Sīrija

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 01 Jūn 2012 12:46

Šķelšanās Sīrijas nemiernieku rindās
BNN
2012. gada 1.jūnijs
ANO piedāvātais pamiera plāns izraisījis šķelšanos Brīvās Sīrijas armijas (BSA) locekļu vidū. Pulkvedis Kasims Saadedins (Qassim Saadeddine) uzsver, ka, ja valdība nesniegs atbildi līdz piektdienas 1.jūnija pēcpusdienai, armija uzskatīs, ka tai miera plāns vairs nav saistošs.
Tikmēr BSA vadītājs ģenerālis Rijads Asads ( Riyad Asaad) noliedz šāda strikta termiņa pastāvēšanu, raksta BBC.
Ģenerālis aicinājis ANO speciālo sūtni Sīrijā Kofi Annanu (Kofi Annan) paziņot, ka piedāvātais miera plāns ir «izgāzies».
Jau ziņots, ka 31.maijā Brīvās Sīrijas armija devusi prezidentam Bašaram al Asadam (Bashar al-Assad) 48 stundas laika apsvērt ANO piedāvāto uguns pārtraukšanas plānu. Šāds ultimāts sekojis pēc tam, kad pagājušajā nedēļā Hulas pilsētā nogalināti 108 cilvēki, tostarp 49 bērni un 34 sievietes. Kopš pagājušā gada marta, kad sākušies nemieri un sacelšanās pret Bašara al Asada režīmu, Sīrijā nogalināti vismaz 15 000 cilvēku.

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 13 Jūn 2012 13:33

Syria in full-scale civil war, says UN peacekeeping chief
REUTERS - Syria’s 15-month uprising has grown into a full-scale civil war where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are trying to recapture swathes of urban territory lost to rebels, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said on Tuesday.
“Yes, I think we can say that,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous said when asked if the Syrian crisis could now be characterized as a civil war.
“Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory in several cities to the opposition and wants to retake control of these areas,” he said.
His remarks, the first time a senior U.N. official has declared Syria’s conflict is a civil war, came as the United States said Russia could be sending attack helicopters to Syria.
The International Red Cross said the situation was deteriorating in several parts of Syria simultaneously as fighting intensifies.
Many hundreds of people, including civilians, rebels and members of Assad’s army and security forces, have been killed since a ceasefire deal brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan two months ago was supposed to halt the bloodshed.
“Now we have confirmed reports of not only of the use of tanks and artillery but also attack helicopters,” Ladsous said in an interview with Reuters and one other reporter. “This is really becoming large scale.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was worried Russia may be sending Syria attack helicopters and dismissed Moscow’s argument that its arms transfers to Syria are unrelated to the conflict there.
“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria. They have, from time to time, said that we shouldn’t worry - everything they are shipping is unrelated to their (the Syrian government’s) actions internally,” Clinton said, addressing a forum in Washington.

“That’s patently untrue.”

United Nations observers overseeing Annan’s ceasefire deal were turned back from the town of Haffeh on Tuesday by angry crowds throwing stones and metal rods. As they left, three of their vehicles were fired on, although the monitors were unhurt.
The monitors have been trying since Thursday to visit Haffeh where activists say the army had been battling rebels and the United States has warned of another potential massacre.
The rebel Syrian Free Army said it withdrew from the Sunni Muslim town later on Tuesday under pressure from bombardment by Assad’s forces, leaving thousands of civilians without protection.

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 27 Jūn 2012 12:26

"We live in a real state of war from all angles" - Syria’s President Bashar Assad

Syrian President says his country in a state of war. The UN peacekeeping chief says the UN observer mission in the country will not resume, as it is too dangerous for the monitors to restart their operations at this point.

More clashes broke out in Syria on Wednesday.
The state media reported gunmen raided the headquarters of a pro-government Syrian TV station early in the day, demolishing the building and killing three employees. Officials denounced what they called a rebel "massacre against the freedom of the press."
More violence was reported on the outskirts of Damascus Tuesday morning, between Syria’s elite Republican Guard forces – a 10,000-man bodyguard unit of the Syrian Army – and rebels. At least six people are reported killed.
Syria’s President Bashar Assad himself acknowledged that his country is now in a state of war. He was speaking on Tuesday at the first cabinet meeting of the newly sworn-in government. President Assad ordered the cabinet to direct all their efforts to beating the armed opposition.

"We live in a real state of war from all angles," he said. "When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war."

UN forces in Syria repeatedly came under fire before the organization suspended its 300-member mission on June 16. Back then, the mission's head, Major-General Robert Mood, told the UN Security Council that the observers had suffered direct fire at least 10 times and had been in several indirect fire incidents. Also, nine UN vehicles had been damaged or had come under fire, AP reports.
Nevertheless, the mission could yet potentially resume its activity. A diplomat, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, said that Herve Ladsous, the UN peacekeeping chief, had told a closed council meeting that the mission could restart at some point, but that for the time being it is too dangerous.
In an effort to quell the violence and resume the six-point peace plan, UN envoy Kofi Annan put forward an initiative to hold an international conference in Geneva on Saturday. It will include all permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as representatives of the European Union and other countries who have influence on either side of the Syrian conflict, such as Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Kofi Annan has made it clear that Iran should be part of the solution process as Tehran has close ties with Syria. Western countries have been critical of this move, but Russia supports it. Addressing the media, its UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, also said that apart from attending the conference it is also important to refrain from any provocation in Syria, such as arming its opposition.
“All those selfish national agendas in the context of Syria have not worked. The only thing they helped generate is further aggravation of the situation and growing violence,” he said. “It’s time to get serious and to make sure that we all exercise our leverage on whoever we can exercise leverage on in Syria in order to revert to the implementation of the Kofi Annan plan.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has officially accepted the invitation to come to the conference. Washington, however, has yet to make it clear whether it will be sending its representatives. However, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, confirmed an invitation had been received.

http://www.rt.com/news/un-monitors-syria-mission-828/

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 27 Jūn 2012 12:28

As tensions between Ankara and Damascus rise over the downed fighter jet, Turkey has sent tanks and other armored vehicles to the Syrian border, amid belligerent threats of retaliation.
The heavily guarded convoy that departed from the city of Diyarbakir reportedly included 15 armored tanks, long-distance guns and other military vehicles, Dogan news agency reports.
This comes as Turkey’s Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that any Syrian forces approaching the Turkish border would be treated as a direct threat. Addressing the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan lashed out at Syria, saying it poses a threat to Turkey’s national security and calling the Syrian government tyrants.
Tensions between the neighboring countries escalated after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane on Friday. Syria insists the plane was still in its territory when its air defense forces engaged it, citing the fact that it was shot down by an artillery gun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers rather than a longer-range surface-to-air missile.
The Turkish prime minister has reiterated an earlier assessment that the plane was downed after leaving Syrian airspace, saying Turkey has proof of this.
War orchestration?
Author and radio talk-show host Dr. Kevin Barrett believes that the excitement over the fighter jet downing incident has all the marks of a typical war orchestration event.
“The people who want war try to use every sort of immediate inflammation of people’s emotions around in this case of the shooting down of the plane to rally public opinion for war,” he told RT.
However, Barrett remains optimistic saying that “now we are several days past that point” and things may move back on track towards negotiations.
“The Turkish people never wanted war,” he insists, citing opinion polls that indicate that Turks oppose intervention in Syria by more than a two-thirds majority and want their government to play a more balanced role.
There is no chance that violence can bring about any solution to the crisis due to Syria’s internal political complexity, Barrett says, stressing that there is no alternative to Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. “Everybody has to back down from the tension around this fighter jet shooting down incident and get serious about peace.”
http://www.rt.com/news/turkey-deploys-tanks-syria-831/

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 01 Jūl 2012 01:39

Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:25PM GMT
UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan says diplomats meeting in Geneva have reached an agreement on a Syrian-led transitional governing body that could include members of the current Syrian government and the opposition.

The foreign ministers of Russia, China, Britain, France, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby, and the secretary of state of the United States attended a meeting on the situation in Syria at the United Nations office in Geneva on Saturday.
The participants of the Geneva meeting agreed that the transitional governing body in Syria “could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent,” Annan said at a press conference after the meeting.
The plan “makes it clear that we have provided guidelines and principles to assist the Syrian parties as they move ahead with the transition,” Annan stated.
However, Moscow and Beijing opposed the wording of the proposal that called for an interim government that excludes those “whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation.”
Annan also called on armed opposition groups and government forces to stop the violence.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on June 28 that the future of the Syrian government should be decided by a “Syrian dialogue by the Syrian people themselves,” adding that Moscow could not support solutions for Syria “dictated from abroad.”
“We support changes which work towards national agreement on all questions of overdue reform,” he stated.
The anti-Syria Western governments have been calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but Russia and China remain strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
HSN/PKH/HGL
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/06/30 ... -on-syria/

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 03 Jūl 2012 18:44

Geneva decisions on Syria already being distorted - Lavrov
Published: 03 July, 2012, 13:23
Edited: 03 July, 2012, 20:18
Russia regrets the Syrian opposition’s position on the Geneva conference, as well as that of some Western countries who wish to distort the agreements, FM Sergey Lavrov said.
"It seemed to us that the consensus reached in the final communique is an important step to consolidate the positions of all members of the international community, the participants in the conference and Syrian sides, on the positions of a peaceful settlement and the refusal to solve the problem in the military way," Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, some representatives of the Syrian opposition began to state that the Geneva decisions are unacceptable for them," the minister said.
Meanwhile, Lavrov pointed out that “some Western participants in the meeting began to distort the agreements…in their public statements."
The Russian minister stressed that the agreements that have been hammered out in the agreement should not be altered from their original context.
"The Geneva agreements should not be distorted in any way,” he said. “They mean just what has been written in the communique, and we will try not to rewrite anything afterwards."
Lavrov praised the agreements of the communiqué, saying they represent the best hope for achieving peace in the Arab nation.
"Geneva gives good chances and they should be used,” the minister stressed. “It is important that all players are pressing actively on all Syrian parties in order to make them stop violence and get down to the table of negotiations."
In separate comments, the Chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov said Moscow and Washington interpret the Geneva agreements on Syria differently.
"A war of interpretation broke out after the agreement on political transformation in Syria was signed in Geneva," he told reporters on Tuesday.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is convinced the agreement makes it clear to the current Syrian leadership that it must go, he said.
"Moscow, by contrast, said the agreement does not say a word about Assad's resignation and that he is not mentioned at all in it," the Russian lawmaker said.
Pushkov warned that disagreement over the document’s meaning puts the US and Russia on a “collision” course.
"We are again witnessing a collision,” he said. “On the one hand we can see the United States and the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ who want Assad to resign. On the other Russia and China are seeking an immediate end to the violence and the earliest possible beginning of talks between the Syrian government and opposition.”
The only common ground between the sides is the belief that the situation in Syria must be settled politically, he said, adding that the US is making Assad’s resignation a precondition of the talks.
"We advocate talks between the government and opposition, and the U.S. and others – talks with Assad's simultaneous resignation. In fact, they are advancing a precondition for the talks," he said.
Furthermore, the United States and its supporters actively dictate what the Syrian opposition's position should be, Pushkov said.
"The rebels have announced already that they will not start talks before Assad's resignation, which indicates that they obey the logic dictated from abroad," the Duma official added, while also mentioning that a similar type of confrontation ensued over various interpretations of the UN Security Council's resolution 1973 on Libya, which led to NATO forces resorting to military action in that country.
An international conference on ways to resolve the deteriorating situation in Syria was held in Geneva on June 29.
http://rt.com/politics/russia-us-syria- ... talks-282/

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 20 Jūl 2012 22:32

Latest update: 20/07/2012
http://www.france24.com/en/20120720-syr ... telligence
Syrian forces launch offensive on rebel targets

Syrian forces launched an offensive on rebel targets in Damascus and border areas Friday as state media said the country’s intelligence chief had become the fourth member of President Bashar al-Assad’s entourage to die from a bomb attack this week.
REUTERS - A fourth member of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle died on Friday from a bomb attack this week and his forces fought to recapture border posts and parts of Damascus from rebels who have converged on the capital.
As refugees flooded across Syria’s borders and U.N. officials said they had heard banks in Damascus had run out of cash, Russia’s envoy to Paris added to a sense Assad’s days were numbered by saying he had accepted he would have to leave power.
Syrian state television flashed a government statement soon afterwards saying the comments were “completely devoid of truth”.
Assad not spoken since Wednesday’s attack on a meeting of his high command and only appeared on Thursday to appoint a new defence minister to replace one of the assassinated men.
Syrian state television said a funeral ceremony for the defence minister, his deputy - Assad’s brother-in-law - and a senior general was being held on Friday in Damascus.
It said later Syria’s intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar had died on Friday morning of wounds sustained in the same attack.
Clashes continued in Damascus for a sixth day and at least three people were killed when Syrian army helicopters fired rockets at the southeastern neighbourhood of Saida Zeinab, opposition activists said.
Rebels from elsewhere in Syria have poured into the capital for what they say is the final battle for Damascus.
“The regime is going through its last days,” Abdelbasset Seida, the leader of the main Syrian opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council, said in Rome, predicting a possible dramatic escalation in violence.
Clashes were fiercest overnight in the sprawling Mezzeh district, where rebels appear to be sustaining attacks on many security compounds located there, residents said.
State television said Syrian forces had cleared the central district of Midan of “mercenaries and terrorists”. Opposition activists and rebels sources confirmed on Friday that they had withdrawn after coming under heavy bombardment.
“It is a tactical withdrawal. We are still in Damascus,” Abu Omar, a rebel commander, said by telephone.

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 20 Jūl 2012 22:34

Major cleric: Resistannce against satanic powers only way in Syria
Tehran, July 20, IRNA – Tehran Substitute Friday Prayers Leader, by condemning recent terrorist act in Syria, said that resistance is the only way for Syrian nation against international devils and blackmailers.
1391/04/30 - 09:45

Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami said the recent terrorist act in Syria, which caused death of a number of high ranking officials of the Syrian government, indicated the depth of spitefulness of hegemonic powers toward Syrian government and nation.
He underlined that Iran has repeatedly said Syria is paying the price for supporting oppressed people, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially during the imposed eight-year war.
The major cleric said that US, Britain, European Union, reactionary Arabs, Al-Qaida and a number of Syrian neighbors, who are dreaming past empires, are committing crimes against Syria.

http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=80238871

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 30 Jūl 2012 15:10

Syrian regime claims gains in Aleppo, rebels deny
By PAUL SCHEMM
— Jul. 30 5:55 AM EDT
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/syrian-r ... ebels-deny
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces mounted new ground attacks against rebel-controlled neighborhoods in Syria's commercial hub of Aleppo, the state media said Monday, but failed to dislodge the opposition from their strongholds, according to activists.
The Syrian army has massed its forces around Aleppo, where rebels hold several neighborhoods after a 10-day offensive, and has been pounding it with tanks and helicopter gunships. There have also been periodic incursions of government tanks but the rebels have held on to their gains.
This use of heavy weapons, particularly helicopters, is just another nail in President Bashar Assad's coffin, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said late Sunday during a stopover in Tunisia as he kicked off a Mideast tour expected to focus heavily on the unfolding crisis in Syria.
Already an estimated 200,000 civilians — almost 10 percent of the population — have fled the fighting in Aleppo, according to the U.N. official for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, citing the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent. Aleppo is Syria's largest city with around 3 million inhabitants.
Syrian state media reported late Sunday that the army had "purged" the southwestern neighborhood Salaheddine in Aleppo and inflicted "great losses" upon the rebels in one of the first neighborhoods they took control of in their bid to seize the city.
There was also a successful operation in Sukhour neighborhood, in the northeast of the city and another rebel stronghold, it reported.
Activists, however, disputed these claims and just describe another day of fierce shelling of certain areas, backed up by the occasional foray on the ground.
"They have tanks in nearby Hamdaniya and there is fighting, and there have been random bombardments of Salaheddine," said Mohammed Saeed, who is based in the embattled city.
While giving no indication that the Obama administration is contemplating military intervention, Panetta said it is increasingly clear that the Syrian crisis is deepening and that Assad is hastening his own demise.
"If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people ... I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad's coffin," Panetta told reporters traveling with him from Washington. "His regime is coming to an end."
Syria's army, however, remains intact and still vastly outguns the rag-tag rebel army, which is armed for the most part with assault rifles, machine guns and doesn't have the heavy weapons necessary to effectively oppose tanks and helicopter gunships.
The government boosted its forces outside Aleppo and began an assault over the weekend to retake the commercial hub, bombarding rebel neighborhoods and leaving streets littered with rubble and empty apartment blocks with gaping smashed windows, according to videos of the city posted online in recent days.
Fleeing residents described to The Associated Press incessant shelling, shortages of food and gasoline and soaring black market prices for everyday staples.
"I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons on people in Aleppo," Amos said in a statement from New York late Sunday. "Many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water."
She added that while the fighting made getting to the needy very difficult, the U.N. agencies and the Red Crescent were continuing their efforts to deliver food, blankets and hygiene kits.

Lietotāja attēls
tas_pats_lv
Memuārists
Ziņas: 716
Pievienojies: 22 Feb 2011 23:02

Re: Sīrija

Nelasītas ziņa tas_pats_lv » 31 Jūl 2012 04:07

Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Deir el-Zour
guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 July 2012 20.00 BST
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ju ... ttle-syria
In his latest exclusive dispatch from Deir el-Zour province, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad meets fighters who have left the Free Syrian Army for the discipline and ideology of global jihad
As they stood outside the commandeered government building in the town of Mohassen, it was hard to distinguish Abu Khuder's men from any other brigade in the Syrian civil war, in their combat fatigues, T-shirts and beards.
But these were not average members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba'a, or "strangers", after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden's time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.
They try to hide their presence. "Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags," said Abu Khuder. "They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?" But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.
According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. "We meet almost every day," he said. "We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations." Abu Khuder's men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.
Abu Khuder spoke later at length. He reclined on a pile of cushions in a house in Mohassen, resting his left arm which had been hit by a sniper's bullet and was wrapped in plaster and bandages. Four teenage boys kneeled in a tight crescent in front of him, craning their necks and listening with awe. Other villagers in the room looked uneasy.
Abu Khuder had been an officer in a mechanised Syrian border force called the Camel Corps when he took up arms against the regime. He fought the security forces with a pistol and a light hunting rifle, gaining a reputation as one of the bravest and most ruthless men in Deir el-Zour province and helped to form one of the first FSA battalions.
He soon became disillusioned with what he saw as the rebel army's disorganisation and inability to strike at the regime, however. He illustrated this by describing an attempt to attack the government garrison in Mohassen. Fortified in a former textile factory behind concrete walls, sand bags, machine-gun turrets and armoured vehicles, the garrison was immune to the rebels' puny attempt at assault.
"When we attacked the base with the FSA we tried everything and failed," said Abu Khuder. "Even with around 200 men attacking from multiple fronts they couldn't injure a single government soldier and instead wasted 1.5m Syrian pounds [£14,500] on firing ammunition at the walls."
Then a group of devout and disciplined Islamist fighters in the nearby village offered to help. They summoned an expert from Damascus and after two days of work handed Abu Khuder their token of friendship: a truck rigged with two tonnes of explosives.
Two men drove the truck close to the gate of the base and detonated it remotely. The explosion was so large, Abu Khuder said, that windows and metal shutters were blown hundreds of metres, trees were ripped up by their roots and a huge crater was left in the middle of the road.
The next day the army left and the town of Mohassen was free.
"The car bomb cost us 100,000 Syrian pounds and fewer than 10 people were involved [in the operation]," he said. "Within two days of the bomb expert arriving we had it ready. We didn't waste a single bullet.
"Al-Qaida has experience in these military activities and it knows how to deal with it."
After the bombing, Abu Khuder split with the FSA and pledged allegiance to al-Qaida's organisation in Syria, the Jabhat al Nusra or Solidarity Front. He let his beard grow and adopted the religious rhetoric of a jihadi, becoming a commander of one their battalions.
"The Free Syrian Army has no rules and no military or religious order. Everything happens chaotically," he said. "Al-Qaida has a law that no one, not even the emir, can break.
"The FSA lacks the ability to plan and lacks military experience. That is what [al-Qaida] can bring. They have an organisation that all countries have acknowledged.
"In the beginning there were very few. Now, mashallah, there are immigrants joining us and bringing their experience," he told the gathered people. "Men from Yemen, Saudi, Iraq and Jordan. Yemenis are the best in their religion and discipline and the Iraqis are the worst in everything – even in religion."
At this, one man in the room – an activist in his mid-30s who did not want to be named – said: "So what are you trying to do, Abu Khuder? Are you going to start cutting off hands and make us like Saudi? Is this why we are fighting a revolution?"
"[Al-Qaida's] goal is establishing an Islamic state and not a Syrian state," he replied. "Those who fear the organisation fear the implementation of Allah's jurisdiction. If you don't commit sins there is nothing to fear."

Religious rhetoric

Religious and sectarian rhetoric has taken a leading role in the Syrian revolution from the early days. This is partly because of the need for outside funding and weapons, which are coming through well-established Muslim networks, and partly because religion provides a useful rallying cry for fighters, with promises of martyrdom and redemption.
Almost every rebel brigade has adopted a Sunni religious name with rhetoric exalting jihad and martyrdom, even when the brigades are run by secular commanders and manned by fighters who barely pray.
"Religion is a major rallying force in this revolution – look at Ara'our [a rabid sectarian preacher], he is hysterical and we don't like him but he offers unquestionable support to the fighters and they need it," the activist said later.
Another FSA commander in Deir el-Zour city explained the role of religion in the uprising: "Religion is the best way to impose discipline. Even if the fighter is not religious he can't disobey a religious order in battle."
Al-Qaida has existed in this parched region of eastern Syria, where the desert and the tribes straddle the border with Iraq, for almost a decade.
During the years of American occupation of Iraq, Deir el-Zour became the gateway through which thousands of foreign jihadis flooded to fight the holy war. Many senior insurgents took refuge from American and Iraqi government raids in the villages and deserts of Deir el-Zourx.
Osama, a young jihadi from Abu Khuder's unit with a kind smile, was 17 in 2003 when the Americans invaded Iraq, he said. He ran away from home and joined the thousands of other Syrians who crossed the porous border and went to fight. Like most of those volunteers, at first he was inspired by a mixture of nationalistic and tribal allegiances, but later religion became his sole motivation.
After returning to Syria he drifted closer to the jihadi ideology. It was dangerous then, and some of his friends were imprisoned by the regime, which for years played a double game, allowing jihadis to filter across the borders to fight the Americans while at the same time keeping them tightly under control at home.
In the first months of the Syrian uprising, he joined the protesters in the street, and when some of his relatives were killed he defected and joined the Free Syrian Army.
"I decided to join the others," he said. "But then I became very disappointed with the FSA. When they fought they were great, but then most of the time they sat in their rooms doing nothing but smoke and gossip and chat on Skype."
Fed up with his commanders' bickering and fighting over money, he turned to another fighting group based in the village of Shahail, 50 miles west of Mohassen, which has become the de facto capital of al-Qaida in Deir el-Zour. More than 20 of its young men were killed in Iraq. In Shahail the al-Qaida fighters drive around in white SUVs with al-Qaida flags fluttering.
The group there was led by a pious man. He knew a couple of them from his time in Iraq. One day, the group's leader – a Saudi who covered his hair with a red scarf and carried a small Kalashnikov, in the style of Bin Laden – visited Mohassen. He gave a long sermon during the funeral of a local commander, telling the audience how jihad was the only way to lead a revolution against the infidel regime of Bashar al-Assad, and how they, the Syrians, were not only victims of the regime but also of the hypocrisy of the west, which refused to help them.
"They were committed," said Osama. "They obeyed their leader and never argued. In the FSA, if you have 10 people they usually split and form three groups." The jihadis, by contrast, used their time "in useful things, even the chores are divided equally".
Osama joined the group. "He [the Saudi] is a very good man, he spends his days teaching us. You ask him anything and he will answer you with verses from the Qur'an, you want to read the Qur'an you can read. You want to study bomb-making he will teach you."
In the pre-revolutionary days when the regime was strong it would take a year to recruit someone to the secret cause of jihad. "Now, thanks to God, we are working in the open and many people are joining in," said Osama.
In Shahail we interviewed Saleem Abu Yassir, a village elder and the commander of the local FSA brigade. He sat in a room filled with tribal fighters and machine-guns. The relationship with al-Qaida had been very difficult, he said, with the jihadis being secretive and despising the FSA and even calling them infidel secularists. But now they had opened up, co-operating with other rebel groups.
"Are they good fighters?" he threw the question rhetorically into the room. "Yes, they are, but they have a problem with executions. They capture a soldier and they put a pistol to his head and shoot him. We have religious courts and we have to try people before executing them. This abundance of killing is what we fear. We fear they are trying to bring us back to the days of Iraq and we have seen what that achieved."
Osama had told me that his group was very cautious about not repeating the Iraq experience – "they admit they made a lot of mistakes in Iraq and they are keen to avoid it", he said – but others, including a young doctor working for the revolution, were not convinced. The opposition needed to admit Al-Qaida were among them, and be on their guard.
"Who kidnapped the foreign engineers who worked in the nearby oilfield?" he asked. "They have better financing than the FSA and we have to admit they are here.
"They are stealing the revolution from us and they are working for the day that comes after."

Atbildēt uz ziņu