"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
İsrail'de devlete tam sadakatle hizmet etmeleriyle tanınan ve askerlik yapan nadir azınlıklardan olan Dürziler, 'Yahudi ulus devlet yasasını' protesto için ordudan istifa etmeye başladı.
İsrailli Dürzi yüzbaşı Amir Jmall, pazar günü Facebook'tan Başbakan Benyamin Netanyahu'ya hitaben açık bir mektup yayımlayarak istifasını duyurdu. 'Yahudi ulus devlet yasasını' protesto için İsrail ordusuna artık hizmet etmeyeceğini belirten Amir Jmall, şöyle yazdı:
Israeli Army Suspends Druze Officer Who Published a Facebook Post Against the Nation-state Law- Haaretz
A Druze Israeli army officer who published a post on Facebook in which he said he decided to end his service in the military in protest over the passage of the nation-state law will be suspended from the Israel Defense Forces.
The officer's commanders had a conversation with him in which they clarified that they expected him to refrain from making his opinions known on such matters via social media as part of the military's policy.
The officer, 23-year-old Shady Zaidan, has been suspended from duty for two weeks.
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri criticized in a tweet on Tuesday what he described as “the rush of some Lebanese politicians to go visit Syria,” in light of the conflict in Lebanon over its ties with the neighboring country largely blamed for the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri.
“Some politicians in Lebanon are rushing to go to Syria even before the displaced (Syrians) do…,” said Hariri in a tweet.
“I wonder why?” he asked.
Hariri was indirectly referring to a visit paid by caretaker Minister of Industry Hussein Hajj Hassan who participated in a business and investment conference in Syria on July 26.
On Tuesday, Hassan said “Lebanon won’t benefit from maintaining a state of hostility with Syria, especially after opening the transit line with Iraq and Jordan through Syria.”
The UN peace envoy for Syria said Tuesday that he plans to host Iran, Russia and Turkey for talks in September on finalising a committee to write a new Syrian constitution.
Staffan de Mistura, whose past efforts to push forward a Syrian peace deal have achieved no breakthroughs, was tasked with setting up the committee during a Russian-backed congress held in Sochi in January.
"The Special Envoy looks forward to holding formal consultations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, very early in September in Geneva, in order to begin to finalise the constitutional committee," de Mistura's office said in a statement.
Russia and Iran have supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad through the conflict, while Turkey has backed opposition groups.
The UN envoy told the Security Council last week that he wants to have the constitutional committee in place before world leaders meet at the General Assembly in late September.
The Druze will continue to be Syrian nationalists - and as such they will be consistent in supporting the Syrian government
The diplomat has commented on the possibility of a military operation in Syria's Idlib
Israel's Nationality Law has elicited an angry reaction from the country's small Druze community, which feels betrayed. The law officially declares Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people and makes Hebrew the sole official language, downgrading Arabic, which had previously also been recognized as an official language. In short, it relegates non-Jews, including the Druze — who serve in the Israeli military and have paid the ultimate price in Israel’s military conflicts and occupation — to being second-class citizens.
Monday, July 30, 2018
Representatives of the guarantor nations for the Syrian ceasefire (Russia, Iran and Turkey) will meet in Sochi on Monday to discuss issues regarding the formation of the Syrian constitutional committee, the situation in de-escalation zones, as well as humanitarian items on the agenda, including strengthening trust measures and returning Syrian refugees home. On the first day, expert consultations will take place. On July 31, there will be a plenary session.
“The participants will exchange opinions on the process of facilitating inter-Syrian dialogue based on the Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council and the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. They will continue the discussion of further steps in the interest of launching the constitutional committee as soon as possible, as a key element of promoting political regulation of the Syrian crisis,” the Russian Foreign Ministry informed.
Hossein Jamal nom de guerre Abu Zeid, a security commander of the National Liberation Front, along with two other commanders namely Osama al-Jaqmara and his aide were killed after unidentified raiders opened fire at them in the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in Southern Idlib.
In the meantime, Mahmoud Zab'an, a senior field commander of the National Liberation Front was also killed in a bomb blast near the town of Dar al-Izzah in Western Aleppo.
On Saturday, Mohammad Saleh Qatish, a field commander of Jund al-Aqsa, was killed after unknown raiders who opened fire at him in the village of Ma'ar Zita South of the town of Kafr Nubl in Southern Idlib.
In the meantime, Abu Aisha Tunisi, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was also killed by unknown attackers in the village of Hass Southwest of the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in Southern Idlib.
Also, a number of Tahrir al-Sham militants were killed or wounded after unknown attackers stormed their base in the town of Sarmada in Idlib province.
A base of Tahrir a-Sham also came under rocket attack in the town of al-Dana in Northern Idlib that left a number of fighters dead or wounded.
Tensions among terrorist groups have gone high amid reports of the Syrian Army's upcoming large-scale operation in Idlib province.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:45 A.M.) – The Lebanese Minister of Displaced Persons and leader of the Lebanese Democratic Party, Talal Arslan, slammed his political foe, Walid Joumblatt, in a statement on Saturday evening.
Arslan, a prominent Druze politician, began his statement on Saturday by offering his condolences to the families that lost loved ones as a result of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) terrorist attack on Wednesday.
The Lebanese minister then accused the U.S. military of conspiring with Islamic State to carry out this deadly attack that killed more than 250 people in the Al-Sweida Governorate.
“Washington has not wanted to withdraw from any area in Syria, but their primary objective of protecting Israel has failed,” Arslan stated.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The Russian Aerospace Forces have begun a nonstop air attack against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in the northeastern countryside of the Al-Sweida Governorate.
Russian jets reportedly began their attack this afternoon, following a powerful assault that was launched by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) near the Safa Canyon of northeast Al-Sweida.
The Russian airstrikes have proven effective thus far, as the Islamic State terrorists have been forced to pull back from several posts in order to avoid mounting casualties.
Meanwhile, at the southwestern countryside of Daraa, the Russian Aerospace Forces have resumed their air attack against the ISIS-affiliated Jaysh Khaled bin Walid terrorists.
What does it mean to speak of a "Syrian Hezbollah" group? Do we just mean a group of Syrian fighters who adopt the Hezbollah brand, or one that has a direct relationship with Hezbollah? The case of the Special Force (Sayyida Zainab) sheds some light on this matter.
The Special Force's origins go back as far as 2013. The key figure behind its formation was Hezbollah commander Ali Shabeeb Mahmoud (known by the kunya of Abu Turab al-Ruways). Originally from Labaya in the Beqaa, Abu Turab grew up in al-Ruways in the al-Dahiya suburb of Beirut. He joined Hezbollah in 1991 at the age of 15 and he participated in the 12 July 2006 Hezbollah operation that captured two Israeli soldiers and was the immediate trigger for the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. Abu Turab, who had served as a training official in Hezbollah's elite al-Radwan unit, participated in the Battle of Qusayr in 2013 when Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war first became widely known. He received responsibility for the Sayyida Zainab front and was killed in fighting in Hajera near the Sayyida Zainab area in November 2013. It should be noted that recapturing Hajera from the rebels was one of the first steps as part of securing the Sayyida Zainab shrine from the threat of rebel attacks. From Abu Turab, the Special Force takes its other name: "The Martyr al-Hajj Abu Turab Special Force." To this day, the Special Force's primary base is in the Sayyida Zainab area.
The Special Force is currently part of the Iranian-backed Local Defence Forces (LDF) network, which it joined after the administrative decisions issued in April 2017 regarding the LDF and personnel wanted for draft evasion and desertion. That said, the group does not claim to have a direct relationship with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Instead, the Special Force characterizes itself as a part of Hezbollah, and has received training, arming and financial support from Hezbollah. A monthly salary for a member of the Special Force, depending on assignments, can go up to 90,000 Syrian pounds.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Qamishli (Syria) (AFP) - A US-backed Kurdish-led alliance said on Saturday that it is seeking a roadmap for a decentralised Syria in talks with the government which opened in Damascus this week.
The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, which controls a swathe of the north and northeast, said it had agreed with the government to form joint committees to discuss the major issues after a first round of talks on Thursday and Friday.
The SDF's political arm, the Syrian Democratic Council, said the aim was to "clear the way for a broader and more comprehensive dialogue" and forge a "roadmap leading to a democratic and decentralised Syria".
Sihanouk Dibo, an adviser to the main Kurdish faction, the leftist Democratic Union Party (PYD), said he expected the negotiations to be tough.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hundreds of Syrian refugees returned to their country from Lebanon on Saturday in a bus convoy arranged by both governments, advancing an effort by Beirut to accelerate returns to areas where fighting has ended.
Syrian state television reported that about 1,200 refugees were expected to cross back into the country from Lebanon on Saturday before returning to their homes.
Lebanon’s security chief Abbas Ibrahim said “the coming period will witness the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Lebanon” in comments reported by Hezbollah’s al-Manar television channel.
State television in Syria and the private al-Jadeed channel in Lebanon showed buses full of refugees at the crossing point on the frontier. It is the latest in a series of recent returns arranged by the two countries.
Lebanon hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, more than a quarter of its population, and leading Lebanese politicians have said many of them should go home as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has restored his rule across much of the country.
This week a senior official from Assad’s ally Russia was in Beirut to discuss a plan for mass returns of refugees and its defense ministry said over 1.7 million would be able to return to Syria from abroad in the near future.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS) recently kidnapped several women and children inside the Al-Sweida Governorate after massacring over 250 people inside in the province.
According to military source in Al-Sweida, the terrorist group sent text messages to the families of the kidnapped civilians, demanding that they pay a ransom sum or else ISIS will burn alive all of the captives.
The source said that the Islamic State terrorists sent the family members of the kidnapped civilians these text messages via WhatsApp two days ago, which is a day after the terrorist attack.
The government is now working to pressure the terrorist group to release these kidnapped civilians.
ABD öncülüğündeki Uluslararası Koalisyon Güçleri tarafından desteklenen Kürt ve Arap savaşçıların oluşturduğu Suriye Demokratik Güçleri’nin (SDG) siyasi kanadı Demokratik Suriye Meclisi (DSM) Şam rejimi ile uzlaşıya vardığını açıkladı.
DSM tarafından bugün yapılan açıklamada, Cuma günü, Suriye hükümeti yetkilileri ile başkent Şam’ı ziyaret eden DSM heyeti arasında yapılan toplantıda, ülkede Adem-i Merkezi bir yönetim kurulması için yol haritası belirlemek üzere iki tarafın katılacağı ortak bir komite kurulması konusunda uzlaşıya varıldı bildirildi.
Açıklamada, ayrıca, DSM heyetinin başkent Şam’a gerçekleştirdiği ziyaretin hedefinin “ülkedeki bütün sorunların çözümü için yapılacak kapsamlı müzakerelerin önünün açılması” olduğu ifade edildi.
As the dust settles over IS attack that left 250 dead, some begin to wonder why the Damascus government allowed the disaster to happen
BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:00 P.M.) – Up to 1,200 Syrian refugees are set to return to Syria, today, from eastern Lebanon, a government report stated this morning.
According to the report, the 1,200 Syrian refugees are set to leave the camp in the ‘Arsal District of Lebanon and make their way through the Jdeidat Yabous Crossing in western Damascus.
Friday, July 27, 2018
In villages militants left one survivor per family to witness their brutality, while in Sweida city suicide bombers entered.
Karam Monther’s mother placed the ammunition box in her youngest son’s car, holding back her tears as he drove off in the dawn light to the frontline. News had come that Islamic State militants were storming homes on the eastern edges of his home province, Sweida, in southern Syria.
Monther joined two dozen other young men who had picked up arms and together they battled through to the edge of the nearby town of Rami. Fallen fighters lay strewn in the streets – the remains of the Isis militants in pieces after they detonated suicide vests.
A woman stumbled out of one of the the houses, repeating: “They slaughtered them.” Inside, she pointed to the bathroom.
“I felt in my heart that a crime had happened there,” Monther said. “I opened the door slowly, and I saw a mother holding her children, but it appeared she hadn’t been able to protect them from Daesh’s [Isis] gunshots.”
“I will never forget this scene all my life. No words can describe it. I knelt and wept in grief,” he said.
Residents of Sweida began burying their dead on Thursday, a day after the worst Isis atrocity in recent months claimed the lives of nearly 250 people – a toll that may yet rise.
Dozens were kidnapped and wounded, many are missing, and the slaughter has upended the peace of the ancestral homeland of the minority Druze sect, which had so far largely escaped the violence that devastated much of Syria.
Interviews with Sweida residents offered a glimpse into a brutal but well-planned, 12-hour attack that appeared to have evaded government security forces – and displayed the terror that Isis can still sow despite its repeated battlefield defeats and retreat across Syria and Iraq.
The raids began at about 4am on three simultaneous fronts. Under the cover of darkness, the militants infiltrated Druze towns and villages in the east and north-east of Sweida, some using local Bedouin as guides.
In what may have been an effort to divert focus away from the Syrian government's ongoing offensive against the remaining Islamic State pocket in the Yarmouk Basin in southwest Deraa province, Islamic State fighters based in the Suwayda' desert launched attacks against Druze villages in the eastern Suwayda' countryside in addition to suicide bombings targeting Suwayda' city. The Islamic State's attacks in Suwayda' have proven to be bloody, killing hundreds of people. Note for context that Suwayda' province's population is primarily Druze.
To discuss the Suwayda' attacks further, I interviewed Abbas Abu Shaheen of the group Katibat Jalamid 'Urman, which is part of the loyalist-leaning Liwa al-Jabal conglomeration of Suwayda' factions. Liwa al-Jabal has participated in the fight to repel the Islamic State attacks in Suwayda' province.
This interview was conducted on the afternoon of 27 July 2018. Any explanations of terms and important place references are in square brackets. Some of the questions and answers have been reordered for clarity.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Suriye'nin güneyinde, Ürdün sınırı yakınındaki Süveyde'de IŞİD militanlarının intihar ve silahlı saldırılarında ölü sayısı en az 144'e, yaralı sayısı en az 178'e yükseldi.
IŞİD'in aylar sonra Suriye'nin güneyinde düzenlediği en kanlı saldırı Süveyde'yi vurdu. Vilayetin aynı isimli başkentinde pazar yerinde ve meydanda büyük patlamalar meydana geldi. Aynı zamanda militanlar kentin ve vilayetin çeşitli bölgelerinde saldırıya geçip şiddetli çatışmalara girdi.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Russia has offered to keep Iranian forces in Syria away from the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights but Israel wants Tehran to completely withdraw, an Israeli official said Tuesday.
Moscow made the offer -- which would see Iranian forces stay 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Syria's border with the Golan -- during talks Monday in Jerusalem between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the official said.
But Israel said the proposal did not go far enough.
"We won't accept Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, not near the border, not beyond the 100-kilometre stretch, which by the way the Russians talk about and agree to," the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"We said there are also long-range weapons beyond that distance, and all the forces must leave Syria," the official said.
The Monday meeting came after Moscow-backed Syrian government forces regained control of most of the two provinces in the country's south near the Golan Heights, through a combination of deadly bombardment and Russian-brokered surrender deals.
Monday, July 23, 2018
The Syrian government on Monday condemned a multilateral operation to evacuate hundreds of rescue workers from the war-torn country as a "criminal process" intended to de-stabilize Syria.
Syrian authorities have long described the Civil Defense search-and-rescue group, which are popularly known as the White Helmets, as a terror organization.
The group rose to prominence as it filmed its operations to rescue civilians from Syrian government airstrikes in the country's brutal civil war. The government has said the group stages videos. Damascus's ally Russia has accused the group of staging chemical weapons attacks on civilians and blaming them on the government, a charge that has never been proven.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi met with Jordan’s Prince Hassan bin Talal during his visit to Jordan, the National News Agency reported on Monday.
Discussions have touched on the general situation in the region and the need to face the different crises with “openness and dialogue between religions.”
Discussions have also focused on the “history and depth of the relationship between the Maronite Patriarchate and the Hashemite family and between Lebanon and Jordan,” NNA added.
Crossing into Syria from neighboring Lebanon, visitors are greeted by giant posters of President Bashar Assad.
The signs proclaim: "Welcome to victorious Syria."
In the capital of Damascus, many of the checkpoints that for years have snarled traffic are gone. The city is again connected to its sprawling suburbs once held by the opposition, and many former residents and visitors from other parts of Syria fill its streets.
There's a new feeling of hope that an end is near to Syria's seven-year civil war.
"It is almost over," Nazeer Habash, 60, said as he walked home near the Hijaz train station in central Damascus. "It is like a child when he starts to walk, taking one step after another, and victory will always be on our side."
In a central square not far from where rebel shells used to land just a few months ago, families and groups of teenagers took selfies. Children played on a large sculpture spelling out, "I (heart) Damascus."