21 October, 2014 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


» 06/17/2013
SYRIA
Massacres by Islamic extremists bolster Bashar al-Assad
Ignored for months by Western media, massacres by Islamist brigades have appeared on pro-rebel media with reports on summary executions, Islamic courts and the mass killing of Shias, justified in the name of the hatred against Assad. However, in al Qusair and Aleppo, residents have welcomed the return of the regular army.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - Summary executions, people sentenced for blasphemy and the expulsion of Christians and Shias from their homes are but some of the actions taken by the courts of the "Caliphate of Iraq and the Levant", the name the al-Nusra Brigade and other Islamist rebels use in relations to the Syrian territory under their rule.

In different parts of Aleppo, in the towns of al-Bab and Idlib and other villages under the control of Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda, sharia has been enforced for the past year. Islamic justice is not an improvised game but the work of well-organised courts, with sentences passed daily and indiscriminately against Sunnis, Christians, Alawis and other Shias who do not conform to Wahhabi Islam.

In Aleppo's neighbourhood of al-Shaar, the al Nusra Brigade executed a 14-year-old boy for insulting the prophet. Last Wednesday, the Sadeq al-Amin Brigade stormed the predominantly Shia village of Hatla in Deir Ezzor province.

A video posted by Islamists on Youtube, almost all foreigners with a North African accent, shows the fighters after a mission. In it, the men are seen showing off the bodies of those they killed, mocking them, calling them "dogs" loyal to Assad, saying that they would kill anyone opposed to Islam.

On Thursday, the body of a man was found with shots in the head and neck by a mosque in al-Bab (Aleppo Governatorate). Residents reported that the man had been taken into custody several months earlier by the city's Sharia Council on charges of theft.

Most information about these massacres and about the violence perpetrated by the regime comes from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), an organisation set up by Syrian rebels in exile.

For nearly two years, SOHR has reported only acts of violence by the regime against the rebels. Mainstream international media like the BBC, al-Jazeera and al-Arabya, have relied on it as their sole source of news.

In recent months, several experts and Syrians interviewed by AsiaNews accused Western and Gulf State media of selective reporting. More recently, coverage has become more impartial, but SOHR continues to defend Islamic extremists to avoid losing support among rebel forces. In the case of Hatla, the SOHT reported said that residents had sided with the regime and housed Syrian soldiers.

In an interview with AsiaNews on 28 May, Gregory III Laham, patriarch of Antioch, said that "Syria's future cannot be built on destruction. There are no winners with war."

In the past few months, indiscriminate funding of the rebellion and the continuous flow of foreign fighters has paradoxically bolstered, not weakened the regime, with Hizbollah using them as a pretext to wage war against its Sunni enemy.

Syrians, including anti-regime Muslims, have begun to criticise the presence of foreign fighters in their country and to view them as terrorists.

This is the case in Al-Qusair, one of the first cities to join the rebellion against Assad, and for months one of its stronghold, where residents bemoan the destruction of churches and mosques not aligned with radical Islam. The same is true in Aleppo where residents have welcomed the regular army in a number of neighbourhoods.

In November 2012, the Turkish newspaper Hurryiet stressed the deep cleavages within Syrian rebel forces, warning the West about the risks of armed support, recently endorsed by US President Barak Obama and the governments of France and Great Britain.

At present, some 30 recognisable militias with some 100,000 fighters operate in Syria. Of these, only three belong to the Free Syrian Army, the main interlocutor of the international community. The other 27 are linked to Al-Qaeda or belong to other Islamist or political movements.

Sources told AsiaNews "that the purpose of these groups is not only the liberation of Syria from Assad, but also the spread by force of radical Islam throughout the Middle East and the conquest of Jerusalem."

Many fighters do not even speak Arabic. Others left villages in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indonesia without knowing the exact location of Syria.

Some villagers near Aleppo have reported that several fighters, especially the younger ones, were recruited with the false promise of going to liberate Jerusalem. (SC)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/15/2012 IRAN - SYRIA
Al Qaeda's rise in the Mediterranean more dangerous than Iranian nuclear programme
06/12/2013 SYRIA
United for reconciliation with Muslims, Christians return to al-Qusair
06/24/2013 EGYPT
Giza: Islamist mob attacks Shia village killing four
07/17/2013 SYRIA - LEBANON
For Caritas Lebanon, the tragedy of Syrian refugees is "worsening day by day"
08/24/2013 LEBANON
A day of national mourning for Tripoli mosque attacks
by Paul Dakiki

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.