Monday, September 04, 2006

Iraqi, Lebanese and Israeli Authorities Criticize Syria

Elaph has printed an interview with Iraq's Ali al-Dabagh, the official spokesperson for the Iraqi government in London, in which he explains that Iraq wants good relations with Syria, but Syria is not reciprocating. He explains that Iraq's relations with Syria are tied to Syria's willingness to hand over the supporters of terrorism in Iraq who have taken refuge in Syria. They also demand that Syria stop Jihadists from coming into Iraq. So far Syria has not done this, he explains. It is not America which prevents Iraq from developing better relations with Damascus, he insists, but Syria's unwillingness to improve security measures and cooperate with Iraq's leaders.

Here is the article:

علي الدباغ : علاقتنا مع سوريا مرتبطة بتسليمنا رموز الارهاب

الناطق باسم الحكومة العراقية علي الدباغ ل"ايلاف":
علاقتنا مع سوريا مرتبطة بتسليمنا رموز الارهاب

علي الدباغ
أسامة مهدي من لندن: قال الناطق الرسمي باسم الحكومة العراقية الدكتورعلي الدباغ ان الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد يطلق تصريحات تؤلم العراقيين واشار الى ان رئيس الوزراء العراقي نوري المالكي لن يزور سوريا مالم تتعاون مع العراق امنيا وتسلمه جميع رموز القتل ممن يمولون الإرهاب ويدعمونه ويقودونه ".

ايلاف :
اعلن اكثر من مسؤول عراقي في اوقات مختلفة عن قرب استئناف العلاقات مع سوريا او زيارة وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم لبغداد لكن شيئا من ذلك لم يتحقق لحد الان فما هو سبب ذلك وهل ان الولايات المتحدة تقف مانعة لذلك كما تشير بعض المعلومات ؟ ومتى سيزور المالكي سوريا وهل هناك مطالب عراقية من سوريا لتنفيذ هذه الزيارة ؟

الدباغ :
كان مقرراً أن يزور السيد وليد المعلم العراق خلال مؤتمر المصالحة في شهر تموز (يوليو) الماضي ضمن الوفود العربية الداعمة لمشروع الجامعة العربية ولم تتم الزيارة بسبب تأجيل المؤتمر، نحن بالتأكيد في الحكومة نرحب بزيارة الأشقاء والأصدقاء وسيجدون كل الود والتقدير لأننا بحاجة لدعمهم السياسي، لكن العلاقة مع سوريا هي حب من طرف واحد، فنحن نحب سوريا وشعبها ورئيسها المرحوم حافظ الأسد لمواقفه مع شعبنا أيام محنته ومن الوفاء أن نتذكر كل ذلك، لكن الآن سوريا لا اتبادلنا هذا الحب بل تأتي الينا عبر سوريا مجموعات سوداء تقتل شعبنا ويتم تهريب السلاح للإرهابيين عبر سوريا ويصول ويجول في سوريا أعداء شعبنا ممن يمولون الإرهاب ويدعمونه ويقودونه وقد قلنا ذلك لهم مرارا وتكراراً ولدينا الأدلة والبراهين على ذلك، لكننا نتصرف بحكمة وتعقل ولانريد ان نسلط ضغوطا اضافية على نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد الذي يمر بأزمة في علاقاته الدولية ويطلق أحيانا تصريحات تؤلمنا في العراق عن عمليات الذبح والقتل اليومي لشعبنا. نحن نريد علاقات وثيقة مع سوريا على أن تتعاون معنا امنيا وتسلم لنا كل رموز القتل والإرهاب وان تمتنع عن دعمهم تحت عناوين المقاومة، وعند ذلك سيجد السوريون اننا سنكون الحصن المانع لأي خطر يتهدد شعب سوريا ولن نكون مقرا أو ممرا لأي قوات ضد سوريا فدماؤنا اختلطت بدماء السوريين عبر كل حقب التأريخ.

نحن نريد علاقة وثيقة مع كل الدول الإقليمية وايران بضمنها وليس للولايات المتحدة اثر في منع هذا التوجه فنحن نتصرف بناءا على مصلحة شعبنا وليس هناك نية لزيارة السيد رئيس الوزراء قبل أن تستكمل فصول حل هذه الملفات مع سوريا الشقيقة.

Another story that has been circulating in the Arab press is that Syria, Iran and Hizbullah have a three step plan to bring down the Lebanese government with the help of General Aoun and other anti-Hariri politicians. The basic idea is: Stage one, stay cool while Israel withdraws its troops. Stage two, create paralysis in the government by opposing all Siniora measures. Stage three, begin large scale demonstrations which will give cover for special inciters to provoke clashes with the police and get people shot. Then push for a vote of no-confidence in parliament and force new elections. The only source quoted in this story is a "high placed" government official. There can be little doubt that opposition figures in Lebanon and their supporters further a field are strategizing to bring down the Hariri coalition that presently governs Lebanon, and which many have already accused of being complicit with Israel and the US during the war. Whether this is their plan is hard to say, but it is hard to think of a different plan.

Two articles extolling Syria for taking in Iraqi Christians have recently appeared. One by GABE HUCK in the National Chatholic Reporter, "The Statue of Liberty belongs in Syria," September 1, 2006. The other is by William Dalrymple, "The final place of refuge for Christians in the Middle East is under threat," in the Guardian, September 2, 2006. "As Iraq and Lebanon are torn apart by sectarian mayhem and war, only Syria's religious tolerance offers refugees shelter."

Syrian president offers to rebuild 3 south Lebanon villages
International Herald Tribune, France

Skepticism abounds about Syria's promises to AnnanYa Libnan, Lebanon - Sep 2, 2006Beirut- Lebanon's media on Saturday dismissed pledges secured by UN chief Kofi Annan from Syria to respect an arms embargo against Hezbollah and help implement ...

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday it would exert its maximum force if it had to go to war with Syria. "Syria knows that we limited ourselves in our operations in Lebanon, and it knows that in an operation against Syria, against Damascus, Israel won't limit itself,"

Iran: Iranian news claims Mottaki: Iran, Syria foil plots hatched by American, Zionists Tehran, Sept 4, IRNA
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Farouq Taha conferred here Monday with Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on regional developments.

According to the Information and Press Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the meeting, Mottaki said that continued consultations between Iran and Syria has foiled sections of plots hatched by the Americans and the Zionists.

Political death of former Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon, victory of Hamas and Islamic resistance in Lebanon are regarded as new phenomena in regional equations, Mottaki pointed out.

The more the pressure exerted by the Americans, the people will become firmer to defend their sovereignty and independence, he said.

Deployment of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq under the guise of campaign against terrorism is to deceive world public opinion, he said.

After several years, lack of security is the main problem in Afghanistan and Iraq and continued presence of occupying forces in Iraq has fomented spread of terrorism in this war-stricken country, Mottaki said.

Lauding the bold stance of Syrian president in dealing with regional development, he said the Americans are in a very weak position and are not in a position to ignite another war for American taxpayers.

Highlighting Iran's peaceful nuclear activities which is in total conformity with international rules and regulations and under IAEA supervision, he criticized scientific apartheid and monopoly of technological know-how of the West.

The Americans and Zionists try through illogical means to retrieve their disgraceful defeat by Lebanese resistance movement, he said adding that the world Muslims view Iran and Syria as heros and respect them.

The Syrian deputy foreign minister arrived in Tehran to attend the third Iran-Syria Joint Consulate Commission meeting.


At 9/04/2006 03:19:00 PM, Blogger Pacta said...

You say:"Whether this is their plan is hard to say, but it is hard to think of a different plan".
This was already the plan before the war; wasn't it? Why would it produce different results now than it did before? The problem is that if it does indeed succeed in bringing down the government and enhancing dramatically the position of Hezbollah and its allies - while the world would stand watching - there could be questions as to who exactly was complicit with Israel.

At 9/04/2006 05:20:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Isreal will continue air and sea blocade, and will not pull out from Lebanon, inspite of UNIFIL,this will trigger demonstrations,which could be accompanied by violence,which will demand Seniora resignation,this must happen before Brammertz report.

At 9/04/2006 06:55:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

the demonstrations could be triggered by an attempt to assasinate Nasrallah, he has to be very careful.

At 9/04/2006 08:42:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Can sombody explain to me why Syria and Iraq are not freinds eventhough Syria and Iran are freinds and Iran and Iraq are freinds,so how come Syria and Iraq are not freinds .?

At 9/04/2006 09:54:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

The reason is very simple. When the Mongols invaded ME long ago, they first sacked Baghdad and razed it to the ground. They then marched on to Damascus and laid siege. Eventually, they took Damascus and produced a whole new generation of Damascene bastards - thus the Damascenes are known to the present day as the bastards of Tamerlane. The Iranians were ruled by the remnants of the Mongols through the Savavid dynasty - after the Mongols converted to Islam. So, the Iraqis suffered the most from this Mongolian invasion and there was no production of Iraqi bastards as a result. Consequently, the Iranians and the Syrians have a common lineage being offspring bastards of the Mongols. This link is lacking in the land of the two rivers!!! You may want to check this story with any one from Aleppo. He will immediately confirm to you the undesirability of having a Damascene as a friend for obvious reasons as mentioned. Why the hell I’m explaining all this history? I thought I’m in Josh’s class and he should have gone over this very elementary history of Syria!!!

At 9/04/2006 10:49:00 PM, Blogger Joshua Landis said...

Norman, It is confusing. My best guess is that competition between Sadrists and SCIRI is at the root of this. Muqtada al-Sadr traveled to Damascus and established good relations there. He is also opposed to Iraqi federalism, which wins him support in Damascus as well. He is considered less beholden to Iran than SCIRI. The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution has increasingly backed the federal idea and the creation of a Southern Shiite State. The militias of both Shiite groups have been clashing and will vie for leadership in Iraq.

British intelligence claims that Damascus is still the jumping off point for British recruited for Jihad in Iraq. Al-Qaida in Iraq flies people to Damascus and ferrets them into Iraq. Syria seems to have arrested some of these folks, but not all. Why and to what extent it is willfully closing its eyes to this traffic? I don't know.

Syria has also resisted arresting and turning over top Saddam regime figures living in Syria. It made a small gesture in this direction last year, but when the US, refused to offer Syria anything in return for this help, Damascus called a stop to its cooperation and has not budged since.

It would seem that Syria is keeping as many cards on the table in Iraq as it can. It is trying to cultivate connections with the Sunnis, Secular Arab nationalist Shiites, the Sadrists, and even with the Kurds. In the meantime, Damascus is trying to frustrate the Americans and PM Maliki, who Syria sees as America's man in Baghdad. It is also siding with Sadr against SCIRI.

This means that PM Maliki and SCIRI will refuse to reward Syria with better official relations. They understand that Syria, in order to target the US, will target them. Iraqi authorities have become much more polite about their objections to Syrian policy than they were even a year ago. Should the US begin to withdraw from Iraq, Syrian policy might change rapidly. Syria and Iran will become competitors in Iraq, once their primary interest in pushing America out is accomplished and no longer unites them.

At 9/04/2006 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Joshua Landis said...

Or you can go for True Facts' equally appealing "mubendi’" theory of Damascus - Baghdad relations.

At 9/04/2006 10:57:00 PM, Blogger why-discuss said...

The Brammertz report seems to have leaked... Michel Aoun insists Siniora will leave, Annan visit Bashar al Assad, Bashar al Assad attacks the lebanese government, Interpol is tracking Khaddam, German delegation goes to Syria to negotiate. All seems to point to a possibility that the Brammertz report will not implicate Bashar Al Assad, but possibly lebanese mafia, sunnis extremist and ... Israel. That would weaken the lebanese government and may precipitate its fall..

At 9/05/2006 12:14:00 AM, Blogger True Facts said...

محققون دوليون في دمشق وبرامرتز قد يؤجل تقريره

علمت السفير أن فريقاً من لجنة التحقيق الدولية في قضية اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري قد زار دمشق أمس الأول، وبقي بعض أعضائه فيها حتى ليل أمس من أجل استكمال بعض التحقيقات. وتردد أن رئيس اللجنة القاضي سيرج برامرتز ربما سيؤجل موعد تسليم تقريره الجديد إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي منتصف هذا الشهر ولفترة قصيرة محددة بانتظار استكمال بعض العناصر.

There are also reports that the Brammirez has obtained evidence in the form of a video made by Mr. Kanaan before he was assassinated. Mr. Kanaan explains in the video who in the Syrian stratosphere of government plotted, monitored and gave orders for the assassination of Mr. Hariri. Mr. Kanaan delivered the prepared video half an hour before he was assassinated to an anonymous person who smuggled it outside Syria. Aparently, Mr. Kanaan knew his days were numbered; so he made provisions to let the story come out. Mr. Kanaan was later assassinated in his office by Asef and his men.

At 9/05/2006 05:51:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

Police Officer Involved in Probe Into Hariri's Murder Survives Assassination Attempt

The former head of the intelligence branch of the internal security forces survived an assassination bombing ambush with minor injuries in southern Lebanon Tuesday.

Media reports said Lt. Col. Samir Shehade was moderately injured in the explosion, which went off as his car drove by the village of Rmaileh, near the southern port city of Sidon. He was taken to the Hammoud hospital in Sidon, and hospital officials said his condition was stable.

Police said one of his bodyguards, Chief Sgt. Wissam Harb, was killed.

Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said Shehade was involved last year in the arrest of four generals accused of involvement in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination. The four are Brig. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, Brig. Gen. Ali Hajj, Brig. Gen. Raymond Azar and Brig. Gen. Mustafa Hamdan.

Shehade's assassination attempt also came two weeks before Chief U.N. investigator Serge Brammertz is due to submit his second report on the Hariri murder.

Security officials said a roadside bomb was detonated by remote control as Shehade's two-vehicle police convoy traveled on a highway between two bridges.

Shehade's convoy was riddled with shrapnel, witnesses said. Security forces sealed off the area and began an investigation.

Jumblatt and some other politicians predicted this.

The original source for the "three step" conspiracy was the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai Al-Aam, I think.

Regarding General Aoun, As'ad AbuKhalil made this interesting observation: "Now, I am not a fan of Aoun but he certainly has NOT established ANY relationship with Syria. There is no evidence of that, at all."

At 9/05/2006 06:02:00 AM, Blogger t_desco said...

"Shehada, who lives in Sidon, might have been heading towards Beirut, where he works as deputy head of the information division at the Lebanese internal security forces, Aljazeera said.

The information division was involved in the arrest 13 al-Qaeda-linked suspects, Aljazeera's correspondent said."

At 9/05/2006 06:38:00 AM, Blogger qunfuz said...

In his article about whether Syria and Israel should talk, Ammar AbdulHamid said that Iraqi and Lebanese preachers are converting Sunni and Alawi villages to Shiism. This sounds absurd to me, but I could be wrong. Can anybody back up his claim, and name a village where Sunnis or Alawis have converted?

At 9/05/2006 06:48:00 AM, Blogger Idaf said...

A must read interview with Hassan Nasrallah was published today in Al-Safir newspaper in 4 parts. It tackles all the rumors and conspiracy theories thrown around by Lebanese propagandists. He also states how HA will be dealing with Saudi, Jordan and Egypt. Regarding the Lebanese government he said that HA does not want it to go but to have a national unity government that includes all the unrepresented and underrepresented Lebanese movements. Will Israel attack Syria or Lebanon again? In military tactical terms he explains why this is not going to happen. Also a big portion is on the widely reported "regret" of Hassan Nasrallah for kidnapping the Israeli soldiers and how his words were taken way out of context and exploited politically by Israeli and Arab (specifically Saudi) media. Many other interesting insights on internal Lebanese affairs..

- Part 1

- Part 2

- Part 3

- Part 4

On a separate note, there's an announcement that has to be made: The award for the "Racist comment of the post" once again goes to...


Congratulations TruFacts. You've outperformed yourself this time.

I think you should stick to your conspiracy theories specialty and enjoy reading Al-Siassah. History is simply not your forte.

At 9/05/2006 01:32:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

Syria blamed for attempt on Lebanese official's life

Beirut- Lebanon's anti-Syrian parliamentary majority on Tuesday blamed Syria for an attempt on the life of Lebanese intelligence official Lieutenant Colonel Samir Chadeh earlier in the day in which four people died. The attack against Chadeh was "the work of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad," said prominent anti-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

Former parliamentarian Fares Saeed said "this attack is aimed at sabotaging the creation of the international tribunal over the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri."

During a press conference, Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said that Chadeh had previously received "several threats" but decline to "accuse" anyone of the attack.

He confirmed that Chadeh was heavily involved in the file of the February 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

Earlier reports indicated the device used in the explosion was similar to bombs that killed several anti-Syrian officials during 2005, the last being prominent politician and journalist Jubran Tueini in December 2005.

At 9/05/2006 02:39:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

"Colonel Shehade, security officials said, also participated in the interrogation of a key suspect in the assassination, a Syrian intelligence operative, Husam Taher Husam.

But he had also been involved in investigations here of groups possibly linked to Al Qaeda. In addition, a number of radical Syrian backed Palestinian factions and Islamic fundamentalist organizations have found sanctuaries in the Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon."

At 9/05/2006 02:46:00 PM, Blogger annie said...

so, Olmert says "Syria knows that we limited ourselves in our operations in Lebanon"; we would never have guessed ...

At 9/05/2006 04:51:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

"Asked whether the latest bombing could be linked to a series of attacks dating back to October 2004, Fatfat said: "No, this one was different. It was more professional and seems to be an isolated incident." ...

During a news conference held after an emergency meeting with his security chiefs, Fatfat said the attack was "a message targeting the security apparatus that has been making great progress in the past year" into Hariri's murder.

Fatfat speculated that the attack could be linked to the report due out next Friday from the UN probe's lead investigator, Serge Brammertz.

However, the acting interior minister said preventing "infiltration" during the recent war with Israel had been difficult and spoke of the "difficulty of dealing with arms outside of the Palestinian refugee camps." Fatfat repeatedly said the attack had nothing to do with Hizbullah.

Holding up two pieces of shrapnel from the crime scene, Fatfat said the two bombs were filled with "hundreds of pieces of shrapnel" and had been "locally produced and carried out with great precision."

In addition to the Hariri file, security sources said that Shehade had recently been threatened over his handling of a file on Al-Qaeda suspects in Lebanon. The intelligence officer had taped the threats, made by Syrian officials and Al-Qaeda members (!), they added.

Security sources also dismissed any links to a similar attack on December 12, 2005, that killed prominent journalist and MP Gebran Tueni. Both incidents involved roadside bombs, the sources said, but very different devices.
The Daily Star

(my emphasis)

At 9/05/2006 04:53:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

someone lost his nerves again, and made another mistake,this time it is not his mouth,as Mubarak said.
Also Anan asked Brammertz some hints from his report,but was told not yet.

At 9/05/2006 07:43:00 PM, Blogger True Facts said...

Hey presumptuous ass (Idaf),
You must be thinking I'm waiting for your stupid opinion? Or may be you think I'm dying for your senseless advice? I stand 100% by my comments. By the way are you one of them Tamerlane left overs?

At 9/05/2006 07:51:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/05/2006 07:54:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

"Hey presumptuous ass (Idaf),
You must be thinking I'm waiting for your stupid opinion? Or may be you think I'm dying for your senseless advice? I stand 100% by my comments. By the way are you one of them Tamerlane left overs?

I never admired Idaf for his total defense of the S. Regime. However, when some one like you starts to use insults and bad language, I can not but think that IDAF has won his arguments over yours, and you have lost your nerves.

Slow down. This is a discussion not a battle field.

At 9/05/2006 09:25:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Thanks Joshua for for your input.


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