Jumblatt to Syria’s Druze: Join the ‘revolution’The Daily Star – 10 Nov 2014 – BEIRUT: Syria’s Druze must relinquish all links with Bashar Assad’s regime and join the “revolution,” Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said.“It is time to make the bold decision of moving from under the umbrella of this regime, which is destined to fall sooner or later,” Jumblatt said in his weekly comments published in Anbaa Magazine Monday. Although he had made a similar call last week to Syrian Druze, Jumblatt went further this time by calling on them to join the opposition. “[It is time to] join the revolution, which has from the beginning raised the slogans of freedom, dignity and change, which are rightful and legitimate slogans for the Syrian people,” he said.
The comments came after fierce clashes broke out last week in Druze villages on the Syrian side of Mount Hermon between rebels and pro-government forces. The battles killed at least 31 members of pro-government forces and around 14 insurgents, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. Jumblatt said the recent “tragic events” have once again revealed Assad’s plan to create war between different religious groups.
“The purpose is to sustain the flaming crisis and keep the regime in power, even at the cost of dead Syrians, and at the expense of the millions of Syrians who were displaced,” Jumblatt said. Jumblatt slammed Assad’s assumption that his regime would protect minorities, accusing the president of exploiting minorities for the sake of empowering his own “tyranny.” Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Nov-10/277087-jumblatt-to-syrias-druze-join-the-revolution.ashx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=Newsletter#ixzz3IgN6oAE7
Further Kobani resistance leads into Barzani and Erdogan’s fall: Syria FM9-11-2014 – Kurdpress – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem stated army has sent weapons and ammunition to Kurdish town of Kobani that is under the siege of the militants of the Islamic State (IS) and reiterated that further resistance of the city against the radical group would lead into the defeat of Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Speaking with al-Akhbar daily, Mualem refuted any possible military action into Syria by Turkey as there are tensions over the issue between White House and Ankara and Saudi Arabia would not permit the move as well. He hailed Kurdish resistance in Kobani and said Turkey Kurds are against Turkey policies and Kurdish resistance in Kobani changed U.S. President Barack Obama policies towards Kobani or what he called by its Arabic Name Ain al-Arab. He predicted that the continuation of the situation would make Barzani and Erdogan policies defeated, revealing that Damascus has been in cooperation with Kurds in the city in bombing the IS radicals but the situation changed as U.S. interfered as there was no cooperation between Syrian forces and the U.S. forces. He denied Syria pro-Kurdish co-leader of Democratic Union Party (PYD) is a separatist and said his party has entangled in a very tough situation in northern Syria developments.
Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah implicated in war crimes – Iran an ‘occupying force’ in regime-held areas of SyriaBeirut/Damascus/Tehran, 9 November 2014 – The campaign group Naame Shaam today published an in-depth report examining various aspects of the Iranian regime’s role in the ongoing war in Syria. The report “Iran in Syria: From an Ally of the Regime to an Occupying Force” provides numerous examples and case studies of human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria by Iranian-controlled militias and forces, including the ‘crisis cell’ assassination in July 2012 and the Ghouta chemical massacre near Damascus in August 2013. Naame Shaam’s report also highlights ways of bringing possible lawsuits against Iranian regime officials, such as Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander-in-chief of Sepah Qods, the foreign arm of Sepah Pasdaran (Iranian Revolutionary Guards).
“There is sufficient evidence to try the military and political leadership of Iran for complicity in various crimes committed in Syria,” said Shiar Youssef, the head of Naame Shaam’s Research and Advocacy Team. “This ranges from inciting, endorsing and adopting specific criminal and terrorist acts to aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
“We therefore appeal to Western governments and international bodies, including the UN, to examine this Iranian connection and open serious investigations in this regard,” he added.
Another key finding of the report is that the relationship between the Syrian and the Iranian regimes has changed because of this Iranian intervention. From being historically mutually beneficial allies, the Iranian regime is now, according to detailed evidence, effectively an occupying force in the regime-held areas of Syria.
“The Syrian regime is little more than a puppet in the hands of Sepah Pasdaran,” Youssef said. “Qassem Soleimani is the de facto ruler of Iranian-occupied Syria.”
Naame Shaam’s report presents a legal case for treating the war in Syria as an international conflict that involves a foreign occupation by the Iranian regime and its militias and a liberation struggle by Syrian people against this foreign occupation, as defined by the 1907 Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
“The war in Syria should be regarded as an international conflict that warrants the application of the four Geneva Conventions. Regime-held areas of Syria should be considered – in the strict legal sense of the word – territory occupied by Iran,” Youssef added.
Other key findings of the report:
- The Iranian regime’s influence in Syria is likely to continue even after the fall of the Assad regime because it is now exercised primarily through Iranian-backed and controlled militias fighting in Syria on behalf of the Syrian regime, including Hezbollah Lebanon and various Iraqi Shia militias. Many of these militias, both local and foreign, are likely to outlive Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle.
- Sepah Pasdaran may be behind the assassination of members of the so-called “Crisis Cell” of the Syrian regime in July 2012. In addition to circumstantial evidence, a prominent and reliable source in the Syrian opposition, quoting Western intelligence officials, informed Naame Shaam that some members in the “crisis cell” had opened communication channels with Arab Gulf states and the US to make a deal behind Iran’s back. Sepah Pasdaran struck to prevent such a deal. Since then, Sepah Pasdaran has been in full control of the Syrian regime and President Bashar al-Assad has practically been their hostage.
- The heavy Iranian involvement in the war in Syria is driven first and foremost by the strategic interests of the Iranian regime in keeping arms shipments flowing to Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria, so as to keep Hezbollah a strong deterrent against any attack on Iran’s military nuclear programme.
- In addition to weapons and fighters, the Iranian regime has been providing the Syrian regime with financial loans and credit lines worth billions of dollars. The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad would have collapsed a long time ago if it were not for the enormous military and economic support provided to it by the Iranian regime since March 2011, following the outbreak of the Syrian revolution.
- Sepah Pasdaran played a key role in establishing, training and arming the Syrian regime’s militia known as the National Defence Forces (NDF) or the shabbiha. The NDF was modeled on the Iranian Basij force and its experience in suppressing Iran’s own dissident movements, particularly the 2009 pro-democracy protests known as the Green Movement. The NDF is now largely controlled by Sepah Pasdaran.
“Syria has become the Vietnam of Iran and Hezbollah,” he added. “But this ‘slow bleeding’ policy is being implemented at the expense of the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The failure to seriously support the moderate Syrian opposition with all means necessary to enable it to topple the Assad regime and liberate Syria from Sepah Pasdaran and Hezbollah has also led to the rise of extremist groups such as Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra.”
“Hopes that a proxy war with the Iranian regime in Syria, coupled with crippling economic sanctions against Iran, would eventually lead to the weakening and even collapse of the Iranian regime (i.e. winning the Syria war in the streets of Tehran) are at best wishful thinking,” Hamdan said.
“It may be true that Syria has become ‘Iran’s Vietnam’ and that Iran is ‘bleeding’ in Syria, but the Iranian regime may be capable of bleeding for a long time, much longer than the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq can endure. Sadly, the Iranian regime will fight until the last Syrian Alawi and the last Lebanese and Iraqi Shia in order to have its nuclear bomb,” he added.
Naame Shaam demands:
- The Iranian regime should be held accountable for its complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria and for the repeated breaches of its duties as an occupying force in regime-held areas in Syria, in line with the Fourth Geneva Convention.
- There should be no lifting of economic sanctions on Iran if the Iranian regime does not guarantee basic human rights in Iran and if does not end its military and financial support to the Syrian regime and the militias fighting in Syria on its behalf. This should include pulling Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah Lebanon and the Iraqi militias out of Syria.
- Nuclear negotiations should not be extended endlessly. This is buying the Iranian regime more time to consolidate its dominance in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
- The US and the EU should demand that the Iranian regime orders Hezbollah Lebanon to disband and integrate into the Lebanese army.
- The US and the EU should, and without delay, take concrete steps to end the bloodshed in Syria and the wider region. They should support moderate Syrian rebels with all means necessary to enable them to win the war against the Syrian regime and topple Bashar al-Assad as soon as possible, and not in 3-4 years. The US and the EU should also support Syrian rebels to enable them to force Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah and other Shia militias to pull out of Syria, as well as to defeat extremist groups like Daesh and Jabhat al-Nosra and establish and free and democratic Syria where the rule of law prevails.
- The US and the EU should give the Iranian regime a clear ultimatum to pull its Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah Lebanon and other foot soldiers out of Syria and end its financial and military support to the Syrian regime or face serious consequences.
- The US and the EU should act in line with the international ‘Responsibility to Protect’ norm: If the Assad regime and its Iranian supporters manifestly fail to protect the Syrian population from mass atrocities and if all diplomatic measures have failed, the international community has a responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions and military intervention.
- The US and the EU should put on the table a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII imposing safe and unhindered humanitarian access to conflict zones and people in need throughout Syria. If Russia and China veto this, then the US, the EU and their allies should act unilaterally by securing areas held by the moderate Syrian opposition, imposing no-fly zones and protecting the Syrian people from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
Please contact Naame Shaam Campaign Director Fouad Hamdan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Najmadin Karim, the Mayor of Kirkuk also involved ? !
KDP and PUK leaders accused of oil and gas trading with the ISIS enemy
Written on November 10, 2014 by Editor in Corruption, ISIS, KDP, KRG, Kurd news, Kurdistan, PUK
By Hasan Dawary: ISIS war criminals at work – Kurdistan Tribune – 11 Nov2014 –
Just two weeks ago three brothers belonging to one family were killed by ISIS when Peshmarga forces liberated Zumar. Almost immediately the President of Kurdistan, Masud Barzani, issued a decree that no more than one brother in a family can be allowed onto the front line at the same time. Yesterday a report was published by a new South Kurdistan website, Cawigal (‘Eyes of the Nation’), giving the names of senior Kurdish figures who stand accused of trading oil, gas and vehicles with ISIS. This report is based on several weeks of investigation by local journalists, with input from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Perhaps the most shocking claim is that the three brothers were killed by a Katyusha rocket launcher installed on a Toyota double cabin pickup truck which had been supplied to ISIS by a Kurdish merchant from Erbil.
At the top of the list of people accused of trading in oil and gas with the ISIS enemy are two step-brothers of the president – Nehad and Hemdad Bazani – both of whom hold leading positions within the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and are well-known in Kurdistan for having done lucrative business with the Iraqi regime in the past. Next on the list is Aras Sheik Changi, a cousin of Jalal Talabani, who controls the PUK-owned company Nokan and is accused of buying oil from ISIS. Aras joined Talabani in the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) in the 1980s and, after about one year, Talabani sent him to abroad – that was his contribution to the Kurdish struggle.
Number three is Mahmud Sangawi, the PUK leader in Jalawla. Fourth on the list are two family car companies in Erbil, Sardar and Bakhtyar Yahya. Both companies are accused of selling vehicles to ISIS.
A surprise is the name of the son of owner of the Asia Cell telecom company – his son’s company is accused of involvement in buying oil and gas from ISIS. There are others named from Kirkuk, including the police chief Sarhad Kadir, the PUK leader Rizgar Ali and a relative of Najmadin Karim, the Mayor of Kirkuk.
These revelations tell us that those in the cockpit for the last two decades, managing this nation in the south of Kurdistan, were Mafia-like and traitors to the hopes and aspirations of the people. The two dominant parties already had a very bad image with the public and this story is making it much worse. The Barzani and Talabani tribes and families are the greediest of all. Imagine if during the Second World War ordinary people on the blitzed streets London had learned that the brothers of Winston Churchill were doing business deals with Hitler’s Nazi party! I don’t expect any significant reaction from the Opposition Gorran party on this issue because Nawshirwan Mustafa recently became ‘one of them’ and has had several closed meetings with Barzani, without revealing anything to the press. We have the most weak, unhealthy opposition in the south of Kurdistan. The president of Kurdistan has a duty to investigate the allegations and issue a full statement about what is going to be done. The PUK should abandon its corrupted leaders whose corruption has destroyed the popularity of the PUK. Firsat Sofi, an MP on the KDP list, told the Xabat newspaper yesterday that the KDP leadership has promised that anybody trading with ISIS is going to be treated as a terrorist. That is what needs to happen. It is obscene that, while the sons, daughter and fathers of this nation are shedding their blood on the front line, members of the elite are making money out of this tragedy.
This report is an extremely serious matter affecting the lives of ordinary Peshmargas on the front line. The individuals and companies named need to provide a full explanation. If they don’t, it means they don’t care about our people and anyone trading with ISIS will be considered to be traitors. http://kurdistantribune.com/2014/kdp-puk-leaders-accused-of-oil-gas-trading-isis-enemy/