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Terrorist Threats

‘‘Syria has become really the predominant jihadist battlefield in the world.’’ The international Herald Tribune disclosed on July 29, 2013.

The daily added that a  rising number of radicalized young Muslims with Western passports are traveling to Syria to fight with the terrorists against the Syrian government, raising fears among American and European intelligence officials of a new terrorist threat when the fighters return home.

More Westerners are now fighting in Syria than fought in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia or Yemen, according to the officials, citing the  growing concern that they will come back with a burst of jihadist zeal, some semblance of military discipline, enhanced weapons and explosives skills, and, in the worst case, orders from affiliates of Al Qaeda to carry out terrorist strikes.

Classified estimates from Western intelligence services and unclassified assessments from government and independent experts put the number of fighters from Europe, North America and Australia who have entered Syria since 2011 at more than 600. That represents about 10 percent of the roughly 6,000 foreign fighters who have poured into Syria by way of the Middle East and North Africa.

Most of the Westerners are self-radicalized and are traveling on their own initiative to Turkey, where "rebel" facilitators often link them up with specific groups, terrorism experts say. Many have joined ranks with the Qaeda-aligned Nusra Front, which American officials have designated as a terrorist group.

European and other Western intelligence agencies are rushing to work together to track the individuals seeking to cross the border into Syria from Turkey, though several American officials expressed frustration that Turkey is not taking more aggressive steps to stem the flow of Europeans going to fight in Syria.

The German authorities have so far focused domestic efforts on preventing people suspected of being radicals from leaving the country. In the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, the security authorities this month identified 12 people thought to be radicals, who they said had given ‘‘concrete indications’’ that they were planning to leave for Syria.

Public prosecutors in the Netherlands have said that while the authorities cannot stop would-be jihadists from leaving the country, they can combat recruitment, which is against the law and carries a sentence of up to four years in jail or a fine of about $100,000.

A precise breakdown of the Western fighters in Syria is difficult to offer, counterterrorism and intelligence officials said, but their estimates include about 140 French citizens, 100 Britons, 75 Spaniards, 60 Germans, and a few dozen Canadians and Australians. There are also fighters from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, according to a study in April by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, a partnership of academic institutions that is based in London estimated that 140 to 600 Europeans had gone to Syria.

About 30 French citizens have returned from the front lines in Syria, according to Mathieu Guidère, a professor at Université Toulouse II and an expert on Islamic terrorism.

Recently, the Dutch authorities arrested a 19-year-old woman suspected of recruiting young Dutch Muslims to fight with Islamic extremists in Syria.

In April, the Belgian authorities raided 48 homes across the country and detained six men implicated in what prosecutors described as a jihadist recruitment drive for the insurgency in Syria. Some of the men have since been released, Eric van der Sypt, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor, said by telephone on Friday.

Mr. van der Sypt said the Belgian authorities had recently arrested another man after he returned to Belgium from Syria, but he declined to provide more information, citing the continuing investigation.

‘‘We’re still following the phenomenon of people going to Syria from very close by,’’ he said, referring to residents who had become involved in a radicalist group known as Sharia4Belgium, in places like Antwerp and Vilvoorde, a community north of Brussels.

 Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

New Test for UN credibility

It is completely unacceptable for the US and its Western allies to continue turning a blind eye and a deaf ear regarding the criminal acts and savage atrocities committed by the armed terrorist groups in Syria. Blatant Human rights violations and heinous crimes are committed by these groups against Syrian people and their public and private properties daily and the international community is still keeping silent towards such awful acts.

One of the atrocious massacres committed by the armed terrorist groups was the atrocity of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo countryside, causing the martyrdom of at least 25 civilians and the injury of over 100 others. The terrorist groups' members arranged a murder of civilians and military personnel, maimed the bodies of some victims, put them in a big trench in the town's suburbs and burned other martyrs’ bodies showing the ugliness of their criminal acts.

The brutal massacre was perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra and "Liwaa Ansar al-Khilafa".

The double standard policy adopted by some Security Council member countries regarding combating terrorism prevented the UN Security Council from condemning the atrocities of the al-Qaeda-affiliated takfiri groups which have been responsible for the terrorist explosions in various areas in the country. The stances of these countries run contrary to the international agreement on combating terrorism, increase committing more atrocities against the Syrians and obstruct the strenuous efforts to reach a political solution for the crisis based on inter-Syrian dialogue that meets the Syrian people’s aspirations and demands away from any foreign diktat.

The armed terrorist groups which are linked to al-Qaeda have committed the savage massacre in Khan al-Assal town to erase the traces of the chemical weapons use in this area. The main goal of this carnage is killing all witnesses on the use of the chemical weapons by the armed terrorist groups.

Unfortunately, none of the Western parties has taken a stand against such acts or against the foreign gunmen within the ranks of the terrorist groups in Syria.

The Takfiri terrorist groups and their backers must be held accountable for their acts. The terrorists who committed Khan al-Assal massacre and the countries which support, fund and arm them must be held accountable, and they will pay dearly for this heinous crime.

Another goal of the massacre is to terrorize the Syrian people and alter the situation on the ground, particularly since the Syrian Army is making progress in its qualitative operations targeting the dens of terrorists everywhere in the country.

The UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council should adopt responsible procedures as regards fighting the terrorism Syria is facing because of the al-Qaeda linked takfiri groups.

The UN Security Council should also reveal facts connected to the horrible massacre in Khan al-Assal away from double standard policies which have been advocated by the US and its Western allies since the very beginning of the crisis in Syria.


Jerusalem: the bells of return shall ring

Today is Al-Quds Day, an international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people that is held annually on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Al Quds – Jerusalem is the city of martyrs; the occupied city. A city painted with a deep shade of Israeli occupation crimes. A city occupied far longer than I have walked this earth.

I warmly invite the world to rediscover and embrace the Palestinian culture of Life following the flowering footsteps of the Prophets of this Holy Land, Palestine, the Arabs have forgotten Al-Quds, why?????? Arabs forgot to fight for Jerusalem, and the Arabs are fighting each other!!!

What a bizarre configuration imposed upon Palestinians; they are called racist for fighting racism, they are called anti-Semites while being Semitic to the core, they are obliged to defend the rights of their persecutors before their own,  they are supposed to care more for the feelings of those who perpetrated genocides against them for over six decades before they care about their liberation, and they are demanded to fall in love with the “humanity” of their occupiers and express that love in no uncertain terms otherwise their own humanity is in doubt and would be put on trial.

This city, I have never seen. Its air, I have never breathed. Its roads, I have never trodden, but my only dream in life is to go there, after it is liberated, the city of prayer:

Jerusalem, Flower of Cities
Sung by Fairuz

For you, city of prayer, I pray.
For you, brightest of homes, flower of cities
Jerusalem, city of prayer, I pray.

Our eyes travel to you every day
wandering towards
the places of worship
embracing the old churches
and wiping away the sadness
from the mosques.

Night of glory, path of those
who passed to the sky
our eyes travel to you every day
and I pray…

The child in the manger
and his mother Maryam
two faces, crying, crying…
for those who have been outcast
for children without homes
for those who have fought
and died in doorways.

And peace has died, in the land of peace
and justice has fallen
justice has fallen
justice has fallen, like ash.

When the city of Jerusalem fell, love retreated,
and in the heart of the world, war lived.
the child in the manger
and his mother Maryam
two faces crying
and I pray…

The blinding anger is coming
and I am all belief
the blinding anger is coming
and I shall pass through sadness

From every direction coming,
with the steeds of night coming,
like the face of God, All-seeing
Coming, coming, coming..

The doors of our city will not be locked
for I am going to pray
and I will knock on the doors
and I will open these doors
and you will wash
O river of Jordan
my face, with holy waters
and you will erase
O river of Jordan
The tracks of the soldiers boots.

From every direction, coming,
with the steeds of night, coming,
like the face of God, all-seeing
coming, coming, coming
To defeat the face of power.

This home is ours
and Jerusalem is ours
and with our hands we will return
the brightness of Jerusalem
with our hands,

For Jerusalem, peace
for Jerusalem, peace
for Jerusalem, peace

"A sword shall be drawn; and horns shall be blown; and the bells of return shall ring: now, now - not tomorrow."

Butheina Al-Nounou

Army putting lives on the line every day

Two days ago, I was in a hospital, where my husband was doing physical checkup, we were told that he must sleep in the hospital for two days. I took the opportunity to speak to the nurses, doctors, visitors and even the patients. I asked them two questions: one, after two years of foreign-backed attacks, mostly from religious fanatics, how would secular Syria have survived without its national army? and two, what legitimate function does any army have, if not to defend a nation from foreign-backed attempts to violently dismantle the state and constitution or, alternatively, to partition the country?

They all answered nearly the same, the Syrian Arab Army has been vilified by those very same regimes that arm the foreign jihadis and the local sectarians.Yet despite the relentless attacks, this army has held together and is showing strong signs of resuming control of our country in service of a secular and socially inclusive state. One of the patients said" If you live our army's value, it means you live up to a higher standard. our army has loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity, and personal Courage. But how often do you see someone actually live up to these traits? Soldiers learn these values, and they live them every day in everything they do — whether they’re on the job or off ".

 If that is not legitimate so what??????even the five years child, began chanting "long live our army"

One of the doctors said:

"Criticizing the Syrian Arab Army  is coming from those western countries whose armies spend much of their time invading and occupying several of foreign countries.

 Throughout the years, the Syrian Army embodied the values of national unity and reflected the diversity of the Syrian society, embracing the heroic principle of martyrdom and making it an integral part of the Syrian soldier's mentality.

Syria's secular tradition is nowhere stronger than it is in the Syrian Arab Army, with half a million members, half regulars and half conscripts.The army compasses all the country's communities. However, they identify as 'Syrian' and 'Arab' confronting a sectarian enemy that brands itself 'real Muslim( Al-Qaeda)".

A young nurse said " Hundreds of thousands of young Syrians put their lives on the line every day to defend a nation that gives them identity, education, and a range of shared institutions. The Syrian army deserves respect, love, and gratitude ".

A woman wept when I asked her, she said: I have a son in the Army, I want to make sure my son knows how proud I am. No matter what, if he comes alive or not, he always wanted to die, and become a martyr, for the sake of his country,  but  I will be waiting for my son and his friends to come home. We miss him so much. I am constantly praying for his safety" she couldn't say anything more.

At  last, On the 68th anniversary of our Syrian Arab Army, I say:

All of our prayers go to you. With God's sake you will win both the battle as well as the war.

Brave Syrian Arab Army you are making golden pages of history and demonstrating to the world, how defending dignity and motherland should be done. You have tremendous Support from all the Syrians. Cleanse the country from thugs and bandits.

God bless the heroic valiant soldiers of the splendid Syrian Arab Army. 

Long live our soldiers, and mercy to our martyrs. 

Butheina Al-Nounou

Syrian Army 's 68Th Anniversary

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ The Syrian army, once again, is waging today the battle against terrorism, embodying principles and values it carries since its foundation in 1945 to defend the homeland and preserve its dignity against schemes that seek to undermine the Syrian state and her national sovereign decision. 

The current global conspiracy against Syria proved the ability of the Syrian army to thwart all plots and conspiracies that targeted its cohesion and discipline through misleading media campaigns for which billions of US dollars were allotted in desperate attempts to tarnish the image of the Syrian fighter who made the victories of 1973 and broke the myth of the invincible Zionist army.

All facts confirmed that the Syrian Arab Army represented over the years militant struggle to ensure national unity to protect and defend the law against internal and external threats. 

Since its creation nearly 68 years ago, the Syrian army devoted itself to a national scientific concept materialized in honorable fights especially the battle in defense of Palestine in 1948, preserving Lebanon 's unity and independence in 1976 and participated in the battles of honor against the Zionist enemy in Lebanon, also in 1982.

The Syrian Arab Army chose to develop its combat potentials and managed through the consolidation and development of cooperation with anti-west friendly countries armies to get supplied with various kinds of sophisticated and advanced weapons , despite ongoing attempts to prevent Syria from arms supplies and fear of some countries of upsetting the military balance against the interests of Israel. 

Moreover, the army centered its focus on building the man and maintain his mental , physical and ideological rehabilitation through continued development of military training and educational curricula . 

Today, heroes of the Syrian army continue the same approach in defense of the homeland and to prevent hired terrorists to achieve their cheap goals and uproot mercenaries who seek to undermine Syria 's security and stability .

Equipped with high readiness and preparedness, the Syrian army is able to successfully carry out combat missions assigned to them to thwart and crush all hostile acts.

However, analysts confirm that one who tries to or seeks to undermine Syria steadfastness and national sovereignty and destabilize its security must recall the role played by heroes of the Syrian Arab army over the years in defending the just Arab causes and support of resistance forces in the region ,and should also know that the army heroes are not deterred by threats , because they took up their lives on their palms and chose martyrdom as a path to achieve victory .


T. Fateh