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23 June 2015

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b

The "Two Faced Game with the Druze" is much bigger.

Israel is looking for a pretense to take the Syrian side of the Golan. The Druze in Syria are attacked by (Israel supported) Jabhat al-Nusra. Now Israel, the great humanitarian nation, will come to their help and send soldiers to protect those Syrian Druze from Nusra. As time goes by that protection turns into occupation and then annexation and the water resources of the north-eastern Golan can be redirected to Israel.

This plan is clearly discussed in Israel. There have been several pieces in Israeli media about the "protection plan" and the top Druze in Israel, with no doubt selected by the Israeli government, supports such plans.

But while the 100,000 Israeli Druze may play along the 20,000 Syrian Druze on the occupied Golan do not. And the 5-700,000 Druze in Syria are now fully in the Syrian government camp and set up militia to support the army. The Israeli plan is now in doubt.

I wrote about this over the last days:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/06/israel-plans-to-steal-more-syrian-land.html
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/06/wapo-propagandizes-for-israeli-takeover-of-more-syrian-land.html
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/06/israel-plan-to-steal-more-syrian-land-runs-into-trouble.html

Kim Sky

In Debka's June 17th article:

Syrian rebel force launches offensive near Golan to clear path to S. Damascus. Israel acts to protect Druze

http://www.debka.com/article/24673/Syrian-rebel-force-launches-offensive-near-Golan-to-clear-path-to-S-Damascus-Israel-acts-to-protect-Druze

Gleefully announcing that they will be able to control this assortment of rebels, "The Jordan-based command running the rebel effort provides them with arms, supplies, wages and their military plans of action. Its leverage to prevent them stepping out of line consists of threats to deprive them of arms or cut their wages."

This article is of particular interest because it details all of the actors involved in this effort: names the hand guiding the northern rebel force as coming from a joint command based in the big Turkish air base of Dyabakir. It is composed pf US, Saudi, Turkish and Qatari officers.

The southern rebel front is managed from US Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan, which is quartered north of Amman and run jointly by American, Jordanian, Saudi, Qatari and British officers.
This command center collected eight oddly assorted rebel militias to build the Jaysh Hermon. Some were chosen reluctantly out of need despite their undesirable proclivities. Our sources name them as: The Syrian Free Army, the Sayf al-Sham Brigade; the Jesus Christ Brigade (Muslims respect Jesus as one of their prophets); the Nusra Front (Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate); Ahrar al-Sham (an extremist group linked to Nusra and ISIS); and Ajnad al-Sham (whose fighters took part in the battle to conquer Idlib).

In another bit they say, "The penalty worked. And the wild rumors of a Druze massacre at the village of Khader were dispelled."

Sure thing (as the Druze believe), yet one can read that "Syrian civil war: Jabhat al-Nusra's massacre of Druze villagers shows they're just as nasty as Isis" by Patrick Coburn ... "Last week fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, entered a village in Idlib province in the north-west of the country and shot dead at least 20 villagers from the Druze community. They had earlier forcibly converted hundreds of Druze to their fundamentalist variant of Sunni Islam."

Kind of fun to watch their plans fall apart, at least temporarily. I knew a fellow from one these Syrian villages back in 2013, he was returning to join his family in protecting their HOME. He told me they needed him there, rather than his salary, as they were manning a 24 hour watch.

I am fearful that this means there will be a kind of mass massacre for this group of people!

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST;

The secularist circles in Turkey consider-and have always considered- ISIS as a neocon operation designed for the expansion of the Kurdish corridor to the Mediterranean through Syria. A viable Kurdistan is thought to be a strategic prop to the Zionist project in the ME. Without the Syria corridor, the Kurds will always remain an economically unfeasible hydrocarbon vilayet dependent on their neighbours.

The thinking is that this project had run into trouble initially and, in this second stage, chances for its success are better but is still far from guaranteed. Some are wondering if the Russians will trade Syria for the Ukraine.

The current government crisis in Turkey and its resolution may play a significant role in how this game will play out.

Ishmael Zechariah

mbrenner

Does the Colonel and/or someone else have a pretty good sense of just who in the Obama administration is making Middle east policy these days. It would be helpful to have something of line-up, or order of battle, as clues for figuring out what operative objectives, assumptions, and strategic calculations are. I do know personally from someone at the State department ho sits on the panel charged by Obama to come up with counter-jihadist propaganda (a sterile exercise led by a totally inexperienced Indian Muslim lawyer from NY whose wife's - American - family bundled money for Obama's last campaign) that State as a whole is very much a marginal player. At NSC, the Middle East coordinator, Phil Gordon, left for the CFE where he is writing silly articles claiming that no one has proposed an alternative to what the administration is doing.

This looks to be quite the opposite of Ukraine where 'super-star" Victoria Nuland appears to have been given the Royal mandate to declare war on Russia when and how she pleases. Is there a VN on the Middle East somewhere in Washington - or airborne at 38,000 feet?

different clue

Ishmael Zechariah,

How is ISIS designed for the expansion of the Kurdish corridor? By losing to the Kurds in various battles?

Jill

Oh my dear lord. "Irish Alzheimer's." I just didn't have a name for it but I know it when I see it. Thank you, Colonel.

Babak Makkinejad

Even with a corridor to the sea Kurdistan is not a viable country. Ask the PM of the Kurdistan velayat in Iraq - he will tell you.

And then you have Kurds - essentially a pastoral people - carrying the Red Flag and the Red Star in Syria, in Iran, in Turkey...

Communism a la Kurd must be just around the corner...

The only people who think Kurds can be independent are gullible Westerner - West of the Diocletian Line.


Babak Makkinejad

Strange thing was for Druze to remain against Syria in Lebanon; I wondered how much Gulfies had paid Junbalatt for that.

LeaNder

Compared to the larger saving the Druze scenario, Debka, looks a bit more realistic, after all annexing the Golan and/or "saving the Druze" w/could threaten the carefully watched demographics:

Debka: "Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott have taken personal charge of the Syrian Druze situation and are keeping a close watch on events on the other side of the border. They are holding their breath for the Jordan command to stay in control of the rebel militias, so that no Druze comes to harm in the course of the fighting in areas around their villages and close to the Israeli border. Keeping them safe is vital if Israel is to avoid a mass Druze stampeded on its border."

According to Avi Issacharoff only the Israeli Druze, in contrast to the Druze on the other side, and spite of their bond with the Israeli Jewish community, were spreading disinformation.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/druze-mobs-rash-attack-may-have-doomed-syrian-cousins/

"Futhermore the village of Hader, which has dominated headlines in recent days due to the fear it will be attacked by the al-Nusra Front, is far from being a part of the famous 'blood covenant between Jews and Druze in Israel'.

Residents of Hader have chosen to remain loyal to the Assad regime. The village has become a stronghold of Assad supporters and hosted senior Hezbollah members operating in the area on more than one occasion. Several attacks against IDF forces in the last year and a half originated in the village as well.

A postscript regarding the disinformation spreading within the Druze community in Israel: The mob which attacked the Israeli ambulance operated under the assumption that the vehicle was transferring al-Nusra Front members to Israel for treatment."


Strictly it feels to me that William Booth, the 'propagandist' b outed in his last article, may have picked up the story on Times of Israel. Of course it could also be, Ruth Eglash, former Washington Post reporter and editor, did add some colors from Israeli media more generally. Meaning Hebrew/Ivrit sources.

How willing does a journalist need to be become Jerusalem bureau chief?

Following him and his colleagues through the more recent scene from the Israeli angle, is quite interesting really.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/druze-mobs-rash-attack-may-have-doomed-syrian-cousins/

Cee

Ishmael

I've believed this for quite a while...and al Qaeda before ISIS.
When they attack Israel I'll ponder it again.

confusedponderer

I have come to the view that what preoccupies the minds of Bibi, his loyalists in the US and his rightwing rivals is foremost territorial expansion and expansion of their current dominant position regionally.

So one of the questions I always ask myself when it coms to Israeli intent is whether a given action would facilitate expansion.

Since in that regard the Israelis are much like children in sugarland (with the US playing the part of the indulgent parent), any policy that promises expansion is likely favoured as a policy option at least. Israeli news are remarkably candid about that and thus always worth careful reading.

Since such expansion inevitably will occur at someone else's expense it is always bad news:

It must be destabilising, irrepective of power relations currently being strongly in Israel's favour.

People do not forget such injustices easily; in the Middle East where grudges are ancient even less so. Bibi provided a striking example for this when he presented Pope Benedict with a copy of his father's epos about the inquisition's persecution of Jews in late medieval Spain, basically saying: "That's what you scum did to my people!" 500 years later.

As for the Druze, I doubt that, beyond providing useful Indian Scouts, they're much more to Bibi and his ethnocentric friends but more goyim squatters in Grater Israel.

Given their low numbers they can be tolerated, and if they get uppity, pacified. They also provide an often cited example for Israeli tolerance towards minority (that do not have large enough numbers to upset Israeli ethnic dominance). So being nice to Druze is good for PR, but expansion likely is more important. If the Syrian Druze get the shaft over this, well, one can't make an omlet without eggs I guess ...

The Golan is a prize for Israel, not just because of the water and arable land, also because of the strategic position. If the Syrian army was able to shoot from the Golan into Israel, Israel could do the same in reverse: They'd be able to dominate much of southern Syria from the Golan.

confusedponderer

"The secularist circles in Turkey consider-and have always considered- ISIS as a neocon operation designed for the expansion of the Kurdish corridor to the Mediterranean through Syria. "

That idea would be more plausible, if ISIS was not fighting Kurds so much.

Ishmael Zechariah

CP,

"That idea would be more plausible, if ISIS was not fighting Kurds so much."

or if Israel was not supporting both ISIS and the Kurds,
and KSA was not supporting Israel,
and the Kurds were not fighting among themselves,

Interesting chess game in mid play.

Ishmael Zechariah

BostonB

Irish Alzheimer's, where you forget everything except your grudges. The Irish don't have enemies. The Irish people are like the Irish Setter, stubborn but good-natured and peaceful with other animals. Except for Samantha Power, of course, who is more like a pit bull with a brain tumor.

Regarding Israel's betrayal of the Druze and their support of the "rebels" and ISIS, it is all diabolical to biblical proportions. At the very least Israel is complicit to the crimes against humanity committed by these groups whom they support, and a case could be made that they are an accessory to genocide.

Matthew

BM: I doubt the "strategists" think anything about the Kurds except how they can be used against the Iraqis, the Iranians, and the Turks. And President Assad.

William R. Cumming

This is the norm for this Administration at this time! No use for independent thinking.

Matthew

BostonB: The Druze really are the Nikki Haley's of Israel.

The Beaver

Babak

You have to go to the "Angry Arab" blog to get a good view/opinion on Walid and on how he changed his coat.

fjdixon

Interesting MiddleEastEye on Israeli Druze attacking ambulances bringing wounded 'Sryians' (read JAL) across boarder into Israel for hospitalization.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/wounded-syrian-dies-druze-attack-israeli-ambulance-police-1881529141

Cee

All,

Just adding a bit.

Israel and ISIS - Butchers Together
It has become increasingly clear in recent months that Israel is unhappy with the attack on ISIS in Iraq. This was demonstrated a few weeks ago with the Israeli missile attack which killed 6 members of Hezbollah and the Iranian military, including a General.

Tony Greenstein
Israel Secretly Arrests Golani Druze, Accusing Him of Exposing Rebel-IDF Collaboration
by Richard Silverstein on February 28, 2015
in Mideast Peace

http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2015/03/israel-supports-isis-and-al-qaeda-in.html

Yet for all of Israel’s whining about how it is being targeted by “Islamic extremists” and “terrorists,”(which should be translated to mean Palestinians, Iran, or any other secular or nationalist Arab government in the region) there is a curious and deafening silence when it is confronted with actual terrorists and Muslim fanatics such as ISIS, al-Nusra, and the myriad of other fundamentalist groups waging jihad in Syria and Iraq.

This bizarre silence has yet to raise the eyebrows of the somnambulant general public.

http://www.activistpost.com/2014/08/why-arent-isis-and-al-qaeda-attacking.html

http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/04/04/wall-street-journal-israel-caught-red-handed-aiding-al-qaeda-in-syria/

Ishmael Zechariah

Cee,

Thanks. Seems similar to the case of “The Dog that Didn’t Bark” where Sherlock Holmes was deducing things using the absence of expected facts.

I do not know if MSM is reporting it, but the Syrian Kurdish Front is ethnically cleansing the areas they are taking over from ISIS. The Turkmen and Arab populations in this area are fleeing to Turkey, which is causing some debate within the regime ruling Turkey-they are scared. There is debate within the TSK as well. Some retired commanders have published letters in the (non-yellow)Turkish press and want TSK to support the Syrian Government against ISIS and the unicorns of the West. Of course they are not being listened to.

The current ISIS/Kurd?West MO looks like a three-step process: 1-ISIS attacks the SAA and takes over an area from the Syrian Government. 2-Kurds "attack" ISIS in this area with Western air support and take it over. 3-The local populations are pushed out. A nice process which satisfies multiple goals.

Things might get even more interesting in a bit, say two months.

Ishmael Zechariah

Abu Sinan

Jumblatt has vacillated between various groups, based on which way the wind is blowing, for decades. Nothing new here.

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