Category Archives: Maghreb & Mashreq

The Lessons of Libya: A War That Brought Total Societal Collapse

by Dan Glazebrook, CounterPunch

Three years ago, in late October 2011, the world witnessed the final defeat of the Libyan Jamahiriya – the name by which the Libyan state was known until overthrown in 2011, meaning literally the ‘state of the masses’ – in the face of a massive onslaught from N ATO, its regional allies and local collaborators.

It took seven months for the world’s most powerful military alliance – with a combined military spending of just under $1 trillion per year – to fully destroy the Jamahiriya (a state with a population the size of Wales) and it took a joint British-French-Qatari special forces operation to finally win control of the capital. In total, 10,000 strike sorties were rained down on Libya, tens of thousands killed and injured, and the country left a battleground for hundreds of warring factions, armed to the teeth with weapons either looted from state armouries or provided directly by NATO and its allies. Britain, France and the US had led a war which had effectively transformed a peaceful, prosperous African country into a textbook example of a ‘failed state’. Continue reading The Lessons of Libya: A War That Brought Total Societal Collapse

Hizbullah Kills Scores of Jabhat Al-Nusra Terrorists in the Qalamoun Mountains

by Leith Fadel, Al-Masdar News

Earlier today, over 30 militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed by Hezbollah forces and the National Defense Forces (NDF) at Wadi Ajram in the Qalamoun Mountains. Hezbollah laid the surprise attack on Jabhat Al-Nusra’s defenses on Wednesday morning, capturing approximately 2 square miles of territory before nightfall. The NDF backed Hezbollah at Wadi Ajram, alleviating the embattled soldiers in the western part of the valley. According to a military source, fighting is still ongoing, despite the frigid temperatures in the mountains. Continue reading Hizbullah Kills Scores of Jabhat Al-Nusra Terrorists in the Qalamoun Mountains

Saudi Kingdom Of Darkness To Destroy Holy Prophet Muhammad’s Birthplace

Outrage at plan to destroy the ‘birthplace’ of the Prophet Mohamed and replace it with a new palace and luxury malls are growing.

The site in Mecca where the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) have been born is about to be “buried under marble” and replaced by a huge royal palace. The work is part of a multibillion-pound construction project in the holy city which has already resulted in the destruction of hundreds of historic monuments.

Continue reading Saudi Kingdom Of Darkness To Destroy Holy Prophet Muhammad’s Birthplace

Iranian Commander: Hizbullah and Palestinian Resistance Possess Fateh-Class Missiles

TEHRAN (FNA) – Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Seyed Majid Moussavi announced that the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups are in possession of Fateh-class missiles which were developed by Iran a few years ago.

Speaking in an interview with ‘Qiam Sejjilha’ magazine on Wednesday, Moussavi said that the late commander and head of the IRGC Missile Research Center, Martyr Major General Tehrani Moqaddam, who was martyred in an explosion in 2011, supported and helped Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance groups to develop missile capabilities.

“Considering the range of their missiles, they are able now to attack all targets from Southern to Northern parts of the occupied territories,” he said.

Continue reading Iranian Commander: Hizbullah and Palestinian Resistance Possess Fateh-Class Missiles

Aleppo Ceasefire Proposal Details Revealed

by Leith Fadel, Al-Masdar News

A special United Nations convoy arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus two days ago in order to tour U.N. camps and present a proposal for a potential ceasefire in the volatile Aleppo Governorate. The contingency was presented to the Syrian President, Dr. Bashar Al-Assad, and to members of the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command during the first scheduled meeting between the Syrian Government and the U.N. delegates. The Syrian President and members of the Central Command agreed to take this ceasefire plan under consideration; however, no information was revealed by the Syrian Government that would outline the details of the proposal. Continue reading Aleppo Ceasefire Proposal Details Revealed

Syrian Arab Army Captures Final Oil Well at Al-Sha’ar; Nusra Losing Ground in Idlib

by Leith Fadel, Al-Masdar News

In east Homs, the 18th Brigade of the Syrian Arab Army’s 3rd Infantry Division has continued its success north of Palmyra at the Al-Sha’ar Gas Fields outskirts, capturing the final oil well (Well 105) in the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) possession. The 18th Brigade was assisted by the SAA’s special forces unit, “Liwaa Al-Qalb Al-Suqour Al-Sahra’a” (Desert Falcons) and Mouqawama Souriya (Syrian Resistance) forces during the latest operations at Al-Sha’ar Gas Fields. The remaining ISIS fighters in the area have retreated north towards the Al-Hasakah Governorate after abandoning their heavy weaponry at the gas fields. Continue reading Syrian Arab Army Captures Final Oil Well at Al-Sha’ar; Nusra Losing Ground in Idlib

Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestinians into Syria’s conflict?

by Sharmine Narwani, Russia Today

Palestinians didn’t jump into the fray in Syria. They were dragged into it – violently and reluctantly. Here is the story of how and why Palestinians and their 14 refugee camps became strategic targets in the Battle for Syria.

A small UNRWA van delivers boxes of staple foods to Yarmouk camp residents who wait at a pick-up point. Bread donated by the Syrian government lies atop the boxes.

A small UNRWA van delivers boxes of staple foods to Yarmouk camp residents who wait at a pick-up point. Bread donated by the Syrian government lies atop the boxes.

My first visit to Yarmouk took place a few days after 20 people were killed in the Palestinian camp’s first major shelling incident on August 2, 2012. Residents showed me the damage caused by the first mortar – which hit the roof of a small apartment building not far from Tadamoun, a Damascus suburb where rebels and security forces were clashing daily.

As bystanders rushed to investigate the damage, a second shell hit the narrow street outside where onlookers had congregated, killing and injuring dozens.

Foreign media headlines suggested the Syrian government was shelling Yarmouk, but Palestinians inside expressed doubt. Some said these were rebel mortars from adjacent neighborhoods, but it was clear nobody could provide definitive answers for what may simply have been a series of stray shells. Continue reading Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestinians into Syria’s conflict?

Michel Aoun: Decision On Lebanese Presidency Blocked by Saudi Arabia

by Hussein Dakroub, The Daily Star

BEIRUT: A war of words flared up Monday between MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and the Future Movement over the presidential deadlock, threatening to raise political tension in the volatile country and further complicate already stalled attempts to elect a new president.

Coupled with mounting security threats linked to the war in Syria, the political escalation, a norm in Lebanon’s turbulent history, reflected the state of disarray and divisions in the country following the rival parties’ failure to elect a president or hold parliamentary elections on time.

A number of Future lawmakers lashed out at Aoun, accusing him of losing his temper after the FPM leader charged that the Future Movement took orders from Riyadh and accused Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal of vetoing his candidacy for the presidency. Continue reading Michel Aoun: Decision On Lebanese Presidency Blocked by Saudi Arabia

Iranian Commander: Syrian Missile-Manufacturing Plants Built by Iran

TEHRAN (FNA) – Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Syria’s missile-production plants have been built by Iran.

“The missile production plants in Syria have been built by Iran and the missiles designed by Iran are being produced there,” Hajizadeh said in an interview on Tuesday.

He also said that even the resistance front in Palestine and Lebanon has received missile-production trainings from Iran.

“The Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance have grown highly powerful in this field (missile production) now,” Hajizadeh said.

Continue reading Iranian Commander: Syrian Missile-Manufacturing Plants Built by Iran

Ansarullah fighters gain ground in southwest Yemen

Houthi movement’s Ansarullah fighters in Yemen have succeeded in taking control of a district in the southwestern province of Ibb from al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The Houthi fighters captured full control of the Hazm al-Udayn district on Monday after two weeks of intense fighting with the terrorists.

They also seized a training camp belonging to the militants in the area. Continue reading Ansarullah fighters gain ground in southwest Yemen