Αυτοκαθορισμός

Αυτοκαθορισμός

Πέμπτη, 6 Νοεμβρίου 2014

dimpenews / MESOP / Νεώτερα και αναλύσεις



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http://dimpenews.com/2014/11/05/%CE%B1%CF%80%CE%BF%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%BB%CF%85%CF%80%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%B1-o-%CF%86%CE%B1%CE%BC%CF%80%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%85%CF%83-%CE%B6%CE%B7%CF%84%CE%B1%CE%B5%CE%B9-%CE%BD%CE%B1-%CF%87%CF%84%CF%85/#more-8525


ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΠΤΗΡΙΑ :O ΦΑΜΠΙΟΥΣ ΖΗΤΑΕΙ ΝΑ ΧΤΥΠΗΣΕΙ Η ΣΥΜΜΑΧΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΣΥΡΙΑΚΟ ΣΤΡΑΤΟ

Laurent Fabius, ici à Berlin le 15 octobre 2014, appelle la communauté internationale à se mobiliser pour Alep. (archives)

Πορφύρης Δ Σταφυλά Π

Oι συριακές κυβερνητικές δυνάμεις είναι σε φάση επανάκτησης του Χαλεπίου.Αυτή η εξέλιξη πανικοβάλει τον Υπ.Εξ της Γαλλίας που καλεί σε βομβαρδισμό των θέσεων του συριακού στρατού για να μην πέσει η πόλη “στα χέρια του  Assad ». Σε δηλώσεις του που δημοσιεύει η « Washington post » ο Laurent Fabius προεικονίζει αεροπορικές επιδρομές κατά των συριακών δυνάμεων γεγονός που προδίδει τις πραγματικές προθέσεις της διεθνούς αντιτρομοκρατικής συμμαχίας.Φαίνεται ότι τα συμφέροντα της Τουρκίας και της Γαλλίας συμπίπτουν για το Χαλέπι.Το Χαλέπι για τους τούρκους θεωρείται ότι είναι οριστικά τουρκικό, η επανάκτησή του από την Δαμασκό θα είναι γι αυτούς μια καταστροφή. Η ψευδοσυμμαχία κατά του Ισλαμικού Κράτους εξελίσεται σε συμμαχία κατά του συριακού κράτους.Το Χαλέπι που δεινοπάθησε από όλες τις συμφορές κινδυνεύει να βρεθεί στη δίνη των αμερικανικών επιδρομών.
O Yπ.Εξ.της Γαλλίας Laurent Fabius κάλεσε τη διεθνή συμμαχία να κινητοποιηθεί για το Χαλέπι που απειλείται από το καθεστώς και τους τζιχαντιστές. “Μετά το Κομπάνι πρέπει να σώσουμε το Χαλέπι” τόνισε.Σε δημοσιεύματα σε Le Figaro, le Washington Post και Al Hayat ο γάλλος φέρεται να δήλωσε :
“Το Χαλέπι σήμερα είναι απέναντι στην απειλή που λειτουργεί ως τανάλια μεταξύ των βαρελιών με τα εκρηκτικά του καθεστώτος και των σφαγιαστών της Daech (ακρωνύμιο του Ισλαμικού Κράτους)” Η δεύτερη μεγαλύτερη πόλη της Συρίας το Χαλέπι διαιρέθηκε έπειτα από τον Ιούλιο του 2012 στον δυτικό τομέα των κυβερνητικών και στον ανατολικό τομέα των ανταρτών. “Ο Bachar al-Assad και η Daech είναι οι 2 όψεις της μιας και ίδιας βαρβαρότητας” που στοχεύουν την μετριοπαθή συριακή
αντιπολίτευση 

  

Laurent Fabius dévoile les vrais objectifs de la coalition contre DAECH


“Το να εγκαταλείψουμε το Χαλέπι είναι σαν να καταδικάζουμε 300.000 άνδρες γυναίκες και παιδιά σε μια φοβερή εναλλακτική : θανάσιμη παγίδα στις βόμβες του καθεστώτος ή βαρβαρότητα των τρομοκρατών της Daech” .
“Η Γαλλία δεν μπορεί να κωφεύει ούτε στον κατακερματισμό της Συρίας ούτε στην εγκατάλειψη των κατοίκων του Χαλεπίου σε μια ακραία τραγική τύχη.Γι αυτό με τους εταίρους μας της συμμαχίας οφείλουμε να φέρουμε τις προσπάθειές μας στο Χαλέπι.Με δύο ξεκάθαρους στόχους: να ενισχύσουμε την υποστήριξή μας στη μετριοπαθή συριακή αντιπολίτευση και ν απροστατεύσουμε τον πληθυσμό από τα δίδυμα εγκλήματα του καθεστώτος και της Daech. Μετά το Κομπάνι πρέπει να σώσουμε το Χαλέπι” συμπεραίνει ο Laurent Fabius.
Η Γαλλία ως τώρα συμμετέχει σε χτυπήματα εναντίον του Ισλαμικού Κράτους στο Ιράκ αλλά όχι στη Συρία αν και ήταν πριν ένα χρόνο στο παρά πέντε για ν αβομβαρδίσει το συριακό κράτος.Στη συνάντηση του στο Παρίσι στις 31 Οκτωβρίου με τον Recep Tayyip Erdogan ο François Hollande είχε διαβεβαιώσει ότι για τη Γαλλία “η πόλη κλειδί αυτή τη στιγμή είναι το Χαλέπι “. (rtl.fr,reseauinternational.net 5/11/14)

ΥΓ. Laurent Fabius η Συρία δεν είναι Κορσική ……..ούτε Γουαδελούπη.



 http://www.mesop.de/2014/11/06/mesop-iran-yes-others-no-iranian-general-is-said-to-mastermind-iraq-ground-war/

MESOP : IRAN YES ! OTHERS NO! Iranian General is Said to Mastermind Iraq Ground War

By Qassim Abdul-zahra and Vivian Salama – 2014-11-06 02:00 GMT – BAGHDAD (AP) — When Islamic State militants retreated from the embattled town of Jurf al-Sakher last week, the Iraqi military was quick to flaunt a rare victory. State television showed tanks and Humvees parading through the town and soldiers touring government buildings that the Sunni extremist group had occupied since August.However, photos soon emerged on independent Iraqi news websites revealing a more discreet presence – the Iranian general Ghasem Soleimani, whose name has become synonymous with the handful of victories attributed to Iraqi ground forces. Local commanders said Lebanon’s Hezbollah Shiite militia group was also involved.

The U.S. has awkwardly found itself on the same side as Iran and Hezbollah in the war against the Islamic State group, which rampaged across much of northern and western Iraq in June. While U.S. military advisers have been coordinating coalition airstrikes from within heavily fortified bases, Soleimani and his commanders are on the front lines and would assume a key role in the retaking of major cities. That could prove a major impediment to addressing the grievances of Iraq’s Sunni minority. Iran and Hezbollah are closely linked with Iraqi Shiite militias, which have also played a key role in driving IS out of the so-called Baghdad Belt of Sunni villages ringing the capital. The sectarian militias have long been implicated in brutality against Sunnis, and their advance could undermine efforts to knit the troubled country together. Militia commanders told The Associated Press that dozens of advisers from Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were on the front lines in Jurf al-Sakher. They said the advisers provided weapons training to some 7,000 Iraqi troops and militia fighters and coordinated with military commanders ahead of the operation.
One commander, who agreed to be identified only by his nickname, Abu Zeinab, said Soleimani began planning the Jurf al-Sakher operation three months ago. The cleared town, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the capital, lies on a road often used by Shite pilgrims.
Iraqi military officials declined to discuss Soleimani’s presence in Jurf al-Sakher, or in previous victories where he is known to have played a commanding role. Those successes include halting the IS advance in the town of Amirli in August and the city of Samarra in June.
But senior figures with the Revolutionary Guard have publicly acknowledged Soleimani’s role in Iraq’s war with IS. As for Hezbollah, it has openly joined Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces against mainly Sunni rebels – a decision that has fueled sectarian tensions in Lebanon. But Hezbollah has declined to comment on reports of its involvement in Iraq. In July, officials in Lebanon said a Hezbollah commander was killed while on a “jihadi mission” in Iraq. Ibrahim Mohammed al-Haj was buried in Lebanon and his funeral attended by top Hezbollah officials. It was the first known Hezbollah death in Iraq since the lightning IS advance in June.
A Lebanese official close to the group said Hezbollah is known to have “a limited number of advisers” in Iraq who are not directly involved in fighting, and that al-Haj was one of them. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Iraqi officials have also said that a handful of advisers from Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, are offering front-line guidance to Iraqi Shiite militias fighting Sunni extremists north of Baghdad. But it is not known if any Hezbollah men are actually fighting.Iraqi Shiite militias were implicated in the mass killing of Sunnis at the height of the country’s sectarian carnage in 2006 and 2007 and have more recently been accused of brutalizing Sunni captives. Sunnis are also deeply suspicious of Shiite powerhouse Iran, which has played an outsized role in Iraqi affairs since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated government. “It is true that Iraq needs any kind of help in the current situation, but this help should be public and part of the international efforts,” Sunni lawmaker Hamid al-Mutlaq told the AP. “This undeclared Iranian help harms national reconciliation and the sovereignty of Iraq.”
Amnesty International said last month that militias have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians with the tacit support of the Iraqi government in retaliation for Islamic State attacks.Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has pledged to reign in the militias and establish a national guard to mobilize Sunnis against the extremists. But it could take months to assemble such a force, and in the meantime Soleimani’s militias are the best placed to aid Iraq’s beleaguered military in regaining the initiative against the Islamic State group.Soleimani’s Quds Force, the special operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, has been involved for years in training and financing Iraq’s Shiite militias. It has also long worked with Hezbollah in Lebanon and has been aiding Assad’s forces.
In June, Revolutionary Guard advisers under Soleimani provided guidance for Shiite militiamen in shelling Sunni insurgent positions around Samarra, a Sunni-majority city north of Baghdad that is home to a revered Shiite shrine, local commanders said. Soleimani was also seen as playing a key role in ending the Islamic State siege of the Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli. And a top Revolutionary Guard general said in September that Soleimani had even helped Kurdish fighters defend their regional capital, Irbil.
Militia commanders, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media, describe Soleimani as “fearless” – one pointing out that the Iranian general never wears a flak jacket, even on the front lines.”Soleimani has taught us that death is the beginning of life, not the end of life,” one militia commander said. Associated Press writers Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad and Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report.




http://www.mesop.de/2014/11/06/state-of-war-the-iraqi-sunni-actors-taking-on-the-islamic-state/

State of war: The Iraqi Sunni actors taking on the Islamic State

MESOP : Terrorism & Insurgency -IHS Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Monitor -02 November 2014


A picture published on social media purportedly showing the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, meeting with Shia Muslim militiamen in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in mid-2014. Photo: IHS Jane’s/JTIC

Key Points

  • Although there are several local, armed Sunni initiatives dedicated to combating the Islamic State across Iraq, they are too weak and largely lack popular legitimacy.
  • Similarly, several Sunni insurgent groups oppose the Islamic State, but dynamics in relations between such groups and the latter undermine their efficacy.
  • A popular, armed Sunni force could prove effective in rolling back Islamic State gains, but political disenfranchisement and the prominence of Shia militias make the formation of such a body unlikely in the short-to-medium term.
The security situation in Iraq rapidly deteriorated following the fall of Mosul in June 2014 during an insurgent offensive spearheaded by what was then the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but has since been renamed the Islamic State. Since then, much discussion has arisen on how the group can either be contained or ‘rolled back’ by reducing its territorial holdings on a substantial scale and thus significantly weakening its power base within the country. However, for such an objective, a fundamental prerequisite is a local Sunni Muslim force on the ground that can contest the Islamic State’s control of Sunni majority areas of Iraq, notably the provinces of Anbar, Ninawa, and Salaheddine, as well as parts of Babil, Diyala, and Kirkuk.
In assessing how realistic a prospect this is, both currently and in the short-to-medium term, it is necessary to examine the existing Sunni initiatives aimed at combating the Islamic State, as well as analysing the dynamics between the group and the other Sunni insurgent organisations in Iraq. Considering that such insurgent groups have their own local support bases within the Sunni population, it may be necessary to attempt to persuade such militants to form a wider, co-ordinated initiative against the Islamic State.
However, this task already faces significant obstacles, most notably because the main Sunni insurgent groups that might combat the Islamic State are generally committed to a path of ‘revolution’ in some form that cannot be reconciled to the present existing order in Iraq. So, rather than merely seeking reform within the system to strive for, for example, greater autonomy for majority Sunni provinces – possibly in the form of a federal system – or seek concessions in the form of reforms to legislation that has widely been perceived by Sunnis as discriminatory, there is a widespread belief among such groups of the need to overthrow the government in Baghdad.
What system should follow that overthrow is of course a defining difference between the different insurgent groups, in particular separating the Islamic State from other actors. However, a significant problem at this juncture – as opposed to the 2005-06 period when the Sunni Awakening Councils were formed – is that with the perceived failure of the political process for Sunnis following the rollback of an earlier manifestation of the Islamic State (the Islamic State in Iraq), from the end of 2006 onwards, Sunni insurgent actors may conclude that consistently rejectionist insurgent groups, particularly those of a Baathist orientation, were correct all along. As a result, they may refuse to countenance engagement with the political process.

Sunni initiatives

There are several local armed Sunni initiatives that have been established over the course of 2014 with the specific objective of combating the Islamic State. The most notable of these is Kataib al-Mosul, or the Mosul Battalions, which was established by the Nujaifi family – including Ninawa governor Atheel al-Nujaifi and vice-president Osama al-Nujaifi – following the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State in June. Kataib al-Mosul consists of several declared sub-battalions, including the Prophet Jonah and Prophet Seth battalions – named for historic shrines in the city destroyed by the Islamic State. The exact strength of the group is difficult to determine, but videos released to mark the formation of various sub-battalions rarely show more than 10 people. In an interview with IHS Jane’s on 3 September, a representative for the group’s Katiba al-Bawasil, or Battalion of the Intrepid Ones, put the contingent’s strength at 100 fighters, but IHS Jane’s assesses that in reality that figure can probablly be considered something of an exaggeration.
In total, Kataib al-Mosul may well have no more than 100-200 members and, considering that Mosul is a city of more than 1 million people, such a force hardly constitutes an effective body with which to undermine the Islamic State’s control of the city. The group’s limited capabilities are also underlined by the nature of operations claimed by it against the Islamic State. Leaving aside likely exaggerations and fabrications that cannot otherwise be corroborated, the claimed attacks are low-level and of little significance, consisting of limited improvised explosive device (IED) attacks or small-arms assassinations.
The same observations and criticisms apply to a similar Sunni group in Mosul, Harakat Ahrar al-Mosul/Fursan Ninawa (Movement of the Free Men of Mosul/Knights of Ninawa), which claims to be separate from Kataib al-Mosul and to have a fighting force of approximately 350 people.
Other Sunni anti-Islamic State units initially emerged in Mosul following the fall of the city, such as Fursan al-Hudba (Knights of the Hunchback) – a reference to the leaning minaret of the Great Mosque of Mosul – which was reported on by local Iraqi media and featured on its statements the old Iraqi flag, probably indicating adherence to a third way between Baghdad and the Islamic State. This group, like Kataib al-Mosul and Harakat Ahrar al-Mosul, has also claimed low-level operations against the Islamic State, but there have been no further public announcements of operational activity since August, possibly indicating that it is currently dormant or defunct.
Beyond Mosul, specific anti-Islamic State initiatives can also be found in Anbar and Salaheddine provinces. In Anbar, the most notable organiser of such activity is Ahmed Abu Risha, a senior leader of the Awakening Councils in the province, who co-ordinates with government forces. Risha’s fighters remain the predominant pro-government Sunni tribal force in Anbar. The most important impact of this co-operation with the security forces has been to prevent the fall of the Ramadi area of the province, as well as the Amiriya al-Fallujah and Habbaniya districts, to anti-government insurgents – a combination of Islamic State and other Sunni militants. Working with Risha was his nephew, Muhammad Khamis Abu Risha, who appeared in a video from Amiriya al-Fallujah alongside anti-Islamic State tribesmen in May 2014 but was killed in a suicide attack in Ramadi in June.
Further west in Anbar, in Haditha district, Kataib al-Hamza has emerged, named after an Awakening Council previously established in the Al-Qaim district of Anbar, on the border with Syria. In an interview with IHS Jane’s on 31 August, the group claimed to have 180 fighters and by its own admission is only capable of conducting “simple” operations against the Islamic State. Further information about the group came to light in an Al-Aan TV interview with the group’s commander, Muhammad Ibrahim, in Haditha in October, in which he claimed that Kataib al-Hamza had contacts in places such as Al-Qaim, and Anah and Rawa – localities further west of Haditha that are solely controlled by the Islamic State – as part of efforts to undermine the group. However, it is not possible to detect any substantive results of such efforts in open source reporting, and it seems clear that Kataib al-Hamza’s primary function has been defensive, working with the security forces to prevent the Islamic State from capturing Haditha.
At the local level, there is the example of fighters from the Sunni Muslim Jubur tribe working with pro-government forces in the Dhuluiya district of Salaheddine province. Here again, the function is primarily defensive, preventing the Islamic State and other insurgents from taking control of the area. On a wider scale, the anti-Islamic State Sunni cleric Mahdi al-Sumaidaie announced plans in mid-October to hold a conference to form a wider tribal Ahrar al-Iraq (Free Men of Iraq), force to combat the Islamic State. However, his credibility among Sunnis is somewhat in doubt as he is perceived as a government stooge, most notably because he is viewed as an associate of Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Shia Islamist militant group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which itself has close political ties to former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.
In short, the current array of Sunni groups and forces opposed to the Islamic State across Iraq is too weak and too localised, and is lacking in the wider credibility required to constitute an effective fighting force.

Insurgent dynamics

The current weaknesses of local Sunni anti-Islamic State forces are reinforced by dynamics within the spectrum of Sunni insurgent groups currently operating across the north and west of the country in relation to the Islamic State.
As highlighted earlier, consistently rejectionist militant actors have garnered more credibility over the past 12 months in light of the perceived failure of the political process for Iraq’s Sunnis. This is reflected in the widespread acknowledgment of the Baathist Jaish Rijaal al-Tariqa al-Naqshabandiyya (JRTN) as ranking second in influence only to the Islamic State in the overall insurgency, and the two groups have co-operated operationally in seizing control of territory in northern Iraq. The JRTN also participates in an umbrella initiative – Al-Majlis al-Askari al-Aam li-Thuwaar al-Iraq (the General Military Council for Iraq’s Revolutionaries: GMCIR). The GMCIR notably includes Harith al-Dhari and his Muslim Scholars Association, together with Dhari-linked militant group the 1920 Revolution Brigades.
A composite of images released by Baathist insurgent group Jaish Rijaal al-Tariqa al-Naqshabandiyya (JRTN) in 2014. (IHS Jane's/JTIC)A composite of images released by Baathist insurgent group Jaish Rijaal al-Tariqa al-Naqshabandiyya (JRTN) in 2014. (IHS Jane’s/JTIC)
Although the JRTN in particular has been known to clash with the Islamic State at the local level, notably in Diyala province and the Hawija area of Kirkuk, and the Islamic State has cracked down on the JRTN presence in Mosul, the JRTN remains committed to a path of ‘revolution’ and has rejected notions of forming an Awakening Council-style body to fight against the Islamic State. The JRTN has also denied working with Kataib al-Mosul, dismissing the group as an organisation of “militias” in a statement in early August. This remains the case even as the JRTN has formally distanced itself from some of the Islamic State’s worst excesses, including the forced displacement of Christians from Mosul and attacks on the minority Yazidi population in northern Iraq. Yet, in keeping with the idea of maintaining the image of the ‘revolution’ as supposedly representative of all Iraqis, the JRTN has cast the government in Baghdad as ultimately responsible for these crimes.
In a similar vein, the GMCIR has been equally strident in its rejection of any notion of reconciliation with the government. The most elaborate indication of this rejectionist sentiment was a lengthy statement put out in late September denouncing Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s initiative to form a ‘National Guard’ to give Sunnis a greater role in managing security in their own areas as merely a new Awakening Council project designed to defang the ‘revolution’ under the pretext of addressing Sunni grievances and fighting the Islamic State. Furthermore, the 1920 Revolution Brigades’ political office has sought to distance itself from the actions of the Islamic State, albeit without mentioning the Islamic State by name and only in so far as it believes such excesses tar the reputation of the ‘revolution’.
Indicative of a more general shift towards revolutionary radicalism in the Sunni insurgency is the case of the Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI), a group dating back to the early days of the insurgency in Iraq following the United States-led invasion and many of whose senior figures had joined the Awakening Councils during the US troop surge from 2007 onwards. Following the completion of the US withdrawal in December 2011, the group demobilised to form the Sunni Popular Movement, which aimed to work for a Sunni federal region. However, in early to mid-2014 the IAI returned to full-blown militancy – typified by low-level mortar and sniper attacks targeting security forces, primarily in Salaheddine and Diyala – with the group’s rhetoric shifting to the idea of a Sunni federal region as only a stepping stone towards the ‘liberation’ of Baghdad from the rule of the Shia-dominated government. Like the JRTN and the wider Baathist network, the group rejects the concept of the formation of a new Awakening Council to fight the Islamic State, and in early October it specifically denied rumours of discussions with US officials in Amman to form a Sunni pushback force against the Islamic State, dismissing those who may be engaged in such enterprises as “bogus factions” with no real influence in the “Sunni revolution”.
Not all Sunni insurgent groups have shied away from combating the Islamic State though. The nationalist Sunni Salafist group Jaish al-Mujahideen, which has openly condemned the Islamic State as extremist, fought with the group in the Al-Karma area of Anbar, northeast of Fallujah, in late August. Jaish al-Mujahideen had exerted strong influence in Al-Karma since the capture of Fallujah by the Islamic State and other local insurgents in January, and tensions with the Islamic State became apparent over allegations that the latter was trying to gain a monopoly on the movement of materiel in and out of Al-Karma so that locals would be forced to buy fuel and food from it.
However, the clashes in Al-Karma did not go well for Jaish al-Mujahideen, as the group was forced to withdraw from the main urban area of the town following tribal mediation. This incident illustrated that one insurgent group alone – even if well-established and active in an area where it has a strong operational basis – is not sufficient to push back effectively against the Islamic State.
The other main Sunni Islamist insurgent organisation willing to denounce the Islamic State openly – Ansar al-Islam – is similarly too weak to take on the group, and has suffered in Mosul in particular from defections to the Islamic State, undoubtedly facilitated by the Islamic State’s assertion of authority by coercion and co-optation in the city.
More general dynamics in the Islamic State’s relationships with other Sunni insurgent groups further undermine the potential for a wider pushback against the group. For example, one pattern evident over the course of the year has been that the Islamic State, whether gradually or more rapidly, becomes the dominant power in the main urban area of a captured town or city and other factions end up fighting on the peripheries. This allows the Islamic State to acquire a baseline within the city – above all in the form of additional manpower – to expand eventually into the surrounding areas as other factions are worn down by fighting with government forces.
A case in point is the city of Fallujah, which fell to a coalition of the Islamic State and other local Sunni insurgent or political groups in January. However, through seizures of weapons, assassinations, and other means, the Islamic State had become the main power in Fallujah by the end of June, while others such as the JRTN ended up in peripheral areas, such as the Sijr area to the northeast, where extensive fighting took place with the Iraqi army. At the end of September, the Islamic State then expanded to assume control of Sijr from the weakened JRTN.

Shia militias

A further complicating factor in the emergence of concerted, armed Sunni opposition to the Islamic State has been the increasing prominence of Shia militias since the fall of Mosul in June. Several Sunni insurgent commanders told local media in Iraq in mid-October that although they maintained grievances against the Islamic State, they were unwilling to fight against the group as they considered Shia militias to pose an equal, if not greater, threat.
Since June, when the Islamic State captured Mosul and began pushing south and east towards Baghdad, Shia militias have played an important role in bolstering local security forces and preventing key cities from falling under the group’s control, such as Samarra and Baquba in Salaheddine and Diyala provinces, respectively.
It is also apparent that in many areas Shia militias have taken the lead in the fighting against the Islamic State, rather than the regular armed forces, such as in Diyala province where the claimed ‘popular mobilisation’ force was in reality composed of members of the Badr Organisation, a longstanding Shia militia with heavy political ties to Shia Islamist political party the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq. Members of the militia had already joined the security forces, particularly the police, in large numbers over the past decade, but Sunni perceptions of collusion between the Badr Organisation and the security forces were probably only further underlined following the selection of Badr Organisation official Muhammad al-Ghabban as minister of the interior – the key internal security cabinet position – in mid-October.
A picture published on social media purportedly showing a member of Iraqi Shia Muslim group the Badr Organisation, dressed in an Iraqi police uniform, in front of a picture of Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (IHS Jane's/JTIC)A picture published on social media purportedly showing a member of Iraqi Shia Muslim group the Badr Organisation, dressed in an Iraqi police uniform, in front of a picture of Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (IHS Jane’s/JTIC)
Indeed, the widespread bolstering of security forces by Shia militias – particularly in areas of Baghdad and Diyala – only underscore long-held Sunni perceptions of the security forces as a fundamentally sectarian body, and this in itself presents perhaps the greatest challenge to composing a co-ordinated, armed Sunni force to combat the Islamic State.
Although there have been elements of co-operation between Shia militias and Sunni tribesmen, such as with the Jubur in Dhuluiya, the repeated suggestion of Iranian involvement in the equipping and organising of Shia militias only reinforces the Sunni insurgent narrative of Baghdad being an Iranian proxy that needs to be overthrown or at the very least whose authority should be rejected in Sunni-dominated areas. Numerous pictures on social media show militiamen equipped with Iranian weapons and pictures of the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, with militiamen in Baghdad.

Outlook

As illustrated, there are a number of substantial factors that impede a wider Sunni armed pushback against the Islamic State within Iraq, but this does not mean no local gains or progress is possible in the campaign against the group. After US airstrikes began targeting Islamic State positions in northern Iraq in early August, it was apparent that the concentration of air power in support of effective ground forces could be successful in forcing the group to withdraw from territory. This was apparent in Iraq most recently with the breaking of the Islamic State’s siege of Amerli by Shia militias and the group’s loss of the Rabia border crossing in Ninawa province to the Peshmerga (Kurdish security forces).
However, neither the Peshmerga nor Shia militias have either the means or legitimacy to assert authority over the substantial swaths of predominantly Sunni territory that the Islamic State currently controls in conjunction with local Sunni insurgents. What is required for external airstrikes to be effective in these areas is a Sunni force with local legitimacy to be able to restore the presence and authority of the government. However, with a current severe disconnect between the government and the Sunni population of western and northern Iraq, what is required is deep internal change from within on the part of the government, in addition to a sea change in attitude among Sunni insurgents and their local supporters; whether such change is possible in the foreseeable future is in doubt.
A man wearing an Iraqi army uniform stands in front of an Iranian Safir jeep with a 107 mm multiple rocket launcher in a photograph posted on the Facebook page of Iraqi Shia militia Saraya Khorasani in 2014. (IHS Jane's)







http://www.mesop.de/2014/11/06/nusras-offensive-in-idlib-its-attempt-to-destroy-washingtons-allies-november-2014/

Nusra’s Offensive in Idlib & its Attempt to Destroy Washington’s Allies. November 2014

by Joshua Landis

The following information about Jabhat al-Nusra’s offensive against the Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front and Hazm Movement in the Jabal al-Zawiya region comes from a well informed source who has been in the area over the last several weeks. The following information about Nusra’s ambitions and movements was relayed by him.

After a week of deadly fighting for turf in Idlib province, Jabhat a-Nusra and the US-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front declared a truce on Thursday. Here, a closer look at the battleground - SyriaDirect
After a week of deadly fighting for turf in Idlib province, Jabhat a-Nusra and the US-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front declared a truce on Thursday. Here, a closer look at the battleground – SyriaDirectJabhat al Nusra (JN) continues to advance in the villages of Jabal Al-Zawiya, including AL-Bara , Kansafra, Ehsim, Der Sunbul (Jamal Maaruf’s home town).

Blin, Bluin, Bsqala, Binnish, and Saraqib are under the control of Jund Al-Aqsa, a  group loyal to Ayman Al-Zwahiri.
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JN has advanced west of the main Damascus-Aleppo highway to Kafr Ruma and east of the highway to Tal Manis, Maarat Shurin along with Filaq AL-Sham brigade.
Nusra also controls Ma`saran village where they are led by, Hamido, a 42 year old local who was a FSA fighter until 10 days ago, when he joined Jabhat al Nusra and became its PR director and local negotiator. JN also captured the villages of al-Tamanah east of  the Khan Shakhun area.
JN is in alliance with the Islamic Front and with Suqur al-Sham, a large militia that has been part of the Islamic Front in the past. JN has made a deal with Al-Khansa Liwaa which is led by Ahmad Al-Shaikh, the head of Suqur Al-Sham. He is the head of the Shura council of the Islamic Front. JN has also struck a deal with the Liwa Safwa group from Suqur Al-Sham.
JN also has an alliance with the Ahrar Al-Sham groups : Liwa Al-Abbas based in Bliun and  Abu Saleh Al-Tahhan, one of the main military leaders in Ahrar Al-Sham. He helped JN its recent campaign against the Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front and Hazm Movement.
Why is the Islamic Front keen to deal with JN in Idlib?
According to some people on the ground, Ahmad Shaikh, the head of Suqur Al-Sham, is ambitious to become the dominant leader in the area. Jamal Maaruf was his main competitor causing him to team up with Nusra in order to drive out Maaruf. Nusra leaders also accused Jamal Maaruf of being a thug, who was not only corrupt, but who regularly tortured those who opposed him.
Nusra  announced that it took all the ammunition and weapons that belonged to the SRF.  But in reality they just took 1 tank from Hazem, BMB and ammunition.
The forces of separation قوات الفصل  are composed of 15 Islamic brigades which will send troops to keep peace in Jabal al-Zawiya area. They will also be called the ”al-Solh forces. “
They are from
  1. Jish Al-Mujhadeen
  2. Nor al Din Al Ziniki
  3. Filaq Al-Sham
  4. Firaqa 13
  5. Liwa Omar al-Mukhtar
  6. Hazm Movement
  7. Ahrar AL-Sham
  8. Liwa Al-Haq
  9. Syrian liberation Front
  10. Liwaa al -Awal
  11. Suqur al-Sham
  12. Jaysh Al-Islam
A few soldiers from each of these battalions participated in the force but not all of them were serious about their mission. Nusra agreed to their operation, but they were not able to stop Nusra from advancing to other villages.
In regards the mediation effort led by Ayman Haroush and Hassan  Dughem and others.  They started meetings in the area and consultations between the groups to stop the war between Nusra and the SRF but on the 26 of October.  Jund Al-Aqsa arrested Shaikh Muhamd Ezz al-Din Al-Khatab and other 2 judges who accompanied him at the time, and till now, no body know where the Shaikh and others are. Jund Al-Aqsa has refused to release them.
Most of the people who were trying to negotiate with Nusra are now in Turkey. They lost hope in arriving at any understanding. They insist that Nusra was not serious about negotiations. What is more, Nusra is difficult to reach its leaders refuse to use the internet.
According to Nusra’s leader, Joulani, he explained in his recent speech, “We want to finish Jamal Marouf and the SRF since they are dealing with Saudi Arabia and the USA” Joulani said that they’re not alone in this war, meaning that Suqur al-Sham and Ahrar Al-Sham are equally interested in doing away with Maaruf.
Joulani insisted that all other battalions would work with the Nusra. He stated that the US supports Maaruf and the FSA to fight Nusra but not Assad. Nusra is not interested to cooperate with IS in in Idlib province because Nusra hopes to build its own Emirate in Idblib province. Last month they only controlled Salqiin and Harem, but now they control most of the Jabal Al-Zawiya.
Once Nusra captured most of the strategic towns in the area, it announced that it would accept the Sharia court led by Abdulaha Al-Muhaysini, the Saudi Salafi Sheikh. Joulani said that Jamal Maaruf should be under this court until he gives up his alliance with the Syrian Opposition Coalition in Antakia and with Saudi Arabia and the US.  http://justpaste.it/hso5
Now Jamal Marouf is in Turkey. He has long meetings yesterday with FSA leaders in Rehanli.
Saddam Al-Khalifa who was a Motorcycle dealer from Hama before the war, is presently the leader of Uqab Al-Islam, a Salafi Jihadi militia, which close to ISIS, but not under its direct command. Al-Khalifa controls the area east of Idlib and Hama. It is largely populated by bedouin who belong to the Al-Mawali tribe among other. Saddam has very good relations with the people there and they trust him. There were Rumors that he would support Nusra but so far the region has stayed out of Nusra’s control.
The Syrian Organization of Human Rights (SOHR) reports that  trusted sources claim that “clashes renewed this morning between the fighting battalions around Der Sunbul village, which is the main stronghold of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and around Hantonen near M’rah al-Nu’man.
SOHR also reports that Jund al Aqsa, the group helping Nusra, still hasn’t found the body of its Qatari leader, Abo Abdul Aziz al- Qatari. He was kidnapped in January when fighting first broke out between ISIS and the rebels. The Qatari commander was allegedly killed by the SRF. It is believed that his body was thrown in a local well. Prior to these events, his son was killed by the SAA. Al-Nusra Front published videos that show men retrieving bodies from wells in Deir Sunbul, the hometown of its commander “Jamal Ma’ruf”. Al-Nusra Front, however, claimed that these bodies were those of civilians and fighters executed by the SRF. None were the Qatari leader of Jund al-Aqsa.
The post Nusra’s Offensive in Idlib & its Attempt to Destroy Washington’s Allies. November 2014 appeared first on Syria Comment.



http://www.mesop.de/

MESOP : THE PRICE LIST OF MEGA-SHAME!

ISIS Document Sets Prices of Christian & Yazidi Woman Slaves (CLICK FOR DOCUMENT OF PRICE LIST)
A document issued by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) mentioned the prices set by the terrorist group to sell Yazidi and Christian women and children abducted by its members.
According to the document “The market to sell women and spoils of war has been experiencing a significant decrease, which has adversely affected ISIS revenue and financing of the Mujahideen.”
ISIS decided to impose price controls over the sale of women and spoils, vowing to execute whoever violates those controls, which are as follows:
  • A (Yazidi or Christian) woman, aged 40 to 50 years, is for 50,000 dinars.
  • The rate of a (Yazidi or Christian) woman, aged 30 to 40 years, is 75,000 dinars.
  • The rate for a (Yazidi or Christian) woman, aged 20 to 30 years, is 100,000 dinars.
  • A (Yazidi or Christian) girl, aged 10 to 20 years, is for 150,000 dinars.
  • A (Yazidi or Christian) child’s price, aged 1 to 9 years, is 200,000 dinars.
According to the document, it is not authorized for any individual to purchase more than 3 spoils; except for foreigners like Turks, Syrians and Gulf Arabs. http://www.iraqinews.comsituation






http://www.mesop.de/2014/11/05/syrische-aktivistin-feministin-us-luftangriffe-helfen-dem-assad-regime/

Syrische Aktivistin & FEMINISTIN : “US-Luftangriffe helfen dem Assad-Regime”

MESOP: WESTLICHE FEMINISTINNEN DENKEN DA ABER GANZ GANZ ANDERS

INTERVIEW | NOURA MAAN – DER STANDARD WIEN   5. November 2014, 07:00 – Razan Ghazzawi kritisiert, dass die USA nur gegen die IS-Miliz kämpfen, nicht aber gegen Assad
Die syrische Bloggerin und feministische Aktivistin Razan Ghazzawi rechnet nicht mit Waffenlieferungen an die moderaten Kräfte Syriens, obwohl diese ihrer Ansicht nach dringend notwendig wären. Ghazzawi wurde aufgrund ihrer politischen Aktivitäten mehrmals verhaftet und ist 2013 aus ihrer Heimat geflohen. Derzeit ist sie anlässlich einer Veranstaltung des Instituts für internationalen Dialog und Zusammenarbeit (VIDC) in Wien.

derStandard.at: Wie würden Sie ihre Arbeit in Syrien während des Aufstands gegen Machthaber Bashar al-Assad beschreiben?
Ghazzawi: Als die Revolutionen in Tunesien und Ägypten begannen, solidarisierten sich zunächst viele syrische Aktivisten – mich eingeschlossen – mit den Protestierenden und riefen Unterstützungsaktionen ins Leben. Als es dann auch in Syrien losging, organisierten wir größere Proteste und verbreiteten Informationen – und zwar unter unseren echten Namen, damit wir glaubwürdig rüberkamen. Damit riskierten wir aber auch unsere eigene Sicherheit.
derStandard.at: Sie wurden auch zweimal verhaftet. Wie kam es dazu?
Ghazzawi: Ich war 2011 und 2012 für einige Wochen in Haft. Mir wurden die Augen verbunden und Handschellen angelegt. Ich wurde psychisch gefoltert, indem mir ständig Gewalt angedroht wurde und ich täglich stundenlang hörte, wie andere gefoltert wurden. Immer wieder fragten sie mich, mit wem ich zusammengearbeitet habe, und versuchten, Zugang zu meinem E-Mail- und Facebook-Account zu erhalten. Bei der zweiten Verhaftung war ich nicht allein: Ich und alle meine Kollegen am Syrischen Zentrum für Medien- und Meinungsfreiheit wurden festgenommen, mein Vorgesetzter und zwei Mitarbeiter sind bis heute in Haft, ihre Verhandlung ist für Donnerstag anberaumt.
derStandard.at: Macht das Assad-Regime einen Unterschied zwischen Männern und Frauen bei der Verhaftung?
Ghazzawi: Nein. Wir sprechen von mehr als 200.000 Verhaftungen, und es geht im Prinzip nicht darum, welches Geschlecht man hat, sondern wie bekannt man ist beziehungsweise wie vehement die Freilassung international gefordert wird. Wenn das der Fall ist, wird man in der Regel nicht getötet, kann aber jahrelang im Gefängnis sitzen. Wenn das Regime eine Person verhaftet hat, die einflussreich ist, wird sie länger im Gefängnis, aber wahrscheinlich am Leben bleiben.
derStandard.at: Wie haben sich Frauen während der Revolution organisiert?
Ghazzawi: In diesem Zusammenhang gibt es einen großen Unterschied zwischen konservativen und liberalen Regionen. Dort, wo konservative Kräfte aktiver sind, werden Frauen nicht körperlich attackiert, sondern nur Männer. Damit hat man Frauen aber den Freiraum gegeben, aktiv zu werden und zum Beispiel Hilfslieferungen zu organisieren. Damit wurden die typischen Geschlechterrollen auf die Probe gestellt und veränderten sich – aber das war am Anfang. Die Gewalt und der Krieg haben uns quasi zurück an den Start gebracht.
derStandard.at: Wann haben Sie Syrien verlassen?
Ghazzawi: Vor zehn Monaten. Damaskus habe ich bereits 2012 verlassen, danach war ich noch in “befreiten Gebieten” Syriens.
derStandard.at: Wenn von “befreiten Gebieten” gesprochen wird, inkludiert das zumeist auch Regionen, die unter der Kontrolle extremistischer Gruppen sind.
Ghazzawi: Im Prinzip bedeutet das lediglich regimefrei, man wird also nicht von Regimetruppen unter Druck gesetzt oder verhaftet. Aber man muss natürlich, vor allem seit kurzem, Angst vor den vielen bewaffneten Gruppen haben, die die Kontrolle übernommen haben.
derStandard.at: Mit dem Vormarsch der IS-Miliz haben moderate Kräfte in Syrien quasi zwei Feinde zu bekämpfen. Kann das überhaupt noch gelingen? Wer sind die moderaten Kräfte in Syrien heute noch?
Ghazzawi: Es gibt sie, die Freie Syrische Armee zum Beispiel, aber sie haben keine Unterstützung aus dem Ausland erhalten. Die, die Unterstützung und Geld bekommen, sind die Islamisten – vor allem von den Golfstaaten, unter anderem Katar. Das ist der Grund, warum die IS-Miliz viele strategische Punkte in Syrien kontrolliert. Die “westlichen Staaten” wissen genau, wer die moderaten Kräfte sind, unterstützen sie aber nicht, weil sie Angst vor einem zweiten Afghanistan in Syrien haben. Ich glaube außerdem nicht, dass sie an einer Lösung des syrischen Konflikts interessiert sind. Sie wollen, dass Assad bleibt, weil er gegen die Extremisten vorgeht.
derStandard.at: Was müssten die USA und ihre Verbündeten tun?
Ghazzawi: Ich bin gegen Bodentruppen, ich glaube, das syrische Volk kann sich und sein Land selbst verteidigen, braucht dafür aber die notwendigen Waffen. Mit den Luftangriffen verfolgen die USA aber ihre eigenen Interessen. Sie haben Angst vor der IS-Miliz, und sie bombardieren, wovor sie Angst haben, ohne jegliche Abstimmung mit dem, was die Syrerinnen und Syrer wollen. Der Ursprung dieses ganzen Problems ist das Assad-Regime. Wieso wird das Regime nicht bombardiert? Wieso gibt es keine Flugverbotszone über regimetreuen Gebieten? Mit den Luftangriffen helfen sie dem Assad-Regime, die IS-Miliz zu bekämpfen.
derStandard.at: Assad wird also noch länger an der Macht bleiben?
Ghazzawi: Die moderaten Kräfte werden in Zukunft keine Waffenlieferungen erhalten, gleichzeitig wird die IS-Miliz stärker. Eine politische Lösung sollte unterstützt werden, die Frage ist, was für eine. Eine zweite Revolutionswelle ist dafür zunächst notwendig. (Noura Maan, derStandard.at, 5.11.2014)
Razan Ghazzawi (34) ist eine feministische Aktivistin und Bloggerin aus Syrien. Sie war Kampagnenleiterin des Syrian Women’s Network und ist momentan für das Institute of War and Peace Reporting in Großbritannien tätig. Derzeit ist sie anlässlich einer Podiumsdiskussion des VIDC über “Syrien – Von der Revolte zum regionalen Krieg?” in Wien. http://derstandard.at/2000007700067/Syrische-Aktivistin-US-Luftangriffe-helfen-dem-Assad-Regime

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