Author: Mohammad Saleh Alftayeh
This map illustrates the distribution of Coalition’s raids on ISIS’ positions in Syria and Iraq as of mid October. In spite of the fact that ISIS’ forces are about to take control over all of the Al-Anbar province, the largest province of Iraq, only few raids have targeted ISIS’ positions there. It does not seem that the Coalition wants to undermine ISIS’ efforts in Al-Anbar. The same can be said about Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.
Ayen Al-Arab ranks first with more than 120 air raids (20% of all raids). The only city that comes second to Ayen Al-Arab is Mosul, a city to the south of Kurdistan, where intense fighting took place between ISIS and the Kurdish Peshmerga. The air raids seem to be only fulfilling one objective which is to protect the Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq, ignoring everybody else there.
This is not a groundless accusation! What would you say when you know that ISIS’ stronghold in Al-Shadady, south of Al-Hassakah, has not been targeted even once by the Coalition even though this area is known to be the hub connecting ISIS’ forces in both Iraq and Syria and where most of ISIS’ heavy weapons are stored! Another strange thing is the case of the city of Samarra, north-west of Baghdad, which is home to the al-Askari Mosque, which contains the mausoleums of the Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams. ISIS have declared that they are going to destroy those two mausoleums once they control the city of Samarra. If such a thing takes place, we are certainly going to witness a bloody sectarian war that might not be confined to the borders of Iraq. So what has the Coalition done in Samarra? Nothing at all! Not one singe air raid there!
Author: Mohammad Saleh Alftayeh
With more NATO countries joining the coalition to fight ISIS and as the Security Council continues to condemn and ban the traffic of people, weapons, and money to terrorist groups in Syria, arms shipments to militias there seem only to be increasing and coming even from some of the NATO countries themselves. The issue is not limited only to Turkey, a NATO member, but it also includes other nations. The problem is the determination of the source of these arms as most of the arms delivered to the militias in Syria are widely used by many countries across the world; therefore, it is difficult to determine who has provided arms to the militias directly. This is difficult unless there is a real effort on the part of the manufacturers to track the serial numbers and identification data of weapons to determine who bought the weapon and then sent to those militias. However, there are some cases that seem to be outrageously frank. The picture below is of a Yugoslavian-made RAC-12 128mm multiple rocket launcher, in the hands of Al-Nusra militants. The factory is in current Croatia, and the launcher is operated by the states of former Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina… etc.). Croatia, today, is a member of NATO, since April 2009. Al-Nusra Front is using this launcher in the picture today in Syria. Al-Nusra Front is one of the factions that is being bombed by the NATO. So are we going to see NATO investigating how one of its members is arming a radical terrorist group that the NATO is fighting? By the way, this launcher’s calibre is 128 mm (and not 107 as one might think) and this calibre is manufactured by Croatia (most other countries of the world would use either 122 mm or 130 mm calibres). If someone wants to argue that this launcher had arrived to Syria a long time ago, how can you explain the continued arrival of ammunition manufactured and stored by only one state that is Croatia?
Author: Mohammed Saleh Alftyeh
I agree with my friends that Syria will prevail and that the present war will come to an end in a day that is not too far from now; we have actually passed more than half the way. I also agree with my friends that the NATO’s endeavours against us are to fail. However, I disagree with them regarding one key issue. While most of my friends place their bets in favour of the argument that Damascus’s allies will prevent an American-Atlantic-Arab war against it, I do believe that such a war – which has been postponed for a long time now – will actually take place and that this does not entail that Damascus’s allies have given it up nor that they have been defeated because they could not prevent the war. History does tell us that there has never been an alliance which succeeded in preventing a military confrontation – the allies of Israel, for instance, could not prevent Syria from confronting Israel in 1973 and 1982 – and Damascus’s allies, according to the same argument, might not be able to prevent the military confrontation. However, they are able to support Damascus to achieve victory in a similar manner to the previous Syrian-American confrontation of 1982-1984. I am saying this to highlight that repeating the claim that the allies would prevent the war is a repetition based on a large degree of simplification and that it is a repetition which might backfire as it might lead to a catastrophic blow to the people’s morale when the confrontation actually takes place. I do believe that it is better to explain the situation as it is and that things should be seen from the right perspective. The confrontation will take place and we will prevail. I can say furthermore that the present war will only come to an end with a Syrian-American confrontation.