US Secretary of State John Kerry has declared that military pressure may be needed to oust Syria’s President Bashar Assad. It comes as knowledge has emerged that the US, along with Turkey, has started training Syrian rebels.
“Ultimately a combination of diplomacy and pressure will be needed to bring about a political transition. Military pressure particularly may be necessary given President Assad’s reluctance to negotiate seriously,” Kerry said at a Thursday meeting of Gulf foreign ministers at Riyadh Air Base, according to AFP.
“He’s lost any semblance of legitimacy, but we have no higher priority than disrupting and defeating Daesh and other terror networks,” he added, using “Daesh” – an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group (formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) that has seized large territories in Syria and Iraq.
Last December, President Assad told French reporters, “let’s be honest: Had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different. If we in Syria had problems and mistakes before the crisis, which is normal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the events had internal causes”.
Syria’s president criticized the actions of the US-led coalition targeting the militants in Syria. He called its air strikes “merely cosmetic” and said that “terrorism cannot be destroyed from the air.” Assad added that “saying that the alliance’s airstrikes are helping us is not true.”
What’s more, he explained that Syria was fighting against “not only gangs”, but also states that support them with “billions of dollars.”
Last November, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the issue, saying that: “Russia condemns the use of extremist groups in efforts to change the regime [in Syria].”
The US-led coalition started air strikes in Syria last September as a part of a joint effort to battle the jihadist group, which had seized Syrian and Iraqi territories. Despite carrying out airstrikes in Syria, Washington has refused to work with the country’s government, stating that it wants to see Bashar Assad ousted.
Turkey backs the position of the US, and in March the two NATO allies began training “moderate” Syrian rebels to battle against the Islamic State militants.
A civil uprising in Syria broke out in the spring of 2011, falling in line with Arab Spring protests and composing high-profile nationwide protests against the government of President Bashar Assad. The conflict which grew into a war has taken lives of 210,278-295,278 people, according to February estimates by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
This April, Moscow is set to host a meeting between the Syrian opposition and representatives of the government.
Barbarians: Militants fighting for the Islamic State in Syria have thrown yet another young man to his death from a building after accusing him of being gay
Horror: The blindfolded man is dragged to the roof of the tallest building in the neighborhood by bearded militants, who use mobile phones to film him being barbarically thrown to his death
Militants fighting for the Islamic State in Syria have thrown yet another young man to his death from a building after accusing him of being gay.
Stomach-churning photographs show a large bloodthirsty crowd gathered at the foot of a multi-storey building in the group’s de facto capital Raqqa to watch the murder of the young victim.
With the baying crowd clambering on to rooftops to get a better view of the savage scene, the blindfolded man is dragged to the roof of the tallest building in the neighborhood by bearded militants, who use mobile phones to film him being barbarically thrown to his death.
Sick: The stomach-churning photographs show a large bloodthirsty crowd gathered at the foot of a multi-storey building in the group’s de facto capital Raqqa to watch the murder of the young victim
The images were released by local activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, who work undercover in the ISIS stronghold to expose the terror group’s atrocities.
The photographs carry the distinctive yellow logo of ISIS’ propaganda wing Al Hayat Media Centre, suggesting they come from an as-yet unreleased video of the savage murder.
The photographs shows a huge crowd gathering at the foot of a run-down building in the west of the city, which ISIS captured in early 2014 amid the ongoing chaos of the Syrian Civil War.
So many people are seen in the streets to watch the man being thrown to his death that vehicles are unable to pass, although it appears the militants have erected metal railings to keep the crowds in line, giving a chilling sense of order to the savagery.
The blindfolded victim – who is understood to be in his 20s – is seen being dragged to the top of the building by three black-masked militants while two armed but undisguised fighters stand at their side using mobile phones to film the gruesome murder.
The next image shows the man plunging to his death, falling face first from behind a white metal railing towards the ground several stories below.
Savages: ISIS militants are seen filming the man with mobile phones shortly before he is thrown to his death
Propaganda: The photographs carry the distinctive yellow logo of ISIS’ propaganda wing Al Hayat Media Centre, suggesting they come from an as-yet unreleased video of the savage murder
Spectators: The baying crowd are seen clambering on to rooftops to get a better view of the savage scene
Bloodthirsty: The photographs shows a huge crowd gathering at the foot of a run-down building in the west of the city, which ISIS captured in early 2014 amid the ongoing chaos of the Syrian Civil War
The horrific murder is just the latest example of ISIS throwing men accused of being gay to their death.
In December ISIS released their first images of the shocking punishment as part of a release that also showed men accused of rape being crucified and left for dead in the centre of Raqqa.
Similar images emerged in January and early February of men being thrown from ‘the highest point in the city’ following accusations of homosexuality. In a horrific twist, both of these men somehow survived the fall but were then stoned to death by the crowds gathered below.
And just last week another young man was thrown off a roof and stoned to death after being accused of homosexuality. Following a trial in an Islamic State court, the man was taken to the roof of the building and thrown to his death in front a large crowd below.
The man was described as a ‘child of Lot’ and accused of committing acts of sodomy.
Lot is referred to in the Bible and the Qur’an, where it is claimed the people of Sodom and Gomorrah carried out sinful acts and were severely punished by God.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2978890/ISIS-barbarians-throw-gay-man-building-bloodthirsty-crowds-Syria.html#v-3952465086001
HOW ISLAMIC IS THE ISLAMIC STATE? NOT VERY, SAY EXPERTS: HOW GROUP HAND-PICKS WHAT IT WANTS FROM THE KORAN AND ACCOUNTS OF MUHAMMAD’S ACTIONS TO WAGE ITS JIHAD
The Islamic State cherry picks sections of the Koran and misinterprets the accounts of the Prophet Muhammad in order to wage jihad and sign up new recruits, experts say.
It is estimated that 20,000 people have streamed into the territory in Iraq and Syria, where ISIS has proclaimed what it calls a ‘caliphate’, ruled by its often brutal version of Islamic law.
The group purport to recreate the conquests and rule of the Prophet Muhammad and his successors and maintains its worst brutalities – such as beheading captives – only prove its purity in following what it contends is the prophet’s example.
But now Muslims clerics and other experts are speaking out, saying that the group hand picks what it wants from Islam’s holy book, the Koran, and from accounts of Muhammad’s actions and sayings, known as the Hadith.
An ISIS member parades through the streets of Raqqa in Syria waving an Islamic State flag and brandishing a gun. Experts have now said that ISIS misinterprets the Koran in order to wage jihad
It then misinterprets many of these, while ignoring everything in the texts that contradicts those hand-picked selections.
Writings by the group’s clerics and its English-language online magazine, Dabiq, are full of citations from Koranic verses, the Hadith and centuries of interpreters, mostly from hardliners.
But Joas Wagemakers, an assistant professor of Islamic Studies at Radboud University in the Netherlands, says these are taken far out of context by ISIS.
He explained that Muslim scholars throughout history have used texts in a ‘decontextualised way’ to suit their purposes and says that ISIS represent the extreme.
He added: ‘It would be a mistake to conclude the Islamic State group’s extremism is the true Islam that emerges from the Koran and Hadith.
John McCain & Lindsey Graham met with Islamic State militant
by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | MARCH 4, 2015
A top member of the jihadist group that the US government and NATO armed and funded in the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi back in 2011 is now leading ISIS forces in Libya.
“Moderates” is anyone who is not part of the Islamic State
The CIA supported and equipped “moderate” rebels in Syria are loosing out against al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. The last “moderate” group active in north Syria, Harakat Hazzm, had to give up its headquarter -including a ware house full of U.S. weapons- to Jabhat al Nusra and dissolved.
The U.S. military plans to recruit, pay and train new “moderate” rebels but the effort is starting veeerrry slow. Just 100 have been vetted so far to be “moderate” enough for the program. There are simply too few non-Jihadi rebels and warlords available willing to die for U.S. dollars.
A solution to the lack of qualified “moderate” personal is the rebranding of non-moderate groups into “moderates”. James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, recently moved into that direction:
Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who is not affiliated with ISIL. And so, you know, we are attempting to engage with them, and that’s the whole point of the train and equip proposal — project that the Department of Defense is gearing up for, is to vet, recruit and train and equip opposition in sufficient size and capability to actually make a military difference.And so one of our challenges is, again, the recruiting and vetting part. So we picked people that not only are moderate, whatever that is, but also we have to be sensitive to complying with the international rules of law, which in this environment is a pretty tough order.
“Moderates”, Clapper used gestural scare-quotes, is anyone who is not part of the Islamic State. That would, it seems, include Jabhat al-Nusra who three years ago parted from IS and kept their allegiance to AlQaeda. Jabhat al-Nusra has been fighting the Islamic State ever since.
That Clapper thought of Jabhat and similar Jihadi groups like Ahrar al-Sham, is obvious from his reference to international law. The United Nations Security Council classified Jabhat as an international terrorist organization. Supporting it, like Israel does in south Syria, is a violation of UNSC resolutions. As a veto wielding member the U.S. would not like to be caught doing that.
Jabhat al-Nusra is a Jihadi group following al-Qaeda. It is obviously a non-moderate groups but as it fights against the Islamic State it is now, under Clappers new definition “moderate” and thereby qualified to receive U.S. support. Still there is the damned international law issue that has to be circumvented.
Now just in time a U.S. puppet entity in the Persian Gulf comes up with a solution for that problem:
Leaders of Syria’s Nusra Front are considering cutting their links with al Qaeda to form a new entity backed by some Gulf states trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad, sources said.Sources within and close to Nusra said that Qatar, which enjoys good relations with the group, is encouraging the group to go ahead with the move, which would give Nusra a boost in funding.
Intelligence officials from Gulf states including Qatar have met the leader of Nusra, Abu Mohamad al-Golani, several times in the past few months to encourage him to abandon al Qaeda and to discuss what support they could provide, the sources said.
They promised funding once it happens.
The Nusra Front is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and has been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council. But for Qatar at least, rebranding Nusra would remove legal obstacles to supporting it.
A “rebranded” Jabhat al-Nusra would of course still fight the Syrian government as its primary enemy. Destroying the Syrian government is also the primary aim of the Wahhabi government of Qatar. New-Nusra would fight the Islamic State only after having secured enough resources and geography to be able to expand further. Its ideological essence would not change and its aim in the end would be to create its own version of an Islamic state.
[I]f Nusra is dissolved and it abandons al Qaeda, the ideology of the new entity is not expected to change. Golani fought with al Qaeda in Iraq. Some other leaders fought in Afghanistan and are close al Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahri.
Rebranding Jabhat al-Nusra to then declare it “moderate” in the new definition of DNI Clapper may be the plan. It worked in Libya. But I doubt its feasibility in the much longer Syria conflict. It would be a very difficult sale even for the mighty U.S. propaganda brigades. It would also mean that the organization Jabhat al-Nusra, as it now exists, would fall apart. Many of Nusra’s fighters have joined for ideological reason and to be members of alQaeda. Should Nusra revoke its oath to al-Qaeda those fighters would leave and very likely join the Islamic State.
The only reason to stay with New-Nusra would be the Qatari and U.S. money and equipment that would flow to it. But as the demise of earlier U.S. supported “moderate” groups show money and weapons are not the decisive factor in winning the fights on the ground.