Monthly Archives: February 2016

The “Gates of hell” will be open in the coming months in Syria

 

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There are three possible scenarios in Syria

Participation of Arab troops  in Syria is not excluded ..

As in Berlin WWII, Syria might face Gharbistan and Sharqistan

 

By Elijah J. Magnier (@ejmalrai)

 

A high-ranking officer within the joint operations room in Damascus, which includes Russia, Iran and Syria and Hezbollah said, “ there are three possible scenarios in Syria: The first is the Arab ground troops would enter Syria from the Turkish borders, in the area under the so-called “Islamic State” group (ISIS) on the long bordering front from Jarablus to Al-Ra’ee. This can be possible and quickly achievable if a kind of an agreement is reached between Turkey and ISIS. After all, the Jihadist group has to face either the Turkish-Arab forces – that could allow a possible exit – or the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah forces where there will be no exit”.

 

“The second scenario is through the Jordanian borders East of Syria up to Raqqa. A longer road but would allow Saudi Arabia to bring its logistic and armoured support to push all the way to the ISIS-controlled land. In both scenarios, these troops, Arabs or Turkish-Arabs, would not clash or contact or even walk into the Russia-Damascus and allies military operational stage. The third scenario is that the Saudi are boosting the moral of the Jihadist by advertising a possible intervention so these don’t surrender easily and hold the ground for as long as possible”.

 

 

The source said: “Any scenario is linked to the will of the United States to be engaged in a war in Syria. This is exactly what the Saudi officials said. The U.S. is sending the Awacs aircraft because any U.S direct intervention on the ground is totally excluded. This could be the U.S. contribution, along the diplomatic effort in Geneva. Never the less, we build our military reaction based on the strong possibility that the Arab ground troops are most likely to invade Syria. These forces, under the title of defeating ISIS, won’t reach Raqqa overnight. Logistic support and troops movement from Jordan into Syria require between 3 to 4 months to be completed. These forces, in this case, are expected to advance from Jordan, into al-Badiyah and continue up north toward Raqqa, the northern Syrian city, as a possible scenario. Any potential contact with the Syrian forces could lead to a larger war”.

 

“We do not exclude the fact that Saudi Special Forces could act behind ISIS lines to guide airtrikes or carry small scale attacks. None the less, these forces cannot contribute to defeat ISIS but in directing specific targets. Any attack that could weaken ISIS is considered to our advantage. The U.S. led coalition can bomb ISIS any time but no ground troops would be welcome. Moreover, no jet is allowed to enter the Syrian space without prior coordination with Russia, otherwise it will be considered as a potential target. This is also another fact to consider. Therefore, no one is willing to see a large scale war, mainly President Obama who has avoided to be entangled in the Syrian war for the last two years”.

 

 

Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev said, “all parties should sit down at the negotiating table instead of causing an outbreak of a new world war”, rumbling the drum of war in Syria. The Russian warning came after the confirmation of a spokesman for the Saudi Defense minister Ahmad Asiri “the Saudi Kingdom has announced the establishment of the new Islamist alliance to fight terrorism and is ready to carry out air and ground operations within the international coalition led by the United States in Syria.”

 

“The aim of the Arab forces is to divide Syria is two parts: “Gharbistan” (western) and “Sharqistan”(Eastern) similar to what happened in Berlin after World War II. In the first part, the Syrian army will continue fighting al-Qaeda and its allies with the support of Russia. While in the second part, the Arabs would establish their forces to impose a political change and could destabilise the regime. In the meantime, the regime forces are at 60km from Raqqa, while, Turkey is at 180 km from ISIS main city. Therefore, if the idea to defeat ISIS is genuine, the U.S led coalition doesn’t need to intervene and walk all this distance from Turkey or Jordan to Raqqa. However, The race to Raqqa is declared, with the possibility or without the possibility of an Arab-Turkish intervention”.

 

According to the source “the gates of hell will be open in the next 3 months in Syria against al-Qaeda and its allies and also against ISIS. As agreed in Geneva between Russia and the United States, any cease-fire shall not include Jihadists and their allies. If Syrian opposition groups do not disengage from al-Qaeda, they will be considered legitimate targets because they become united as one group and will be dealt with accordingly”.

 

Al-Qaeda in Syria, known as Jabhat al-Nusra, is part of Jaish al-fateh, a coalition of many Syrian groups operating in northern Syria. Al-Qaeda and Jihadist movements are sending reinforcement to northern Aleppo in the last 48 hours, but used to maintain a strong presence around Nubbl and Zahraa, the two cities that Russia and its allies brock the siege imposed for over three and a half years. Al-Qaeda fighters pulled back toward the north of Aleppo fighting in Tal-Rifaat and others toward the south of Zahraa where they are fighting in Andan and Hay’yan.

 

According to the source, human and signal intelligence confirmed that “Saudi Arabia has asked Syrian opposition associated and not-associated with al-Qaeda not to waive any proposition in the Geneva negotiations and not to hand over any city in Syria without fighting. Time is crucial and Saudi Arabia will continue its military support to the opposition, waiting for a new U.S. to be elected. The battle is expected to be more intense where everybody is holding the ground which indicates that the war is still far form being over”

 

Original article published here:

http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2016/02/14/657188/nr/syria

 

6000 “al-sabereen Unit” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Aleppo and major plans before the Summer.

 

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6000 “Al sabereen Unit” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Aleppo.

Hezbollah pushes fresh Special Forces.

In reef Aleppo, more cities are negotiating and want to surrender.

Russia and Iran are planning to change the Syrian military map before the end of this coming summer.

13000 TOWs offered by Saudi Arabia helped to reduce armoured forces involved in attacks, increase the infantry and destroyed more Syrian cities.

Russia is imposing the Kurds – who control more land every day –  as essential players and partners on Geneva peace talk.

 

Elijah J. Magnier ‏‪@EjmAlrai

 

Iran is sending more Special Forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to Syria. Military planes are landing in Damascus and Aleppo airports respectively carrying 6000 officers and soldiers of the “Sabereen Unit” to support the on-going ground offensive in reef of Syria. The Lebanese Hezbollah is also injecting fresh forces to the same area where also the Syrian Kurds are advancing against Salafist Jihadist led by al-Qaeda in Syria, also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, and their allies. Russia, the leading force dominating the Syrian sky, wants to guarantee a seat to the Kurds where Turkey and Saudi Arabia rejected their presence around the negotiation table of Geneva peace talk, expected to regain meeting by the end of this month of February. Iran and Russia are determined to change the map of Syria to the advantage of Damascus before the end of this coming summer. Cities are surrendering without fight like Dayr Jamal, and others, like Tal-Refaat, are negotiating an exit to rebels to avoid the destruction of their city.

A high-ranking military officer operating in Syria said, “the IRGC Sabereen unit operating in large Aleppo outskirts (North, South, West and East reef) was established more than ten years ago in Iran and were selected as a Special Elite Forces. These are trained to participate to warfare combat, to penetrate deep into and behind enemy lines and above all to fight Jihadists. These are the spearhead against al-Qaeda in Northern and western reef Aleppo and Eastern reef against the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) group. Over 47 officers and soldiers are reported killed in the last Aleppo offensive. ”

“Iran misinformation campaign in the last few month deceived the main stream media who believed its forces are withdrawing from Syria, when the military transport aircraft were conveying fresh troops to Aleppo to plan the breakage of the blockade around Nubbl and Zahra, the two northern Shia cities besieged for over three years by al-Qaeda and its allies. Following the downing of the Russian Jet, the Su-24 over the Turkish-Syrian borders by Turkey last year, Russia reshuffled its military plans to get much deeper involved in Syria and aim to cut all supply lines and link between the Jihadist and their safe heaven in Turley. Therefore, plans were drawn to control the borders starting from reef Latakia, where the military offensive is advancing rapidly and from the north of Aleppo. An operational room was established in Aleppo to direct the northern and the southern fronts where al-Sabereen unit is mainly engaged”.

According to the source, “when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates expressed their will to send a military force to Syria, as agreed with the United States of America, the answer came from the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Ja’fari. His forces are directly involved on the ground in the North against al-Qaeda (Nusra) and the North East against ISIS. This means the IRGC and Hezbollah will be face to face with any troops landing in their operational area without any coordination with Damascus. The Iranian military operational room is in charge of recovering the bordering area between Turkey and Syria and to fight against any enemy force at the exception of the Kurds and their allies, considered non-enemy forces”.

“The battle of Ratyan was a real turn in the northern campaign. It was the most defended city and the heart of al-Qaeda and its allies, fortified since years above and under the ground. It was also the operational centre leading the siege around Nubbl and Zahraa and the northern front. The Russian Air Force destroyed these fortifications and killed hundreds of Jihadists, according to their own count. The fall of Ratyan set an example to other northern cities that are negotiating a surrender term without fighting. This is what happened in Deyr Jamal, Alqamiyah and Kfarnaya, at the outskirt of Tal-refaat, the last city before Azaz and through it to the Turkish borders. Tal Refaat is also negotiating surrender with the advancing forces. Forces are finding cities already abandoned but well fortified with several long tunnels and weapons left behind. With the breakage of the siege, thousands of fighters protecting the two cities were divided to the Northern and to the southern fronts. It helped increasing the strength of the spear-head units and giving a unique opportunity to the advancing forces against al-Qaeda and its allies”.

“Russia, Iran and Hezbollah aim to change the military geographic map of Syria to their advantage before the end of this coming summer. The one billion dollars invested by Saudi Arabia to offer 13000 TOW anti-Tank guided missiles helped only to increase the destruction of the Syrian cities. Instead of pushing ground-armoured troops, Russia is using its Air Force to destroy any resistance and Iran is sending more infantry, relying less on tanks. Hence the need to inject more specialised troops to fulfil important military objectives, planned in the next six months. These forces, from Iran and Hezbollah, are still coming in large numbers to respond to future military plans”.

“Russia is also aiming to impose an ipso-facto on Geneva peace talk by supporting the advance of the Kurdish forces in the northern front to the Turkish borders. Turkey and Saudi Arabia can no longer ignore the Kurds, mainly following their control in reef Aleppo of Kiffin, Dayr Jamal and other cities, joining already controlled area. Rejecting their participation is against any logic. As the Kurds control now a large front – and are expected to control more land – the international community can no longer accept the Turkish-Saudi blackmail. The Kurds are an essential partner and will be part of a comprehensive solution to the Syrian war”, the source concluded.

 

Original article published here: http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2016/02/09/656002/nr/lebanon via  @alraimediagroup

 

 

 

Russia Is Preparing the Syrian Army to Repel Any Turkish Incursion

Abdullah Al-Muhaysini runs the judicial system in Aleppo, so how is it that Kerry is defending The Army of Conquest’s (Jaish al-Fateh) control on the city?

Translated by Sufyan Jan for Fort Russ via 

6th February, 2016
by Elijah J.Magnier @ejmalrai
 
 
 
“We call upon the regime and its supporters to halt their bombardment of opposition-held areas, especially in Aleppo, and to lift their besiegement of civilians in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2165, 2254 and 2258….” Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement after the failure of the Geneva conference, which the the Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC) withdrew from, following the SAA’s successful operations in ending the siege imposed upon the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa just North of Aleppo for the past three and a half years.
A source close to Syrian President Bashar Assad said to Al-Rai, “The Americans were caught napping by the quick advancements on the ground brought on by the Russian offensive who managed to turn the tide of the war.  Now, the Americans are contradicting themselves since the UN resolution 2254 reaffirms in point 8 and the 2249 resolution (2015) that all member states should fight against ISIS and Al-Nusra and all other groups, all individuals that support them, and that aforementioned ceasefire will not apply to these groups and individuals and that they ought to be eradicated”.
The source elaborates, “Secretary Kerry is not only going against the UN resolutions that he himself is quoting, but worse,  he is defending Al-Qaeda and their affiliate groups that are run by ex-Guantanamo prisoners. In the past, Secretary Kerry never asked to stop the military operations around Aleppo by Jaish al-Fateh ( The Army of Conquest)  who besieged for three and a half years the citizens of Nubl and Al-Zahraa. The main purpose of such a call is to prevent the SAA from eradicating Al-Qaeda et al from Aleppo and its country side. Beside, for Mr. Kerry to be tranquil,  al-qaeda and its allies are not under siege since they are linked to Idlib and the Turkish border to date”.
The source continues, “The Army of Conquest controls Aleppo whose judicial body is administered by Abdullah Al-Muhaysini, a Saudi national with Al-Qaeda, we believe, he is on the US State Department terror list. The “army” that Mr. Kerry is asking to lift the siege upon consists of Al-Nusra, Ahrar Al-Sham, Al-Aqsa brigade, The Army of Muhajirin & Ansar and others. They are located in, and around Aleppo with various other groups. Al-Nusra, al-qaeda fi billed al-Sham, has a judicial court in Haritan and Idlib. It has control over granaries near the city of Al-Bab, the cotton conclaves, the tractor factory and other sources that represent a substantial financial supply to the organisation. Mr. Kerry wants Al-Qaeda to keep the control of these key infrastructure that represent a source of income to al-Qaeda”.
“As for The Army of Muhajirin & Ansar who pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda, the majority of their combatants are from Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Uzbekistan. The Russian language is the one used among these foreign fighters. There is no doubt that the US is not worried about those who are a danger to Russia, and Kerry is defending them even if they were named on his own US terror list in 2014. They are calling for the establishment of the Khilafa state, they are centered in Haritan, Kafr Hamza, Ma’arrat al-atiq, North of Aleppo, around Nubl and Al-Zahraa, Jabhat hatharat, and Jamiyat Al-Zahraa district in Aleppo”.
 “Ahrar Al-Sham was founded by Sheikh Abu-Jabir who fought the Americans in Iraq, and was appointed as Amir of Aleppo after the death of Abu-Khalid al-Souri (the Syrian), whose was labeled as one of the most dangerous leaders in Al-Qaeda. He was also the special envoy to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Ahrar Al-Sham are key allies of Al-Qaeda in Aleppo, even if they are separated from each other as organizations, its Al-Qaeda like ideology and their behavior looms large over its nature”
According to the same source Kerry is also defending “Harakat Sham al-Islam” , founded by an ex-prisoner in Guantanamo bay detention camp, Ibrahim bin Shakran, (Abu-Ahmad Al-Muhajir) whose a Moroccan national that was killed in April 2014. He was replaced by Mohammad Mizouz (Abu-Iz Al-Muhajir), who was captured by US military on the Afghan-Pakistan border. He used to be in Guantanamo bay detention camp, and is now fighting alongside Al-Qaeda in Syria and was named in the US terror list back in September 2014. There are other movements that are sponsored by Turkey such as the Syrian Turkmen Brigade, Sultan Murad Brigade, Sultan Muhammad Fatih battalion, Nur Al-Din Zinki movement along with others. All these groups are cooperating with Al-Qaeda even though UN resolution states that we are supposed to work together to eradicate them, and that the ceasefire agreements does not include them”.
Moscow’s made a statement that it has “strong grounds to believe that Turkey is preparing for a ground incursion into Syria”. The source comments, “Russia has red lines that it will allow no one to cross. It  is preparing strong Syrian military units  to repel any Turkish ground incursions. Damascus has the right to defend its borders, and will react to any aerial violations of Syrian sovereignty, and is preparing for any ground offensive by the Turks with aerial bombardment and ground shelling. Russia considers any Air Jet  not operating within the US-Russia coordination agreement to be a threat and will be shot down. Russia has also taken further precaution by deploying the S-400 missile system, and has brought in Su-35 that is in service for the first time, and it has further upgraded the Syrians’ MiG-29’s in case they are needed to repel any Turkish advancements. The Kremlin wanted to send to Turkey a message that says any incursion by you will be met by force not diplomacy”. 
U.S. Secretary John Kerry communiqué:
Original translation:

Finishing off ISIS/Daesh is not a priority for the West

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Finishing off ISIS/Daesh is not a priority for the West

Finishing off ISIS is not a priority for Western powers, for reasons relating to economic and military interests in the Middle East.

When Anbar and Ninoy tribes raided the city of Mosul back in June 2014, these tribes, followed by ISIS, claimed the victory to itself and overshadowed the influence of the tribes. Iraq was governed by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki who threw the Americans out of Iraq, and opened the doors of cooperation with Iran, so much so that almost every deal between the Prime minister, government cabinet, as well as the major and minor political parties and blocks, whether Sunni, Shi’a, or Kurds, were sketched and brokered in Tehran and Beirut.

Washington stood by as armed opposition against Baghdad grew, especially ISIS. It wanted ISIS to sow the seeds of destruction in Syria and Iraq; these allegations were confirmed by retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a report he had submitted to the US administration back in 2012.

There is no doubt that Iran’s increasing influence in the region harms US interests, and the interests of other regional players. The US moved to contain ISIS but not to destroy it, when it headed towards the oil rich city of Kirkuk, and the Kurdish capital of Erbil, where regional and international interests are present, in the form of military cooperation, and oil extraction contracts, it is also used by the CIA as a launching base for its operations in the region.

From this we can conclude that destroying ISIS would harm US interests because there would be no military excuse to be there, and hence Tehran would regain control of Iraq. Baghdad under Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is convinced that the US can provide aerial and technological assistance for the Iraqi intellegence community, thus enabling security forces to strike ISIS where it hurts. Iran has been able to use the call of Seyyed Ali Al-Sistani to form the Popular Mobilization Forces enabling Tehran to regain a foothold in Iraq, by forming an alternative to the current security forces, and offering an alternative to Haider Al-Abadi that can challenge him in the future.

As long as ISIS is around the US will retain its presence in the region, the real danger comes from Turkey violating Iraq’s sovereignty and pronouncements by the Kurds to secede and end the Sykes-Picot agreement.

ISIS’ entry – under the banner of Jabhat Al-Nusra in 2011 with the whole world watching – into Syria was welcomed to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad, slowly Al-Nusra’s influence grew and embedded itself in the Syrian society becoming a part of it until Al-Baghdadi announced ISIS-Nusra merger, after that dissent and in-house fighting commenced between the jihadists themselves. At the same time Hezbollah went into Syria in 2013 all guns blazing, Iran decided that it would deliver financial, and economic aid to the Syrian military and civilian establishments, this did not irk the West though they much preferred Assad to be out of the picture.

“If I had to choose between ISIS and Iran, I’d choose ISIS”, said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. ISIS doesn’t worry Israel for several reasons, chief among them is its military experience and capabilities are not up to scratch with that of Hezbollah, that’s been in the making since 1982. Those precision missiles that Hezbollah possesses worries Israel more than the primitive IED’s that are used by ISIS, in this way ISIS can act as Israel’s buffer zone-were it to be situated in the Golan heights or Quneitra- against the expansion of Hezbollah or the Islamic resistance in Syria. 

Israel says “it can annihilate ISIS in a few hours or days” but it prefers that it lingers because ISIS does not attach itself to any power axis and it has no political future. Thus it is necessary that ISIS keeps fighting against the resistance axis inhibiting the advance of groups like Hezbollah.

Translated by Sufyan Jan for Fort Russ by @O_Rich_

HEZBOLLAH (part Two): Why Hezbollah is in Syria and until when?

 

 

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Part II

 

Why would Hezbollah accept 1400 fighters killed and several thousands wounded over 3 years of war on numerous Syrian fronts? Is it the result of a strong bound or a strategic alliance?

Who is Hezbollah: From 1982 until 1992, Hezbollah was completely different from Hezbollah after 1992 to-date. The Shura council (Majlis Shura al-Qarar) and military leadership (later known as Majlis al-Jihadi) have changed from the one known today. There were different factions and loyalties. The “Origin of Hezbollah” will be covered in another chapter. For simplicity, even if inaccurate, I shall use the term “Hezbollah” for the initial 10 years of its existence.

Hezbollah and Syria: The relationship between Hezbollah and Syria started long ago but was neither strategic nor constructive. On the contrary, Syria tried its best to destroy Hezbollah in the 80s, when the organisation was still very young. The first contact between Syria and Hezbollah in 1982 was not direct but happened through Iran when the Islamic Republic sent a large contingent to Syria, establishing itself in Zabadani, Syria, and in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon[1]. It remained as such for many long years. More details under “the Origin of Hezbollah”.

According to a Hezbollah commander, since the start, President Hafez Assad did not allow Hezbollah to receive specific weapons from Iran that were “balance breaking” even if designated to fight Israel. Arms used to reach Damascus airport, were off-loaded by the Syrians and delivered to Hezbollah, after inspection and selection.

Syria saw in Hezbollah a threat to its long strategically planned presence in Lebanon and defined its fighters as a “bunch of outlaws and rebels”. Therefore, the Syrian political leadership considered receiving destructive weapons could create a menace as these could potentially be used, one day, against the Syrian Army in Lebanon. Moreover, Assad wanted to keep a certain balance between his relationship with the United States of America and Iran at that time.

I travelled to Lebanon in 1981 to cover the Palestinian organisations where I met Yasser Arafat, Salah Khalaf[2], Farouq al-Qaddoumi[3] and different Palestinian leaders, in the area of al-Jamea al-Arabia in Beirut where PLO had one of its main HQ. In 1982, the Israeli invasion came as a surprise while I was learning more about the various groups involved in the Lebanese civil war[4]. The invasion was key to understand the birth of “Hezbollah”. Since the borders with Lebanon were confined with Israel from the South and with Syria from the North and the East, Damascus was the only way out or in the country from where Hezbollah received its support from Iran or to travel outside the country. The road through Damascus was a necessity. But the contact between Hezbollah and Syria was not easy, neither very friendly since the beginning

Syria pushed its forces into Lebanon as part of the Arab Deterrent Force, an international peacekeeping force created by the Arab league following a Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) Summit in Octobre 1976, to halt the civil war. Syria had decided to stay in the country and didn’t pull out until 2005. Syria spread its forces from the North, to the East in the Bekaa Valley, going through the capital Beirut and until Saida, in the south of Lebanon. Damascus controlled all key figures and institutions in the country, promoting leaders and dismissing others. No group was allowed to stand and operate without its consensus.

The Fathallah Barracks: The relationship between Syria and Hezbollah was difficult because Hezbollah was under Iran’s not Syria’s orbit. It became bloody in 1986, when Mustafa Shehadeh, a Hezbollah responsible of Beirut sector then, arrested 12 Syrian soldiers and their officer in west Beirut. Shahadeh, who had his office in Nuweiry where I met him the first time with his deputy Ihab, humiliated the soldiers by beating them up, shaving their heads and one side of the officer’s moustache before releasing them. Shehadeh burned the Syrian Army cars and warned them never to return again. Two month later, on the 26th of February 1987, Syrian soldiers entered western Beirut, positioned themselves in Basta area where Shehade had shown his strength, and killed 24 Hezbollah members. These were gathering on that Thursday evening to read a Shia prayer, Dua’ Kumeil, as done weekly. One Hezbollah among the total of 25, Mohammad al-Shami, was wounded in his hand and shoulder, and informed Hezbollah of the event.

The next day, on Friday, I took a taxi to visit the scene. The Syrian established a barrack in Fathallah where, on the right hand side, the building where the killing took place, and, on the left, a large parking and a building that was once Hezbollah prison and where some foreign hostages were kept under the ground. When I asked the Syrian soldier for information, it was clear from his reaction the tension was at its pinnacle.

In fact, on that same day, Imad Mughniyeh (IM), a known figurehead, gathered 400 men with the aim to kill the 120 Syrian soldiers stationed in the area, in order to avenge the 24. The attack was stopped as Iran used all of its influence to force Hezbollah to lift the siege. Tehran was cooler headed than the enthusiastic and young inexperience Hezbollah.

U.S. Col William Richard Higgins and Hezbollah: That was not the end of the tension, in 1988, U.S. Col William Richard Higgins was kidnapped while in a car, driving between Naqoura and Tyre. He was escorted by another United Nations’ car driving behind him. As he took a blind turn, several cars were involved, blocking intentionally the escort car behind, told me an eyewitness, enough for Higgins to be abducted. He was among tens of other hostages that were kidnapped by different organisations in Lebanon between 1985 until 1992 under what was known as the “Hostages crisis”.

AMAL and Hezbollah: The hostage’s crisis was a turn when the Syrian forces declared war on Hezbollah through A.M.A.L[5], the main and largest Shia movement of the time in Lebanon. Nabih Berri, the head of AMAL, ordered his military commander in the south of Lebanon Dawood Dawood to escalate against Hezbollah. Many were hunted down and imprisoned. The tension with AMAl was not new.

According to Hezbollah, AMAl was arresting anyone holding weapons and willing to fight Israel in the south of Lebanon. Israel warned that it would destroy any village or city if attacks were registered against its troops. AMAl endorsed the Israeli warning, accepted the Israeli equation and the will of Syria to eliminate Hezbollah. In fact, during the 1982 Israeli invasion to Lebanon, Israel allowed AMAl to keep its weapons because it was clashing with the Palestinians years before. AMAl was not the enemy for Israel but Israel was the enemy for Hezbollah. Syria wanted the south of Lebanon calm without clashes or lack of security.

Those who were in power for Lebanon, on the Syrian part, were the Syrian vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam and General Ghazi Kenaan, the Syrian head of the Intelligence service in Lebanon. They asked Berri to get rid of Hezbollah. They also have managed to convinced President Assad that “Hezbollah should disappear because it was an obstacle to Syria’ influence in Lebanon”. Thus, Syria declared war on Hezbollah.

Dawood Dawood arrested and imprisoned many Hezbollah members and some were executed. Hezbollah decided to respond. In Ouza’i, in the suburb of Beirut, on the road to the south, just 10 meters away from a Syrian checkpoint, Dawood Dawood and two other AMAL leaders, Mohamad Fakih and Hasan Sbeity were leaving Beirut. Several gunmen surrounded the car and opened the fire against them. One of the gunman, I was told by eye witness, jumped on the boot and emptied his AK-47 in the bodies. The inter-Shia war began.

End of part two.

 

 

See also Part I:

https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/hezbollah-part-one-why-hezbollah-is-in-syria-and-until-when/ …

Endnotes:

[1] The Origin of “Hezbollah: will be covered in another chapter.

[2] Encyclopedia Of The Palestinians: Biography Of Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad) http://www.palestineremembered.com/Jaffa/Jaffa/Story166.html

 

[3] PLO Official Speaks before the Fez Summit, Farouq al-Qaddoumi (Abu Lutf), Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 11, N.2 (winter 1982), pp.167-170.

[4]Gaub, F., Lebanon’s civil war: seven lessons forty years on, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Alert issue 21, April 2015.

http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/Alert_21_Lebanon_civil_war.pdf

[5] A.M.A.L http://countrystudies.us/lebanon/88.htm