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13 November 2013


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"... government forces — bolstered by fighters from Lebanon's Shiite militant Hezbollah group and Shiite militants from Iraq..."

I very much doubt the claims of Hizbullah and Iraqi Shia fighters everywhere. In any report I have seen the sources for these claims are always the insurgents.

Nasrallah has openly declared that after Quasair, which was an announced and limited assault, his forces would only be involved in the areas very near to the Lebanese border. At the time of Quasair assault there were many reports from Lebanon about burials of Hizbullah fighters. We have not seen such reports for quite some time. If Hizbullah is seriously engaged around Damascus, Homs and Aleppo where are all the dead fighters?

It is about the same from the side of the Iraqi Shia groups. Any public declaration of such involvement was always restricted to the Sayyida Zaynab shrine. Where are the reports of casualties and burials from Iraqi fighters who died in Syria?

I presume that there are some Iranian Revolutionary Guard special ops folks in Syria. But those will be most advise/train/assist forces, not the tip of the spear of Syrian army assaults.

Unless we some neutral reporting on the issue any claim of Hizbullah and Iraqi Shia involvement should be taken with lots of salt.



You are mistaken. My sources in Syria confirm the presence and activity of these non-Syrian fighters. pl

Nagi Najjar

don't ne mistaken,,,, they have very well armed militias,, Abu Fadl el Abbas and other Shiites armed tribes of Muktada el Sadr,, including Iranian IRGC military experts are on the various fields,,,,,, they're everywhere, beyond Set Zeinab shrine in Damascus,,,,,,,Main IRGC is headquartered at Mezzeh military Airfield in Damascus,,they have their own planes and pilots also,, besides Hezbollah, these are putting the pressure on the Rebellion,,,,, about 30,000 - 40,000 of these ,,,as proxy,,, ,between Iraq & Lebanon,,,,,,

1---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxD2ogFRClw

2----- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glPUtdFALj4

Charles I

w/r/t to Iraq, I refer you to Stephen Starr's recent book Revolt in Syria which I have previously cited. On the ground as a journo before & during the evolving fiasco, he traveled to Iraq and reported on dozens of training camps in Iraq and the constant two way traffic in and out of theater.

I saw a report on PBS can't recall, likely Newshour a couple of months ago where he reiterated this reporting and I noted it here then.

I read his book and take him as an unsalted respectable neutral, albeit human and sympathetic, observer and reporter.


Nagi Najjar

1- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glPUtdFALj4

2- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPAg0srUaU0

3- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R69NCfew2h0

4- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TFZSIMEh88

5- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4K_tpIwm9E

There are between 30,000 and 40,000 shiites fighters as proxy of Iran from Lebanon and Iraq , in addition to IRGC experts, ( headquartered at Mezzeh military airfield in Damascus), with their own airplanes and pilots ,,,,,,


@Pat - I do not doubt that there are some Hisb and Iraq Shia fighters. I doubt that they are there in any big or even significant numbers. The propaganda is quite thick on the issue.

This though seems to be true:

Recently ISIS beheaded a wounded Syrian because he used "Shiite slogans" while in a hospital under anesthesia. They publicly showed his head around (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ6NxoLdNQE). Turns out the guy was a rebel with Ahrar ash-Sham. Those folks now complain that they did not yet got the head back and can't really bury him.

Only a slight mistake but one wonders what it does for the insurgents moral.


Albayim, from my close reading of the Turkish press, with more access to border areas than any other news sources, you are correct. There are ideological fighters literally from all around the world crossing over the porous Turkey-Syria border to join in the fight with, if not cooperative, but the benign indifference of the Turkish security forces.

If I wanted to go to Syria to shoot a documentary tomorrow, I would have no difficulty to go in and out almost anywhere in Syria under insurgent control. Likewise, any Chechen, Daghistani or even an ultra Islamist from anywhere in the world would find it easy to do so even if they were on their own. There are "cayotes" now who specialize in getting people in and out of Syria for a price, very reasonable from what I hear. You can strike a deal here in Istanbul and they will make the arrangements. In fact, I would not be surprised if even the Iranians use the same route and means.

Babak Makkinejad

It is very very reminiscent of the Spanish Civil War - it almost uncanny.

FB Ali

"... the benign indifference of the Turkish security forces".

Does this mean that Erdogan and the Turkish military are quite happy to have a Jihadi state built up next door?

If they do, the next question is: Are they crazy?

Nagi Najjar

Kunuri,,,be careful of these Istanbul bargainers ,,,, I am afraid if you go tomorrow into Syria within this framework, you will stay there guaranteed ,, beware of these " coyotes" my friend,,,,, half of these works for AQ,,, they will lure you in , towards an area controlled by ISIS or AQ , and sell you out at a later stage for a sum of money,,,,, you have no clue what is Syria beyond the Turkish border,,,a multitude of a variety of armed groups and lose territory of dandiest and thugs looking for a living,, that's how many journalists disappeared,,,,,, US, Brits, Polish, French and others,,,by following what you have just said,,,,, It takes one wrong turn, you're history,,,,the ground is shifting daily inside Syria,,,,, , these Chechnyans, Daghestani Jihadis around the world are coordinating with insiders who are waiting for them, once they cross,,,,,, and half of these are penetrated by Iran's and Russian Intel,,,,the Assad air force bombard daily the FSA but never the ISIS positions, ISIS is focusing more on the FSA rather than the Assad regime,,,,, ,, the ports of entry at the Turkish Syria frontier, bag el salamah and bab el hawa are infested by spies for the extremists ,,,,, they will know on the spot once you step in ,,, and track you down,,,,,, few miles down the road,,,,,, The Iranians do not need the Turkish border to come into Syria,,,,,,,, they cross into Syria from Lebanon, Damascus airport and the Iraqi frontier by Deir El Zor into the desert not far from the town of Abu Kemal,,,,,,, Do not go into Syria unless tightly escorted and coordinated with the FSA command,,,,,, Col Riad el Assaad & group,,,,, they know the ground best,,,,, Sky news crew Hariri TV was just kidnapped around Aleppo some 10 days ago,,,, nobody recovered them yet,,,,,,, a hardcore group stopped them at a checkpoint and sold them out to ISIS.

Nagi Najjar


untrue,,,I saw the video,,,,,, this is an Iraqi shiite fighter that was caught fighting with the Assad Army , he confessed raping many men & women in Homs and Banias provinces and killed many civilians , ISIS decapitated him to make him a model for others,,,,,, he has no affiliation with the Ahrar el Sham militia,,,,,

Actually Ahrar el Sham , ISIS and Nusra are in bed fighting together on several joint military fronts in central Syria,,,,, a guy like that ( If he was Ahrar el Sham) could be verified in seconds by a telephone call,,,, they all speak to each others on the ground,,,, Baghdadi, Jolani and Hasan Abboud,,,,,,,



I'm not sure, if you'ld supress my comment again cause you don't like the message.

If you don't, here's a hint from me on what's going on:

The Qods force is present in Syria. They are Islamic. Dividing Muslims into Sunni and Shia is an insult against God.

William R. Cumming

Who are the main beneficiaries of prolonged civil war in Syria?



This is a private website. Your comments were not "suppressed." No comments are posted unless I approve them. your comments were offensive in tone. Civility is required here. Are your Sunni jihadi friends not dividing Islam as well? pl


Col: And whither the Syrian refugees? Turkey and Jordan probably hadn't anticipated an Assad victory. We can now judge the "humanitarian" organizations who fanned the oprising in Syria by how they treat the defeated rebels.

Contrary to Hasbara, my wife's Palestinian family was treated quite well in Jordan. King Abdullah now needs to ask Saudi Arabia, France, and Qatar for a lot of money. They wanted the fight. They have an obligation to help pay to clean up the mess.


@Nagi Nahjjar

You are wrong!


ISIS admitted that its fighters killed the wrong man but said it was in "good intention" and therefore not punishable. Ahrar ash-Shams disagrees and they have set up "wanted" posters to get the killers.


Now Nagi Najjar please tell us why you are misinformed on this and on what else you might be misinformed.

Charles I

nice little roundup

Nagi Najjar

The extremists of both camps,,,,
AQ from one end and Hezbollah and Iran's from the other,,,,,
The longer the drags the weaker the center platform will become and extremism will dominate further.

The main indisputable request for the Rebellion: Assad needs to go.

There is no U turn to that request,,,,even if it means 1 million casualties ,,, The Rebellion is not going anywhere,,, i've been reading reports of " advances" for Hezbollah and the Syrian Army, too small of an achievement to be quoted as " victory",,,,, On a macro scale, Rebellion still controls 70% of the territory, but the Syrian regime is excellent in psyop pieces in the media,,,,, they take few streets somewhere, and suddenly it is the big major victory,,,,, as the allies were coming into Berlin,,,,

All what is left for Assad is part of the Lattakia province, the Tartous province where most of his transportable Scuds and ballistic missiles are located and few sectors of Damascus. SAA is very stretched,,,,, and tired,,,, Hezbollah who gave a beating to the Israelis in 2006 in Southern Lebanon, is having a hard time to catch up in Syria,,,,,,, what is keeping Assad alive so far is his Air Force, long range artillery and armor units , firing from distances,,,, the people leading the assaults on the ground are Hezbollah ( 15,000 of these) and the Shiites of Iraq,,,,,, the Syrian Army is very stretched and tired,,,,,,,,, Now Mr Putin is describing Assad as the savior of the minorities,,,,, O Lord,,,,, time for a Christian Orthodox to convert to Catholicism,,,, Assad is on his way out,,,,,, It will take few more casualties ,,,might drag little longer,,,,, but he will be out,,,, he cannot stay in Syria ,he is a burned card,,,,,,,,

The US has to acknowledge that,,,, not comply to Russian demands,,,,,,, the Geneva I, 2, 3 and 4 are all doomed to a failure,,,,,,,


For the answer, see here a pic of a "Sunni jihadi"


Nagi Najjar

One more link to those denying a " massive " presence of Shiite Iraqis and Lebanese fighters on Syria's soil: http://rt.com/in-motion/syria-hezbollah-assad-troops-673/ ,,,,, to their information, there are about 40,000 of these fighting around the country.

Pity if they belong to the Intel community,,,,,, downsizing and neglecting this info,,,,,, US is so misguided when it comes to Syria,,,on everything ,,, relying on twisted info, channels & strategy ,,,,,,,, If Iraq & Afghanistan were handled like Syria,,,,, congrats,,,,,,,,,, no wonder the panorama is so scenic ,,,,,,,, :)

Nagi Najjar

b, don't teach me the ground please in Syria,,,,, I'll check into that,,,,,, not to be a manipulation of some sort,,,,, even being cited in the Telegraph does does necessarily means that it could not be wrong,,,,again, we'll verify it,,,,,, , there are dozens of incidents happening on the ground daily,,,, FSA has been battling AQ in Aleppo and Lattakia for the last several several days,,,,,, there are several dead and kidnapped persons between the two sides ,,,,, what was this not published in the Telegraph if the press was so accurate reporting all? I usually don't rely too much on foreign press coverage for concrete news ,,,, most of the time the press does not get it all complete and correct ,,,, we've seen it,,,,again and again in different occasion,,,,,, I'm sure the Brits have a better ring collecting info than the Americans,,,,, they're better foxes at the old profession,,,, familiar with the Levant puzzle,,,,, The Telegraph is a friendly address to me,,, I even organized few meetings for them in the region,,,,,, If true, this is a first one,,,,ISIS and Ahrar el Sham are partners on the ground,,on several battlefields,, they fight together,,,,, , this affair might be true and might be false,,,,, again, we'll verify the content ,,,,, there is lot of Intel and manipulation on the ground,,,,,,,, and lots of things are happening and not being reported neither ,,,,


Yes, especially the part of one side spending more time taking out their "allies" for political purity purposes.

Babak Makkinejad

You wrote:

"Qods force is Dividing Muslims into Sunni and Shia is an insult against God."

I think the division between these sects of Islam has existed for a millennia.

What had not existed was the Shia Crescent - that the recent war for Syria has done so much to create.

Any way, I thought you were Russian - Shia are not posing any danger to the Russian Federation.

Incidentally, tonight is the "Evening of the Strangers" which is memorialized all over Iran and elsewhere by the Shia - reminding everyone of the sufferings of the family of Imam Hussein.

Nowhere in all of Islam you will find any delicacy of feeling and emotional refinement except among the Shia.


"US is so misguided when it comes to Syria,,,on everything ,,, relying on twisted info, channels & strategy"

You write like an hasbara.


Very similar. But also in key respects very different. For example, the geographic isolation of Spain helped make it possible for Franco to achieve a crushing victory. In Syria, borders with six neighboring states - every one of which is intervening in some fashion or other - make it nearly impossible for the regime to achieve a similar decisive victory.

That said, in many respects the similarities to Spain are uncanny.

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