A crime against humanity

Over the past fifty years, successive Israeli governments have been working to Judaize the city of Jerusalem and its holy sites. The current closure of al-Aqsa Mosque is part of the old Zionist Judaization plan. Palestinians continue holding demonstrations outside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to voice their outrage at Israel’s latest move to impose new restrictive measures at the holy site. After coming under fire from the Muslim world, Israel reopened the compound, but with metal detectors and surveillance cameras at entrances. Since then, however, Palestinians have been refusing to enter the al-Aqsa compound through the metal detectors and hundreds of worshipers have been holding prayers outside the site with clashes that resulted in the death of several Palestinians and the wounding of scores.

Groundless!

Throughout the past seven years, the US and its regional and Arab tools have resorted to fabricate groundless allegations about Syria with the aim of prolonging the Syrian crisis,preventing the Syrian Arab army from achieving its sublime goals regarding uprooting terrorism and restoring security and stability to the whole Syrian territories and hindering the strenuous efforts being exerted to resolve the crisis peacefully and politically.The US claims of new chemical attacks allegedly planned by the Syrian government are unsubstantiated. These accusations are not backed up by anything. No one is putting forward any facts and the goal is to aggravate tensions. This complicates the negotiation process, negatively affects the efforts being made in Astana and Geneva.The statements and accusations fabricated in the past few days by Western officials and representatives of their governments are part of a cheap political and media war that has been always coincided with the Syrian army and its allies’ real achievements in the fight against terrorism and the intra-Syrian talks, whether in Astana or Geneva,  to hinder the Syrian government’s efforts to achieve a political solution among the Syrians without foreign interference.

Victory in Syrian desert

 Victory in  Syrian desert, important political and economic achievements

Every day, the Syrian army and its allies achieve new victory against terrorism and its allies proving that it is the only force capable of uprooting terrorism. These victories have proved to the whole world that the Syrian Arab army and its allies are the only force capable of crushing terrorism despite of its direct and indirect supporters.

Army units in cooperation with the allies continued military operations against ISIS terrorists in the countryside of Palmyra in Homs city, establishing control over vast areas in the city and chasing down terrorists from the area.

 In a crucial achievement in Syria’s war on terrorism, the units of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies reached the Iraqi border, northeast of al-Tanf crossing, successfully realizing the goal of disrupting terrorist operations in Syria’s sprawling desert, in an important step on the way of breaking the terrorist siege on thousands of civilians in Deir Ezzor.

The main objective of the accelerated military operations in the eastern parts of the country is to eliminate terrorists in the Syrian Badia and then heading towards Deir Ezzor to break the siege imposed on the locals in the city.

The significance of this achievement becomes quite evident with a precise strategic reading of the geographical area which the Syrian army and its allies have established control over and the advance to the Syrian-Iraqi border, as the army units have managed through this success to prevent groups affiliated to the US-led coalition from advancing towards (Palmyra)-Deir Ezzor road, and thus aborting any possible attempt to disrupt the army’s ongoing operations towards Deir Ezzor, in addition to cutting off all supply routes of ISIS in the center of the Badia with the terrorist groups that have announced allegiance to the terror organization in the southern countryside of Daraa, especially the so-called “Khalid bin al-Walid Army”.

The Syrian army was able to advance on to 200 kilometers to prevent the so-called international coalition’s attempt to cut off Syria-Iraq road in al-Tanf area. The liberation of the phosphate mines of Khneifis and Sawwanah in the course of the military operations in the Syrian Badia was a milestone in the army’s advance,  showing the economic importance of this great achievement as these two facilities were added to the dozens of oil and gas wells in the Syrian Badia which have been back into production immediately after their liberation.

The military and economic importance of the victories of the Syrian Arab Army in the Syrian Badia are to be added to the strategic and political importance.

 The determinants of the military action of the Syrian army and its allies are drawn up exclusively by the General Command of the Syrian Arab Army and the “ridiculous” threats and warnings of the US-led coalition will not succeed in preventing the army units from rooting out ISIS terrorists from all Syrian areas.

The great achievements in the Syrian desert paved the way for important victories in the city of Deir Ezzor.  The Syrian Air Force launched a series of raids on sites and movements of ISIS terrorist organization in Deir Ezzor. The raids concentrated on command centers for ISIS to the east of Deir Ezzor Airport, resulting in the destruction of  many centers and the death and injury of scores of ISIS leaders. Several vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns and a number of ISIS terrorists were killed due to the airstrikes of Syrian army on ISIS movements to the south of the graveyards area.

The increasing pace of reconciliations and their expansion across Syrian areas wouldn’t have been possible without the achievements made on the ground by the Syrian Arab Army and supporting forces. The reconciliations are carried out over stages, and they will target more areas in various provinces including Damascus Countryside, Homs, and Hama where the Syrian Army is making progress, in addition to reconciliations in Quneitra and Daraa countryside.

K.Q.

Trump‘s Red Line

President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Seymour M. Hersh investigated the case of the alleged Sarin gas attack.

On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives. Details of the attack,  including information on its so-called high-value targets, had been provided by the Russians days in advance to American and allied military officials in Doha, whose mission is to coordinate all U.S., allied, Syrian and Russian Air Force operations in the region.

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence. "None of this makes any sense," one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. "We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.“

Within hours of the April 4 bombing, the world’s media was saturated with photographs and videos from Khan Sheikhoun. Pictures of dead and dying victims, allegedly suffering from the symptoms of nerve gas poisoning, were uploaded to social media by local activists, including the White Helmets, a first responder group known for its close association with the Syrian opposition.

The provenance of the photos was not clear and no international observers have yet inspected the site, but the immediate popular assumption worldwide was that this was a deliberate use of the nerve agent sarin, authorized by President Bashar Assad of Syria. Trump endorsed that assumption by issuing a statement within hours of the attack, describing Assad’s "heinous actions" as being a consequence of the Obama administration’s "weakness and irresolution" in addressing what he said was Syria’s past use of chemical weapons.

To the dismay of many senior members of his national security team, Trump could not be swayed over the next 48 hours of intense briefings and decision-making. In a series of interviews, I learned of the total disconnect between the president and many of his military advisers and intelligence officials, as well as officers on the ground in the region who had an entirely different understanding of the nature of Syria’s attack on Khan Sheikhoun. I was provided with evidence of that disconnect, in the form of transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on April 4. In an important pre-strike process known as deconfliction, U.S. and Russian officers routinely supply one another with advance details of planned flight paths and target coordinates, to ensure that there is no risk of collision or accidental encounter (the Russians speak on behalf of the Syrian military). This information is supplied daily to the American AWACS surveillance planes that monitor the flights once airborne. Deconfliction’s success and importance can be measured by the fact that there has yet to be one collision, or even a near miss, among the high-powered supersonic American, Allied, Russian and Syrian fighter bombers.

Russian and Syrian Air Force officers gave details of the carefully planned flight path to and from Khan Shiekhoun on April 4 directly, in English, to the deconfliction monitors aboard the AWACS plane, which was on patrol near the Turkish border, 60 miles or more to the north.

The Syrian target at Khan Sheikhoun, as shared with the Americans at Doha, was depicted as a two-story cinder-block building in the northern part of town. Russian intelligence, which is shared when necessary with Syria and the U.S. as part of their joint fight against jihadist groups, had established that a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders was to take place in the building, including representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The two groups had recently joined forces, and controlled the town and surrounding area. Russian intelligence depicted the cinder-block building as a command and control center that housed a grocery and other commercial premises on its ground floor with other essential shops nearby, including a fabric shop and an electronics store.

"The rebels control the population by controlling the distribution of goods that people need to live – food, water, cooking oil, propane gas, fertilizers for growing their crops, and insecticides to protect the crops," a senior adviser to the American intelligence community, who has served in senior positions in the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, told me. The basement was used as storage for rockets, weapons and ammunition, as well as products that could be distributed for free to the community, among them medicines and chlorine-based decontaminants for cleansing the bodies of the dead before burial. The meeting place – a regional headquarters – was on the floor above. “It was an established meeting place,” the senior adviser said. “A long-time facility that would have had security, weapons, communications, files and a map center.” The Russians were intent on confirming their intelligence and deployed a drone for days above the site to monitor communications and develop what is known in the intelligence community as a POL – a pattern of life. The goal was to take note of those going in and out of the building, and to track weapons being moved back and forth, including rockets and ammunition.

International Jerusalem Day 2017

 Palestine will remain the compass, and Jerusalem is our soul and identity, and it will remain our inspiration today and tomorrow. The Arabs cannot exist without resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict in a manner that guarantees their dignity and future.

The Israeli enemy is now viciously attempting to blot out the Arab identity of Jerusalem, destroy its sacred sites, and drive out its Arab inhabitants.

Palestinian, Arab and Muslim people mark these days the International Quds (Jerusalem) Day, an annual event held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. The event was first marked in 1979 to express solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli occupation entity and its Judaization policy in Jerusalem, especially the construction of Jewish settlements around the city to wipe out the Arab Islamic features of  Jerusalem and replace them with Jewish ones with the aim of perpetuation the Israeli occupation of the city.

Several rallies were held in Arab and Islamic capitals affirming the necessity of standing side by side with the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to liberate their occupied lands and establish their independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The demonstrators also expressed complete support for  Syria in its battle against terrorism, because Syria is the last pivot of the Palestinian cause and were it to be destroyed, then Palestine and the entire nation will be gone.

The participants in the event stressed the need to unite the energies of the nation against the Israeli occupation and the United States, pointing out that there is no alternative to the liberation of Palestine, the restoration of all holy sites and the return of Palestinian refugees to their indigenous homeland.

 The participants slammed the international community’s silence in the face of Israel’s attempts to Judaize the occupied Palestinian lands and destroy historical Palestinian identity, calling on regional and global organizations to take serious and practical measures to counter the Zionist regime’s plots.

The participants also paid tribute to the heroic captives in the Israeli occupation prisons and their legitimate resistance by all means, stressing full support for their rights until they are freed from the grip of the occupation.

As we mark this anniversary, we should highlight the important role of the resistance axis in confronting the occupation, this axis will not remain silent in the face of terrorist organizations which have copied the practices of Israeli occupation.

If Syria is lost, then Palestine will be lost as well, and what is happening in Syria and the Takfiri plot both serve Israel. Israeli leaders have expressed satisfaction over the war, destruction, and fighting taking place in Syria. The states that are funding, arming, and smuggling gunmen into Syria and employ media to instigate conflict and prevent Syrians from holding dialogue must cease these actions which stoke the fire in it.

Syria will remain steadfast and resilient along with all those who stood alongside it in confrontation of the Zionist Takfiri project which aims at perpetuating the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories, fragmenting the Arab states and creating religious and sectarian conflicts in a way that enables Israel to invade the Arab region politically, economically and culturally.

The liberation of Jerusalem from the clutches of the Israeli regime is the top priority of the Muslim world. Any scheme meant to distract the Muslims’ public opinion from the Palestinian cause should be denounced.

The International Jerusalem Day sends out the justice-seeking cry of the oppressed Palestinians against the cruelty of the anti-human, criminal and infanticidal regime of Israel.

The Arabs and Muslims should maintain unity and solidarity in the face of their common enemy, the Israeli regime. 

K.Q.

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