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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Hundreds Captured or Dead in ISIS Assault on Syria’s Oil-Rich Deir Ezzor

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Hundreds of Syrian women, children and elderly are dead following an assault by Da’esh operatives from the ISIS terror organization on the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor on Saturday.

The murders were carried out in the suburb of al-Bghailiye in Deir Ezzor city, capital of the province of the same name, according to the Syrian state-run SANA news agency, which quoted local sources.

Some reports of the assault claimed fewer deaths but a higher number of captives, dragged away to Raqqa, the so-called capital of the mushrooming Da’esh “caliphate.”

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that closer to 400 civilians were abducted Saturday after Da’esh seized new territory in Syria’s eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

The attack places Da’esh in control of approximately 60 percent of Deir Ezzor City. The oil-rich province borders Iraq.

“After their attack on Deir Ezzor [on Saturday] ISIS abducted at least 400 civilians from the residents of the al-Baghaliyeh suburb it captured and adjacent areas in the northwest of the city,” the Observatory said in a statement to media.

“Those abducted, all of whom are Sunnis, include women, children and family members of pro-regime fighters,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman added.

The hostages were reportedly taken to areas under Da’esh control in the western area of Deir Ezzor province, to the border with the Raqqa province, in the northwestern part of Syria.

According to the Observatory, the attack on Saturday left 85 civilians and 50 regime fighters dead. In addition, 42 member from the “Islamic State” organization (including 12 infiltrators and members who blew themselves up with explosive belts in the same attack) were killed as well, the organization reported on its website.

The report from state-run SANA, quoting local residents, said “around 300 civilians” were killed in the assault, and cited a “massacre.”

If the figures are confirmed it will be one of the highest death tolls in a single day in the nearly 5-year civil war.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Directly Arming Hezbollah Fighters in Syria

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Russia has begun to directly arm Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Syria, according to a report this week by The Daily Beast.

Hezbollah field commanders serving in Syria told the news outlet they are receiving “heavy weapons” for their troops “with no strings attached.” Among the arms they reportedly have received were long-range tactical missiles, laser-guided rockets and anti-tank weapons.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin so far has not denied the report.

“We support both Assad’s army and the armed opposition,” Putin said in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper. “Some of them have publicly declared this, others prefer to remain silent, but the work is ongoing.

Putin claimed Russia’s actions are directed towards the destruction of the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

“This is hundreds, thousands of armed people fighting Islamic State (Da’esh). We are coordinating our joint operations with them and support their offensives by air strikes in various sections of the front line,” Putin said.

The Hezbollah commanders deployed in Syria confirmed in speaking with The Daily Beast that there is a relationship of “complete coordination” between Russia, Hezbollah and its patron, Iran, and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Direct inter-dependence between Hezbollah and Russia is increasing as well, as time goes on, according to that report.

“I can tell you precisely what we do not want to happen,” Putin told Bild. “We do not want the Libyan or Iraqi scenario to be repeated in Syria.”

But it is also true that Russia does not consider the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group to be a terror organization. Last November, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying, “We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization.

“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian soil. Hezbollah was elected by Lebanese citizens to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is a legitimate sociopolitical force.”

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS Terrorists Train in Missiles at ‘Jihadi University’

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

ISIS terrorists are learning how to assemble, repair and recondition missiles and other weaponry at a new “Jihadi University” in Raqqa.

A new ISIS (Da’esh) training video on the subject, obtained by Britain’s Sky News, has deeply impressed — and worried — former United Kingdom Special Forces bomb technician Maj. Chris Hunter.

The video shows footage of a weapons lab in the Da’esh terror group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. The lab appears to have become a “jihadi technical college,” as it is being referred to by the terrorist organization.

The footage shows that the group can now produce key components for advanced weapons, including surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and refurbish those previously believed to be obsolete or unusable.

Da’esh operatives have produced a homemade thermal battery for use in SAM systems – something that was also believed to be impossible for terrorist groups without any military infrastructure.

But it is now abundantly clear that Da’esh, at least, has managed to create for itself just such an infrastructure. The group has the capability of re-commissioning thousands of missiles previously thought to be unusable.

With these, Da’esh can target passenger and military aircraft anywhere within its range — and since it is creating an air force as well, it may become a menace in the sky sooner rather than later.

“What this video shows is that ISIS is “leagues ahead of its terrorist predecessors,” Hunter told Sky News on Wednesday (Jan. 6). “At first, the images didn’t look very different from the raft of other ISIS propaganda on the internet, but within minutes it occurred to me that this was definitely no ISIS propaganda video.”

Instead, Hunter said he saw “technically adept and highly trained weapons specialists giving expert tuition in how to turn obsolete munitions and ammunition into state-of-the-art weapon systems.

“Without doubt, the most chilling aspect of watching this training video was the unprecedented levels of technical expertise and ingenuity of those weapons engineers,” he said.

“Their advanced knowledge of weapons engineering, coupled with their seemingly limitless ability to reverse engineer and recondition weapons (previously considered by intelligence agencies to be obsolete or beyond repair), kept me awake all night.”

The components whose assembly, repair and refurbishing were painstakingly demonstrated included a missile seeker unit, infra-red homing radar, and MANPADS (shoulder-launched surface-to-air weapons systems). Also included with the assembly of a remote control car bomb – complete with a mannequin capable of tricking the advanced early warning sensors at critical/high security facilities.

Hunter called it “the stuff of nightmares.”

The real fear, at least for him, is “they’re certain to find their way into the hands of jihadi organizations and networks outside Iraq and Syria.”

For residents of Israel, of course, that nightmare began a long time ago.

Hana Levi Julian

Rouhani: Muslims Must Improve Image’ but not Forget ‘Zionist Crimes’

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Muslims must improve the image of Islam in light of the evil of the Islamic State (ISIS) that has stained the religion as violent, according to foreign news agencies.

The report on Reuters omitted what was headlined in the Iranian regime-controlled Mehr News Agency, which headlined:

Ignoring Zionist crimes in Islamic world implausible – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani slammed disappearance of addressing and broadcasting violence and crimes of Zionist regime in the Islamic world.

Rouhani was speaking at an international “unity” conference, which he said he hopes will help unify Muslims.

He called on Muslims “to follow a fair, moderate tone of discourse which is far from any kind of extremism, which he said results in violence.”

Iran is fearful of the Islamic State (ISIS), which has the same objective of the Tehran regime by wanting to create a Caliphate in the entire Middle East, for starters, before conquering the rest of the world.

The real difference between Iran and the ISIS is who calls the shots, or in their case, who swings the knife or tightens the noose.

Rouhani implied the rest of the world should have listened to him two years ago when Iran proposed the “World Against Violence and Extremism” to the United Nations. “Although seemingly passed unanimously by Muslim and non-Muslim countries, no measure of good faith was taken in practice,” he said.

Ignoring the “Zionist crimes,” which means the existence of Israel, the Iranian president referred to Islamic civil war and added:

If the world wants peace, all have to work together against extremism, violence and terrorism.

Why are we so silent in the face of all the killing and bloodshed? Do we help those who are the main cause of crimes? Is it not a disgrace to the Islamic world that innocent Muslims with their small children, with women, travel during the harsh winter, inside the river or sea with boats to seek refuge in non-Islamic countries?

We have to eliminate the negative interpretation of Islam in the virtual and real world; the great injustice is not only upon Muslims and the people of Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; it is also the greatest injustice in the face of Islam.

His thesis tried to distance Islam in Iran from ISIS. Rouhani asked, “Did we ever think that, instead of enemies, an albeit small group from within the Islamic world using the language of Islam, would present it as the religion of killing, violence, whips, extortion and injustice?”

Reuters did not ask if “the religion of killing, violence, whips, extortion and injustice” also exists in Iran but took care to call Rouhani “a relative moderate” who supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who also is trying to defeat the ISIS.

Assad also continues to use chemical weapons and raid civilian population centers with barrel bombs.

“Rouhani the moderate” as secretary of Supreme National Security Council in 1999, stated in a pro-government rally during student protests, “At dusk yesterday we received a decisive revolutionary order to crush mercilessly and monumentally any move of these opportunist elements wherever it may occur. From today our people shall witness how in the arena our law enforcement force . . . shall deal with these opportunists and riotous elements, if they simply dare to show their faces.”

Since taking office as president, more than 600 people have been executed, usually by hanging, which for Rouhani may be a more moderate type of Islam than the ISIS practice of beheading.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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

Arab-Israeli Sentenced to Two Years After Attempting to Join ISIS

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

This morning, Thursday December 24, a worker who had previously worked at the Israeli Ministry of Health was sentenced following a serious security-related trial which lasted seven month between June 2014 – January 2015.

The trial was concluded following a serious security related trial for his attempt to join the terrorist organization, ISIS.

According to the indictment, Halil Halil, a 25-years-old resident of Abu-Tur, a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem sought to join the ranks of ISIS in Syria when he attempted to exit the country illegally to Turkey en route to Syria.

Halil was caught however, by chance misfortune, when he attempted to cross the border from Turkey to Syria. Moreover, Halil stood accused of establishing contact with a foreign agent in Turkey and also attempted to connect with activists and with illegal associations such as ISIS.

According to the indictment, Halil first made contact with ISIS members in Israel by way of social media videos and Facebook.

The official sentencing, by Judge David Minetz, read “In light of all the information and after weighing up of all considerations I sentenced the defendant to 24 months in prison on condition that if he commits any offence to the security of the state during the first three years following his release from prison he will be immediately reimprisoned.”

Following the sentencing Halil’s attorney, Wasim Darosher, told TPS that “The supreme court accepted the majority of defense team’s positions and concluded that the crimes were personally motivated rather than national.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Retreats from Syria

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is retreating from Syria.

Just 700 of the elite forces remain in the country, according to Bloomberg. The figure does not, however, include Iranian military advisers embedded among the Syrian armed forces since 2012.

More than 7,000 troops were fighting for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in October, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. By late October, U.S. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that just 2,000 Iranian troops were fighting in the country.

The deaths and injuries of top officers in major military campaigns this year has clearly taken its toll on the force, and convinced Iran enough is enough. “They are losing lieutenants,” former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford told Bloomberg. “When you lose lieutenants it means you are losing people fighting on the front lines.”

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institute last Friday that the campaign to take back control of the Idlib province and other areas that have come under rebel control has been a “failure.”

Ya’alon cited the “incompetence” of the Syrian armed forces, and the “lack of determination of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps” as factors in that failure.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken up the battle, however, with Moscow’s military forces escalating their air campaign in Aleppo. Russia remains firm that Assad is the best option for leadership in Syria, despite the fact that only a small bit of territory around Damascus actually remains under his control.

The rest of what once was Syria has been carved up into small emirates and bits of territory divided among the rebel groups, Al Qaeda-linked forces and the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iranian-revolutionary-guards-corps-retreats-from-syria/2015/12/22/

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