WASHINGTON- The US congress have armed the extremists of the terrorist organization calling itself the “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant” (ISIL) by providing weapons to the so-called “moderate opposition” in Syria, former CIA counter terrorism officer and Senate Foreign Relations Committee senior investigator John Kiriakou has said, Sputnik reported on Wednesday.
Kiriakou said that the so-called “Free Syrian Army”, which is an armed group fighting the Syrian government and is considered as “moderate” by western countries , “didn’t help at all…supporting them has only made matters worse. Most of the US arms that were sent to them found their way into the hands of ISIL. Congress has paid for the arming of ISIL.”
According to him, ISIL forces in Syria had been able to capture and use modern US equipment from the “FSA”.
The US support for the idea of “a liberal, democratic freedom-loving, peace-loving opposition,” as an alternative to President Bashar Al-Assad, “was just nonsense,” Kiriakou said. The US should have stayed out instead of making the situation worse, he added.
Despite the failure of the US program for training what Washington calls “moderate opposition”, the American President Barack Obama keep insisting to provide more support for the terrorist organizations in Syria.
(Source / 09.10.2015)
At least six Palestinians have lost their lives and more than a dozen others sustained injuries after Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian protesters in the eastern part of the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Palestinian medical sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hammoud Hisham Muhsen, Ahmad al-Harbawi, Abed al-Wahidi and Hussam Dawla were fatally shot as Israeli troopers fired live bullets to disperse the Palestinian protesters east of the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City on Friday, Palestinian Arabic-language Ma’an news agency reported.
The identity of two of the victims have not immediately been released.
The sources added that as many as 35 Palestinians were also wounded during the imbroglio, describing the injuries as slight to moderate.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces also attacked Palestinians protesting against Tel Aviv’s provocations at al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to reports, five Palestinians were injured during clashes at a checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, while seven others sustained injuries in similar skirmishes in Bethlehem, south of al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The development came only hours after an Israeli man stabbed and injured four Palestinians in the southern Israeli city of Dimona, which lies in the Negev desert and 36 kilometers (22 miles) south of Beersheba.
The unidentified Israeli assailant reportedly first attacked a 35-year-old Bedouin laborer, before fleeing the scene and stabbing another three Palestinian Bedouin workers. All the four victims are said to be in their 50s.
The 17-year-old stabber, known to police, said under questioning that he believes all Arabs are terrorists, and that is the reason why he stabbed the Palestinians.
Earlier on Friday, Israeli forces shot a Palestinian woman in the northern city of Afula after she allegedly brandished a knife and sought to stab an Israeli guard at the city’s central bus station.
Meanwhile, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has called the recent spate of clashes between Palestianians and Israeli military troopers in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds over the past few days an “Intifada (uprising)” against the Tel Aviv regime.
“We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the Intifada… It is the only path that will lead to liberation,” Haniyeh said during a sermon aimed at Palestinian worshipers attending Friday prayers at a mosque in Gaza City.
“Gaza will fulfill its role in the al-Quds Intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation,” he pointed out.
On Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Human Right Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein expressed extreme concern over the escalation of the tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories, urging an end to the violence.
The UN official also warned about the rising number of the Palestinians injured by live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi also denounced the Israeli regime for its “racist and aggressive” practices towards the Palestinians, calling on the United Nations to take necessary measures to bring to a halt Tel Aviv’s acts of violence.
“The continuing escalation of attacks on the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation authorities and settlers threatens to exacerbate the situation in the entire region as the international community remains silent to these crimes,” the Arab League chief warned in a statement released on Thursday.
Palestinians are angry at the Israeli regime for imposing restrictions on their entry into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is the third holiest mosque to Muslims after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
On Thursday, Tel Aviv banned Palestinian men under the age of 50 from attending Friday prayers at the mosque, located in East al-Quds.
(Source / 09.10.2015)
Israeli soldiers inspect a Palestinian car at a checkpoint close to the West Bank village of Beit Furik, east of Nablus, on October 2, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian suspect was shot and killed in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba on Friday after allegedly stabbing an Israeli border police officer as attacks continue throughout the area.Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said an “Arab terrorist” was shot and killed after stabbing the officer in the Hebron settlement.The Palestinian victim was identifiedas Muhammad Fares Abdullah al-Jaabari, 19.
Over the last few days, one question has been repeated over and over again: are we witnessing the beginning of a new intifada in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)?
It is understandable that people are asking this: more than 500 Palestinians were injured in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank over 72 hours – a third of whom were shot with live ammunition or rubber-coated metal bullets.
Since last Thursday, four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in different incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The latest fatality was a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, shot and killed by an Israeli soldier in Aida refugee camp in northern Bethlehem on Monday.
But debating whether or not the ongoing clashes constitute a third intifada is less useful than an assessment of the facts, an important part of which is the data we have for violence in the OPT, both by Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinians resisting their presence.
In 2015 to date, 30 Palestinians have been killed, and 8 Israelis. A comparison with 2014 figures is not so helpful, because of two major Israeli offensives: ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Operation Protective Edge’. In 2013, however, 38 Palestinians were killed and 4 Israelis.
A database maintained by the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, is a useful barometer of the level of Palestinian resistance in the OPT (once you get past the absurdity of Molotov cocktails targeting an occupying army being described as ‘terror attacks’).
Over a 12-month timespan from September 2014 to August 2015 inclusive (see Graph 1), the number of Palestinian attacks in the West Bank does vary, but has tended to range at between 100-150 incidents per month (targeting both occupation forces and settlers).
Graph 2, meanwhile, shows the number of ‘firebomb’ (i.e. Molotov cocktails) attacks recorded by Shin Bet over the same 12-month period. Again, there is no obvious, steady increase – though in East Jerusalem it is possible to discern a marked uptick in recent months that has been maintained.
Finally, in Graph 3, we see the number of Israeli raids on Palestinian communities, as well as how many Palestinians have been arrested, and injured. Taken together, these three graphs defy attempts to identify a straightforward trend or pattern.
The bigger picture, however, shows a clear increase in the number of Palestinian attacks on Israeli occupation forces and settlers. In 2011, Shin Bet recorded 320 such incidents in the West Bank: in 2012, this rose to 578, and in 2013, to 1,271 (including a five-fold increase in the use of firearms).
The relatively small number of Israeli fatalities in recent years – including, in 2012, a year when not a single Israeli was killed in the West Bank – can obscure this increase in Palestinian resistance (note that the vast majority of recorded ‘attacks’ are stone-throwing incidents or Molotov cocktails).
There are a number of factors at play here. The lack of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is part of the story, of course – but more significant is the main reason for this collapse in the peace process: an Israeli government ruled by the right and extreme-right.
Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, Moshe Ya’alon, Miri Regev, Ayelet Shaked – the Israeli cabinet is packed with politicians whose commitment to Palestinian statehood is suspect or explicitly non-existent – but whose dedication to the colonisation of East Jerusalem and West Bank is a matter of record.
When Yair Lapid is the voice of moderation inside government, and Isaac Herzog is the face of the ‘opposition’, you know things are bad. Many Palestinians gave up on the official ‘peace process’ track a long time ago – now even the die-hard believers are doubting what these talks can achieve.
Meanwhile, the various aspects of Israel’s apartheid regime remain: settlements grow, land is expropriated, Israeli forces kill civilians with impunity, Palestinians languish in Israeli jails, homes are demolished, settler violence continues, and Palestinian freedom of movement is restricted.
On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s political leadership and security forces are still opposed to a broader uprising. As Amira Hass put it, “Fatah’s shaky political condition precludes the convention of regular conferences, let alone the conducting of a new intifada.”
Writing in August, Mouin Rabbani pointed out how, for “most of the past decade”, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “has been systematically conducting offensive operations…against its own people and precisely in order to obstruct the emergence of a serious challenge to Israel’s occupation.”
It is those areas where PA forces wield less influence or are absent, such as the West Bank refugee camps, Area C, and most notably East Jerusalem, which have seen more consistent and intense confrontations with Israeli forces.
The factors Rabbani identified in the summer “that together conspire against renewed rebellion” have not disappeared. A groundswell of public support for a wider, more sustained and organised uprising, especially coming from Fatah activists, could change this, but it is unclear if this will materialise at the current juncture.
We have been here before. The Israeli media asked “Is this a new intifada?” as early as March 2006, almost a decade ago. A third intifada was described as “inevitable” but “not imminent” in 2011, “inevitable” again in 2012, while in 2013, an Israeli commanderannounced it had already begun.
Is this a new intifada? Simply put, it is too soon to tell, but probably not. However, rather than worrying about definitions or labels, it makes more sense to focus on the reality on the ground. This tells us that a new tide of Palestinian rebellion has been rising for the last few years, for the quite obvious reason that occupation, colonialism, and apartheid produces resistance.
(Source / 09.10.2015)
Refoulement is the forceful deportation of a refugee according to the 1954 UN Convention, article 33 and is against international law. However, it has been reported as occurring in Jordan. It’s also been reported that the Jordanian government has begun discriminating against Palestinian/Syrian refugees. These are Palestinians who fled already once from their homeland to Syria and are now fleeing for a second time into neighbouring countries. The Jordanian government has also been accused of refusing Palestinian refugees at the boarder.
Human Rights Watch reported of this discrimination back in August of 2014 stating that Jordan is barring entry to Palestinians fleeing Syria and in some cases deporting them backto the wartorn country, in violation of its international obligations. The Jordanian government denies this.
Jordan is overwhelmed with refugee’s from Palestine and Syria. 70% of the total population of Jordan are refugees and there is a tremendous lack of international support.
Siraj Davis is a teacher and activist, working with Palestinian refugees in a camp in Jordan. He see’s the overwhelming neglect of human beings on a daily basis. Palestinian refugees are treated as second-class citizens and not given the same equal rights as Jordanian citizens. While Syrian refugees are treated even worse.
REFOULEMENT OF SYRIAN REFUGEES IN JORDAN / الترحيل القسري للاجئين السورين في الاردن
(Source / 09.10.2015)
A boy rides a motorcycle through a damaged street in Old Aleppo, Syria September 5, 2015
slamic State fighters have seized villages close to the northern city of Aleppo from rival insurgents, a monitoring group said on Friday, despite an intensifying Russian air-and-sea campaign that Moscow says has targeted the militant group.
News of the advance came as the United States announced it was largely abandoning its failed program to train moderate rebels fighting Islamic State and would instead provide arms and equipment directly to rebel leaders and their units on the battlefield.
The Obama administration is grappling with a dramatic change in the four-year-old Syrian civil war brought about by Moscow’s intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Russian defense ministry said stepped-up air strikes on rebel positions in Syria killed 300 anti-Assad rebels and that it hit 60 Islamic State targets over the last day. There was no independent confirmation of the death toll.
About 200 insurgents were killed in an attack on the Liwa al-Haqq group in Raqqa province while 100 died in Aleppo, the defense ministry said. Two Islamic State commanders were among the dead in Russia’s most intense raids since it launched strikes in Syria 10 days ago. In previous updates Russia has reported hitting 10 targets daily.
However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the fighting, said there had been no significant advances by government forces backed by allied militia in areas where ground offensives were launched this week. “It’s back and forth,” said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Observatory.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps said separately that one of its generals had been killed near Aleppo, once Syria’s most populous city. Iran, like Russia an Assad ally, says it has advisers in the country.
Islamic State is now within 2 km (1.2 miles) of government-held territory on the northern edge of Aleppo, which has suffered widespread damage and disease during the civil war that erupted in the wake of protests against Assad.
Syria’s military, backed by Russia, Iran and allied militias, has launched a major attack in Syria’s west to recapture land lost to non-IS rebels near the heartland of Assad’s minority Alawite sect. That area is vital to Assad’s survival.
A senior regional official close to the Syrian government said: “The Iranians are at the heart of the battle, with strength and effectiveness. Yes they are participating.”
As the government operation in the west pushed ahead, Islamic State said its fighters had captured five villages in its northern offensive and had killed more than 10 soldiers or militiamen. Powerful insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham managed to recapture one of the villages, Tel Suseen, later in the day, the Observatory and online media affiliated with the rebels said, but the others appeared to remain in IS hands.
The British-based Observatory said it was the biggest advance by Islamic State since it launched an offensive against rival rebels in Aleppo near the Turkish border in late August.
“DAESH EXPLOIT RUSSIAN STRIKES”
“Daesh has exploited the Russian air strikes and the preoccupation of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army in its battles in Hama, and advanced in Aleppo,” said one rebel commander with fighters in the region, using an Arabic name for Islamic State.
Russian warplanes and warships have been bombarding targets across Syria in a campaign Moscow says is targeting IS fighters, who control large parts of eastern Syria and of Iraq.
But the campaign appears to have mainly struck other rebel groups, some of which had been battling to stop the Islamic State advance across Aleppo province.
U.S. and Russian warplanes are now flying missions over the same country for the first time since World War Two, risking incidents between the two air forces and their fast jets.
Seeking to underline the dangers, U.S. officials said four Russian cruise missiles fired from a warship in the Caspian Sea had crashed in Iran, which drew a swift denial from Russia.
Speaking in London on Friday, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said however that the United States had indications that Russian cruise missiles did malfunction.
Washington said it was pulling the plug on a short-lived $580 million program to train and equip units of fighters at sites outside of Syria, after its disastrous launch this year fanned criticism of President Barack Obama’s war strategy.
The Pentagon said it would shift its focus to providing weapons and other equipment to rebel groups whose leaders have passed a U.S. vetting process to ensure they are not linked to militant Islamist groups.
France has also been involved in the anti-Islamic State effort, launching its first air strike in Syria on Sept. 27.
French Rafale warplanes attacked an IS training camp in their stronghold of Raqqa overnight. “We struck because we know that in Syria, particularly around Raqqa, there are training camps for foreign fighters whose mission is not to fight Daesh on the Levant but to come to France, in Europe to carry out attacks,” said French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The Observatory reported a new wave of Russian air strikes in the west on Friday morning on Hama and Idlib, apparently in support of the ground offensive against anti-Assad rebels.
The offensive has focused around the Ghab Plain, next to Syria’s western mountain range which forms the Alawite heartland and the important strategic main north-south highway running north from Hama towards the cities of Idlib and Aleppo.
Securing those areas would help consolidate Assad’s control over Syria’s main population centers in the west of the country, far from the Islamic State strongholds in the east.
Abu al-Baraa, a fighter with the Ajnad al-Sham rebel group, speaking to Reuters via Internet messenger from the Ghab Plain, said: “The regime has been trying since yesterday to advance … and tried many times, with Russian jets paving their way, but … most of the attacks are repelled. Also a number of heavy regime vehicles have been destroyed in the Ghab region.”
Alongside the Russian air-and-sea campaign, regional officials have told Reuters that hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria since late September to support the Syrian army and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.
Senior Iranian officials have been in Syria for several years as military advisers. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards said a senior general, Hossein Hamedani, was killed near Aleppo late on Thursday. Hamedani was a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war and was made deputy chief commander in 2005. Several senior Guard commanders have been killed in Syria.
Turkey said on Friday it was concerned about a possible fresh wave of Syrian migrants arriving at its border as a result of Russian air strikes. The conflict has killed 250,000 people and displaced millions, causing a refugee crisis in neighboring nations and in Europe.
(Source / 09.10.2015)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Six Palestinians were killed and 145 others injured as Israeli military forces opened fire at a demonstration by the border fence east of Gaza City and near Khan Younis on Friday, medics and the Ministry of Health said.The Gaza Ministry of Health said Shadi Hussam Dawla, 20, Ahmad al-Harbawi, 20, and Abed al-Wahidi, 20, were shot and killed east of the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood.Muhammad al-Raqeb, 15, and Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20, were killed after being shot by Israeli forces near Khan Younis while Adnan Moussa Abu Elayyan, 22, was shot in the head and killed in the same area.One hundred and forty-five other Palestinians were injured, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health, 10 of whom are in serious condition, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra said.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that 200 Palestinians approached the security fence and hurled rocks and rolled burning tires at Israeli forces.Israeli forces responded with live fire towards the “main instigators,” she said, confirming five direct hits.The deaths in Gaza come amid renewed violence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Friday.In the Israeli city of Dimona, an Israeli teenager stabbed four Palestinian Bedouins who worked for the local municipality, seriously injuring two.A Palestinian was shot and killed in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba after attempting to stab an Israeli border officer, police said, while a Palestinian woman was also shot in Afula after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli security guard.Video footage of the incident shows heavily armed Israeli forces open fire multiple times at her, despite her posing no threat to them.Tensions had been mounting steadily for weeks across the occupied Palestinian territory due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.At least 900 Palestinians have been injured in seven consecutive days of demonstrations and clashes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, at least 60 with live fire, medics say.
(Source / 09.10.2015)