31 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/26/2012
SYRIA
Al Qaeda-allied Islamic rebels in the fight against Assad
Photos, videos and claims of attacks confirm the presence of hundreds of militants on Syrian territory. Most come from foreign countries, including Russia, Somalia and Mali. British organization for the defense raises the possibility of a military coup led by Western countries.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) -, Rebels fighting against the Assad regime in the northwest of Syria have found an exceptional ally: al-Qaeda and hundreds of Islamists from foreign countries. The most representative states are Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan. But there are also members from Russia (Chechnya), Ukraine, Mali and Somalia. The presence of the extremists is confirmed by several videos that have appeared on jihadist websites that show men with covered faces, lauding the holy war, brandishing machine guns, bombs and waving the black flag of al-Qaeda. In a film that appeared a few days ago on Youtube a voiceover shouts "we're forming cells of suicide bombers to continue the holy war in the name of God."

To date, the opposition has denied the presence of Islamic extremist groups among its ranks, but according to experts, the borders with Turkey and Iraq have become veritable collection centers for militants from around the Sunni Muslim world. Some have described the Syrian scenario as a "magnet" for al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Witnesses say that hundreds of foreigners have come to Bab al-Hawa checkpoint on the Turkish border to support the Free Syrian Army in the battle for Aleppo. What drives these people across Asia and North Africa, is not a desire for democracy, but the exemplary punishment of "nusayrs" (heretics) a derogatory name for the Alawites, the Shiite sect of Bashar al-Assad.

The intensifying of battles in the northern province of Aleppo has also attracted hundreds of jihadists from Iraq. This is confirmed by a recent Iraqi government survey which finds that the militants operating on Syrian territory are part of the same group that claimed responsibility for bombings that have shaken Iraq in recent months. "Our lists of suspects - says Izzar al-Shahbandar, advisor to the Prime Minister - have the same names - they match those of the Syrian authorities."

Pictures that appeared on some forums with links to Al-Qaeda also show groups of veterans of the war in Libya. According to Lebanon news agency Naharnet,  some show men dressed in black brandishing a banner that reads: "The revolutionaries of the Tripoli brigade." The confirmation of hectic activities of Islamic extremists on Syrian soil comes from the same number of attacks claimed by al-Qaeda. Since December, there have been  at least with 35car bomb attacks and 10 suicide attacks on Syrian soil. Of these 4 were claimed by the "Front Nusra" of Al Qaeda.

The presence of jihadi groups from the Syrian free Army raised many controversies on a diplomatic level. Yesterday Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, has accused the United States policy of supporting anti Asssasd Islamist insurgents. He criticized the position of Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, who never condemned the attack in Damascus last July 18 that claimed the lives of several prominent members of the regime, calling instead for the imposition of new sanctions.

Meanwhile, the possibility of an armed intervention to depose President Assad is gaining ground. A study by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British organization specializing in issues of international politics and defense, warns of a likely clash between Sunni groups supported by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states and Shi'ite militias, including Hezbollah and the Syrian army, backed by Iran. In addition, there is the threat of chemical weapons in the hands of the Syrian regime. The presence of chemical weapons worries Israel which has already begun distributing gas masks in the towns on the border with Syria. In recent days, Shimon Peres, Israeli president, said that the likely use of unconventional weapons by the Damascus regime poses a serious risk to the security of Israel. In the event of a fall of the regime, Peres fears the potential transfer of Syrian heavy weapons or chemical weapons arsenal to Lebanese Shiite fundamentalist Hezbollah or Iran, but also their theft by Islamic groups linked to al-Qaeda.

According to Michael Clarke, head of RUSI, a Western military intervention is necessary before the war degenerates. " We are not moving towards intervention, but intervention is moving towards us." Clarke argues that the events of recent days have created a radical change in the situation which leaves little possibility for a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The head of RUSI suggests the intervention of special forces in support of rebel groups, already used in Afghanistan in 2001 and Libya in 2011. These operations may also include a coup against the regime.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/21/2013 SYRIA
Carbombing rocks Damascus, 53 dead
01/02/2012 SYRIA
Syria: Arab Parliament calls for the immediate withdrawal of observers
11/26/2012 SYRIA
Syria, a "politically correct" civil war
by Piero Gheddo
09/19/2011 IRAQ
Mgr Sako: Middle East Christians, between State Islam and Fundamentalism
by Louis Sako
03/09/2013 EGYPT
Egypt, police take to streets against the Muslim Brotherhood

Editor's choices
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
LEBANON
Islamic Makassed launch doctrinal battle against Muslim extremism
by Fady NounOfficial reference point for Lebanon’s Sunnis approves a document entitled "Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom". Speculation over whether Dar el-Fatwa will succeed in gradually regaining control of Islamic religious teaching in the nation’s mosques.
HONG KONG – CHINA
For Card Zen, removing crosses in Zhejiang is an insult to the faith of CatholicsHong Kong’s bishop emeritus has come to the conclusion that the campaign to dismantle crosses and religious buildings is part of a broader, nation-wide strategy, and constitutes regression in terms of the mainland's religious policy. Catholics and Protestants in Hong Kong now fear that it might happen to them. In Zhejiang, another 15 religious buildings are slated for destruction by 1 September.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.