Desperate Western media fanfare to lift terrorists’ morale

The infiltration of gunmen into the Syrian territories has been on since the onset of the crisis in the country, but the recent reports on sending large numbers of terrorists and developed weapons there are aimed at igniting media uproar to lift terrorists’ morale after their humiliating defeats at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army in various governorates.

It has been proved that sending weapons, funds and terrorists to Syria via Turkey and other border crossings started from the very beginning of the crisis in Syria. The British newspaper The Times revealed videos and photos confirming the arrival of one of the shipments to the Syrian border affirming that it is not the first time that Libyan ships try to deliver weapons to the armed groups in Syria.

New media releases also referred to the existence of mercenaries and militants from various countries, including the countries of Europe and the United States in addition to citizens from tens of countries in Syria within illegal armed terrorist groups.

Chairman of the so-called Doha Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba said that Saudi authorities ensured sophisticated arms to what he called the opposition fighters in Syria claiming that these weapons would change facts on the ground. This statement was a desperate attempt to raise the morale of the armed groups fighting in Syria after the heavy losses inflicted upon them because of the qualitative operations carried out against them by the Syrian Arab Army.

Sending these weapons could exacerbate the violence in Syria and fuel tensions between different extremist groups in the region. This was crystal clear in recent statements made by some Takfiri leaders who affirmed the sectarian nature of the conflict in Syria. However, the US and its European and regional allies, which have been encouraging sectarian war in Syria through offering unlimited support to the armed terrorist groups, started to realize that exploiting religious tensions may incite violence and could lead to large-scale atrocities not only in Syria but in the world at large.

Several Western intelligence reports stressed that most of the weapons which the Gulf and Western countries are providing to the so-called opposition fighters fall in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra and other Takfiri groups, potentially presenting a long-term threat to European and world security.

Such concerns pushed British Prime Minister David Cameron to review plans to provide the armed groups in Syria with sophisticated weapons after being warned by military chiefs that it could involve British forces in an all-out war.

According to the London-based newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, senior military officers warned the Prime Minister that with the victories realised by the Syrian army, sending arms and missiles is unlikely to make a difference, referring that these weapons might fall in the hands of extremist groups.

 Syria's steadfastness in the face of the war of terrorism waged against it will rid the region of extremists, and this steadfastness marked the beginning of the extremist terrorists' recession in the region.


Mr. Cameron's step is welcome

The UK authorities are increasingly alarmed that potential jihadists are returning to this country from Syria having learned terrorist techniques and picked up experience of combat.

According to the Independent, more than 100 British men are among thousands of foreigners who are believed to have travelled to Syria to fight alongside al-Qaeda affiliates, amid growing worries by the intelligence agencies that those foreigners would fall under the influence of the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups fighting the Syrians.

“We now also have to think about Syria as one of the big ungoverned spaces of concern to counter-terrorism in the UK,” a source told the Independent, whose reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson, said: “Jihadi conflicts have the potential to radicalise individuals in the UK and for some individuals who return from fighting abroad to pose a direct threat to the UK.”

The threat from terrorists was illustrated by the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in May in Woolwich, south-east London, the British Daily pointed out.

This is but a small portion of the Syrian government's continued warnings against terrorism spillover. Unfortunately, the Europeans, with whom the Syrian government and people have more to share on combating terrorism, have paid no heed and resorted to reckless uncalculated anti-Syria policies through supporting, trainings and arming al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria!

Regardless of how much late is the stance of Mr. David Cameron's as to refrain from supplying the terrorists in Syria with arms; it is indeed better than never. The need is dire more than ever for an international coordinated effort to uproot and combat terrorism not only in Syria but worldwide.

Mr. Cameron's step is welcome and can be taken seriously-if true- as a confidence-building measure with the majority of the Syrians on the way to Geneva 2, knowingly that it is taken regardless of the hawkish statements and stances by his wife, Samantha, who occupies no official political position, outgoing Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards,  and those by Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, who said that no option was being taken off the table when it came to Syria. The only practical and workable option is through secular, sane and wise politics.


Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Foreign Terrorists

According to the Time, as many as 6,000 foreign fighters from nearly 50 nations have now joined the war against the Syrians. The vast majority are "veterans" from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and a few former Soviet republics bolster their ranks.

The British Daily pointed out that surprising estimates suggest that Australians now make up the largest contingent from any developed nation fighting in Syrian. There are around 120 French fighters in Syria, about 100 Britons and a handful of Americans — but there are at least 200 Australians, according to a public statement made by David Irvine, director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

The French, British and American jihadists are drawn from communities that number 4.7 million, 2.7 million and 2.6 million respectively. The Australian contingent is drawn from a Muslim population of just 500,000, and is causing concern to a government that fears the homecoming of a battle-hardened group of radicalized Islamists when the conflict ends.

In February, Norwegian terrorism expert Thomas Hegghammer released a paper showing that 1 in 9 Westerners who fight in foreign jihadist insurgencies ends up becoming involved in terrorist plots back home. With evidence that more than 100 Australian terrorists  in Syria with Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda-linked militia.

According to Greg Barton, international director of Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, “It’s very difficult to get hard data or proof on what’s really going on. But the head of ASIO doesn’t come out and make public statements very often, so the fact that he’s talking about this shows how much of a concern this is. ”

 “The number of Australian terrorists in Syria is far higher than a few hundred,” says Jamal Daoud, a Jordanian migrant who stood as a candidate for the New South Wales (NSW) legislature during the last state polls. “I have been talking to community members for years now. So many times people have told me ‘my neighbor is fighting in Syria’ or ‘I am selling our furniture so I can go fight in Syria.’”

According to the British Daily, Australian counterterrorism operatives have been dispatched to Turkey and Beirut, where they are collecting evidence against a number of Australians suspected of fighting in Syria.

Barton points out that many of the Australians who have traveled to the war zone come from the northern Lebanese immigrant community — a group that has “experienced disproportionate problems” with organized crime.


Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Foreign interference hindering peaceful solution to crisis

One of the main factors that have complicated the crisis in Syria is the foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs by the US and its regional allies. Such flagrant interference is considered the main stumbling block that hinders reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The US, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been interfering in Syria’s internal affairs targeting Syria’s pivotal role in supporting resistance to Israeli occupation and confronting the sinister plans drawn for the Arab region such as the Grand Middle East or the New Middle East announced by the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when Israel launched its aggression against Lebanon in 2006.

The Western intervention in Syria’s internal affairs has been taking various forms, especially through launching fierce instigative media campaign against Syria to distort facts and mislead the world public opinion concerning what is going on in Syria.

These states have been employing instigative media channels which, in turn, have been working on fabricating lies about the situation in Syria with the aim of misleading the world public opinion and depicting the ugly atrocities and criminal acts of terrorists in Syria as a revolution for freedom. These channels have been claiming that the Syrian Arab army committed massacres against Syrians, but in fact, the Syrian Arab army has been performing its national duty in protecting Syrian people against the criminal and sabotage acts committed by these terrorist groups who terrified Syrians, drove them out of their houses and destroyed public and private properties.

Another more dangerous form of intervention in Syria’s internal affairs is represented by hosting, training and sending terrorists to Syria to commit crimes against Syrians and their public and private properties.

Throughout the past two years, there were many media and political releases about the unlimited support offered by these states to the terrorist groups in Syria. Various kinds of weapons, highly-developed communication devices and huge funds were smuggled via Turkey and other border outlets to reach terrorist groups and the so-called Jihaddists who came from Libya, Afghanistan, Chechnya  and other countries to carry out savage crimes against Syrian people and their properties. The British, the Times newspaper unveiled news about a large shipment of weapons which arrived in Turkey to be delivered to the armed terrorist groups in Syria a few months ago.

Some members of the so-called “Free Army” militia recently confessed that more than 1, 500 foreign “Jihaddists” entered Syria during the past few days via Turkey that facilitated their entry.

New media releases said that the number of foreign fighters in Syria amounted to 17 thousand, most of them are of Saudi nationalities. The Chechens make up the majority of non-Arab fighters.

The current  Turkish government, the US administration and their Arab allies, who claim their support for Syrian people and show themselves as defenders of democracy in the world, have been ignoring the legitimate demands of their people who are asking them not to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs.


Moves in the Right Direction

The US Congress has recently taken a right step in the right direction by blocking Obama military aid to al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.

 Members of both the House and Senate intelligence committees have moved to enact stringent restrictions on funding the terrorists fighting the Syrians, a move that would derail  the White House from delivering on arms shipments.

The US Congress move, of course not out of love to the Syrians rather than of fear of terrorism, is however not sufficient as to curb the hawks inside the US Administration who are keen on the total surrender and destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Another encouraging US step in the right direction is the recent statement by "Come Home America" Committee. The Committee condemned in a communiqué on July 11th, 2013, the US "government’s war on Syria, prosecuted first with sanctions, then with covert support through “allies” like the dictatorial petro-monarchies of the Gulf and now with overt provision of arms for the anti-government forces and perhaps even a bombing campaign.

"We demand an immediate cessation of this bellicose policy by our government. Sanctions and military intervention in Syria are not in the interests of the American people; nor are they in the interests of the Syrian people," added the communiqué, asserting that  70% of Americans are opposed to armed intervention in Syria – a number that has only increased over the months according to Pew polls. And yet the President and a majority in Congress favor intervention, revealing a crisis of our political institutions, which are far removed from the will of the people on this and many other issues.

We in ComeHomeAmerica are a very diverse group. We are traditional conservatives, progressive activists, libertarians of the Ron Paul type, old-fashioned Leftists, religious people appalled by war and non-religious who also harbor disgust over our numerous wars for over a century now. We are not pacifists, although there are pacifists in our ranks. But we do believe that any war must be defensive and a last resort, not a constant option to further the perceived interests of our elite. We protest our government’s actions not simply because of the specific conditions in Syria but based on general principles, added the communiqué, enumerating the Committee principles:

Our first principle is that war inflicts enormous damage on human beings and we are repulsed by it, a revulsion that is found in most human beings. Hence the war-makers try to keep their deeds hidden or covered in fantasies of glory. Secrecy in turn leads to suborning the press, a mainstay of our democracy.

Our second principle, the easiest one, is that we do not want to pay for these wars and the belligerent imperial colossus. A third principle is that the sovereignty of other nations is to be respected. Sovereignty is a concept introduced into international law to protect weak nations from powerful ones. The U.S. is presently the most powerful, and hence we have a special obligation to respect that principle and the Nuremberg principle that prohibits wars of aggression, which includes “wars of choice” or “pre-emptive wars.” A fourth principle is that an Empire is incompatible with liberty and democracy. The US has now become a worldwide Empire with more than 1200 military bases and outposts overseas. Every Empire must perforce be a military one, because it seeks to dominate others, which elicits resistance, and that in turn calls forth military oppression.


Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim