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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘syrian uprising’

Kerry Plays Pollyanna to Zarif’s Machiavelli

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif at the United Nations on Saturday, Sept. 26, in advance of the General Debate of the U.N. General Assembly which opens on Monday.

Why the State Department issued a press release and video of the absolutely content-less exchange is hard to understand. While Kerry appeared to be conciliatory and eager to please, Zarif was completely no-nonsense and uninterested in even the appearance of being conciliatory or cooperative. He had one issue on his mind: having the Iran Deal implemented “in good faith.”

In the extremely brief press availability prior to the meeting, a reporter asked Zarif whether he could imagine cooperating with the U.S. regarding Syria, if the U.S. insists on Assad stepping down, eventually. The second permitted question was directed to Kerry. The Secretary was asked whether he was going to raise the issue of American citizens being held in Iran.

Perhaps no one will be surprised to learn that neither of the questions were answered.

Secretary Kerry was upbeat and positive. He reminded the reporters that this was the first time he and Zarif were meeting since the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiations in Vienna.

Kerry congratulated everyone on all the work that has been done to keep the process moving and on track. Presumably he was talking about the squelching of all efforts to derail the non-signed, non-treaty treaty.

The Secretary also said that there were “a lot of issues to talk about,” but refused to identify or discuss any of them individually. However, he said “I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve some of the very difficult issues of the Middle East.”

Kerry said that peace needed to be achieved in the Middle East generally, and specifically mentioned Syria and Yemen, but refused to be any more specific about issues.

With respect to the question regarding American prisoners being held captive by Iran, Kerry said, “We always talk about American citizens with respect to their detainment in any part of the world, and so you can count on the fact that we will have a discussion.”

The two minute press briefing was then turned over to Zarif.

Zarif wasted no time on congratulations to anyone. He made it clear the only interest Iran has is moving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Deal) to implementation. He said that is his priority and have full, good-faith implementation may relieve “some of the mistrust that has existed over the past many decades.”

Zarif also suggested that there may be fireworks coming regarding Saudi Arabia, which Iran has charged was at fault for the hajj stampede which killed hundreds of people this week.

The problem with Saudi Arabia is the only specific issue he mentioned, but acknowledged there are other problems in the region which need to be addressed at some point.

US Warns Russia Over Military Buildup in Syria

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

The U.S. warned Russia over the weekend that its military buildup in Syria could further escalate the conflict in the region.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “to discuss Syria, including U.S. concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup there,” the State Department said in a statement. “The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL Coalition operating in Syria,” the statement continued.

ISIL is the Obama administration acronym for ISIS, or Da’esh. The two men agreed to continue their conversation at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.

According to American intelligence reports, Russia has delivered prefab housing for hundreds of people and a portable air traffic station to an airfield near Latakia.

The U.S. government warned that Russian air strikes could interfere with current operations being conducted by the United States-led coalition against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria.

It is also possible that Russian operations could strike opposition forces the Americans support.

The United States and Russia have very different ideas about how to solve the crisis in Syria; on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for “early elections” in Syria and suggested bringing “healthy” elements of the opposition to a new coalition government.

But Putin, who had first cleared his plan with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, did not specify which opposition elements would be acceptable.

Assad Ecstatic over Nuclear Agreement with Iran

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fell over himself praising the agreement with Iran, which he called a “glorious victory.”

He wrote Iranian President Hassan Rouhani:

I am happy that the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved a great victory by reaching an agreement. In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement.

The agreement will lift sanctions and pour tens of billions of dollars into the Iranian treasury, which has invested billions in weapons and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria to save Assad’s neck.

Assad added, “We are confident the Islamic Republic will continue to back and with more vigor the just causes of all people,” he said.

Syria opposition leader Ahmed Ramadan told The Wall Street Journal:

Iran’s hands are dripping with the blood of Syrians. It will have to do a lot to wash this away.”

New money for Iran is not going to wash anything away, but it will make Syria, whatever is left of it, even redder

Al Nusra Killers in Syrian-Druze Massacre to Face Islamic Trial

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

The Jabhat al Nusra Syrian rebel group stated on Saturday that the members of its organization who massacred 20 Druze civilians in Syria’s Idlib region last week will face trial in an Islamic Court, according to the Lebanese TV station, MTV.

Al Nusrah said the killings were a violation of orders and the killers would be punished.

The massacre shocked the international Druze community.

The Al Qaida-affiliated al Nusra group want to portray themselves as the liberators of Syria and a more moderate Islamic alternative than ISIS. They have made it a point of not forcing their Islamic views on areas they captured.

But it may too little, too late, as reports in Arab media indicate that the Druze community have begun organizing, and will be joining Assad’s side in the Syrian civil war.

ISIS Captures Most of Syria; Assad Escape Plan Revealed

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

The Islamic State terrorist entity made significant gains this week in its territorial control over an ever-growing swathe of the Middle East. Its barbarism continued apace as well. In addition to the capture of the Iraqi city of Ramadi just a few days ago, ISIS appears to have also succeeded in capturing the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, with its capture of the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, ISIS now controls nearly 50 percent of Syria. Palmyra is located between the Syrian capital of Damascus, in southwestern Syria, and the centrally located city of Deir al-Zour. It is in Syria’s Homs province.

The capture of Palmyra is hugely important not only because it is the first major Syrian city ISIS has captured unassisted by various other anti-Assad forces, but also because it is of enormous historical significance. The city dates back to the first century of the Common Era, and was a central crossroads for trade from the east to the Roman Empire. Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its architectural, historical and art treasures.

The capture of Palmyra by ISIS was announced by the terrorist entity on Twitter, and most major media outlets are treating this account as factual.

The outcries against the capture of Palmyra by historians and art curators has angered many who see this as valuing art over human lives.

As part of its conquest of Palmyra and surrounding areas, ISIS now controls not only more land than the regime, but it also controls most of Syria’s oil and gas fields.

As noted on the news site Western Journalism, control over Palmyra also provides a strategic base from which ISIS can advance on other cities held by Assad, including Homs and Damascus.

At least one Israeli Middle East expert, Tzvi Yechezkieli of Channel 10, predicted that the fall of Palmyra may signal the end of Assad’s central government. He pointed to the fact that Assad is losing territory to Islamic State every day and is now in control of only a quarter of Syria’s territory.

The Israeli commentator also reported that Assad has prepared an escape plan should ISIS capture Damascus. Assad’s plan, according to Yechezkieli, is that the Syrian dictator will withdraw his forces to the Western part of Syria, the stronghold of Assad’s own Alawite minority. Alawites are a small sect within Shia Muslims, and comprise less than 15 percent of Syria’s population.

ISIS has achieved such dramatic victories for many reasons, not only because of the west’s initial refusal to take it seriously and its barbarism acting as a lure for disaffected global sadists. One successful method of recruitment, as Yechezkieli also pointed out, has been the massive jailbreak orchestrated by ISIS during its capture of Palmyra.

The thousands of released Syrians, many of whose crimes were that they were opponents of the regime, were welcomed into ISIS’s forces. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” is a slogan the newly-released Syrians may embrace, to Assad’s dismay.

Report: US Waiting for “Green Light” for Assad Talks

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

An Arab paper in London, Al Rai El-Youm, reports that the US is waiting for the Syrian OK to open up secret back channel talks with the Bashar Assad’s government in Syria, according to Israel IBA news.

The US is waiting for the “green light” from the Syrians, at which point they’ll send a delegation to Damascus.

Last week US Secretary of State Kerry said that in the end the US will have to talk with Assad. The State Department later corrected that statement and said Kerry meant not with Assad himself, but with other officials in his government.

Israeli Proposal, Pearlman and Helfgot, Rabbi Richman, Syria

Thursday, February 7th, 2013


Yishai and Malkah discuss a recent marriage proposal, which involved all aspects of the Israeli security apparatus including the IDF. They move on to provide audio from NPR about coming concerts and album from famed violinist Itzhak Pearlman and Cantor Yitchak Meir Helfgot. They move on to provide audio from Rabbi Chaim Richman about the resurgence of Anti-Semitism throughout the world. The segment ends with audio from PBS about the hardships that exist on the Syrian/Jordanian border.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/an-exclusively-israeli-marriage-proposal-pearlman-and-helfgot-audio-from-rabbi-richman-and-tension-in-syria/2013/02/07/

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