Τετάρτη, 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Ανακοίνωση του PKK για τους βαλτούς από το Τουρκικό κράτος Φονταμενταλιστές και τους παρακρατικούς μηχανισμούς..


30 Dec 2014 –  The AKP administration and its paramilitary force, Hüda-Par, are continuing their armed attacks on our people in Silopi, Gever(Yuksekova), and particularly Cizre. Special police and military forces open fire on our people from the positions they have taken within the buildings belonging to Hüda-Par. Under polis supervision, the paramilitary forces of Hüda-Par are carrying out attacks against the people. Till now, a lot of patriots have been injured; two people have fallen martyr, one of them a child. The bloody attacks have been launched by the police and military forces of the AKP administration and the paramilitary forces of Hüda-Par.
     If there is a provocation in question, the AKP administration is its mastermind and practitioner. As for Hüda-Par, it is only a front organization. Hüda-Par, which has the blood of hundreds of patriot Kurds on its hands, is spuriously and grimily committing these atrocities and brutalities under the name of Islam, just as IS does. They personate themselves as Muslims; they are lying. Hüda-Par is as much Muslim as ISIS is. The visual and print media of Hüda-Par are making broadcasts round-the-clock, conflict mongering, provoking and openly threatening the people. It is clear that Hüda-Par is being heartened by the AKP administration as it used to serve the same during the 1990s. Therefore, Hüda-Par is nothing but the paramilitary force of colonial policies.
   Hüda-Par is the legal continuation of Hizbullah’s legacy. In an attempt to eliminate the Kurds and their basic freedom rights, the Hizbullah committed a lot of crimes in complicity with the Turkish state against the Kurds. Having paid no price for freedom and democracy struggle, Hüda-Par, as a continuation of Hizbullah, has returned to old practices, attacking the freedom and democracy struggle of the Kurdish people. Hüda-Par has no other merits other than these crimes . The Kurds should know inside out of this paramilitary group with its criminal record full of dark events.
   The AKP administration should know very well that its support is essential for Hüda-Par’s existence. The AKP administration should stop supporting and using ISIS in Rojava and Hüda-Par in Bakur (North Kurdistan) against the freedom movement. Nothing can be more dirty and dangerous than the AKP’s use of Hüda-Par to nurture enmity against the Kurds.
     Our people should act sensibly, raise their struggle and develop their own self-defense measures against the forces against freedom and democracy.
30 December
KCK Co-Presidency

Η άμεση παρέμβαση του αμερικάνικου ιμπεριαλισμού στο Κουρδικό..


By Robin Wright – Wall Street Journal – Posted 2014-12-31 06:57 GMT / The numbers say a lot about the U.S.-led intervention in Syria.

Two figures illustrate U.S. strategy on the different, albeit intertwined, wars playing out in Syria: one focused on Islamic State and the other on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. As of Dec. 30, the United States and a few allied air forces have launched more than 420 airstrikes since Sept. 1 against bands of Islamic State fighters in Kobani, a small town on the Turkish border. Kobani once had a population of 40,000.
The strikes are intended to help a local Kurdish militia hold on to its town, which has been largely depopulated and destroyed. In contrast, the U.S.-led coalition has launched only 21 airstrikes on the outskirts of Aleppo, one of the world’s oldest cities and one of the largest in Syria. Aleppo has a population of more than 2 million. The strikes hit ISIS targets but have assiduously avoided targeting Mr. Assad’s forces, which control about half of Aleppo and are threatening to encircle the city to starve it–as they have done elsewhere in Syria.
The other part of Aleppo is held largely by U.S.-backed rebels. They are gradually losing the battle to keep the most strategic city outside the Syrian capital. But Washington and its allies do not want to get directly sucked into Syria’s civil war.The numbers reflect the mounting costs of the U.S. intervention–and what’s to come. They suggest impact, and a time frame for yet another long war in the region. Washington has acknowledged that its new initiative will last at least three years, during which it hopes to train 5,000 fighters each year. The goal is not to defeat the Assad regime militarily but to pressure it to negotiate with the rebels.
The Pentagon said this month that costs of the first four months of Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq had surpassed $1 billion, with expenses running about $8 million a day–or more than $330,000 an hour. (And that’s before training and equipping of a new rebel militia begins.)But the pace and range of the airstrikes has increased since the first strike on Iraq in August, which indicates that costs will rise. One Tomahawk cruise missile costs around $1.2 million, on top of the expense to man and fuel the two warships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf from which they are fired. Hellfire missiles, which are dropped from U.S. warplanes, each cost around $100,000.
Warplanes are expensive to operate. A B-1 bomber runs about $58,000 to fly just for one hour. F-15E fighter bombers cost more than $39,000 an hour. The F-22 Raptor, the most sophisticated American warplane, which made its debut runs on Syria, costs $68,000 an hour to operate. The plane itself costs $350 million.
Military output is not the only expense of the war against Islamic State. Other major costs include the aid needed to feed and/or house many of the more than 3 million refugees outside Syria and the 9 million displaced inside Syria, and the losses in productivity rippling across the Middle East. Then there is the vast destruction wrought, particularly in Syria.
The United States has provided around $3 billion in largely humanitarian aid for Syria. But thanks to the growing influx of refugees, the U.N. World Food Program had to suspend aid to 1.7 million Syrians this month because it ran out of money. (It needed an additional $64 million to make it through the end of the year.)
An urgent appeal got a short-term respite, but more Syrians are certain to be displaced or flee the country as the battles continue.Syria’s economy is in shambles. At least half of the workforce is without a job, according to a Deutsche Welle report. A World Bank report this month estimated that “The greater Levant region has lost $35 billion in income due the Syrian War and the spread of ISIS.” The war “imposed enormous human, social and economic costs and put a halt to the regional trade integration process, thus undermining development with serious implications for the future of the Levant,” World Bank economists Elena Ianchovichina and Maros Ivanic wrote. One number is particularly telling. The four-month air campaign on Kobani–which accounts for 30% of all airstrikes in Syria and Iraq–have killed about a thousand ISIS fighters in that city, according to U.S. officials. But the Islamic State flag still flies in part of Kobani. And at the end of 2014, most of the rest of Syria is held by extremist militias or Assad government troops.

MESOP: Iran wants to conquer Iraq – so the battle continues Iraq & Iran Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement / More military support from Iranians to Iraqi army

Basnews – 31.12.2014 – TEHRAN – In a second round of talks between the Iraqi and Iranian defense Ministers in the Iranian capital Tehran on Tuesday, they signed a memorandum of understanding for further military cooperation in a step to strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries. Iranian minister Hossein Dahqan and his Iraqi counterpart Khaled al-Obaidi signed a defense and military cooperation to bolster military coordination between Baghdad and Tehran.
The Iranian government released a statement regarding the agreement, saying that both sides “Agreed to continue cooperation in the defense arena with the creation of a national army to protect the territorial integrity and security of Iraq.”Iran has played a leading role in Iraq recently with Iranian military commanders helping the Iraqi army and Shiite militia groups in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) militants. “The two sides stressed the need for consultations to ensure security, because terrorism affects not only security in Iraq but security throughout the region,” the statement concluded.

Iran formed local force in Iraq / A full scale Iranian Invasion into Iraq

Waar, Duhok: – 31 Dec 2014 – Iranian government has formed a local force in Iraq which is ten times of Hezbullah fighters. The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary guard Sardar Hossein Salami said that his country has shifted its Islamic revolution to Iraq and formed a local force that is ten times the size of Hezbullah in Lebanon. The US has previously expressed their fear over the increase of the number of Iranian forces in Shia-majority areas in Iraq, and according to US source, 10,000 revolutionary guardians have been deployed to Iraq.

Mesop / Αναδημοσιεύσεις για την διείσδυση των ισλαμιστών και των τουρκικών υπηρεσιών στην Γερμανία..

Entwarnung! Alles gut mit dem Islam in Deutschland / Henryk M. Broder


Wir sollen muslimische Feiertage einführen – aber uns nicht vor einer Islamisierung fürchten? Ob sie droht, ist keine Frage der Quantität, sondern der Einstellung der Mehrheitsgesellschaft.Vor beinahe elf Jahren, im Februar 2004, gab es im Lübecker Theater eine Diskussion im Vorfeld der Bewerbung der Stadt zur Kulturhauptstadt Europas. Mit dabei auch “ein leibhaftiger Nobelpreisträger”, der kurz zuvor einen Vorschlag unterbreitet hatte: “Man möge doch eine Lübecker Kirche zur Moschee umwidmen.”
Es war Günter Grass, die “Lübecker Ein-Mann-Lichterkette”, der “wieder einmal den G-Punkt einer Klientel stimuliert hatte, die im Bestreben, nicht intolerant zu scheinen, einen Masochismus pflegt, der der Selbstaufgabe nahekommt”, schrieb damals Gunther Latsch im “Spiegel”. Er war nicht der Einzige, der von der Idee wenig angetan war. “Zu provokativ”, befand die damalige Bischöfin von Holstein-Lübeck, Bärbel Wartenberg-Potter. “Man könnte ja das Günter-Grass-Haus zur Moschee machen”, meinte der Vorsitzende der Nordelbischen Kirche, Bischof Hans Christian Knuth.
Neun Monate später, im November 2004, sagte der Grüne Hans-Christian Ströbele, er befürworte die Einführung eines “gesetzlichen Feiertages” für die in Deutschland lebenden Muslime. Im Gegenzug könnte “einer der vielen christlichen Feiertage” abgeschafft werden. Fünf Jahre später tischte Ströbele den Vorschlag wieder auf. “Ein gesetzlicher Feiertag wäre ein gutes Zeichen, dass wir den Islam als Weltreligion ernst nehmen.” Außerdem könnten Muslime ihre Nachbarn zum gemeinsamen Feiern einladen. Ströbeles Anregung verhallte unerhört.
Wolfgang Schäuble in der Moschee
Weitere fünf Jahre und zahllose Debatten weiter stellt sich die Lage ganz anders dar. Trotz der Blutbäder in Syrien und im Irak, trotz des Aufstiegs des Islamischen Staates und der Ausrufung eines Kalifats, trotz der zahllosen Anschläge und Selbstmordattentate, die im Namen Allahs und seines Propheten begangen werden, trotz aller Umtriebe einheimischer Salafisten, die ihre Verachtung für die “Ungläubigen” ganz ungeniert ausleben, trotz alldem nimmt die Bereitschaft, sich mit dem Islam zu arrangieren, nicht ab, sondern zu. Oder gerade deswegen.
Kein Mensch würde es heute riskieren, den Islamverstehern einen “Masochismus” zu attestieren, der einer Selbstaufgabe nahekommt. Es wird penibel zwischen Islam und Islamismus differenziert, als ob das eine mit dem anderen rein gar nichts zu tun hätte. “Wovor sich die Menschen zu Recht fürchten, ist nicht der Islam, sondern der islamistische Terror”, sagt Wolfgang Schäuble. Woher will der Finanzminister das wissen? Hat er bei Allensbach eine repräsentative Umfrage in Auftrag gegeben? Oder gar selbst in Neukölln recherchiert? Wie viele Moscheen hat er besucht, um beurteilen zu können, welche dem Islam dienen und welche den Islamismus propagieren?
Derweil bringt der niedersächsische Ministerpräsident Stephan Weil (SPD) die Idee eines muslimischen Feiertages wieder ins Gespräch. Man denke darüber nach, das Feiertagsgesetz zu ändern, um “islamische Feste als religiöse Feiertage” anerkennen zu können. Zugleich überbieten sich Politiker aller Parteien darin, dem leicht irritierten Volk zu versichern, eine “Islamisierung” finde nicht statt. Es ist, als würden Meteorologen angesichts eines heraufziehenden Gewitters den Leuten raten, ihre Regenmäntel daheim zu lassen.
Warum haben wir keine “Asien-Konferenz”?
Die Frage ist: Wie definiert man “Islamisierung”? Natürlich wird der Sonntag nicht auf den Freitag verlegt. In den Kantinen der Bundeswehr wird nicht halal gekocht. Der Kölner Dom bleibt ein katholisches Gotteshaus. Die Herstellung und der Konsum alkoholischer Getränke werden nicht verboten. Hopfen und Malz dürfen weiter angebaut, Schweine gezüchtet werden. Alles bleibt, wie es ist. Beinahe.
Die “schleichende Landnahme”, die der Neuköllner Bürgermeister Heinz Buschkowsky beschreibt, findet nicht nur in den Schulen und auf den Straßen der “Problemviertel” statt. Seit über 13 Jahren, genauer: seit dem 11. September 2001, wird der öffentliche Diskurs zu einem erheblichen Teil von einem Thema und seinen vielen Facetten dominiert. Vorbei die Zeiten, da über Dosenpfand, Eigenheimzulage und Pendlerpauschale debattiert wurde.
Heute geht es um die Mängel “unserer Willkommenskultur”, um Ehrenmorde und Intensivtäter, um das Kopftuch im Unterricht und die Burka im Supermarkt, um die Befreiung von Klassenfahrten und Sportunterricht, um Gebetsräume in Schulen, um “kultursensible Pflege” in Kliniken, um die Grenzen der Meinungsfreiheit, um Respekt vor religiösen Gefühlen.
Eine weitgehend säkulare Gesellschaft, in der sogar die Kirchen das Prinzip der Trennung von Kirche und Staat bejahen und die Intellektuellen nach wie vor der Ansicht sind, Religionen seien “Opium fürs Volk”, hat ihr Herz für das Religiöse entdeckt, allerdings nur für ein Angebot aus dem großen Supermarkt der Religionen – und zwar ausgerechnet das Angebot, das seine Präsenz im öffentlichen Diskurs der Gewaltbereitschaft verdankt, mit der es immer wieder Respekt einfordert. Dies festzustellen, gilt bereits als “islamophob”, ungeachtet der Tatsache, dass es eben keine “Asien-Konferenz” beim Innenminister gibt und der “Migrationshintergrund” der Japaner, die in Düsseldorf leben, nicht einmal wahrgenommen wird.
   Ab wann könnte man denn in Sachsen von der Gefahr einer Islamisierung sprechen? Ab 40.000, also einem Prozent? Oder müssten es schon zehn Prozent sein?
Aber in Sachsen gehen die Uhren anders. Da seien Demonstrationen gegen die Islamisierung sinnlos, denn in dem Freistaat, so heißt es immer, würden nur 4000 Muslime leben, gerade mal ein Promille der Bevölkerung. Diese Argumentation ist, ohne dass es ihren Protagonisten bewusst wäre, wohlwollend rassistisch. Sie unterstellt, dass es auf die Menge ankommt. Ab wann könnte man denn von der Gefahr einer Islamisierung sprechen? Ab 40.000, also einem Prozent? Oder müssten es schon zehn Prozent sein?
Dabei kommt es auf die Zahl, wenn überhaupt, zuletzt an. Entscheidend ist nicht einmal das Verhalten der Minderheit, sondern die Haltung der Mehrheitsgesellschaft. Wenn über die Umwidmung von Kirchen in Moscheen geredet wird, wenn Weihnachtsmärkte in Wintermärkte umbenannt werden, wenn ahnungslose Ignoranten sich dafür starkmachen, dass in den Weihnachtsgottesdiensten muslimische Lieder gesungen werden, wenn die Generalsekretärin der SPD den Begriff “Islamischer Staat” mit einem Bann belegen möchte, weil er die Ehre der Muslime verletzt (der Begriff und nicht das, was der Islamische Staat anstellt), dann kann von der Gefahr einer Islamisierung nicht die Rede sein, dann ist sie bereits in vollem Gange.
Natürlich braucht Deutschland Zuwanderung. Natürlich müssen Flüchtlinge aufgenommen werden. Natürlich kann eine Nation, die von der Globalisierung profitiert, sich nicht von der Welt abschotten. Das sind alles Binsen, so selbstverständlich, dass nur noch über das Wie geredet werden muss.
Wenn sich aber eine nationale Einheitsfront formiert, in der die christlichen Kirchen, der Zentralrat der Juden, die Gewerkschaften, das Handwerk, die Arbeitgeber und die üblichen Verdächtigen aus dem Kulturbetrieb Seit an Seit marschieren und alle, die an dieser Prozession nicht teilnehmen wollen, zu Dumpfbacken, Nationalisten, Rassisten, Nazis und einer “Schande für Deutschland” erklärt werden, dann stimmt irgendetwas nicht mit der gelebten Demokratie in unserem Land.
Der Evangelist Matthäus würde Amok laufen
Dann sind wir nicht auf dem Wege in eine neue DDR, sondern bereits mittendrin. Dann werden wieder Sündenböcke gebraucht und gebrandmarkt. Wobei es nicht um das Wohl der Flüchtlinge und Zuwanderer geht, sondern darum, ein Gesellschaftsmodell zu retten, das sich als dysfunktional erwiesen hat. Eine Politik des “Weiter-so!”, des “Augen zu und durch!” des “Uns geht es ja noch gut!”
Möglicherweise ist, wie bei den beiden anderen großen Projekten, dem Euro und der Energiewende und einigen kleineren wie dem Berliner Flughafen, der Point of no Return bereits überschritten. Und weil man nicht zurückkann, muss man weiter machen, koste es, was es wolle. Denn ein U-Turn wäre noch teurer und mit dem Eingeständnis verbunden, dass man sich geirrt hat.
Also wird rumgeeiert. Kurz vor Heiligabend gab der Ratsvorsitzende der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland, der bayerische Landesbischof Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, ein Interview, in dem er auf die Frage, ob der Islam zu Deutschland gehöre, antwortete: “Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, zu sagen: Die Muslime gehören zu Deutschland, aber ihre Religion nicht.”
Nach einer solchen Antwort wäre Matthäus (“Eure Rede aber sei: Ja, ja, nein, nein. Was drüber ist, das ist von Übel”) Amok gelaufen und hätte den Bischof seines Amtes enthoben. Weil aber kein Evangelist eingriff, machte der EKD-Vorsitzende weiter. Er verurteilte die Verbrechen des IS, verwies aber zugleich auf das Gebot der Feindesliebe: “Wenn ein IS-Kämpfer von einer Granate zerfetzt wird, dann ist das Anlass zur Trauer, weil ein Mensch gestorben ist.”


Von Walter Otte / Memet Kilic – 30. Dez 2014  – BERLIN. (hpd) “Wer Islamisten nicht bekämpft, kann Pegida nicht bekämpfen” – diese Äußerung bei Twitter hat Memet Kilic einen wütenden Kommentar in der Deutsch-Türkischen Zeitung eingebracht. Dort wird ihm vorgeworfen, er habe die Mehrzahl der türkischen Immigranten als “Islamisten” diffamiert. Starker Tobak ist der Vorwurf – gerade bei einem Politiker, der zu differenzieren weiß. Aber bei den Erdogan-Freunden ist Kilic nicht gut gelitten – eher schon ist er ein veritables Hassobjekt.
Memet Kilic, von 2009 bis 2014 Mitglied der Grünen-Fraktion des Bundestags, scheut bei aller Differenziertheit aber auch nicht, wenn es nötig ist, vor klaren Worten zurück. So hat er den jetzigen türkischen Präsidenten Erdogan als Menschenrechtsverbrecher bezeichnet, scharf gegen die Unterdrückung der Gezipark-Bewegung protestiert und im Jahr 2012 das Kölner Urteil zu Knabenbeschneidungen als “einen Denkanstoß” bezeichnet, “der der Justiz in einem säkularen Staat durchaus zukommt”, den Regierungsentwurf Pro-Beschneidung abgelehnt und stattdessen den Alternativentwurf unterstützt, der die Entscheidung über Beschneidungen auf das Alter der Religionsmündigkeit verschiebt.
Wer formuliert: “Denken Sie nur daran: im Petitionsausschuss beschäftigen wir uns gerade damit, ob man Pferde wirklich brandmarken muss oder ob es nicht mildere Verfahren gibt. Da sollte die Frage nach der Beschneidung kleiner Jungen auch kein Tabu sein”, macht sich im islamistischen Lager gewiss keine Freunde. Und wer den Bundespräsidenten kritisiert, weil dieser Thilo Sarazzin gelobt hat, macht sich auf der anderen Seite, bei den deutschnationalen Populisten, den Pegida-Verstehern und deren intellektuellen Unterstützern, ebenfalls keine Freunde.
Memet Kilic hat jetzt auf die Angriffe der Deutsch-Türkischen Zeitung mit einem Offenen Brief reagiert. Darin bekräftigt er seine Aussage, dass Pegida nur bekämpfen könne, wer auch Islamisten bekämpft, und verwahrt sich gegen diffamierende Angriffe. Pikanterweise kommen diese von einem Ozan Ceyhan, Ex-Grüner und jetzt SPD-Mitglied (zeitweilig für die SPD im Europaparlament), seit einiger Zeit auch Berater von Erdogans AKP. Ceyhan wird unwiderlegt nachgesagt, er habe bereits die AKP-Hetze gegen Cem Özdemir unterstützt. Pikanterweise kommen die Angriffe auch von Kilic’ grüner “Parteifreundin” Nebahat Güclü, die ihm auf Facebook vorgeworfen hat, alle (alle!) Muslime als Islamisten bezeichnet zu haben.Memet Kilic warnt eindringlich vor “Marionetten” Erdogans in der deutschen Politik. Es scheint, nicht zu Unrecht.
Pegida: Erdogans Truppen und Rechtsradikale schaukeln sich gegenseitig hoch – Seine Marionetten sind auch in der deutschen Politik aktiv
Am 3. November 2011 habe ich über die Deutsche Welle (TV) die Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel davor gewarnt, sich vor Herrn Erdogan tot zu stellen, wenn er Deutschland angreift, weil er in der Türkei zu punkten versucht. Diese Warnung wurde nicht nur von der Bundeskanzlerin, sondern ebenso von der Politik weitgehend nicht wahrgenommen. Sicherlich hat die gefährliche Bewegung von Pegida mehrere Ursachen. Eine dieser Ursachen ist wohl die, dass viele Bürger in diesem Land nicht den Eindruck gewinnen können, dass die deutsche Politik ernsthaft und ausreichend etwas gegen Islamisten im In- und Ausland unternimmt. Erdogan hat inzwischen eine eigene Polizei- und Geheimdienstpartei aufgebaut, die Pressefreiheit abgeschafft, die Freiheit der Meinung, Kunst und Wissenschaft auf das Niveau von anderen totalitären Staaten reduziert. Die Justiz funktioniert nur, wenn es um das Decken seiner Korruptionsaffären und der seiner Partei gehen. Mit dem neuen Geheimdienstgesetz hat er die Grundlagen dafür geschaffen, dass der Geheimdienst, der zum Geheimdienst einer Partei geworden ist, jetzt auf gesetzlicher Grundlage im Ausland operieren kann. Während der Gezi-Proteste haben ich und andere deutsche Demokraten die bittere Erfahrung gemacht, dass viele Funktionäre von Islamischen Verbänden (auch die als „liberal“ angenommene DITIB) über die Sozialmedien gegen Demokraten Hetze betrieben, beschimpft und gedroht haben. Diese Leute haben auf Knopfdruck Erdogans autoritäres Regime verteidigt, Tötungen von Demonstranten durch die Polizei für gerechtfertigt gehalten. Ein Teil dieser bedrohten und beleidigten Menschen befindet sich jetzt womöglich bei den gefährlichen Demonstrationen von Pegida.
Erdogans Geheimdienst organisiert jetzt auch in Deutschland Hetzkampagnen auch mit Hilfe von Politikern, die in deutschen Parteien tätig sind.
Das jüngste Beispiel betrifft meine Wenigkeit: Ich habe am 24.12.2014 folgendes auf Twitter verfasst: “Wer Islamisten nicht bekämpft, kann Pegida nicht bekämpfen. Die erste Aufgabe wurde sträflich vernachlässigt (Erdogan und seine Truppen)”.
Daraufhin hat der neue Propaganda-Schattenminister von Erdogans Geheimdienst, Ozan Ceyhun (SPD-Mitglied), mit Inhaltsverfälschungen eine Hetzkampagne gegen meine Person gestartet, die auf Twitter, Facebook und sogar auf dem Mainstream-Kanal ATV Avrupa zu verfolgen war.
In der sog. “Deutsch-Türkischen-Zeitung”, in der Herr Ceyhun einen neuen Job gefunden hat, werde ich auch als Alevit angegriffen, womit Rassisten, die Aleviten hassen, auf den Plan gerufen werden. Man schürt auf diese Weise auch einen Alevitenhass in Deutschland und zielt auf das friedliche Zusammenleben in diesem Land.Man wird jetzt entgegnen, wen es denn wundere, dass eine Partei, die einem Herrn Sarazzin eine politische Heimat bietet, auch einen Kettenhund von Erdogan beherbergt. Richtig!
Mich wundert es aber, dass die Marionetten von Erdogan mittlerweile auch bei meiner Partei, Bündnis ´90 die Grünen als Kandidaten aufgestellt werden. Auf den gleichen Knopf gedrückt und zur gleichen Zeit beschuldigt mich Frau Nebahat Güclü über Facebook, alle Moslems als Islamisten bezeichnet zu haben. Sie wirft mir Pauschalität und Undifferenziertheit vor. Frau Güclü ist anscheinend so dumm, dass sie 1,6 Milliarden Moslems mit den Islamisten Erdogan und seinen Paramilitärs (“Erdogans Truppen”) gleichsetzt.
Nein, das ist sie nicht!
Sie gehört lediglich zu der Gruppe, die von Erdogans Geheimdienst gesteuert wird.
Mal schauen, ob sich die Hamburger Grünen über die Äußerungen von Frau Güclü ebenso wundern werden, wie ich. Ich kann mich nur wiederholen und mahnen: wer Islamisten nicht bekämpft, kann Pegida nicht bekämpfen.
Memet Kilic, MdB a.D.

Τρίτη, 30 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Σημαντικές αναδημοσιεύσεις από το MESOP..


niqash | Khales Joumah | Mosul | – Last week’s victory over the extremist Islamic State group in the Sinjar area has had a significant effect on the extremist-controlled city of Mosul. Foreign fighters have left, the city is flooded with refugees and supply routes are cut off. Locals are afraid of what comes next.
Extremist fighters from the group known as the Islamic State left the Sinjar area the same way they came in during August this year: without any real fighting or pitched battles.    “I feel as if I’m watching the same thing I saw five months ago,” says Maizar al-Shammari, standing in front of his house, which is on the road into Sinjar, watching Iraqi Kurdish troops move forward. “At that time the Peshmerga [Iraqi Kurdish forces] withdrew without a fight. Today the Islamic State group is doing the same thing. It’s as if they just decided to swap roles,” he says.

Ever since the Iraqi Kurdish military began to fight with the Islamic State, or IS, group, Sinjar has been an important piece of terrain for all comers in the conflict. For the IS group it involves a major supply route. For the Iraqi Kurdish the Sinjar region holds a lot of what is described as disputed territory – that is, land that is supposedly part of Iraq proper but which the Iraqi Kurdish believe should belong to their semi-autonomous zone. So the Iraqi Kurdish consider it their land, most likely they would like to take it over by default as has happened in other disputed territory here and they also believe that the Yazidi, an ethno-religious group, that live in Sinnjar are directly related to them, as Kurds. Meanwhile the international coalition that is fighting against the IS group, mostly by airstrikes, sees the Sinjar area as having strategic importance; if blocked, the potential is there to separate the IS group in Iraq from the IS group in Syria.Additionally liberating this area from IS fighters would allow safe passage to the many Yazidis who were still trapped in the area. The issue has made major headlines around the world and involved many humanitarian agencies. One of the best local descriptions of the relationship between Sinjar and Mosul is this one: when Sinjar’s nose is hit, tears run from Mosul’s eyes. Although events are still comparatively distant from Mosul, it’s one of the first times since the start of this security crisis that the city has been this influenced by attacks on the IS group.
Last week Iraqi Kurdish military moved swiftly through the Sinjar area, covering a lot of distance within 24 hours, supported by some of the deadliest air strikes the region has yet seen. Following the IS group’s defeat, the western entrance to Mosul became crowded with displaced people coming from the areas of Tal Afar and Ayadiya where Iraqis of the Turkmen ethnicity dominate the population. It has been reported previously that many of the Turkmen who are also Sunni Muslim may well support the IS group, who are Sunni Muslim extremists. The Turkmen making their way into Mosul were afraid of reprisals from anyone who thought they had sided with the IS group and they were also afraid of being targeted by heavy aerial bombardment, no matter whose side they might be on. Anyone who remained in those areas under the IS group’s control has often been accused of being an ally. But the newly displaced people entering Mosul are an additional burden that the city is unlikely to be able to bear for very long – especially if the roads down which supplies usually come are now closed.
The irony did not escape one local, Laith Hathim, as he stood and watched the newly minted refugees make their way into Mosul. “A few months ago we wanted to escape to their towns. Now they’re seeking shelter in ours,” he remarked.The potential road block for supplies had an almost immediate effect with a huge number of locals heading to markets to stock up on basic food items. There’s already a fuel crisis in Mosul and now it seems it will only get worse, if there is no other fuel coming in from the Syrian side. I’m bored of getting ready for the next crisis,” Hathim told NIQASH. “I wish this was the last time I had to worry about hunger and bombs.” Which is why at first Hathim said he didn’t want to go shopping with all the other people. But when he saw that all his neighbours were also heading to the stores for stocks, he changed his mind. What the people of Mosul now fear most is aerial bombardment of their own city. The memory of the haphazard aerial bombardment carried out by the Iraqi army is still fresh in their minds and they worry the same thing might happen again. Some of them are trying to find places where they might be able to shelter if it comes to this.
While it is true that at the beginning locals in Mosul welcomed the IS group as liberators, now they cannot leave even if they want to. All the roads into Iraqi Kurdistan and toward Baghdad are closed and now the road toward Syria is also blocked. Additionally the IS group is not allowing locals to leave for any length of time and many locals suspect that they will take human shields if they get any deeper into trouble.
In fact there were many locals in Mosul who had been planning to work with people smugglers, paying these to take them into Turkey through Syria illegally. But now even this dangerous adventure cannot be undertaken.
In the city of Mosul itself it seems as though the IS group is at a loss. Members of the IS group are still on the city’s streets but most of the foreign fighters appear to have gone. The ones left on the streets tend to be younger, local fighters some of whom don’t even seem to be 25 yet. Some of the fighters on the streets admit that they’ve been forced to withdraw from Sinjar but only very quietly. “For the first time you can sense the feelings of fear and frustration in the IS group’s fighters,” one Mosul doctor, who had been seeing IS casualties come in, told NIQASH; he had to remain anonymous for security reasons. “As the number of dead and wounded from among their ranks increases, they look more and more like they’ve lost confidence in their leadership.” After the defeat of the IS group in Sinjar, most other locals have been left wondering who might rule the city in the near future. Some say they believe that the IS group will simply withdraw from the city without fighting any heated battles. But others dismiss them, saying this is nothing but the daydream of people who long for some peace.  

Islamic Army of Iraq- 23 December Statement

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi • Dec 28, 2014 – This statement from the Islamic Army in/of Iraq’s spokesman claims that the media are ignoring crimes perpetrated against Sunnis in Iraq. Needless to say, his narrative overlooks some of the more recent media coverage of Shi’a militia excesses against Sunni populations, such as this Reuters report by Ned Parker and Ahmed Rasheed. Meanwhile, the Islamic Army of Iraq continues to pay little heed to the problem of the Islamic State phenomenon, despite admission to problems in the field.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
Praise is due to God the Lord of the Worlds and the Helper of the Oppressed, and prayers and peace be upon His servant and messenger Muhammad the sought one, mercy to the worlds; and prayers and peace be upon all his family and companions, and on the callers to His religion and guidance to the Day of Judgment. As for what follows:
The one who follows media today like the satellite channels and social media related to the Ahl al-Sunna and examines our Sunni reality on the face of the matter and our Iraqi situation in its general aspects should be surprised at the depth of inconsistency between the needs and misfortunes that are familiar with this society and what follows on those media channels that many claim are interested in their grievances and sufferings, for some of them have become so intoxicated that they have become engrossed in an imaginary world that has no link with reality. For example they tell you about the one Iraqi people in terms of its Sunna, Shi’a, Arabs and Kurds, and that the problem in their view is that it is only political!!! Thus has been diminished hearing of those who are being killed and whose abodes are being seized by the militias of Shi’a mobilization with the urging of the fatwas of the seniors of the Shi’a marja’iyyat, such that they have gnashed their teeth and continue to breathe hatred against the Ahl al-Sunna and Islam?!!!! And who are Abu Bakr, Omar and Aisha* to have had their [the marja’iyyas’] Shi’a convoys appear raising placards announcing curses on them and in front of satellite channel cameras?!!!
But naturally the satellite channels and sites reckoned on this movement do not transmit those displays, and even when they report on massacres of the Ahl al-Sunna they do so on the claimed basis that it is only a problem among politicians, despite the fact that there is more agreement among the politicians than ever before that has led them to mutual embrace, for the politicians of the Ahl al-Sunna have generally kept silent, ignored the suffering of their people, let the formation of the government pass through, the manner of their statements has declined, and they have welcomed a new modified copy of Shi’a rule apart from statements of embarrassment from time to time. Thus it is not a problem among the politicians. Rather it is a complex, pathological, deep-rooted problem that lies with Shi’a militias and sectarian gangs that have a historical revenge complex. I am not speaking of a religious program for there is no religious call to undertake the carrying out of those massacres and heinous crimes against the weak and defenceless who are reckoned to be the field of its call, with things having come to such a point that there is the rape of men even in front of cameras. For days ago there appeared revealing photos of a mentally ill old man in Diyala against whom was committed an act that man does not consider whatever may be within his right. So is this only a political problem?!
Some of our media have not transmitted anything worthy of being followed for much of their news consists of fabricated lies, some of them inconsistent and much it is not news of importance to an entire people that has become the greatest displaced population in the world today. Finally some of them are oblivious, occupied with the triviliaties of the news in a world in which the blood of their people is flowing, their taboos are violated, and their abodes are destroyed at the hands of foreigners of every region and colour…I do not doubt that there are those concered to report on the suffering of their people and you see them doing what they can in that regard, but you don’t find any one of them with a well-known satellite channel or even sub-merged, but the best of their capabilities is in designing a poster or a video clip published on Youtube. From that for example I saw a video published by some activists in some organizations that work to provide aid for displaced persons, in which video there appears an old lady- a displaced person- whose interview/story sums up all the suffering and pains of the Ahl al-Sunna […]
Dr. Ibrahim al-Shammary, official spokesman for Islamic Army in/of Iraq.
23 December 2014.
Original here
*- Figures revered by Sunnis in particular. The dichotomy of Omar vs. Ali is particularly relevant re. Sunni-Shi’a sectarian tensions today.


One-sided reporting only helps ISIS – RUDAW – 29 Dec 2014 – The Islamic State, or ISIS, is stronger and more powerful than we think, was the main message of a German journalist who spent 10 days with the group in Syria and Iraq. Did he realize he is being used by the group for their propaganda? Jürgen Todenhöfer (Germany) told the media that ISIS is far more dangerous than Western leaders realize. “They believe in what they are fighting for and are preparing the largest religious cleansing campaign the world has ever seen. They are extremely brutal. They are talking about 500 million people who have to die.” ISIS wants to get rid of all those they consider unbelievers or apostates. The 74-year-old German went to Afghanistan and Iraq before, where he also met other jihadis. He interviewed the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in 2013 because he felt the world was unfairly hostile towards him. This former judge and former (right wing) parliament member shows himself as an anti-war activist, and is strongly anti-American.

Todenhöfer said he was very impressed with the way ISIS is ruling Mosul. They have maintained “an awful sense of normalcy in Mosul,” he told CNN. There is an “almost ecstatic enthusiasm” for the jihadist group in the city. These comments show that he only saw what ISIS wanted him to see. In that sense, he does not differ too much from those the group recruits in the West. And whether he realizes it or not, he is actually helping ISIS to blind them with promises of the ever growing Islamic state they can be part of. It’s the second time the world has been allowed a view inside the state of ISIS: a VICE reporter spent time in ISIS’ stronghold of Raqqa last summer, also showing us happy people willing to kill and die for the caliphate. The problem with both reports is their one-sidedness. Mosul and Raqqa are under control mainly because people are far too afraid to show any discontent. If they do, they know they quite possibly will pay with their lives. Doctors who refused to treat ISIS fighters were killed, as were people who openly doubted God. Although Todenhöfer does agree it is a rule of fear, he does not seem to understand its extent.
Yet, he is of the generation that has witnessed how the Nazis entrapped the whole German state in that same fear in the thirties and forties. Surprisingly, he does not mention the parallels. Like the Nazis, ISIS does not only use fear to suppress people, but also to fight the enemy. ISIS propaganda makes the group into a powerful murder machine, and both soldiers and civilians have fled because of it in Iraq. Likewise, the Nazis presented their army as an unbeatable force.
They share the way they recruit and indoctrinate people: the Nazis used movies and speeches to convince people to support their goal of a Third Empire; ISIS is a champion in using its propaganda, recruiting people from everywhere. And the Hitler Jugend of the Nazis can be compared to the youths that ISIS is indoctrinating and training to be the next generation for the caliphate.
Would anyone in Nazi Germany have told a journalist who was accompanied by members of the SS that they were not happy? Yet, most people were suffering; there was huge poverty, the policy against the Jews was not supported by all, and those with the regime were treated better than others. Mosul now is a city with hardly any electricity or water and where most people have grown poorer because they lost their wages from Baghdad. Many mourn for the loss of their old culture, where people of different backgrounds mixed. The ISIS policy against the Christians is not widely supported at all. The rule forcing women to wear the “niqaab” is hated almost as much as the ban on smoking. At the same time, ISIS is eating in restaurants that no-one can afford anymore, and the foreign fighters get expensive goodies (like Red Bull and chocolate bars) from outside, as well as the newest smart phones.
Mosul is taken over by village people, who brought their simple beliefs and came to ISIS for the salaries it paid. Now, many locals have had to sign up for ISIS too for lack of income. Todenhöfer was impressed that every day 50 people report to the recruiting offices of ISIS – but he did not question it. When Saddam Hussein was in charge in Iraq, journalists would have to work with a minder making sure they would see only what the dictator wanted them to see. The same happens whereever dictatorships blossom – as in the caliphate of ISIS.
Anytime journalists agree on reporting in such situations, they owe it to their public to try to see through the disguises, to question what is shown to them, to search for a bigger truth, and most importantly to show the whole picture. And that’s where Jürgen Todenhöfer failed badly.

MESOP TODAY’S ANALYSIS : Inside the War Against Islamic State

Joseph Rago – The Wall Street Journal – Dec. 26, 2014 – Washington (Interview with General John Allen)

A retired four-star Marine Corps general, now the U.S. ‘special envoy’ in the war against the terrorist army, on reasons for optimism even as a long fight looms.Some six months ago, the Islamic State terrorist army poured south from Syria through Iraq’s Tigris and Euphrates valleys, conquering multiple cities including Mosul and the border city of al Qaim. Iraqi army regulars disintegrated, the offensive carved out a rump state controlling somewhere between a quarter and one-third of Iraq’s sovereign territory, and mass executions, repression and videotaped beheadings followed.

Anticipating a strike on Baghdad and the potential fall of the capital, the U.S. Embassy evacuated 1,500 civilians. At the time, one measure of strategic neglect is that the U.S. was flying only a single surveillance sortie a month over Iraq, following the withdrawal of the last American troops in 2011. Saudi Arabia or Jordan were feared to be the next Islamic State targets. Those calamities were interrupted, and now the first beginnings of a comeback may be emerging against the disorder. Among the architects of the progress so far is John Allen, a four-star Marine Corps general who came out of retirement to lead the global campaign against what he calls “one of the darkest forces that any country has ever had to deal with.”
Gen. Allen is President Obama ’s “special envoy” to the more than 60 nations and groups that have joined a coalition to defeat Islamic State, and there is now reason for optimism, even if not “wild-eyed optimism,” he said in an interview this month in his austere offices somewhere in the corridors of the State Department. He was spending a rare few days stateside by way of Brussels, among the 16 capitals he has visited (many multiple times) as he has helped to coordinate the alliance since accepting the mission in September. At the Brussels conference, the 60 international partners dedicated themselves to the defeat of Islamic State—also known as ISIS or ISIL, though Gen. Allen prefers the loose Arabic vernacular, Daesh. They formalized a strategy around five common purposes—the military campaign, disrupting the flow of foreign fighters, counterfinance, humanitarian relief and ideological delegitimization.
Gen. Allen cautions that there is hard fighting ahead and victory is difficult to define, but he points to gradual yet tangible progress: For the first time, Islamic State has been confronted on the field and defeated, losing the initiative in battle. The Iraqi security forces are being rebuilt with a counteroffensive being planned to retake and hold terrain such as Mosul, Haditha and Beiji. This week the hundreds of members of the Yazidi sect were rescued from a long mountaintop siege.
The roughly 1,400 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that have been conducted so far continue to pound Islamic State positions and restrict advances. The U.S. now flies 60 reconnaissance missions daily.Gen. Allen’s assignment is diplomatic; “I just happen to be a general,” he says. He acts as strategist, broker, mediator, fixer and deal-maker across the large and often fractious coalition, managing relationships and organizing the multi-front campaign. “As you can imagine,” he says, “it’s like three-dimensional chess sometimes.”
Gen. Allen seems governed by an abiding duty to the region and, perhaps, a job left unfinished. In 2006-08, as the deputy commander of Multinational Division West, he served in Anbar, in the deserts spreading west of Baghdad to the Syrian and Jordanian borders. Anbar was then among Iraq’s most violent and dangerous regions, the core of the terror insurgency, and Gen. Allen played an important role in the success of Gen. David Petraeus ’s “surge.”
A scholar-soldier, Gen. Allen cultivated relationships with the Sunni tribes, immersed himself in local culture and history, and helped nurture the Anbar Awakening and U.S. reconciliation initiatives as tribal leaders allied with the U.S. to defeat al Qaeda in Iraq. “I cleaved to John Allen,” says Ryan Crocker, then the U.S. ambassador. “When I needed to know what was going on out in al-Anbar, west Iraq, the tribes—who would do what, who would not do what, what we needed to do—he was the go-to guy.”
Gen. Petraeus adds in an email that Gen. Allen “pursued this effort brilliantly” and “contributed importantly to the achievement of what we termed ‘critical mass’ in the Anbar Awakening that helped set off a chain reaction with reconciliation rippling up and down the Euphrates River Valley in Anbar.” By the time the surge ended in summer 2008, enemy attacks had fallen by more than 80%. Gen. Allen went on to lead NATO forces in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013 and was poised to become Supreme Allied Commander Europe, among the military’s most prestigious overseas posts. Instead, after nearly 38 years in uniform, he retired, citing the strain of his deployment on his wife and two daughters. Now Gen. Allen has returned to Iraq, where Anbar especially is once again the site of “humanitarian calamity and crisis.” There are some 20 million refugees fleeing Islamic State or the Syrian civil war. “You have Syrians who have fled to Iraq, sort of implausibly, but in fact, that’s the case,” he says.
Unlike its antecedent al Qaeda in Iraq, Islamic State is something new, “a truly unparalleled threat to the region that we have not seen before.” Al Qaeda in Iraq “did not have the organizational depth, they didn’t have the cohesion that Daesh has exhibited in so many places.” The group has seized territory, dominated population centers and become self-financing—“they’re even talking about generating their own currency.”
But the major difference is that “we’re not just fighting a force, you know, we’re fighting an idea,” Gen. Allen says. Islamic State has created an “image that it is not just an extremist organization, not just a violent terrorist organization, but an image that it is an Islamic proto-state, in essence, the Islamic caliphate.” It is an “image of invincibility and image of an advocate on behalf of the faith of Islam.”
This ideology has proved to be a powerful recruiting engine, especially internationally. About 18,000 foreign nationals have traveled to fight in Iraq or the Syria war, some of them Uighurs or Chechens but many from Western countries like the U.K., Belgium, Australia and the U.S. About 10,000 have joined Islamic State, Gen. Allen says.
“Often these guys have got no military qualifications whatsoever,” he continues. “They just came to the battlefield to be part of something that they found attractive or interesting. So they’re most often the suicide bombers. They are the ones who have undertaken the most horrendous depredations against the local populations. They don’t come out of the Arab world. . . . They don’t have an association with a local population. So doing what people have done to those populations is easier for a foreign fighter.” Among the coalition’s major goals is to prevent these vicarious jihadists from arriving in the region—or from returning to their home countries. The coalition is locking down passports and creating more stringent screening at airports and border crossings world-wide. A similar effort is under way to interdict Islamic State’s funding, though the challenge is that the group generally doesn’t rely on outside sponsors or traditional financial institutions that can be sanctioned. Black-market oil revenues and stolen money from Iraqi and Syrian banks mean Islamic State can pay for weapons, ammunition, vehicles and salaries for mercenaries.
“We have been bombing the dickens out of the modular refineries and tanker trucks” to disrupt the illicit oil business, Gen. Allen says, but Islamic State is turning to more pernicious methods: “Massive widespread criminal activity, largely extortion, in other words, shaking down the several million people that live under their domination. Sadly, kidnap for ransom is generating a lot of money. . . . A sheik’s son will be taken and the tribe will have to raise the money ultimately to gain his freedom.”
Gen. Allen adds that “Daesh has been very clear in the last several weeks, last couple of months, in undertaking a modern slave trade, if you can imagine that.”
A more hopeful sign is that the new Iraqi government is more stable and multiconfessional after the autocratic sectarian rule of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. His replacement, Haider al-Abadi, has been “very clear that the future of Iraq is for all Iraqis,” Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. He has restored relations with Middle Eastern neighbors and believes in the “devolution of power” across Iraq’s regions, Gen. Allen says. “Maliki believed in the centralization of power.”
Critics of the Obama administration’s Islamic State response argue that the campaign has been too slow and improvisational. In particular, they argue that there is one Iraqi-Syrian theater and thus that Islamic State cannot be contained or defeated in Iraq alone. Without a coherent answer to the Bashar Assad regime, the contagion from this terror haven will continue to spill over.
Gen. Allen argues that the rebels cannot remove Assad from power, and coalition members are “broadly in agreement that Syria cannot be solved by military means. . . . The only rational way to do this is a political outcome, the process of which should be developed through a political-diplomatic track. And at the end of that process, as far as the U.S. is concerned, there is no Bashar al-Assad, he is gone.”Defeating Islamic State inside Iraq, Gen. Allen says, is “the main effort.” A companion “supporting effort” to degrade Islamic State in Syria is under way, including bombing runs, as well as a “shaping effort” to encourage the moderate Syrian opposition to develop “a more coherent and cohesive political voice” and encourage “a political transition in Damascus.”
Gen. Petraeus says that among the “hugely impressive mix of talent, capabilities and experience” Gen. Allen brings to the mission is “a truly selfless approach to whatever task he is assigned.” Historians will debate how much the U.S. failure to obtain a status of forces agreement in Iraq after 2011 contributed to the rise of Islamic State. A residual combat force may have been an anchor and stabilizing influence, though Mr. Obama preferred to leave, and Mr. Maliki didn’t want the U.S. to stay. Gen. Allen, for his part, has articulated regret about what we left behind.
Last year, in a conversation at the Foreign Policy Initiative about the importance of American global leadership, Gen. Allen said: “We weren’t there long enough to provide the top cover for the solution of many of the political difficulties that might have resolved itself if we had been there for a longer period of time. So consequently, as we departed we have seen those tectonic plates begin to grind against each other again, and that has created instability, and the body count is going up.”
Gen. Allen speaks movingly about the tribes that allied with the U.S. amid the Awakening: The Americans and Iraqis fought alongside one another, he says, and “we, in turn, took care of tribes. We turned their electricity back on, we repaired the enormous damage that al Qaeda had done to the electrical grid. We restored the water purification systems that gave fresh water to the children. We rebuilt the schools.”
The war against Islamic State will go on long after he returns to private life, Gen. Allen predicts. “We can attack Daesh kinetically, we can constrain it financially, we can solve the human suffering associated with the refugees, but as long as the idea of Daesh remains intact, they have yet to be defeated,” he says. The “conflict-termination aspect of the strategy,” as he puts it, is to “delegitimize Daesh, expose it for what it really is.”
This specific campaign, against this specific enemy, he continues, belongs to a larger intellectual, religious and political movement, what he describes as “the rescue of Islam.” He explains that “I understand the challenges that the Arabs face now in trying to deal with Daesh as an entity, as a clear threat to their states and to their people, but also the threat that Daesh is to their faith.”
Gen. Allen says he regularly meets people who say “ ‘we want to take all measures necessary to reclaim our faith.’ . . . I recognize how central this faith is to so many people in the region, how important it is to so many people in the region, how difficult the struggle has become between those who would like to use it to justify horrendous acts and those who would like to reclaim it.”Or as Gen. Allen put it in an essay earlier this year, “I can say with certainty that what we’re facing in northern Iraq is only partly about Iraq. It is about the region and potentially the world as we know it.”
Mr. Rago is a member of the Journal editorial board. http://www.wsj.com/articles/joe-rago-inside-the-war-against-islamic-state-1419636790

MESOP Syria Daily: Has Assad Regime Used Napalm on Civilians in Homs?

By Scott Lucas December 28, 2014 14:59 Updated – eaworldview / Click bottom link for pics !

A media office linked to the Free Syrian Army is claiming that the Assad regime’s forces used napalm incendiary bombs on civilians in the al-Waer neighborhood of Homs.The Revolutionary Forces of Syria office say seven napalm bombs were used on Saturday across al-Waer, home to at least 90,000 people, many of them displaced from other areas of Syria.The attacks reportedly injured 16 people, some severely.At least seven civilians suffers “severe burns” from exposure to the burning material, while others were rendered unconsciousness by gases. The bombs “caused very high temperature that melt the iron in the affected areas, and putting the fire out with water caused more inflammation”. The regime has stepped up bombardment of al-Waer, the last section of Homs with insurgents, in recent weeks but has failed to dislodge the opposition fighters.The regime has stepped up bombardment of al-Waer, the last section of Homs with insurgents, in recent weeks but has failed to dislodge the opposition fighters.
Click for pics : http://eaworldview.com/2014/12/syria-daily-assad-regime-used-napalm-civilians-homs/

MESOP NEWS : Former IS Militant Reveals Shocking Secrets About The Group / Islamic State forces a militant to kill his cousin

Basnews | Ayman ShekhMuhamad – ERBIL – 29 Dec 2014 – The Islamic State (IS) forced one of its militants to kill his cousin, who was also a close childhood friend.

An IS insurgent arrested by the Iraqi army revealed that “At the end of August, IS set an ambush in Tikrit, Salahaddin Province and arrested Iraqi soldiers. IS took them far away and executed them.”The recenly arrested prisoner who is from Salahaddin Province went on, “When the prisoners were brought to the place where they were to be executed, one of the militants recognized his cousin among the condemned soldiers. It was his cousin, his childhood friend. He tried to rescue him, but he couldn’t.”He continued, “When he was seen to be trying to rescue his cousin, the IS commander of the area forced him to execute his cousin.” “After he killed his cousin, he started to cry out and lay down next to his cousin’s body. Subsequently, the IS commander shot him in the head,” said the IS prisoner. He believes that this is a sign that many IS militants have been brainwashed and do not truly believe in the group. “Most of the IS militants are Arabs and foreigners, merely fuel for IS’s war,” added the prisoner

Syria Year-end Predictions and Analysis by Joshua Landis (28 December 2014)

 28 Dec 2014  – Syria Comment 28 December 2014 -Syria will become increasingly fragmented in 2015. The Somalia-izaton of the country is inevitable so long as the international community degrades all centers of power in Syria and the opposition fails to unite.
Who owns what?
The four strongest authorities in Syria are the Assad government, ISIS, Nusra, and the Kurds. They rule close to 95% of Syrian territory. The Assad government rules 45% of the land and perhaps 65% of the population, give or take. ISIS rules 35%, but controls less than 3 million people. Kurds may control about 8% or 9% of Syria and Nusra another 5%. This leaves the hundreds of additional militias controlling the remaining 5%, but in some areas “No F.S.A. faction can operate without Nusra’s approval.” Jihadis prevailed in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 5.52.36 PM
All authorities will become weaker, with the possible exception of the Kurds. The United States is at war with all important Arab factions. It is actively bombing ISIS and Nusra, while sanctioning Assad.  Although, Washington has funding a “train and equip” project to the tune of half a billion dollars, it appears to have neither urgency nor teeth. Coalition forces are divided on objectives. This means that all centers of authority in Syria are being degraded, while none are being built up. It means no one can win. The Assad regime, ISIS, and Nusra are all likely to see their power diminish over the coming year. The FSA militias have become practically irrelevant and must take orders from the radicals. The educated and worldly activists who played such a vital role in launching the revolution have been pushed aside are today without influence. One can interpret this either as: a) Liberals and democrats in Syria were such a small elite that they were quickly swept aside by a the forces of tide of sectarians, fascists, and Islamists; or B) Assad intentionally destroyed the liberals and moderates so that he would face only extremists, leaving the world to face an either-or choice: Assad or al-Qaida.
The Assad government strengthened its control over major cities, while losing control over rural areas. It gained ground in the Damascus suburbs, Kalamoun, Homs and Aleppo, but it lost territory in others, such as Idlib, the Golan, Deraa and the Jazira. This strategy reveals Assad’s urban bias. He believes he can regain the support of the urban middle classes who fear the radicalized and poorer country-folk. The Baath originally relied on rural support against the cities. But as it went bankrupt and turned away from subsidies and socialism toward neo-liberal policies mixed with a heavy dose of corruption, it turned its back on the urban poor and struggling countryside. Today the regime is trying to turn the rich against the poor in an effort to convince them that the revolution was a pipe-dream and that they must fight “terrorism.” Collapsing oil revenues in Iran and Russia mean that Assad will have to suffer with less money in 2015. But so too will the rebels because they are as reliant on oil money are the regime. All incomes will take a nosedive. Ninety percent of Syrians live below the poverty line, according to the UN. But poverty can get worse.
NusraJihadis and extremists prevailed
Although 2014 began with US backed militias teaming up with the Islamic Front and Nusra to drive ISIS “out of Syria,” they failed. They succeeded in expelling ISIS from Idlib province and villages north of Aleppo, but Nusra quickly routed the pro-US rebels and asserted itself over the Idlib region. It has also spread its power in Deraa and planted its flag on the Golan. Nusra refrains from swallowing up FSA militias in part because their purported independence is useful. As one USA vetted fighter in Northern Syria explained, “Nusra lets groups vetted by the United States keep the appearance of independence, so that they will continue to receive American supplies.” Once received, the radicals have the authority to commandeer the advanced arms. This is why the US is abandoning the vetted FSA militias and beginning its policy of “train and equip,” an effort to build a Syrian Army completely controlled by the US. Washington explains that the new force will be used to fight ISIS, then weaken Assad with the goal of forcing him to first accept a political solution and then leave the country. This is unrealistic, but what else can the US do?
ISThe creation of new states was the rage in 2014.
ISIS began the craze with the announcement of the Islamic State shortly after its leader, Baghdadi, declaring himself Caliph. Nusra followed suit with the declaration of an Emirate. The Kurds showed restraint by refusing to declare their independence, but made considerable headway in that direction. Rojava, the Kurdish name for Syrian Kurdistan, is now on everyone’s lips. In the last months of 2013, the PYD announced an interim government divided into three non-contiguous autonomous areas or cantons, Afrin, Jazira and Kobani and military service was declared compulsory in July 2014. The war against ISIS has strengthened the state attributes of Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdistan received direct military aid from many new countries. Rojava gained US backing and world backing for its military efforts, especially in the battle for Kobani. Although the region has been depopulated, the new partnership between the PYD and Washington is big. Even Turkey was forced to break its embargo on the PYD.
The Great Sorting Out and Rise of Religious Nationalism
Religious nationalism has become the dominant ideology in the Middle East. The “secular” nationalism that was once the hallmark of post colonial regimes and leaders, such as Nasser, Assad, Hussein, Bourgiba, Arafat, and Boumediene is moribund. Interestingly, Egypt and Tunisia have reacted against this trend. Is their reaction a harbinger of Islamist retreat more broadly or merely a hiccup? Hard to tell, but my guess is that 2015 will see religious identities harden throughout the Levant. This means bad news for reconciling Syria’s waring parties. The Levant Front, the most recent effort by Syria’s many militias to unify, does not look more promising than past efforts. The Syrian opposition seems to be organized along regional and local village and clan lines, hence its inability to unite. Traditional loyalties of religion, village and family have trumped national ones. The only ideology able to attract followers on a national scope is Islam.
I have spoken at some length about the “Great Sorting Out” that I believe is taking place in the Levant countries. The Syrian civil war fits into a larger pattern of nation-building in which the many ethnic and religious communities of the region are caught in a brutal struggle for primacy and survival. It is striking similar the nation-building process that dominated Central Europe during WWII. Multi-ethnic and mutli-religious lands are being transformed into boringly homogenous nations. we are witnessing the rearrangement of populations in the region to better fit the nation states that were fixed after WWI. Some new borders are being drawn, such as those around the Kurdish regions of Iraq and perhaps Syria, but mostly, what we are seeing is the ethnic cleansing of the smaller minorites and rearranging of populations to fit their borders.
JunudRahmanSyria is locked into perpetual war
The great powers are determined to support their Syrian proxies enough so they cannot lose, but not enough to win. This means prolonged struggle. Most regional civil wars have come to an end only with foreign intervention. Lebanon and Iraq had foreign powers disarm militias and radicals in order to facilitate state-building and political compromise. No foreign power is likely to intervene in Syria to disarm radicals or nurse moderates back into the political center.
Has the US changed its position on Syria?
Officially, the US continues to see Bashar al-Assad as a “dead man walking” and to insist that he “step aside.” Secretary of State Kerry began the year at the Geneva peace talks announcing that Bashar al-Assad had lost all legitimacy. He added that no one could conceive of his playing a role in the future of Syria. This week General Allen, Obama’s special envoy said, “as far as the U.S. is concerned, there is no Bashar al-Assad, he is gone.” The United States finds talking to Assad too ideologically costly & distasteful. But it equally finds the notion of unifying & arming the opposition too costly & improbable. Thus, Washington seems determined to stick to a narrow policy of counter-terrorism – killing ISIS and Nusra when opportunity presents and keeping them on their heals. Washington sees the Syria problem as unfixable.
But if US talking points about Assad remain unchanged, underlying realities have shifted. Exactly one year ago, Ambassador Ryan Crocker wrote in a prescient article, entitled, “Assad Is the Least Worst Option in Syria,” that “we need to come to terms with a future that includes Assad — and consider that as bad as he is, there is something worse.” That something, which was Nusra and ISIS, sucked the United States back into the region this summer. When ISIS swept through Sunni Iraq without a real fight and threatened to conquer Irbil and Baghdad, President Obama was forced to go to war. He could not allow al-Qaida to rule Iraq. Once President Obama threatened to “degrade and destroy” ISIS, the US effectively became an ally of the Assad regime and Iran, like it or not.
The Syrian peace talks that Russia has announced for 2015 may seem like a joke, but they are perhaps designed to get the US to officially accept the fact that Assad may remain leader of Syria.
After all, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov assured the press that he “was in contact with our American partners” about the peace talks. It is hard to believe that Obama will climb down from his stand that Assad must step aside unless Assad makes real concessions and can draw the US recognized Syrian Opposition Coalition into negotiations. The chance that this could happen seem slim.
Is the Syrian Army a Bulwark against Extremism?
In the bowels of the Pentagon, officers probably look at Assad’s state as a bulwark against ISIS and Nusra. They cannot allow it to be destroyed for fear that the the Jihadists will sweep into Damascus and Syria’s cities. Once ensconced in the capital, they would own Syria. What is more, a new wave of refugees would flee from Syria into Lebanon and Jordan, possibly overwhelming both governments. Certainly Baathists, security personnel, and regime apparatchiks would flee. If Alawites, Christians, Druze and Shiites believed that they were no longer safe due to religious persecution, refugee numbers could reach into the millions. America’s policy has been to contain the violence in Syria. Regime collapse could defeat that policy, just as regime survival seems to defeat it. Most of America’s allies and the Syrian opposition insist that US war planes should be bombing Assad as well as ISIS. The US cannot risk an extremist victory by destroying the Syrian Army. But US politicians also want to weaken the regime. Israel wants to destroy its advanced missile systems. Syria is a perfect case where US military planners may want a policy quite different from that set out by politicians. The Syrian army is likely to remain weak and over-extended. It is desperate for soldiers and alienating its own supporters with draconian draft measures. Syrian National Defense Forces or popular militias will do more of the work. As Aron Lund has pointed out, they tend to be local forces that are reluctant to move out of their home districts or travel beyond their villages. This is part of the overall fragmentation.
Why De Mestura’s Plan Makes Sense
Staffan de Mistura”s UN backed plan makes sense if one sees the future of Syria in the bleakest light, where fragmentation is the rule and regime strength extends largely in the cities. Because disunity precludes a comprehensive peace plan, de Mistura has come up with the notion of local freezes and and Aleppo as a likely starting point. Activists have pronounced this plan defeatist, if not pro-Assad, but de Mistura does little choice. He has no army with which to change the balance of power. His mission is to save lives and provide food. If local rebels want out, as they did in Homs, the UN can try to help. Likewise, if pro-regime towns, such as Nubl and Zahra, are starving, the UN can try to freeze fighting and get aid in or help officiate a surrender. All sides will have to agree. It is the lowest common denominator, but an essential role that no one else can fill.
BqfFygOCAAA35uL2014 was the year of ISIS
The past year was ISIS’s year. But 2015 is likely to see ISIS seriously degraded, if not destroyed. The Baghdad government may able to dislodging ISIS from important strongholds in Iraq and shove it back into Syria. It is hard to envisage a new force rising up to take ISIS’s place, however.  ISIS’s success among the rebel militias is founded on its brutal authoritarianism. Caliph Baghdadi has copied the Assad and Saddam regimes. It is no surprise that his top 20 officers are largely Iraqi ex-Baathists. The Syrian opposition has not found a way to compromise or unify without the use of terror. Thus ISIS is deploying the same paranoid style and traditional loyalties to unify Syira’s fissured society as did the Baath. To succeed it is becoming as bad as the regime it hoped to replace.
[End of Landis analysis]
The following round ups were sent to me by members of the Syria Comment team.
Handala bin Baal writes:
In the first days of 2014, Nusra, IF and FSA united to expel ISIS. Today, IS controls most of east Syria, and in the areas where ISIS was driven out, Nusra simply finished what ISIS had started and killed, kidnapped and routed most of the western backed rebels in aleppo, idlib, homs and Daraa. The jihadis are stronger than ever in rebel held Syria and Nusra is moving forward with its Islamic emirate. Meanwhile the Syrian army is running out of fucks to give for what happens in Sunni areas of no economical value.
Going into 2014, the syrian army priorities are, reaching nubul and zahraa in Aleppo, maintaining Deir ez zor as main iranian supply base and making sure that things remain under control in Damascus, Homs, and coast by keeping the Sunnis busy in ghoutas, daraa, hama, idlib and jabal al akrad.
When will this war end? When all the people die. Listen to the kid in this video. Out of the mouth of babes… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIrBtCfX4tI#t=724
Ehsani2 writes:
The biggest change in 2014 was the continued confirmation that the regime was not going to fall anytime soon. Ahrar al-Sham’s leadership was eliminated. ISIL invited US strikes after senseless beheadings of westerners.
2015 is going to be shaped by who would turn out to be the ultimate winner of Aleppo. Local truce deals will continue to be the preferred outcome by negotiators. The White House may not turn away from its stated goal of Assad-must -step -aside objective but in practice it will continue to move further from any notion of direct military involvement or regime change. The Syrian opposition has failed to win the hearts and minds of enough congressmen or senators who would pressure a change in strategy in DC. While Syrians will be told that only a political solution exists for their country, fighting will continue. Neither the government nor the opposition will still be ready to negotiate during 2015.


Seven Thousand Iranian Soldiers Fighting in Iraq

ERBIL – Basnews – 28 Dec 2014 – The Iranian opposition has claimed that there are more than 7,000 Iranian soldiers fighting in the southern provinces of Iraq and Baghdad against Islamic State (IS) militants. A member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) based in London, Hossein Abedini said, “There are more than 7,000 Iranian Quds soldiers in Iraq deployed in Diyala, Salahaddin and Baghdad provinces, especially in areas around Jalawla, Saadia, Khanaqin, Najaf, Karbala and Samara.”
“The forces are deployed by and supervised under the command of Iranian Quds Force Leader Qassem Soleimani,” said Abedini. He went on to mention that the forces take direct commands from Soleimani as he has been responsibe for the development and implementation of battle plans. Abdeini stated that the Baghdad Iraqi federal government allows these forces as they aid in the prevention of the advance of IS insurgents towards the capital. Other forces have been depolyed in Diyala and Jalawla areas in order to stop IS attacks. “In Baghdad, there is a special joint military operation desk for the Iranian Quds force and Shiite militias to cooperate with each other against IS militants,” added Abedini. However, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dahqani has denied the presence of any Iranian forces in Iraq, dismissing the idea as rumours and lies.


Liebe Freunde,

das sind Bilder aus dem Islamischen Staat, die mir nicht aus dem Kopf gehen. Aufgenommen von meinem Sohn Frederic. Weitere Bilder und Infos dazu findet Ihr auf meiner Webseite http://goo.gl/whTNjH
Trotz der üblichen Kritik an meiner Reise werde ich in den nächsten Wochen weiteres Bild- Video- und Textmaterial über den IS veröffentlichen. Man sollte seine Gegner kennen, wenn man sie besiegen will. Drohnen-Informationen können Live-Informationen nicht ersetzen. Euer JT

MESOP : SPLITS & CONTRADICTIONS INSIDE OF THE JIHAD BRANCHES – Caucasus Emirate Emir Calls Dagestani Pledges To IS “Act Of Treachery”

by joanna paraszczuk – 28 Dec 2014 – The Emir of the Caucasus Emirate group has called the recent pledges of allegiance to Islamic State by the former leader of Vilayat Dagestan an “an act of treachery.” 

In a video address released on December 28, Ali Abu Mukhammad warned other CE militants in Dagestan and elsewhere not to participate in the “fitna” and not to provide assistance to those who call for a split in the ranks of the CE. Ali Abu Mukhammad’s video address comes in the wake of a series of pledges of allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by Dagestani militants formerly of the CE. The video address also follows increasingly bitter infighting between North Caucasians in Islamic State in Syria, led by a group close to Umar Shishani and particularly a militant named Abu Jihad, an ethnic Karachay identified as Islam
Caucasus Emirate Emir Calls Dagestani Pledges To IS “Act Of Treachery” . Atabiyev, who has released a number of video addresses criticizing the Caucasus Emirate. The CE Emir first criticized Abu Jihad in video address in which he said he had never heard of the Karachay militant. Rivalry between North Caucasian factions of IS in Syria and the CE began as far back as late summer 2013 when Umar Shishani and his faction in Jaish alMuhajireen wal-Ansar grew closer to then-ISIS, with Umar being appointed ISIS’s military emir in northern Syria. Umar and his faction broke away from JMA in December 2013 and went over to ISIS, with JMA openly aligning itself as the Syrian branch of the CE.
Since then, the rivalry between the two groups in Syria has continued to develop, based in the main on a power struggle for control of North Caucasian militants in Syria but also partly based on ideology: some IS North Caucasians have accused the CE of nationalism and asserted that, with the establishment of the “Caliphate”, all jihadis should fight with IS.
Ali Abu Mukhammad said: Our position in the Caucasus is not an exception. That which we noticed in the past days is proof of that. That is that the Emir of Vilayat Dagestan gave a bay’ah to Abu Bakr Baghdadi. Wallahi brothers, we know this man very well. Ali Abu Mukhammad criticizes the former Emir of Vilayat Dagestan for his lack of Islamic knowledge.
“In no address did this brother give any quotes or citatations from the Quran or Hadith, or the scholars – does this not show the lack of knowledge of this man?” He then addresses the former Emir, “What happened to you, brother? Maybe it was the instigation of Satan?… Or did you get knowledge from the Quran… confirming the correctness of your decisions? Who advised you when you took such a decision? If you had such dazzling knowledge why didn’t you show it to your brothers? One can close one’s eyes to a lot, but not to treachery… You, brother, betrayed your brothers at the very time that they needed you most…. You have caused a schism in our jamaat… If you want to wage jihad with Baghdadi, go join him and leave us in peace… You, brother, have gone astray with that oath of allegiance to Baghdadi. If you say not, then I invite you to a discussion. We will meet you anywhere… maybe you have knowledge. Maybe you know something we don’t. But we are ready to accept the truth whoever it comes from. In order to understand and make conclusions, who is right, Abu Bakr Baghdadi or Al Qaeda, Zawahiri, Mullah Omar and all the rest of those who are well known there needs to be knowledge of Sharia, but you don’t have that knowledge…. and that again testifies to your hypocrisy…”
The CE Emir says that those who pledged to IS have “пластиковые мозги” – “plastic brains”. Ali Abu Mukhammad then moves on to discuss Abu Mukhammad Agachaul’skyi of the Shamil’kalinsky sector. “I know only the good side of that brother and we hope that he rethinks his decision and asks those in the know….and we address the Muslims of the Vilayat Dagestan, that that they do not assist those brothers and this fitna. Those who do help them will be judged by the people and later before Allah on Judgement Day. O, my brothers of the Caucasus Emirate. You are not authorized to work with those brothers because they betrayed us and went over to Baghdadi’s side voluntarily… In front of you are two paths. Either you can go with those jahilis like Abu Mukhammad and his ilk, or with the scholars without exception, You might also like all the well known scholars that we have until now respected and followed, they are on the other side.”
Ali Abu Mukhammad appointed a new Emir for Vilayat Dagestan, Said Arakanskiy: – Read more of this post http://www.chechensinsyria.com/?p=23231#more-23231


As Syria’s Revolution Sputters, a Chaotic Stalemate

By ANNE BARNARDDEC. 27, 2014 – New York Times – ANTAKYA, Turkey — It was a victory that President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents had dreamed of: Insurgents seized a key army base in northern Syria after more than a year of trying. But the mood in this Turkish border town, flooded with Syrians who have fled both government bombings and extremist insurgents, was more bitter than celebratory.The assault this month was led by the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s arm in Syria, which claimed the spoils. By contrast, many of the first Syrians to rise up against Mr. Assad in 2011 — civilian demonstrators and army defectors alike — followed the battle from the sidelines here, unable to enter Syria under threat of death from the extremists of Nusra and its rival group, the Islamic State.
As Syria’s war heads toward its fourth year, the complex battleground is increasingly divided between the government and the extremists, leaving many Syrians feeling that the revolution on which they gambled their lives and livelihoods has failed.Different insurgent groups battle one another, even as they fight against Mr. Assad’s forces and his allies, foreign Shiite militias. A chaotic stalemate reigns in a war that has killed more than 200,000 people and wounded one million.
In northern and eastern Syria, where Mr. Assad’s opponents won early victories and once dreamed of building self-government, the nationalist rebel groups calling themselves the Free Syrian Army are forced to operate under the extremists’ umbrellas, to go underground or to flee, according to Syrian insurgents, activists and two top commanders of the American-financed F.S.A. groups.
“The revolution now is sleeping,” said Maysara, a landowner from the northern Syrian town of Saraqeb who asked to be identified only by his first name for his safety. He organized some of the first residents there to take up arms in 2011, but has recently shifted his focus to helping refugees as he studies Turkish in Antakya and his fighters, 30 in all, reduce their ambitions to guarding their town. “We don’t know when it will wake up,” he said at a deserted hotel cafe that two years ago bustled with activists, fighters and their financiers. “Syrians will give birth to more children, and maybe they will continue this revolution.”The Syrian government is facing its own problems. While Mr. Assad appears unlikely to fall by force, he also seems unable to reassert full control over the country. Despite taking back most of the central city of Homs, government forces have not dislodged insurgents from the Al-Waer district. They have faced new attacks from extremists in the east and south and have been trying for months to encircle insurgents in the city of Aleppo.
Mounting army casualties have left government supporters tired and grieving; some are resentful. There have been tensions in the southern province of Sweida, residents say, after the government tried to renege on an agreement to allow young men to serve in local defense forces and instead draft them into the army.
A Syrian who speaks regularly to security officials and leaders from Mr. Assad’s minority Alawite sect, an important component of his base, said recently that a growing number would welcome a political settlement. But with Mr. Assad’s inner circle adamantly opposed to any compromise, he said, the country will face a long insurgency.
“Nobody believes it will end in 10 years as long as he is in power,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for his safety. He added that Alawites kept their discontent largely underground because most believed that their choice was between Mr. Assad and extremists bent on slaughtering them. In Istanbul, Antakya and the nearby town of Reyhanli this month, numerous insurgents and civilian activists who oppose Mr. Assad, Nusra and Islamic State, also known as ISIS, said that most of Syria would eventually be controlled either by those extremist groups or by the government.The fall of the army base at Wadi al-Deif, which straddles an important supply route in Idlib Province, proved the Nusra Front’s dominance, they said. Other insurgents had long besieged the base without victory. Nusra succeeded after seizing much of the province from Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, two of several groups that until recently, American officials were calling the opposition’s new hope.
Those groups had received sophisticated American-made TOW antitank missiles, and their commanders expected to act as the ground force in the American-led campaign against ISIS. But lately they say the flow of American aid has dwindled as Washington’s strategy shifts to building a new force from scratch.
How exactly the Wadi al-Deif battle unfolded remains murky, with different commanders giving different versions. But reports and images from the operation make two things clear: antitank missiles were used, and Nusra claimed the victory. That means that the American-backed fighters could advance only by working with the Nusra Front, which the United States government lists as a terrorist group, or that they have lost the weapons to the Nusra fighters, effectively joined the group or been forced to follow its orders. One commander of a group that received antitank missiles said that some F.S.A. fighters were forced to operate them in the battle on behalf of the Nusra Front, which had captured them from American-backed groups — a turn of events that he worried would lead the United States to cut off support. He bitterly likened the F.S.A. to prostitutes, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid alienating American officials. “If I wear Arabic dress and let my beard grow, the West will hate me and Nusra will love me, and vice versa. We are kissing everyone’s rear to get support.”
Abu Kumayt, a fighter with the Syrian Revolutionaries Front who said he fought in the battle under cover, gave a slightly different version. He said that groups with the antitank missiles fought alongside Nusra fighters and under their command — but that only Nusra and its Islamist ally Ahrar al-Sham were allowed to enter the base when it fell. Nusra, he said, lets groups vetted by the United States keep the appearance of independence, so that they will continue to receive American supplies.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
His group’s commander, Jamal Maarouf, has been unable to enter Syria since his fighters were driven from their base in Idlib Province this fall. In his house in Reyhanli, near Antakya, he blamed anemic Western support and a mistake that he and other fighters made: They initially welcomed Nusra’s foreign jihadists, believing that they would help bring victory.
“No F.S.A. faction in the north can operate without Nusra’s approval,” Mr. Maarouf said, adding that the front had either bought or terrorized F.S.A. fighters into compliance. “Nusra cannot cover every area so they still need them. But once they take control, they will confiscate all weapons or oblige those factions to pledge allegiance.”In southern Syria, rebels trained and equipped under a covert C.I.A. program retain more freedom of movement and have claimed advances recently, but insurgents familiar with the battles say most of their successes have come with the help of Nusra fighters who weaken government defenses with suicide bombings.
Mr. Maarouf and his men, echoing a common new refrain in the Syrian opposition, said they believed that the United States and other countries wanted Syria’s territory split between Mr. Assad and the Sunni extremist Islamists, to simplify the complex battleground and justify an eventual settlement that would keep Mr. Assad, or most of his government, in power.
Karam Shoumali and Hwaida Saad contributed reporting from Antakya, and Mohammad Ghannam from Beirut, Lebanon. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/world/as-syrias-revolution-sputters-a-chaotic-stalemate.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0



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