages, but if they were still alive then they would be used to apply pressure in the future. We still don't know where they are. Maybe they are being held by ISIS leaders in the desert, or maybe they are dead," Abu Araj said.

    Thousands of ISIL fighters have been detained in makeshift prisons by the SDF. Those remaining in Baghouz are believed to be die-hard ISIL fighters, along with family members unwilling to surrender.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middl...160510019.html
    Last edited by Junon; 03-21-2019 at 09:29 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Last edited by Junon; 03-23-2019 at 10:24 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam.

    Like to share, mini-documentary on Dr Shajul Islam work

    Blurb

    Dr Shajul Islam is a British surgeon with a mission to save lives in Syria. After having his hospitals destroyed by Russian jets on numerous occasions, he begins building a new hospital inside a cave.


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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.



    Reappearance of ISIS leader may herald a bloody new stage

    Veteran Arab journalist Abdel Bari Atwan warns that the re-emergence of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi could herald an intensification of terrorist attacks.

    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has only appeared on audio-visual recordings twice.

    The first time was in July 2014 when he proclaimed the establishment of his “Caliphate” from the pulpit of the Grand Nouri Mosque in Mosul.

    The second, and perhaps not last, time was this week when he resurfaced in a high-quality 18-minute video to declare that he was alive and well, and that the caliphate has ceased to exist in its previous form.

    Baghdadi’s emulation of Osama Bin Laden as a role-model – whether by seating himself on the ground with a Kalashnikov by his side or by tingeing his beard with henna — is telling.

    It indicates that he intends to inaugurate a new phase featuring terrorist attacks in different parts of the world, i.e. to revert to the path of al-Qaeda which he abandoned when he sought to set up the Caliphate as an alternative.

    Surprise reappearance


    The re-emergence of the ISIS leader came as a surprise to many people in the West and the Arab world alike, given the many previous news reports claiming he had been killed.

    Western intelligence services have been analysing the video and examining it for clues – such as the style of clothing or embroidery on the cushions – to where the video was filmed. But this is of no practical value.

    They used the same methods for ten years to try to track down Osama Bin Laden after the invasion of Afghanistan but failed to locate his hiding-place or that of Taliban leader Mulla Omar.

    Were it not for the Pakistani doctor who gave him away to the Americans, reportedly for a $25 million bounty, he would probably still be alive today.

    Bin Laden made a point of taking his Kalashnikov with him wherever he went and would place it on his lap while holding meetings. It held sentimental and symbolic value for him as a reminder of the days when he was involved in the Afghan jihad, and he boasted he had taken it from a Russian officer he had killed in a battle in the Tora Bora region.

    We do not know the story of the old Kalashnikov that appeared by Baghdadi’s side, whether it was obtained after some battle or given to him by one of his fighters.

    Unknown whereabouts

    Baghdadi’s whereabouts are unknown, and it is pure speculation to conclude from the cushions, clothing or headgear that he is still in the Iraq-Syria border region.

    These items could have been shown as a deliberate deception and part of the propaganda war. He may have left the area completely and relocated somewhere else after the video was recorded, perhaps with the assistance of Arab or other intelligence agencies.

    Baghdadi made a point of showing that the video was recorded recently by mentioning events in Sudan and Algeria and the Israeli elections, a method Bin Laden employed in all his videos.

    But the quality of the recording and the professional sound engineering and lighting give the impression that he is not a man on the run or constantly on the move, but rather in a safe place, accompanied by some of the media specialists who ran ISIS’s propaganda operation and specifically its al-Furqan outlet.

    Bloody new stage


    Baghdadi’s praise for the churches massacre in Sri Lanka, which was claimed by a local ISIS affiliate, must be seen as the start of a bloody new stage. It indicates that similar terrorist attacks are to follow, not only in Western capitals but also invulnerable Third World countries where security is less tight.

    ISIS may have lost its state, its Caliphate, and its attempt at on-the-ground empowerment. But it has not lost its leadership, and it has not abandoned terrorism, which it was diverted away from when it was busy trying to maintain and manage its state and the affairs of the seven million people living under its rule.

    This is why, in our view, it is now more dangerous having been freed of this heavy burden. Its bloody international terrorist operations used to be a secondary and less important priority, but the situation has now changed.

    The “empowerment” phase ended after the heavy defeat suffered by ISIS in western Iraq and eastern Syria. But a new phase of regrouping, mobilisation and exacting bloody revenge may have begun. The conditions that led to the emergence of the organisation, with direct or indirect American backing, continue to apply, and it retains nurturing environments in many places in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan an elsewhere.

    That is where the danger lies.

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2019/05/03/re...ody-new-stage/
    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:51 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Dozens killed as Russian, Syrian air attacks in Idlib intensify

    The escalation has raised fears that a truce that lasted almost eight months in Idlib will be declared over.


    Syrian government forces and their Russian allies had intensified their air offensive on the country's rebel-held northwest for a fifth consecutive day in a widening campaign, killing and wounding dozens and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

    After an overnight lull, government and Russian warplanes escalated bombings on Saturday hitting rebel areas in Idlib and the neighbouring province of Hama, aid workers in the area said.

    The Syrian military sent new reinforcements towards Idlib, including tanks, armoured personnel carriers and hundreds of troops on Saturday.

    The official SANA news agency said the army had destroyed "jihadist" positions in southern Idlib and nearby Hama province in response to what it called repeated violations of a de-escalation agreement.

    But the UN humanitarian coordinator said schools, health facilities and residential areas have been hit and the government forces are employing the worst barrel bombing in at least 15 months.

    Barrel bombs are containers packed with explosives dropped from helicopters.

    "Now, the bombing has returned and is much heavier and has spread very widely in Jabal al-Zawiya and rural northern Hama," Ahmad al-Dbis, safety and security manager for the US-based Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM), told Reuters News Agency.

    "The planes are not stopping at all and the bombing is continuing in a very big way like yesterday and worse," al-Dbis added.

    The recent upsurge in violence is the most serious in Idlib since Russia and Turkey negotiated a ceasefire in September.

    The shaky truce had averted a major government offensive on the last rebel stronghold in Syria.

    The Syrian Civil Defence, a rescue service operating in rebel-held areas, said it had recorded more than 30 deaths in the last few days.

    Dbis said the number of dead was at least 50 while the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the war, said at least 67 people had been killed.
    Medical facilities bombed

    Mustafa al-Haj Yousef, the civil defence director for Idlib, said more than 130,000 people had fled towards more secure areas, adding: "Civil defence centres have been targeted directly."

    UOSSM says four medical facilities have been bombed.

    Over the past weeks, government forces have bombarded rebel-held areas while al-Qaeda-linked fighters attacked army positions around Idlib killing more than two dozen troops and pro-government gunmen over the past week, according to the AP news agency.

    Idlib is the last major area of Syria still in rebel hands after a string of government offensives backed by Russian air power since 2015 turned the tables in a protracted civil war.

    President Bashar al-Assad has regained control over most of the country, with the northeast held by Kurdish groups backed by the United States.

    Idlib is held by an array of rebel groups, including the powerful Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a coalition of armed groups including those formerly affiliated with al-Qaeda.

    Turkey, which has supported the rebels and has troops to monitor the truce, has been negotiating with Moscow to halt the air attacks with little success.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/...141214968.html

    Blurb

    The killing machine of Bashar Assad is back in full swing as it has been targeting the civilian population in Syria again for the past several weeks. But why now? Bilal Abdul Kareem analyses the situation and takes your questions.



    Blurb

    The Syrian Arab Army and loyal militias are once again trying to take over territory in rebel-held areas of Idlib and the surroundings. Bilal Abdul Kareem explains how this could be a sign of weakness and desperation rather than strength.





    Preparing for battle.

    Blurb

    Jaish al Izza is announcing their readiness to stop regime aggression in the Northern Hama area. OGN visited them on the front lines!


    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:51 AM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update

    Russia and Turkey landgrab 'behind fresh Syria bombardment'

    Twelve healthcare centres destroyed in bombardment of Idlib province


    Renewed bombardment in north-west Syria that has displaced 200,000 people and destroyed 12 healthcare centres could have been sparked by Russia and Turkish moves to entrench their zones of influence as the seven-year conflict winds down, according to regional diplomats.

    The bombardment in Idlib province began two weeks ago and has intensified in recent days, prompting rescue workers to describe an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe”.

    Hospitals and clinics in the southern end of Idlib and northern edge of neighbouring Hama province have been systematically attacked by Russian warplanes, observers on the ground and monitoring groups have confirmed. The blitz has raised the spectre of a long-anticipated ground attack on the province, where a cornered population of at least 3 million people has nowhere left to run.

    However, two senior diplomats believe such a scenario is less likely than a limited campaign that gives Russian and Syrian forces a foothold in Idlib, in return for allowing Turkey to deepen its current zone of control further to the east.

    The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, condemned the “flagrant violation” of the ceasefire agreement by Russia and the Syrian regime, which has also forced 150,000 people from their homes and had reportedly left a dozen children dead.

    Hunt said the attacks included the use of barrel bombs “for the first time in seven months” and threatened a “swift and appropriate response” if Syria used illegal chemical weapons.

    Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s backers have played an increasingly decisive role in shaping the outcome. And with battlefields subdued elsewhere in the country, intention has shifted to Idlib.

    The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, agreed last September that Moscow and Ankara would jointly oversee a nine-mile demilitarized zone between rebel and regime lines intended to keep the two sides apart. That agreement had been the centrepiece of a de-escalation pact that had kept the province relatively stable until mid-April.

    Its apparent collapse has drawn little criticism from Ankara, which had strongly backed elements of the anti-Assad opposition in Idlib and has taken a stake inside northern Syria to safeguard its own interests. “There are suggestions of an arrangement between Russia and Turkey and the regime which would eat into the buffer zone by up to 25 miles in exchange for the Turks being able to take Tel Rifaat,” said one diplomat.

    The small Kurdish controlled town of Tel Rifaat in northern Syria has long been a target of Turkey’s military, which ousted Kurdish militants from the neighbouring town of Afrin early last year.

    On Sunday, Turkey’s vice president, Fuat Oktay, suggested that Tel Riffat was once again in military leaders sights. Responding to an attack, which reportedly killed a Turkish soldier in the area, Oktay said: “The agreement was for us to stop there [Tel Rifaat], but if these attacks continue, this may take a different shape. We are discussing this with Russia.”

    “The Turks are in there somewhere,” the diplomat said. “They’re at least aware of what the Russian plans are.

    Labib al-Nahhas, a political activist formerly connected to the Syrian armed opposition leadership, said other factors may be driving the assault on Idlib. “The latest offensive by Russia is due to two main reasons,” he said. “They have reached a real bottleneck in the Astana peace process … and realised that the current dynamics will not enable Russia to achieve its vision in Syria.

    “The other reason is the fast demise and disintegration of the Assad regime at all levels: political, economic, social, army and recently even security. Russia knows that the window of opportunity to make sustainable gains in Syria is closing down, and they needed to cover up the regime’s current situation by launching this attack and hoping to achieve a victory that would shake things up in their favour.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ia-bombardment


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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    I came across this piece of paper which it occured to me to print for some reason or other (something i don't normally do) - it felt as if it was a social media bot or a team of posters copying and pasting bits from a single database due to the verbatim spelling mistakes and grammatical errors - i'm thankful i did though since it shows that Muslims were being manipulated into turning their attention to assad at a time when the illegal invaders who were still in iraq and afghanistan were pushing for turmoil between iraq and ash-shaam as mujahideen were crossing over from the syrian border into iraq to expel the illegal invaders, in my opinion it was an attempted bloodletting of mujahideen:

    From may 28 - 2012


    The page was related to the bbc article which had posted images of a huge hall filled with dead children -claiming that they were killed by Assad - when in reality they were pictures of dead children from iraq - which had been earlier presented after the british-american illegal invasion as "iraqi children killed by saddam hussein's forces".



    Oops, BBC: Iraq photo to illustrate Houla massacre?

    https://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/amp/


    Click to enlarge:


    20190517_152724-3096x1742.jpg

    Edit: i found the original screenshot of the fake comments seemingly made to appear is if they were from genuinely concerned average people from around the world:


    pentagonsocialmediatrollbots2_zpsf3118784(1).jpg


    Syrian government denies involvement in Houla massacre

    https://www.rt.com/news/damascus-ref...sacre-339/amp/



    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Abz2000; 6 Days Ago at 04:49 PM.
    Oh Syria the victory is coming













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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Automating power: Social bot interference in global politics


    Article in First Monday 21(4) · March 2016 with 348 Reads · Download citation
    DOI: 10.5210/fm.v21i4.6161

    Samuel C. Woolley
    Abstract

    Over the last several years political actors worldwide have begun harnessing the digital power of social bots - software programs designed to mimic human social media users on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Increasingly, politicians, militaries, and government-contracted firms use these automated actors in online attempts to manipulate public opinion and disrupt organizational communication. Politicized social bots - here 'political bots' - are used to massively boost politicians' follower levels on social media sites in attempts to generate false impressions of popularity. They are programmed to actively and automatically flood news streams with spam during political crises, elections, and conflicts in order to interrupt the efforts of activists and political dissidents who publicize and organize online. They are used by regimes to send out sophisticated computational propaganda. This paper conducts a content analysis of available media articles on political bots in order to build an event dataset of global political bot deployment that codes for usage, capability, and history. This information is then analyzed, generating a global outline of this phenomenon. This outline seeks to explain the variety of political bot-oriented strategies and presents details crucial to building understandings of these automated software actors in the humanities, social and computer sciences.


    https://www.google.com.bd/amp/s/www....l_politics/amp





    How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Bots

    By Philip N. Howard
    Posted 18 Oct 2018 | 15:00 GMT


    In the summer of 2017, a group of young political activists in the United Kingdom figured out how to use the popular dating app Tinder to attract new supporters. They understood how Tinder’s social networking platform worked, how its users tended to use the app, and how its algorithms distributed content, and so they built a bot to automate flirty exchanges with real people. Over time, those flirty conversations would turn to politics—and to the strengths of the U.K.’s Labour Party.

    To send its messages, the bot would take over a Tinder profile owned by a Labour-friendly user who’d agreed to the temporary repurposing of his or her account. Eventually, the bot sent somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 messages, targeting 18- to 25-year-olds in constituencies where the Labour candidates were running in tight races. It’s impossible to know precisely how many votes are won through social media campaigns, but in several targeted districts, the Labour Party did prevail by just a few votes. In celebrating their victory, campaigners took to Twitter to thank their team—with a special nod to the Tinder election bot.

    How a Political Social Media Bot Works


    Illustration: Jude Buffum
    1. The bot automatically sets up an account on a social media platform. 2. The bot’s account may appear to be that of an actual person, with personal details and even family photos. 3. The bot crawls through content on the site, scanning for posts and comments of interest. 4. The bot posts its own content to engage other human users. 5. Networks of bots act in concert to promote a candidate or message, to muddy political debate, or to disrupt support for an opponent.

    By now, it’s no surprise that social media is one of the most widely used applications online. Close to 70 percent of U.S. adults are on Facebook, with three-quarters of that group using it at least once a day. To be sure, most of the time people aren’t using Facebook, Instagram, and other apps for politics but for self-expression, sharing content, and finding articles and video.

    But with social media so deeply embedded in people’s lives and so unregulated, trusted, and targetable, these platforms weren’t going to be ignored by political operators for long. And there is mounting evidence that social media is being used to manipulate and deceive voters and thus to degrade public life.

    To be sure, the technology doesn’t always have this effect. It’s difficult to tell the story of the Arab Spring [PDF] without acknowledging how social media platforms allowed democracy advocates to coordinate themselves in surprising new ways, and to send their inspiring calls for political change cascading across North Africa and the Middle East.

    But the highly automated nature of news feeds also makes it easy for political actors to manipulate those social networks. Studies done by my group at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Research Project have found, for example, that about half of Twitter conversations originating in Russia [PDF] involve highly automated accounts. Such accounts push out vast amounts of political content, and many are so well programmed that the targets never realize that they’re chatting with a piece of software.

    We’ve also discovered that professional trolls and bots have been aggressively used in Brazil [PDF] during two presidential campaigns, one presidential impeachment campaign, and the mayoral race in Rio. We’ve seen that political leaders in many young democracies are actively using automation to spread misinformation and junk news.

    And in the United States, we have found evidence that active-duty military personnel have been targeted [PDF] with misinformation on national security issues and that the dissemination of junk news was concentrated in swing states [PDF] during the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

    The earliest reports of organized social media manipulation emerged in 2010. So in less than a decade, social media has become an ever-evolving tool for social control, exploited by crafty political operatives and unapologetic autocrats. Can democracy survive such sophisticated propaganda?

    The 2016 U.S. presidential election was a watershed moment in the evolution of computational techniques for spreading political propaganda via social networks. Initially, the operators of the platforms failed to appreciate what they were up against. When Facebook was first asked how the Russian government may have contributed to the Trump campaign, the company dismissed such foreign interference as negligible. Some months later, Facebook recharacterized the influence as minimal, with only 3,000 ads costing US $100,000 linked to some 470 accounts.

    Tactics of Political Social Media Bots


    Illustration: Jude Buffum
    Zombie Electioneering: Gives the appearance of broad support for an issue or candidate through automated commenting, scripted dialogues, and other means
    Finally, in late October 2017, nearly a year after the election, Facebook revealed that Russia’s propaganda machine had actually reached 126 million Facebook users with its ad campaign. What’s more, the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin, posted roughly 80,000 pieces of divisive content on Facebook, which reached about 29 million U.S. users between January 2015 and August 2017.

    Facebook was not the only social media platform affected. Foreign agents published more than 131,000 tweets from 2,700 Twitter accounts [PDF] and uploaded over 1,100 videos [PDF] to Google’s YouTube.

    What propagandists love about social media is a network structure that’s ripe for abuse. Each platform’s distributed system of users operates largely without editors. There is nobody to control the production and circulation of content, to maintain quality, or to check the facts.

    The propagandists can fool a few key people, and then stand back and let them do most of the work. The Facebook posts from the Internet Research Agency, for instance, were liked, shared, and followed by authentic users, which allowed the posts to organically spread to tens of millions of others.

    Facebook eventually shut down the accounts where the Internet Research Agency posts originated, along with more than 170 suspicious accounts on its photo-sharing app, Instagram. Each of these accounts was designed to look like that of a real social media user, a real neighbor, or a real voter, and engineered to distribute disinformation and divisive messages to unsuspecting users’ news feeds. The Facebook algorithm aids this process by identifying popular posts—those that have been widely liked, shared, and followed—and helping them to go viral by placing them in the news feeds of more people.


    Illustration: Jude Buffum
    AstroTurf Campaign: Makes an electoral or legislative campaign appear to be a grassroots effort
    As research by our group and others has revealed, computational propaganda takes many forms: networks of highly automated Twitter accounts; fake users on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram; chatbots on Tinder, Snapchat, and Reddit. Often the people running these campaigns find ways to game the algorithms that the social media platforms use to distribute news.

    Doing so usually means breaking terms-of-service agreements, violating community norms, and otherwise using the platforms in ways that their designers didn’t intend. It may also mean running afoul of election guidelines, privacy regulations, or consumer protection rules. But it happens anyway.



    Images: Oxford Internet Institute
    Election Botnets: During the November 2016 U.S. election, the largest Trump Twitter botnet [bottom] consisted of 944 bots, compared with 264 bots in the largest pro-Clinton botnet [top]. What’s more, the Trump botnet was more centralized and interconnected, suggesting a higher degree of strategic organization.
    Another common tactic is to simply pay for advertising and take advantage of the extensive marketing services that social media companies offer their advertisers. These services let buyers precisely target their audience according to thousands of different parameters—not just basic information, such as location, age, and gender, but also more nuanced attributes, including political beliefs, relationship status, finances, purchasing history, and the like. Facebook recently removed more than 5,000 of these categories to discourage discriminatory job ads—which gives you an idea of how many categories there are in total.


    Images: Oxford Internet Institute
    Election Botnets: During the November 2016 U.S. election, the largest Trump Twitter botnet [right] consisted of 944 bots, compared with 264 bots in the largest pro-Clinton botnet [left]. What’s more, the Trump botnet was more centralized and interconnected, suggesting a higher degree of strategic organization.
    One of the chief ways to track political social media manipulation is to look at the hashtags that both human users and bots use to tag their messages and posts. The main hashtags will reference candidates’ names, party affiliations, and the big campaign issues and themes—#TrumpPence, #LivingWage, #Hillary2016, and so on. An obvious shortcoming of this approach is that we don’t know in advance which hashtags will prove most popular, and so we may miss political conversations that either have hashtags that emerged later in the campaign or that don’t carry any hashtag.

    Nonetheless, we can use the hashtags that we do know to identify networks of highly automated accounts. Twitter data is for the most part public, so we can periodically access it directly through the company’s application programming interface (API), which is a type of server that connects Twitter with its developers and other customers. For a 10-day period starting on 1 November 2016, we collected about 17 million tweets from 1,798,127 users. We also sampled Twitter data during each of the three presidential debates.


    Illustration: Jude Buffum
    Hashtag Hijacking: Appropriates an opponent’s hashtag to distribute spam or otherwise undermine support
    Sifting through the data, we saw patterns in who was liking and retweeting posts, which candidates were getting the most social media traffic, how much of that traffic came from highly automated accounts, and what sources of political news and information were being used. We constructed a retweeting network that included only connections where a human user retweeted a bot. This network consisted of 15,904 humans and 695 bots. The average human user in this network shared information from a bot five times.

    We then focused on accounts that were behaving badly. Bots aren’t sinister in themselves, of course. They’re just bits of software used to automate and scale up repetitive processes, such as following, linking, replying, and tagging on social media. But they can nevertheless affect public discourse by pushing content from extremist, conspiratorial, or sensationalist sources, or by pumping out thousands of pro-candidate or anti-opponent tweets a day. These automated actions can give the false impression of a groundswell of support, muddy public debate, or overwhelm the opponent’s own messages.

    We have found that accounts tweeting more than 50 times a day using a political hashtag are almost invariably bots or accounts that mix automated techniques with occasional human curation. Very few humans—even journalists and politicians—can consistently generate dozens of fresh political tweets each day for days on end.

    Once we’ve identified individual bots, we can map the bot networks—bots that follow each other and act in concert, often exactly reproducing content coming from one another. In our modeling of Twitter interactions, the individual accounts represented the network’s nodes, and retweets represented the network’s connections.


    Gratitude: Campaign workers tweeted about their successful chatbot, which rallied support for the UK Labour Party through automated conversations on the dating platform Tinder.
    What did we learn about the 2016 U.S. election? Both of the major presidential candidates attracted networks of automated Twitter accounts that pushed around their content. Our team mapped these botnet structures over time by tracking the retweeting of the most prominent hashtags—Clinton-related and Trump-related as well as politically neutral.

    The Trump and Clinton bot networks looked and behaved very differently, as can be seen in the illustration “Election Botnets,” which depicts the largest botnet associated with each campaign. The much larger Trump botnet consisted of 944 bots and was highly centralized and interconnected, suggesting a greater degree of strategic organization and coordination. The Clinton botnet had just 264 bots and was more randomly arranged and diffuse, suggesting more organic growth.

    The pro-Trump Twitter botnets were also far more prolific during the three presidential debates. After each debate, highly automated accounts supporting both Clinton and Trump tweeted about their candidate’s victory. But on average, pro-Trump automated accounts released seven tweets for every tweet from a pro-Clinton automated account. The pro-Trump botnets grew more active in the hours leading up to the final debate, some of them declaring Trump the winner even before the debate had started.


    Illustration: Jude Buffum
    Retweet Storm: Simultaneous reposts or retweets of a post by hundreds or thousands of other bots
    Another successful strategy for the Trump botnets was strategically colonizing pro-Clinton hashtags by using them in anti-Clinton messages. For the most part, each candidate’s human and bot followers used particular hashtags associated with their candidate. But Trump followers tended to also mix in Clinton hashtags. By Election Day, about a quarter of the pro-Trump Twitter traffic was being generated by highly automated accounts, and about a fifth of those tweets contained both Clinton and Trump hashtags. This resulted in negative messages generated by Trump’s supporters (using such hashtags as #benghazi, #CrookedHillary, #lockherup) being injected into the stream of positive messages being traded by Clinton supporters (tagged with #Clinton, #hillarysupporter, and the like).

    Finally, we noticed that most of the bots went into hibernation immediately following the election. In general, social media bots tend to have a clear rhythm of content production. Bots that work in concert with humans will be active in the day and dormant at night. More automated bots will be front-loaded with content and then push out messages around the clock. A day after the election, these same bots, which had been pumping out hundreds of posts a day, fell silent. Whoever was behind them had switched them off. Their job was done.

    In the run-up to the U.S. midterm election, the big question is not whether social media will be exploited to manipulate voters, but rather what new tricks and tactics and what new actors will emerge. In August, Facebook announced that it had already shut down Iranian and Russian botnets trying to undermine the U.S. elections. As such activity tends to spike in the month or so right before an election, we can be certain that won’t be the end of it.

    Meanwhile, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms have implemented a number of new practices to try to curtail political manipulation on their platforms. Facebook, for example, disabled over 1 billion fake accounts, and its safety and security team has doubled to more than 20,000 people handling content in 50 languages. Twitter reports that it blocks half a million suspicious log-ins per day. Social media companies are also investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence that can automatically spot and remove “fake news” and other undesirable activity.


    Illustration: Jude Buffum
    Strategic Flagging: Tools intended to flag inappropriate content are instead used to flag an opponent’s legitimate content, which may then be erroneously deleted by a social media platform
    But the problem is now a global one. In 2017, our researchers inventoried international trends in computational propaganda [PDF], and we were surprised to find organized ventures in each of the 28 countries we looked at. Every authoritarian regime in the sample targeted its own citizens with social media campaigns, but only a few targeted other countries. By contrast, almost every democratic country in the sample conducted such campaigns to try to influence other countries.

    In a follow-up survey of 48 countries, we again saw political social media manipulation in every country in our sample. We are also seeing tactics spreading from one campaign cycle or political consultant or regime to another.

    Voters have always relied on many sources of political information; family, friends, news organizations, and charismatic politicians obviously predate the Internet. The difference now is that social media platforms provide the structure for political conversation. And when these technologies permit too much fake news and divisive messages and encourage our herding instinct, they undermine democratic processes without regard for the public good.

    We haven’t yet seen true artificial intelligence applied to the production of political messages. The prospect of armies of AI bots that more closely mimic human users, and therefore resist detection, is both worrisome and probably inevitable.

    Protecting democracy from social media manipulation will require some sort of public policy oversight. Social media companies cannot be expected to regulate themselves. They are in the business of selling information about their users to advertisers and others, information they gather through the conversations that take place on their platforms. Filtering and policing that content will cause their traffic to shrink, their expenses to rise, and their revenues to fall.

    To defend our democratic institutions, we need to continue to independently evaluate social media practices as they evolve, and then implement policies that protect legitimate discourse. Above all, we need to stay vigilant, because the real threats to democracy still lie ahead.

    This article appears in the November 2018 print issue as “The Rise of Computational Propaganda.”

    To Probe Further

    For further details on social media manipulation in political campaigns, see

    “Computational Propaganda in Russia: The Origins of Digital Misinformation,” by Sergey Sanovich (June 2017)
    “Junk News on Military Affairs and National Security: Social Media Disinformation Campaigns Against U.S. Military Personnel and Veterans,” by John D. Gallacher, Vlad Barash, Philip N. Howard, and John Kelly (October 2017)
    “Polarization, Partisanship and Junk News Consumption Over Social Media in the U.S.,” by Vidya Narayanan, Vlad Barash, John Kelly, Bence Kollanyi, Lisa-Maria Neudert, and Philip N. Howard (February 2018)
    “Computational Propaganda in the United States of America: Manufacturing Consensus Online,” [PDF] by Samuel C. Woolley and Douglas Guilbeault (2017)
    “Algorithms, Bots, and Political Communication in the U.S. 2016 Election: The Challenge of Automated Political Communication for Election Law and Administration,” by Philip N. Howard, Samuel Woolley, and Ryan Calo, Journal of Information Technology & Politics (April 2018)
    “Challenging Truth and Trust: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation,” by Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N. Howard (2018)
    About the Author

    Philip N. Howard is the director of the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and principal investigator of the Computational Propaganda Project.

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    https://www.google.com.bd/amp/s/spec...-bots.amp.html





    Applying Interestingness Measures to Ansar Forum Texts D.B. Skillicorn School of Computing Queen’s University Canada

    skill@cs.queensu.ca

    ABSTRACT Documents from the Ansar aljihad forum are ranked using a number of word-usage models. Analysis of overall content shows that postings fall strongly into two categories. A model describing Salafist-jihadi content generates a very clear single-factor ranking of postings. This ranking could be interpreted as selecting the most radical postings, and so could direct analyst attention to the most significant documents. A model for deception creates a multifactor ranking that produces a similar ordering, with low-deception postings identified with highly Salafist-jihadi ones. This suggests either that such postings are extremely sincere, or that personal pronoun use and intricate structuring are also markers of Salafist-jihadi language. Although the overall approach is relatively straightforward, the choice of parameters to maximize the usefulness of the results is intricate.

    1.

    DATASET DETAILS

    The Ansar aljihad forum is a mostly English language forum, with limited access – at one time registration, but now only by referral from an existing member. Of the 29,056 posts in the dataset, about half come from a small subset of members. This paper applies ‘bag of words’ textual analysis of various kinds to the contents of the forum postings. It does not examine characteristics of the authors or timings of posts. In general, it is not obvious what aspects of a set of forum data such as this will be interesting in any given context, so the approach is purely inductive. The lack of ground truth about these postings and the inductive approach makes it hard to draw firm conclusions that would be useful in an intelligence setting. On the other hand, analysis using several different models focuses attention on the same small set of postings. This approach is therefore useful, because it is usually not practical for an analyst to read all of the postings in a timely way (and, of course, many relevant datasets would be much larger).

    2.

    ISSUES

    Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. ISI-KDD 2010, July 25, 2010, Washington, D.C., USA Copyright 2010 ACM 978-1-4503-0223-4 ...$10.00.

    The texts of postings are mapped to a series of documentword matrices using sets of words that model phenomena of interest. The raw data for each analysis is therefore a matrix whose rows correspond to the 29,056 postings, whose columns correspond to members of the set of chosen words, and whose entries are counts of the frequency of each word in each document. The data is very skewed in both dimensions. There are a small set of authors who have made very large numbers of postings; and the size of postings varies from literally a few words to tens of thousands of words. Nevertheless, even for models built using a small set of words, the matrices are extremely sparse. A major difficulty with data in this form is deciding what kind of normalization is appropriate. The goal is to maximize the variation in markers relevant to the analysis, while minimizing irrelevant artifacts. The problem is that some words, typically function words, occur often and it is changes in their rate of occurrence that is potentially significant. Other words, typically nouns, are significant if they occur at all in a document, but their subsequent repetition in the document is much less significant (the document is already ‘about’ the noun). This big difference in the significance of frequency makes normalization challenging. Some of the possible normalizations are: • tfidf, a conventional normalization from IR. The intent of this normalization is to ‘spread’ or differentiate the stored documents more evenly, making it easier to find the appropriate neighbors when a query is mapped into the representation space (vector or LSI). This would disturb the inherent cluster structure in this data and so should not be used. • Normalize based on the length of each document, either in terms of total number of words present, or the total number of model-specific words present. Such a normalization is usually motivated by assuming a generative model for postings. The particular set of postings observed is regarded as a sample from an underlying distribution that describes the hypothetical process that creates postings, and so contains artifacts due to sampling. For example, long documents have drawn more often from a word-choice distribution and so contain more, and more different, words. Taking length of documents into account allows some of this bias to be discounted (not all, because long documents, even when normalized, can take on a greater set of values; so the analysis technique should also be resistant




    to quantization variation – which eigendecompositions are). There remains the question of which document length to use to get normalized frequencies. Some of the choices are: – Normalize to the unit hypersphere. This is the standard approach in information retrieval, partly because queries are modelled as really short documents, and this normalization makes documents of all lengths comparable. The problem in a dataset that contains both very short and very long documents, as this one does, is that this normalization blurs the structure substantially. – Divide by the document length. This provides a more gentle increase in similarity between short and long documents. In short documents, though, this increases the apparent signal strength of individual words well above that of any word in a long document, and so is still quite distorting. – Choose some quantum of length, say k. Documents longer than k have their word frequencies divided by their length; documents k words or shorter have their word frequencies divided by k. k then behaves as the unit within which words that occur at predictable rates will have occurred a stable number of times. It should probably be chosen so that most documents are shorter than k. The document length distribution is very skewed for this dataset, with the ‘knee’ of the frequency histogram at about 500, so relatively few documents would be normalized by their actual length. – Do not normalize by length at all. This amounts to an assertion that word frequencies are attributes all on a comparable scale, and so raw values are meaningful. From a different perspective, this also asserts that documents are not simply samples from a distribution of word frequencies, but that document length is also a meaningful choice by the author. This has some plausibility for this dataset, because length correlates with the style of posting quite strongly, but it certainly emphasizes longer documents in the results. • Apply a flattening transformation such a taking logarithms of word frequencies. This does not explicitly take length of documents into account but compresses the distribution of points corresponding to documents into something closer to a hyperspheric annulus. Such a normalization implicitly asserts that presence of a word in a document is more important than absence, but significance does not increase linearly with frequency. For example, many authors have stylistic tics in which they use particular words frequently without altering overall meaning. Different choices of normalization will completely alter the resulting analysis, but there seems no deeply principled way to make this choice. Fortunately, although different choices change the medium-scale structures for this dataset, they seem to have little effect on the extremal structure. There is also an issue of how to normalize
    the columns of the matrix. After row normalization, the matrix entries




    remain non-negative, so measures of similarity between documents (rows) are always positive, and there is no concept of dissimilarity, just weaker similarity. However, an alternate view is that similarity measures should also allow dissimilarity, based on deviations from some ‘typical’ base frequency. In this case, normalizing the columns to z-scores is appropriate. However, there is a further complication. As these matrices are sparse, computing means and standard deviations based on all entries of a column loses available information – the denominators are large regardless of how many documents each word appears in. Furthermore, the mass of zero entries typically ends up very slightly on one side of the origin. As a result, computing correlations in standard ways constructs similarity based partly on the absence of word use between two documents, which is not usually sensible. It is better to compute means, standard deviations, and so z-scores only from the non-zero entries of each column. Assessment of content of the postings is complicated by the fact that they are written in extremely different registers. Many postings, especially the shorter ones, are written in a very informal style typical of many write-once postings on the web (chat, comments, etc.). At the other extreme, there are postings, typically long, that are written in a very ornate and flowery style, often coupled with religious ornamentation. There is a tendency to express religious thought in English from the 17th Century, for example using archaic words like “thou” and “doth”. Tools that were register-aware would be helpful for data such as this, but the lack of practical systemic functional parsing tools limits this level of sophistication at present. In common with much informal writing, spelling is not standard across the postings. This is further complicated by the numerous possible transliterations of Arabic words into English, especially greetings, slogans, and names. These different spellings of English words are not conflated in the analysis, as it is probable that they reflect cultural and geographical variations among authors that might be significant. Examining the list of statistically significant phrases extracted from the document set using the Logik tool suggests that the majority of the discussion is driven by news. The focus is on incidents, people, and places that were likely to have been discussed in the media over the relevant time period, rather than discussions of people within the jihadi movement (for example, mentions of Qari Mohammad Yousuf, one of the Taliban press spokesmen, are far more frequent than mentions of Mullah Omar). The most frequent phrases extracted, in decreasing order, are: Allah, Quote, Afghanistan, Taliban, Islamic Emirate, Mujahideen, government, soldiers, military, American, Pakistan, attack, Brother, Iraq, police, video, militants, troops, Somalia, district, mujahid, local time, Salaam, President, attacks, army, brothers, wa, Mogadishu, country, Baghdad, Islamic, vehicle, Afghan, Iraqi, city, officials, puppet army, Islam, Peace, news, Obama, download, Acer, alaykum, terrorists, landmine, Security, MB [presumably megabyte], Muslims, Muslim, http, tank, fighters, war, alaikum, Pakistani, British, Swat, Soldier, Insha Allah, Somali, Bomb, civilians, enemy, report, html, rapidshare [a file sharing service], capital, Kandahar, explosion, ameen, killing, view, fight, akhi [brother], Jihad, Reuters, Qari Muhammad Yousuf, Israel, Sheikh, insurgents, amir, Gaza, Islamist, Assalamu, release, Zabihullah, God, Media,




    Aswat, Israeli, WMV, convoy, fileflyer [another file sharing service], al-Iraq, NATO. The country focus is on Afghanistan (307 documents), Pakistan (202), Somalia (148), Israel (54), Iran (39) and not America (23), Britain (12), Canada (5) and Australia (2). Adjectival country names are more common, for example American (204 documents). Frequencies of references to news sources are: BBC (16 documents), al Jazeera (12), CNN (13), Reuters (55) (an interesting sidelight on technology), and Associated Press Writer (24).

    3.

    ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY

    The analysis that follows uses singular value decomposition applied to document-word matrices using different combinations of possible words and their frequencies. Suitably normalized, a singular value decomposition discovers axes (essentially, eigenvectors) along which the set of documents exhibits variation. The resulting space is then projected into few dimensions (typically, 2 or 3). In the resulting similarity space, proximity corresponds to global similarity (among both documents and words, since SVD is completely symmetric); direction corresponds to global differences (that is, clusters); and distance from the origin corresponds to interestingness. This last is because projection both of points that correlate well with many other points, and points that correlate with few other points places them close to the origin. Points that correlate only moderately with other points are mapped far from the origin in lowdimensional space. This kind of moderate correlation often captures useful notions of interestingness, since it avoids both documents whose word usage is exceedingly typical and those whose word usage is unique. When frequencies of large numbers of words are used, this approach is a kind of clustering. When particular words associated with some property of texts are used, the projection is more typically a spectrum representing the intensity of the property captured by the set of words. When the property is truly single factorial, then the resulting space contains a 1-dimensional manifold, or spectrum, along which points corresponding to each posting are placed. Most complex properties are multifactorial, so it is more typical to see a structure in two or three dimensions. Such a structure can be projected onto a line passing through the first two or three singular values to create a single score, representing interestingness with respect to the model words. In both cases, a plot provides a visualization of global similarities and differences, and distance from the origin provides a visualization of interestingness. The distance from the origin in some k dimensions can be computed, and the documents ranked according to it. Such a ranking loses information about direction, but provides a quick method of focusing attention on a small subset of the records.

    4. 4.1

    ANALYSIS RESULTS Overall word use

    Word extraction on the set of forum postings produced a set of 198,211 distinct “words”. Typical of informal multilingual documents, a substantial fraction of these do not appear in any dictionary; some are ‘wrapper’ words from the context (such as “http”), many are typos or transliterations

    Figure 1: Based on words occurring frequently, the postings fall into two well-separated classes. of Arabic words or fragments of Arabic words. Stop words were not removed because, in second-language contexts, differences in stop word use might be significant, reflecting, for example, relative fluency in English. From this set of words, the 779 words that occurred more than 50 times overall were retained to produce a documentword matrix. This threshold was chosen pragmatically, although it is in a linear range of the threshold versus words curve, and the resulting structure did not seem very sensitive to the choice. The matrix was processed as discussed above, without row normalization, but normalizing columns to nonzero z-scores. Figure 1 shows that the documents form two very distinct clusters. One cluster, oriented vertically in the figure, contains postings about military and insurgent activity, focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan. These postings tend to be news or reportage of various kinds, some copied from mainstream organizations. The words associated with it are largely content words, and are visible in Figure 3; words such as “killed”, “province”, “district”, “mujahideen” (apparently the preferred transliteration by mainstream news organizations), “America”, “Islamic”, and “enemy”. The second cluster, oriented horizontally in the figure, contains postings that might be called Jihadi-religious. Figure 3 shows that the words associated with this cluster are primarily function words. This suggests that, for this cluster, it is not content that matters, so much as persuasion, sentiment, power, and emotion. It is surprising that the content of the forum separates so strongly into two clusters – the existence of these two distinct topics is not at all obvious from reading a subset of the postings. To human readers, both the tone and content of postings from the different clusters do not seem markedly different. Because there is no normalization by length, the extremal documents tend to be the longer ones. Normalizing using a boundary of 500, which is about the knee of the curve of lengths, produces very similar structure in the words, but makes it clear that the number of postings in the horizontal cluster is much larger than in the vertical cluster. The overall structure does not change much, providing reassurance that normalization choices here do not dominate the results.




    Figure 4: For most-frequent words, the mutual similarity between words and documents. Because of the symmetry of the SVD, rows of both matrices can be plotted as points in the same space. A word and a document are attracted to similar locations when the frequency of the word in the document is large. One interpretation of the SVD is that it is a global integration of this pairwise attraction.

    Figure 2: For most-frequent words, document clusters labelled with their posting number. Document 25606 lies between the two clusters; it is a long list of insurgent activities, in the style of the horizontal cluster, but with the content of the vertical cluster. As expected, it uses the word “in” at extremely high rates.

    Salafist, al Qaeda, or jihadist content. Koppel et al. [1] built an empirical model of Salafist-Jihadi ideological word use in contrast to that of other ideologies (mainstream, wahhabist, and Muslim Brotherhood) which we use as a surrogate for Salafist-jihadi content in this forum’s postings. At best, this is only a rough approximation to the desired content and style; in particular, it is not designed to discriminate between Salafist-jihadi language and ‘ordinary’ language such as news reports. We begin with the top 100 words from the Koppel model. Several of these Arabic words translate to the same English word, so we end up with 85 English words in the model (shown in Table 1) The frequencies of these words are extracted from the forum data, and the resulting matrix is row normalized by replacing each entry by log(aij + 1). The columns are then normalized to non-zero z-scores as before. Different forms of normalization were tried, but made little difference to the qualitative structure. The results are shown in Figure 5. This model appears to be working well in the sense that it projects postings almost entirely to a 1-dimensional structure that can be interpreted as a continuum from plentiful non-jihadist postings to rarer but more extreme jihadist postings. There is a second, roughly orthogonal component of postings with differentiated use of the words “said”, “were”, “the”, and a few others. Especially the presence of “the” as such a strong marker suggests that second-language issues are relevant here; perhaps the postings in this smaller component are primarily quotations from mainstream news organizations. Removing this component, by removing the associated words from the model, leaves the large component almost unaffected. Some of the extremal postings at the Salafist-jihadist end of the spectrum are: 15646 – “words for jihadis”; 14621 – Book of a Mujahid; 9916 – an extensive political/religious argument; 14736, 17431 – pro-jihadi religious tracts by alMaqdisi, the spiritual mentor of al-Zarqawi; At the other end of the spectrum are postings that are quite vicious in tone, but about other subjects (and shorter which is partly why the extent of the spectrum is not symmetric around the origin). For example:

    Figure 3: For most-frequent words, global word similarity. Use of a tool such as Palantir would enable much of the basic content structure in this set of documents to be extracted in sophisticated ways. The advantage of the analysis here is that (a) it is purely inductive rather than analyst-driven, (b) it shows the high-level structure very directly, and (c) using distance from the origin as a surrogate for ‘interestingness’ allows the documents to be ranked, so that analyst attention can automatically be focused on the most significant postings within the set.

    4.2

    Finding radical postings

    It would be most useful to exploit projection and ranking to select those postings with the greatest signs of radical

    13494 – comment on a visit by Huckabee to Jerusalem; 10416 – a brief comment suggesting that backlash to insurgent attacks came from drug lords, rather than the general population; 3201 – a posting about Kashmir; 23314 – almost entirely transliterated Arabic, so relevant words not captured; 22406 – a brief news report; Figure 6 shows that the words most strongly associated with Salafist-jihadi postings are function words such as “those” “who”“these”, “they”, and “when”, suggesting that it is relationship and conviction rather than propositional discussion that are important. Content words are not strong markers, but there is perhaps a characteristic style associated with radical postings. This is supported by the results of Koppel et al. [1] who were able to classify documents with different ideologies with about 75% accuracy using only function words. The existence of inflammatory postings at both ends of the spectrum suggests that sentiment analysis could be




    Figure 5: For words related to Salafist-jihadi radicalism, the mutual similarity between words and documents.

    Figure 6: Structure in the words associated with radicalism.

    Figure 7: Postings and words using the deception model.

    helpful for this problem, but it would need to be sophisticated since the relevant words go far beyond adjectives and negations.

    postings that ranked as highly jihadist. Examination of these extremal postings shows that they are off the charts in terms of first-person singular pronoun and exclusive word frequency. In other words, the reason that Salafist-jihadist postings look low in deceptiveness is that they tend to be intricate yet personal discussions/arguments. This may be a signal of passionate belief, or it may be a stylistic signature developed from particular kinds of religious activity. The postings at the other end of the deception spectrum are primarily news reports copied from mainstream media. In the context of typical forum postings, such documents contain first-person singular pronouns only when someone is being quoted, and are written in a simple, expository style that uses very few exclusive words. Couple this with steady use of action verbs to keep the story moving, and a generally negative tone about war-relevant reporting, and it is clear why such stories rank at the deceptive end of the spectrum. This again emphasizes the need to consider the pool of documents when interpreting relative deceptiveness. The structure of the words from the deception model, shown in Figure 8, shows a 1-dimensional structure, aligned with the axis of deception in the postings, except for a small set of words roughly orthogonal to it. These words, “me”, “my”, and “I” tend to be strongly associated both with relative power and with deception in Western documents. It seems plausible that these pronouns are not so routinely used in Islamic culture so their use frequencies may be author related.

    4.3

    Looking for deception

    We now turn to consider deception. The work of, amongothers, Pennebaker’s group [2, 3] has shown that (a) deception causes characteristic changes in text or speech, and (b) these same changes can be observed over a large range of different activities that have an element of deceptiveness, from outright lies to negotiation. Since propaganda has an element of deception built into it, we consider whether postings that rank highly using Pennebaker’s deception model are of interest. The model, which is determined empirically but has been widely validated, posits that the characteristic signature of deception is changes in the frequencies of four classes of words: • first-person singular pronouns decrease; • exclusive words, words that introduce a subsidiary phrase or clause that make a sentence more complex, decrease; • negative emotion words increase; and • action verbs increase. The model uses 86 words in all; they are listed in Table 2. As before, the frequencies of the words in the model were extracted from the forum dataset. The entries were scaled by logarithms, and non-zero z-scoring was applied. The column entries, now symmetric about zero, were negated for columns 1–20, which correspond to the first-person singular pronouns and exclusive words for which decreased frequencies are signals of deception. In the resulting matrix, a larger magnitude always represents a positive signal of deception. The same analysis process as before was applied to the resulting matrix. The results are shown in Figure 7. The basic structure is fan-like, resulting from variation in the use of the words shown towards the right of the figure: “I”, “or” and “but”. However, the most striking feature is that the extremal postings to the left, the putatively least deceptive, are the same

    5.

    DISCUSSION

    The goal of this analysis is to provide shortcuts for analysts by ranking postings in order of properties of interest, so that only some top part of the ranking need be examined in detail. Ranking using the content of documents shows that postings to this forum are of two quite distinct kinds. Ranking is of limited usefulness, since length plays a large role in distance from the origin. Different normalizations are possible and might produce an interestingness ranking, but “interesting” here means roughly “on topic” so this may not be very

    Figure 8: Structure of the words in the deception model. useful. Ranking using an existing model of Salafist-jihadist word usage patterns turns out to be surprisingly useful, producing a single-factorial ranking of postings where the top-ranked documents do indeed seem to be significant. Ranking using the deception model also turns out to be useful, although in a slightly surprising way. Documents that rank highly on the Salafist-jihadi scale rank low on the deception scale. This may be a signal for sincerity, or a result of stylistic markers acquired during radicalization.

    6.

    REFERENCES

    [1] M. Koppel, N. Akiva, E. Alshech, and K. Bar. Automatically classifying documents by ideological and organizational affiliation. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI 2009), pages 176–178, 2009. [2] M. Newman, J. Pennebaker, D. Berry, and J. Richards. Lying words: Predicting deception from linguistic style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29:665–675, 2003. [3] J. Pennebaker, M. Francis, and R. Booth. Linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC). Erlbaum Publishers, 2001.

    Words in the Koppel model, ranked from top left to bottom right Jihad Parents How Platform Religion Much Monotheism Muslim Family Mujahideen Worlds Ye Way Oppressors Alone Unbelievers Word Understand Infidelity Idolaters Say Faithful Nation Was Tyrants War Rahim They Abi The Fighting Rahman Were God More Revealed Themselves Jewish Taymiyyah Faith Command When Juggernaut Right Earth Folk Greater Mercy Believers Those Prophet Combat Under Struggler Killing Iraq Them America Falsehood Companions Some You Governance Almighty Kfar Minimum Country Shirk These Afghanistan Who Youth Enemy People Terrorism Messenger O Said Including Entire Force Islam Trial Illusion Name Table 1: Top ranked words indicative of Salafist-jihadi ideology in contrast to other forms of Islamic thought, from Koppel et al. [1]. The word set is in Arabic and was translated using Google Translate, introducing some artifacts. For example, “rahman” would usually be written as “merciful” in English, but “kuffar” could appear either transliterated or translated as “infidel”. We ignored such effects, since repeating the experiments with a set translated by a human made little difference. In practice, if an automated tool is ‘good enough’ it should be preferred, since Arabic speakers remain rare in intelligence settings. “Shirk” here is the Arabic word meaning “associating partners in the worship of Allah”; Taymiyyah was a 14th Century Islamic theologian whose ideas have strongly influenced the most conservative versions of Islam.




    Categories First-person pronouns Exclusive words Negative-emotion words

    Motion verbs

    Keywords I, me, my, mine, myself, I’d, I’ll, I’m, I’ve but, except, without, although, besides, however, nor, or, rather, unless, whereas hate, anger, enemy, despise, dislike, abandon, afraid, agony, anguish, -------, -----, boring, crazy, dumb, disappointed, disappointing, f-word, suspicious, stressed, sorry, jerk, tragedy, weak, worthless, ignorant, inadequate, inferior, jerked, lie, lied, lies, lonely, loss, terrible, hated, hates, greed, fear, devil, lame, vain, wicked walk, move, go, carry, run, lead, going, taking, action, arrive, arrives, arrived, bringing, driven, carrying, fled, flew, follow, followed, look, take, moved, goes, drive

    Table 2: The 86 words used by the Pennebaker model of deception.

    https://mafiadoc.com/applying-intere...5358b4567.html
    Last edited by Abz2000; 6 Days Ago at 07:58 PM.
    Oh Syria the victory is coming













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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria's northwest province of Idlib, as Western powers challenged Syria and its ally, Russia, to provide assurances that attacks on hospitals and schools would stop. Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, UN humanitarian affairs coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said there had been concern about the escalating situation in Idlib for months.

    The UN warned that three million civilians are at risk as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces - backed by the Russians - have launched an offensive. Hospitals have been bombed and aid agencies have been forced to suspend their work.






    What is needed.

    Last edited by Junon; 3 Days Ago at 11:15 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    It's been seven years since this thread was created and "victory" (whatever that means ) isn't in sight. I don't expect any change seven years later.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_Ghazali View Post
    It's been seven years since this thread was created and "victory" (whatever that means ) isn't in sight. I don't expect any change seven years later.
    Thank you for your profoundly worthless contribution to this thread.

    More importantly another update.



    Turkey-backed fighters join forces with HTS rebels in Idlib

    Rival armed groups ally with each other in northern Syria against President Assad's forces in a 'battle for survival'.


    Turkey-backed rebels poured fighters onto the front line in northeastern Syria, joining forces with a rival armed group to beat back government troops from a town they had recaptured earlier this month.

    Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) seized the town of Kfar Nabuda in Idlib province on Tuesday with the help of the National Liberation Front (NLF), a conglomeration of rebel groups supported by Ankara. The town had been retaken by the Syrian government in its recent assault.

    More than 80 combatants were killed in the battle for the town, according to the UK-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Mostafa Maarati - spokesman of the Al-Ezzah Army, which took part in the Kfar Nabuda operation and is part of the NLF - said it assisted HTS to protect rebel-held territory from President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a "common enemy".

    "The liberation operation had been planned in a mutual operation room that includes all the groups on the ground," Maarati told Al Jazeera. "They coordinated the use of anti-armour missiles and other weapons."

    NLF has clashed with HTS, formerly the al-Qaeda wing in Syria, over ideological differences and also over territorial control. HTS took over numerous NLF-run towns and villages, but united with its adversary to oppose Assad's army.

    "Our goal is not only Kfar Nabuda, we will keep moving until we topple the tyrant Bashar Assad and liberate all our land," said Maarati.

    'Battle for survival'

    A senior commander with a moderate rebel group in the NLF, who spoke to Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity, said despite their differences rebel groups are coordinating in a "battle for survival".

    "We cannot say they merged, but the people of the liberated north were attacked, their homes were destroyed, and their towns were occupied, so all of them had to defend their land together," he said.

    Adnan, a resident of Kfar Nabuda whose real name was not used for security reasons, has been hiding in a nearby town since the government began shelling and ground operations in late April. He gave an account of the plight of people as the attack unfolded and power changed hands.

    "At 11pm on Monday, April 29, the army of the regime started to bomb unarmed civilians who were sleeping," he said. "Kfar Nabuda's people fled without carrying any of their belongings. They were just trying to escape death.

    "On Tuesday evening, a large-scale military action of all factions of the Syrian revolution began. They managed to liberate Kfar Nabuda completely."

    He said the rebels captured or destroyed a number of military vehicles and seized ammunition depots and medium and heavy weapons.

    About 200,000 civilians have fled their homes since the Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air power, began its latest offensive.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/...172523064.html

    Fierce fighting.



    Brother Bilals been injured.





    Latest update.



    An appeal

    Last edited by Junon; 9 Hours Ago at 11:34 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Junon View Post
    Thank you for your profoundly worthless contribution to this thread.
    So stating facts is now "worthless?" All you're doing is copy/pasting twitter stuff and spreading more fitna. Some contribution.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_Ghazali View Post
    So stating facts is now "worthless?" All you're doing is copy/pasting twitter stuff and spreading more fitna. Some contribution.
    Wish I could do more but I'm a busy man, and as a general rule don't like 'debating' on the internet for obvious reasons.

    Oh some friendly advice dearest 'brother', do try to do better with your 'masquerade', the mods on this forum dont take kindly to those who 'masquerade' as something they are not.


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