21st Century Wire
The crisis in Syria is developing new and acute symptoms which threaten the region on more levels than were previously thought, which should be of immediate concern, not just for the region itself, but for the international community as a whole.
Many readers are already aware that the ‘al Nusrah Front’, one of the dominant ‘al Qaeda’ groups currently being supported by the US and Britain in Syria, is being funded and steered by Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency. But few are aware of why Saudi is so keen to transform the sovereign – and secular state of Syria, towards a more extremist Wahabi-style Islamic society.
Citing the Paris-based Intelligence Online Newsletter, Al Manar TV of Lebanon reported as early as January 2013:
“Saudi intelligence, led by Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, is bringing the militants fighting the Syrian forces under the umbrella of the al-Nusra Front. The report said Prince Bandar is organizing these terrorists through Jordan and Lebanon. “Thanks to funding from the General Intelligence Department (of Jordan) and support from the Saudi Intelligence in Lebanon, al-Nusra was able to swiftly arm its forces, and make the Syrian regime suffer painful blows through its expertise in Iraqi bombings,” the Intelligence Online report noted. Bandar bin Sultan, who is Tony Blair’s partner in crime, was made the Saudi intelligence chief on July 19 at the height of the Syrian crisis, not only to strengthen the arming of the terrorists against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime, but also to bring to the fore an anti-Assad, Saudi-run administration in Lebanon, bordering Syria. The objective is to push more arms and terrorists inside Syria.”Saudi Prince Bandar of the Bush Family’s Carlyle Group and his involvement in the destruction of Syria was quite a revelation back in January, but with the evidence coming through about NATO’s own ‘Fast and Furious’ illegal weapons transfer into Syria via Europe, the totality of the Gulf and NATO’s Syrian Project has now become clearer. NATO, through its member states the US, Britain and Croatia – and arguably France via their massive ‘aid shipments’ to Jordan recently, have already broken the EU arms embargo to their ‘Syrian Opposition’ and have also violated any remaining vestigial observations of International Law through their massive gun-running operation into Syria via Jordan.
Only this past Wednesday in London, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stood at a joint press conference opposite his British counterpart William Hague, and decried NATO’s under-the-table operation as a flagrant violation of International Law:
“International law does not allow, does not permit supplies of arms to non-governmental actors and in our point of view it is a violation of international law,” Lavrov said.
Recent human rights reports out of Syria also confirm what many have suspected all along, that most of the real war crimes and atrocities carried out during this conflict have been done by the confab of rebels and terrorist paramilitary gangs throughout the country.
Now, both Britain and France are scrambling to cover their legal tracks as is evidenced by David Cameron and Francois Hollande’s hijacking of the EU economic summit today which saw both leaders publicly begging fellow EU representatives to lift the European arms embargo to the Syrian terrorist armies wanting to overthrow the Assad government. The EU leaders present were not impressed, and stated that they would not back such aggression. This result leaves both Britain and France no other alternative that to act ‘unilaterally’ in Syria, with the US also waiting to join in. What happened here was a clear separation of the politics of Europe and the military desires of NATO – a fracture which could ultimately end NATO’s political support in Europe.
One could say that the EU’s rejection of Cameron and Hollande’s campaigning to further violate International Law in Syria is the first example of the EU attempting to earn the Nobel Peace Prize which it was awarded in 2012.
There are many dangers abound should the EU cave in to NATO’s wishes of lifting the current EU arms embargo to Syria, but none are more glaringly obvious than the prospect of Russia also entering the fray on behalf of their long-time trading and diplomatic partner Syria, a volatile prospect that could plunge the whole region into an all-out regional war. This would all but guarantee the entrance of Israel and Iran into the picture, which most analysts and observers all agree would trigger a Third World War with dire consequences for millions, if not billions of innocent people worldwide.
With so many foreign fighters and terrorist organisations flooding into Syria, it has become almost impossible for the western media to grasp the enormity of the proxy war, let alone analyse it. This is one of the reasons why politicians like Cameron, Hague and Hollande have been able to get away with their morally shaky, and high compromised positions on the conflict.
Under the direction and support of both Washington DC and London, both Saudi and Qatar, and others, will be vying for, and have no doubt been promised – a piece of the new Syria. Saudi Arabian-backed jihadists have already stated publicly that they would like to reform their spoils of war into an extremist caliphate – a new theocratic emirate, balkanised along sectarian lines, and governed by the most extreme interpretation of Sharia Law.
Video: Western-backed Isamic jihadists in Syria announcing their agenda. See a translation of this video here.
One of the first casualties of such a conversion will be Syria and the Assad regime’s status quo of religious tolerance. Gulf and NATO-backed jihadists and Sunni theocrats are already waging their holy war against secularism – ironically, the very same secular, ‘separation of church and state’ principle that Americans and Europeans enjoy back home in their countries.
The next casualty will be history. Recently, we saw the complete looting a desecration of ancient Iraqi artifacts and sites, as well as Israeli rewriting of all names and locations which predated their occupation, and of course the Taliban erasing the Buddhist history in parts of Afghanistan. Already in Syria, regional museums like in Homs, have been looted and some artifacts can be found for sale on the street in markets in Beirut and other parts of Syria, Lebanon, eventually making their way to Europe and elsewhere. Expect more of this in Syria as the extremist theocratic armies rampage through Palmyra and Aleppo and other cities and towns which hosts Syria’s incredible heritage, a history which spans some 5,000 years – in a likely attempt to reform society in that country with their radical interpretation of Islam.
Two years ago when the Syrian crisis began, much of the West’s agenda was concealed behind propaganda and cloudy diplomacy. The difference between then and now, is that in 2013… the agenda is laid bare for the whole world to see.
In the case of Syria, and with all the evidence now available in full public light, it can now be argued beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the West, NATO and its allies – are on the wrong side of history.
Below is a report on what is shaping up in Syria, as the radical Islamist, al Qaeda mercenary parmilitiaries make their way through the country…
Al Nusrah Front poised to take over last major city on Euphrates River
The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, al Qaeda in Iraq’s affiliate in Syria, may be close to taking control of Deir al Zour, the last major city on the Euphrates River in the west. The al Qaeda group’s gains in the city take place just days after jihadists announced the formation of the “Sharia Committee for the Eastern Region” to govern areas under its control.
The Al Nusrah Front has seized control of several government installations in Deir al Zour, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that closely track the civil war, reported on its Facebook page.
“The Nusrah Front has taken over the National Hospital … which is in the al-Rushdi neighborhood,” in Deir al Zour “after violent clashes with regime forces; several of whom were killed,” the Syrian Observatory reported yesterday. “Rebels also took over the industrial institute earlier today after violent clashes with regime forces, several were killed there.”
The Syrian military is firing rockets and mortars into several neighborhoods, the human rights organization stated. The “bombardments” indicate that the neighborhoods are no longer under Syrian government control.
“The regime bombarded the Matar al-Qadim, al-Ummal, al-Huweiqa and al-Hamidiya neighborhoods, the Sitta ila Rubu’ area of the city was also bombarded. Clashes took place in the Sina’a neighborhood,” the Syrian Observatory continued.
The Al Nusrah Front and allied jihadist groups have been active in Deir al Zour. Late last year, the Al Nusrah Front banded together with nine other Islamist groups to create the “Mujahideen Shura Council” in the city.
The Mujahideen Shura Council in Deir al Zour was formed to “unite the ranks of the jihadi brigades in the Cause of Allah, organize the efforts and the attacks against the soldiers of disbelief and apostasy, and distinguish the ranks of truth from falsehood,” according to a statement released by the group in December 2012. The statement was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“We call upon our sincere mujahideen brothers all over the strong Levant to unite their ranks in groups, pure of the filth of suspicious groups and the infiltration of people who have no qualities or faith, in order to clarify their banner and purify their path,” the statement continued.
The Al Nusrah Front in Deir al Zour is following al Qaeda in Iraq’s strategy to unite disparate jihadist groups. In the summer of 2006, al Qaeda in Iraq also formed a Mujahideen Shura Council to coordinate operations with various other jihadist groups in Iraq. Later that year, al Qaeda in Iraq formed the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) to serve as the political front, and the Mujahideen Shura Council was folded in under the ISI’s military wing.
Establishment of the “Sharia Committee for the Eastern Region”
The Al Nusrah Front and allied groups are consolidating their control over the Euphrates River Valley, while Al Nusrah is securing its lines of communications with its parent, al Qaeda in Iraq. The cities of Raqqah and Thawra are now under Al Nusrah’s control, and the group has established sharia, or Islamic law, in smaller towns, such as Mayadin along the river. Abu Kamal is under the control of the Free Syrian Army, but the Al Nusrah Front maintains influence in the border town. Abu Kamal has long been a rear base for al Qaeda in Iraq.
On March 9, the jihadist alliance in eastern Syria, which is led by the Al Nusrah Front, established the “Sharia Committee for the Eastern Region” to impose Islamic law.
“The Committee has taken the rights over the executive, legislative and judicial powers over large parts of the east of Syria: establishing a police force, courts, fatwa offices, overseeing humanitarian aid, and the role of guiding people on the right path of god,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported today.
Residents of Mayadin are protesting “the presence and control of the Nusrah Front over their community,” the Syrian Observatory reported.
The Al Nusrah Front is following the path of other al Qaeda groups in the region. For instance, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula created Ansar al Sharia, its political front, to govern areas of southern Yemen after taking control between May 2011 and May 2012.
Despite the Al Nusrah Front’s dramatic rise in Syria, the US government will begin to provide millions of dollars in aid to help Syrian rebel groups govern areas under their control. The money is being funneled to the Syrian Opposition Coalition and the Supreme Military Council “to provide concrete, nonlethal support to the Free Syrian Army,” the US State Department announced on Feb. 28
Both groups support the Al Nusrah Front. The president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition opposes the US’s designation of the Al Nusrah Front as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The supposedly secular Free Syrian Army often fights alongside or under the command of the Al Nusrah Front. The Free Syrian Army and Al Nusrah have overrun Syrian military bases together, and they have even conducted a suicide attack in concert.
Source: Long War Journal