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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’

American Weapons Handed to Al Qaeda in Syria

Monday, July 4th, 2016

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist abducted Mohammad al-Ghabi, the commander of the U.S.-backed Jaish al-Tahrir opposition force this weekend. Al-Ghabi, his aides and at least 40 of the group’s fighters were allegedly seized by the group in a coordinated attack in northern Syria.

The abduction, revealed Sunday by a spokesperson for the U.S.-backed Jaish al-Tahrir, meant that U.S.-supplied weapons and other equipment, has fallen into the hands of the Syrian Al Qaeda force.

However, what appears to be a simple kidnapping is not that simple at all. Jaish al-Tahrir operates in the Hama and Aleppo areas and has only 4,000 trained fighters. The group is composed of five units, some of which received BGM-71 TOW missiles from the United States, according to Hasan Mustafas and the RFS Media Office.

After five years of a deadly civil war that has completely destroyed the country, the United States coalesced the group in February in an attempt to bring together the so-called “moderates” in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) alliance. The move was a last-ditch effort to stave off the metastases of the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group which has continued to gobble up territory in Syria — despite White House claims to the contrary.

But although the groups are ideologically different, Jaish al-Tahrir and Jabhat al-Nusra have often fought side by side to oppose Da’esh (ISIS) and/or fighters backing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It is the parallel objectives of the two groups that has often made European nations so uneasy about arming the opposition groups, because the eventual destination of those arms is unpredictable. Or predictable.

Al Nusra seized the bases and weapons of one of the U.S. beneficiaries back in March, according to Reuters. The FSA 13th Division group was receiving foreign military aid in the form of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles and other weapons — all of which went to Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra.

This weekend, Al-Ghabi, his aides and dozens of Jaish fighters were grabbed in a raid on a house in Kafr Nubl in Idlib Province. The group said he was “injured and kidnapped and taken to an unknown location,” according to Reuters, and their U.S.-made weapons were taken, too.

Jaish al-Tahrir has asked its cooperating FSA groups to pressure Jabhat al-Nusra into releasing Al-Ghabi. They have asked for a ‘sulha’ via a judicial court — an Arabic term meaning a mediated negotiation to work out their differences and reach a resolution.

Al Nusra, however, sees the United States as the “enemy” and appears to be growing closer, ideologically, to Da’esh. The group has accused Jaish al-Tahrir of participating in a U.S. training program to fight ISIS — something that is not new to anyone in the region, but which now suddenly is an excuse for an attack.

The reason may have to do with last month’s arrival of a new delegation of international Al Qaeda leaders, sent by terror chief Ayman al-Zawahiri to scope out a location for relocating the terrorist group’s headquarters from Afghanistan to Syria.

The former Egyptian eye surgeon, who helped found the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, succeeded Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden a few weeks after his death, in June 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS Declares ‘State of Emergency in Raqqa’ But Reasons Are Unclear

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization has reportedly declared a “state of emergency” in its de facto capital in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa but its reasons are not clear.

Although the U.S.-led coalition forces believe that recent battles have caused the group’s anxiety, it’s more likely the prospect of the arrival of the Mother Ship that has worried the leadership.

A coalition spokesperson said the “declaration of state of emergency is a response to recent military progress by Syrian government forces in the area. “We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, we know this enemy feels threatened, as they should,” U.S.-led coalition spokesperson Col Steve Warren told CNN. “They see the Syrian Democratic Forces, along with the Syrian Arab Coalition, maneuver both to their east and to their west. We’ve had reports of ISIL (Da’esh/ISIS) repositioning both their combat capabilities, and we’ve seen reports of them repositioning personnel … either within the city of even out of the city.”

The report followed news that Da’esh had killed at least 35 soldiers from the Syrian armed forces, losing 24 fighters in the process, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

But social media and news reports that Da’esh believes it may soon come under siege in Raqqa, its self-declared capital, may not have much to do with the months-long strikes by coalition forces at all.

It turns out that after a decade of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Al Qaeda appears to have decided to relocate its headquarters to Syria. According to a report quoting unnamed U.S. and European intelligence and counter terror sources in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Al Qaeda recently sent a delegation of its top veterans to Syria to start the process of creating a new headquarters for the terror group.

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization broke its cooperative agreement with Da’esh in 2013. The group led radical Islamists in splitting from moderate opposition forces and was involved in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad from the start of the civil war.

Since that time, various groups have begun to set up independent emirates – small sovereign states – within the geographic area that once was referred to as Syria.

Senior Al Qaeda operatives have also now been told to lay the groundwork for establishing an emirate there, possibly through Al Nusra, which has yet to formally declare one.

Al Qaeda supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahri released his first audio statement in months about two weeks ago, giving his blessing to the venture.

The presence of a consolidated Al Qaeda headquarters in Syria would, of course, mean a bloody battle indeed between the group and Da’esh, which broke off as a splinter group from Al Qaeda.

It would also mean a massive infusion of new blood for Al Qaeda from a region bursting with passionate youths looking for something to do and somewhere to go, other than school and the prospect of a “regular life.” It would provide an alternative for those who are filled with Islamic fundamentalism, hatred and bloodthirsty excitement, but who just can’t deal with the mindless brutality of Da’esh — which has been the only option up to now.

Such a headquarters, strategically located in the heart of the Middle East near the borders of Turkey, Iran and Russia between Europe, Africa and North America, spells the start of a brand new nightmare for the next American president, regardless of who it is.

For Israel, it means unrelenting vigilance along the northern and southern borders.

Da’esh is already ensconsed in the Sinai Peninsula, where its affiliate, the former Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, now known as “Sinai Province,” has firmed up its bond with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. Since the start of this month, the IDF has already uncovered two Hamas cross-border terror attack tunnels leading from Gaza into Israeli territory. Each time, the military engineers were forced to carry out their search under mortar fire directed at them by terrorists from Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

Truce Signed in Syria by Assad Regime, Rebel Forces – Excludes ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

As the gunshots and sounds of mortarfire grow closer to Israeli communities in the Golan Heights, the Syrian regime has signed a truce with representatives of the rebel forces.

The truce, however, excludes Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and the Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organizations, according to a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the state-run SANA news agency, which raises the issue of how long it will actually last, and how relevant it really is.

“The Syrian Arab Republic accepts the cessation of fighting actions on the basis of continuing the military efforts for combating terrorism against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations according to the Russian-U.S. agreement,” said an official source at the Syrian Expatriates and Foreign Ministry.

The military picture in Syria is far from simple.

Both Russia and the U.S.-led coalition are still claiming to be bombing ISIS terror targets in Syria, but one can hardly separate those out from the general population, let alone from other combatants.

The Syrian regime forces include the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist guerrilla fighters and Russian military personnel on the ground and in the air.

The U.S.-led coalition forces in the air have been bombing targets on behalf of the more moderate Syrian opposition forces. But there have been overlaps and on more than one occasion the “moderate” rebels have united with radical Islamists when they deemed necessary to overcome an enemy target. In this way, weapons, ammunition and other foreign ordnance changes hands, and Da’esh (ISIS) and/or Al Qaeda-linked terrorists end up possessing American arms and military technology.

Moreover, Ankara — also a member of NATO along with the United States — has been bombing Kurdish sites in northern Syria, claiming the PYD and YPG groups are related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group. Turkey alleges the PKK perpetrated last week’s horrific suicide car bombing in the capital city, Ankara, together with a PYD-linked Syrian national.

Regardless of who is dropping the bombs, after five years of one of the most savage civil wars in the Middle East very little is left of the “Syrian Arab Republic” that the world — or President Bashar al-Assad himself — once knew. At present, even the outlying districts of Damascus have been bombed into rubble in many areas, as seen in the video below, filmed by RussiaWorks.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry source noted that the cease-fire is set to begin on Saturday Feb. 27. In order to ensure the success of the cease-fire, “the Syrian government affirms readiness to continue to coordinate with the Russian side for identifying the areas and the armed groups that are to be included in the cessation along the period it is in effect,” the source said.

“The Syrian government stresses the importance of border curbing, halting support provided by some countries to the armed groups, and preventing these organizations from boosting their capabilities or changing their positions so as to avoid anything that may undermine this agreement,” the source warned.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that he and U.S. President Barack Obama had agreed on a joint statement announcing their plans to stop military operations in Syria. The U.S. State Department announced the agreement, which it said includes “plans to stop the military operations in Syria, [but] which exclude the Islamic State (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.”

Hana Levi Julian

Japanese Journalist Held Captive in Syria by Unnamed Terror Group

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

A Japanese journalist is being held captive by in Syria, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who did not name the group holding Yasuda Jumpei. Nor did he confirm the report of the abduction, which allegedly occurred in July.

“We are doing our best… and making full use of various intelligence networks,” he said, but gave no details.

Information about the capture of the journalist was received from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, Reuters reported. RSF urged Japan to do all it can to save Yasuda, who was a friend and colleague of Japanese war correspondent Kenjo Goto, another journalist who was captured and executed late last year by the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group.

Yasuda himself had been previously abducted and held hostage by an armed group in 2004 while traveling near a combat zone in Iraq. He disappeared in July shortly after crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.

The organization said “an armed group” has been holding Yasuda hostage after kidnapping him shortly after entered Syria in an area controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front).

The terrorist organization is demanding a ransom and has begun a countdown for payment. The group is threatening to execute the journalist or to sell him to another group if no ransom is paid.

Earlier this year, the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization released a video documenting the beheading by the group of journalist Kenji Goto and his friend, a Japanese contractor.

Hana Levi Julian

Syria Urges Russia to Attack All Rebel Forces

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Syrian ambassador to Russia said Wednesday he hopes that the Russian Armed Forces will attack all the terrorist organizations present in Syria, including the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra.”

Ambassador Riad Haddad told Moscow’s Sputnik news that the Russian Air Force headquarters would be determined by the military command.

It is inevitable that Russia will not limit its military operations in Syria to attacks on the ISIS, as President Vladimir Putin has assured President Barack Obama.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is totally dependent on Russia to save his neck, and Russia is so heavily invested in Syria and Iran that it cannot afford to see the ISIS, rebel forces or Al Qaeda carve up the country.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Lebanon to Pay $30 Million to Jabhat Al-Nusra

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

The Saudi website newspaper Aawsat reports that Lebanon will be paying $30 million to Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusra rebels to free 16 Lebanese hostages.

In addition, Lebanon will also be releasing one of the wives of an ISIS leader, Abu Bachar al-Bagdadi, whom they captured.

The 16 hostages being held by Jabhat al-Nusra are Lebanese soldiers.

Hezbollah, which is fighting Jabhat al-Nusra, is unhappy with the deal and they are worried the money will be used to fight them.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Lebanese-Druze Ready to Raise 200,000 Man Defensive Army

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The international Druze community is understandably worried. As a small, quiet minority in Syria, the Syrian-Druze community relied on Bashar Assad for protection.

But with the advances of the Syrian rebels and ISIS, the Syrian-Druze community finds itself in existential danger.

This week, fighters associated with Jabhat Al-Nusra massacred 20 Druze civilians in Qalb al-Loza, in the Idlib region.

Over the past year, Druze villagers have faced some battles with al-Nusra fighters who tried to attack their villages.

Israeli-Druze have been repeatedly and strongly warning of imminent massacres of their brother just across the border.

Prominent Druze leaders in Lebanon are calling for assistance for the Syrian-Druze community.

According to the Lebanon Daily Star, former Lebanese-Druze Minister Wi’am Wahhab, who supports Assad, asked for weapons from Assad so the Druze could defend themselves from al-Nusra:

“[The Druze in Syria] are ready to defeat the terrorists, but what they lack is arms. Lebanon’s Druze are ready to help, we are ready to form an army of 200,000 fighters to defend the Druze,” Wahhab said in a televised speech, urging Assad to provide arms to the community.

While Lebanese-Druze MP Walid Jumblatt, who on the other hand supports the Syrian Rebels, said they have spoken this week with the rebel groups and other regional powers to create a joint effort to protect residents in the Druze villages of Idlib.

All around, most of the various groups and divisions within Lebanon have been condemning the massacre of the Syrian Druze.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lebanese-druze-ready-to-raise-200000-man-defensive-army/2015/06/12/

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