Archive for the 'Arab Spring' Category

MENA

An opportunity for a full discussion of the current state of the swamp!
What do leftists now think is going on.

Tom Griffiths
February 7 at 8:31 PM ·

As some may gather I keep an eye on events in Turkey courtesy of the Turkish Bianet news service and my friendship with one of the initial organizers in the mid 90’s of Saturday Mothers, a weekly gathering of mothers, wives and friends of the ‘disappeared’. My friends husband was one of the ‘disappeared’ and she came very close to ‘disappearing’ herself. Their spirit of resistance and determination, then, now and in the years in between, is beyond admirable – they are inspiring, which is why the Turkish regime is subjecting them to new rounds of intimidation and harassment. I’d like to ask people to subscribe to Bianet and keep a supportive eye on the Saturday Mothers and all others resisting the dead weight of the regime.

Yoleri briefly detained

Yoleri briefly detained

Susan Geraghty How can we help??

Tom Griffiths Good question Susan. Otherwise known as – how can we assist/support the Turkish people to give Erdogan the flick? From here not a lot. However messages of support/solidarity is something we can do – to Bianet (I’d assume they’d pass them on) and I can pass them on through my friend in Turkey. You’ve got me thinking…

Ruth Frances It’s very distressing to see what this man is doing to Turkey .

Patrick Muldowney I presume you are not objecting to the Turkish government providing shelter for the almost 8 million Syrians that it is now involved in doing. So I guess this is just a pro PKK post and not pro Assad and Putin. as if the war with the PKK has not been going for many decades and was under Erdogan making progress via the democratic solution to the Kurdish issues that brought on war in the first instance.

Patrick Muldowney I would say that Erdogan is currently the most important political leader by a long shot and so I think we ought to talk about this issue and see what we actually think. Syria is very confusing and even Arthur and Barry and Dave completely misunderstood what Putin was up to back in 2015. They don’t talk about it these days but believe me I still do and it is even more complicated than it was when I first started to investigate it back in 2011. As you know No investigation no right to speak and I have earned that right.

Patrick Muldowney
I have opened a thread at http://strangetimes.lastsuperpower.net/ called MENA if that would help people keep track of where any investigation takes us. I expect this to be quite a difficult investigation and do not assume that people have any current background understanding but just a good will attitude to investigating the issues.

General al-Laqis Assassination Reveals Crack in Hezbollah’s ‘Security Fortress’

News from Beirut on the ‘disputed’ assassination of General al-Laqis.

The Hezbollah military leader Hussein al-Laqis was murdered outside his home on Dec. 4 2013, an act thought to be in retaliation for Hezbollah support for Pres. Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Israel is predictably being attributed with the assassination, however “The Sunni jihadist group Abdullah Azzam Brigades said it was behind the attack. The head of the al-Qaeda-linked group described the attack as a “double martyrdom operation carried out by two heroes from the heroic Sunnis of Lebanon”.

This comes on the back of the November 19 Iranian Embassy bombing in November in Beirut and recent Saudi calls for its citizens to leave Beirut.

Laqis funeral

From
By An Al-Monitor Correspondent in Beirut | Thu, Dec 5, 2013
Translator(s) Kamal Fayad

BEIRUT — Two separate and unknown factions claiming to be affiliated with jihadist movements issued statements claiming responsibility for the assassination of Hassan al-Laqis, a leader in Hezbollah’s Islamic resistance, barely 24 hours after gunmen attacked him around midnight on Dec. 4 in Beirut’s southern suburb. The factions, as they called themselves on Twitter, are the Brigade of Free Sunnis in Baalbek and the Brigade of Islamic Nation Partisans. Both identities are viewed with a measure of suspicion in Beirut. At first glance, the Brigade of Free Sunnis in Baalbek appears to have wanted to spark a sectarian clash between Sunnis and Shiites in Baalbek, which is home to adherents from both communities, reminiscent of the violence that erupted last summer between Hezbollah supporters and one of the city’s Sunni families.

For its part, Hezbollah quickly blamed Israel, which uncharacteristically issued a statement a few hours later through its Foreign Ministry denying any involvement in the killing. Such a denial is precedent-setting in Israel’s handling of these types of events. Israeli governments have typically maintained their silence, neither confirming nor denying involvement in such operations. Its response to Laqis’ assassination has raised speculation in Beirut about the reasons that might be behind Israel forsaking its traditional approach. Some sources suggested to Al-Monitor that Israel wanted responsibility for the ongoing security-related incidents that have plagued Lebanon in recent months to remain firmly focused on Hezbollah and its Sunni Islamist antagonists, whom the party suspects are receiving support from Saudi intelligence and its chief, Bandar bin Sultan.

Laqis’ assassination is the latest security incident following a series of bombings across Lebanon, apparently in conjunction with the escalating political conflict that has been raging between Hezbollah, Salafist Islamist movements and Saudi Arabia involving their respective positions vis-à-vis the Syrian crisis. Two weeks ago, on Nov. 19, two suicide bombers from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades targeted targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. The attack was preceded by two car bombings in July and August in Hezbollah’s stronghold in Beirut’s southern suburb and speculation that they are part of ongoing retaliatory responses against Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian war alongside the Syrian regime.

Despite the fact that Laqis’ assassination came at a peak of tensions and anxiety surrounding additional terrorist bombings rocking Lebanon, the method used was a departure from previous attacks, which had mimicked the mode of operations prevailing in Iraq, that is, explosives-laden cars (as was the case in Tripoli on Aug. 23 and the southern suburbs) and suicide bombers (as used against the Iranian Embassy). In contrast, the Laqis hit was reminiscent of past assassinations carried out by Israeli special forces units against leaders of the Palestinian resistance movement during their presence in Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s.

Security services are also unsure about the identity of the perpetrators. While the incident is thought to be attributable to the confrontation between Sunni Islamists and Hezbollah over Syria, its implementation is completely different from the methods by which jihadist Islamists operate. This opens the door for speculation that a third party might have entered the fray to stoke the flames of the confrontation raging between Hezbollah and Islamist Salafist movements, thus raising its intensity and diversifying the conflict.

Regardless of the perpetrators’ identity, Laqis’ assassination represents an unprecedented security breach in Hezbollah’s security. The operation necessitated a great deal of audacity and was executed by a commando unit that successfully carried out its mission before quietly retreating from an area considered an impregnable security stronghold for Hezbollah. Its timing was also suggestive, as it did not occur at a time when Hezbollah had its guard down, but at a time of extraordinary vigilance.

The most important question in the aftermath of this operation is whether a crack has begun to appear in Hezbollah’s defensive security fortress as a result of the attrition it is suffering in the Syrian war.