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27 août 2008 3 27 /08 /août /2008 08:37

Vol. 8, No. 9     26 August 2008



Hizbullah’s Role in Attacks Against U.S. and British Forces in Iraq


Jonathan Dahoah Halevi



  • Asharq Alawsat reported on August 18, 2008, that Hizbullah operatives were involved in attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces in four Iraqi provinces. In June 2006, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield disclosed that Hizbullah cadres had attacked U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq. Hizbullah units claimed responsibility for operations against coalition forces and Iraqi security personnel as early as the latter part of 2005.


  • A senior U.S. intelligence officer said that activists of the “Special Groups” (Shiite terror cells in Iraq) undergo training and military instruction administered by the Iranian Revolution Guards’ Qods Force and Lebanese Hizbullah at training camps in the cities of Qom, Tehran, Ahwaz, and Mashad.


  • The official website of the Hizbullah Brigades in Iraq features scores of video clips depicting the setting off of a number of sabotage charges in one place; the use of two explosive charges in succession in order to harm rescue forces as well; the use of mortars mounted on trucks in order to make a quick getaway, and the launching of a shoulder-fired Strela missile against helicopters.


  • Hizbullah’s deep involvement in terror throughout Iraq demonstrates that the organization does not view itself purely as a Lebanese factor with national and local objectives, but as an arm of Iran in spreading the Shiite Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East and in the long term throughout the entire world. Hizbullah's strategic ties with with Iran's Revolutionary Guards for the purpose of operations in Iraq once again illustrate how Iran, in general, and its Revolutionary Guards, in particular, directly promote international terrorism globally.




Britain Designates Hizbullah’s Military Wing as Terror Group


The U.S. and Britain have increasingly singled out Hizbullah as one of the most serious threats to coalition forces in Iraq. Asharq Alawsat reported on August 18 that Hizbullah operatives were involved in attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces in four Iraqi provinces.1 British Home Office Minister Tony McNulty announced on July 2 that Britain has included the military wing of Hizbullah on its list of terror organizations. The import of the announcement is that membership in or providing assistance to the military wing of Hizbullah will be considered a criminal act. Prime Minister Gordon Brown explained that London had received “new evidence” concerning Hizbullah’s involvement in Iraq and in areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.


The decision as reported does not apply to the political or social activity of Hizbullah. However, the British minister noted that this decision conveyed a clear message of condemnation for Hizbullah violence and the assistance that the organization is providing for terror. “The military wing of Hizbullah provides active assistance to militants in Iraq who are responsible for attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens, including training in the use of roadside bombs,” said McNulty, who added that “the military wing of Hizbullah also provides assistance to Palestinian terror groups in the occupied Palestinian territories such as, for example, Islamic Jihad.”2



Hizbullah Training Camps in Iraq and Iran


U.S. military and intelligence bodies have uncovered many details in the past year regarding Hizbullah involvement in terror throughout Iraq. Relying on a briefing by a senior U.S. intelligence officer, the Associated Press reported on August 15,  that the activists of the “Special Groups” (Shiite terror cells in Iraq that split off from the Mahdi Army and circumvented the cessation of hostilities called for by its head, Muqtada a-Sadr) undergo training and military instruction administered by the Iranian Revolution Guards’ Qods Force and Lebanese Hizbullah at training camps in the cities of Qom, Tehran, Ahwaz, and Mashad.3 The training includes intelligence-gathering, use of light weaponry, basic combat training, terror cell operations, the use of explosives for sabotage, and antitank fire, including use of the RPG-29 launcher.


Lebanese Hizbullah members are particularly useful to Iran for training Iraqis because both groups speak Arabic, while the Iranians speak Farsi. Lebanese Hizbullah may also have additional credibility with Iraqi Shiites because of what is viewed as their success. Hizbullah training was intended to ready Iraqi Shiite operatives for assassination and terror attacks in Iraq. According to Iraqi members of parliament and military figures, Hizbullah trainers operated training camps in northern Iraq until April 2008, and were then forced to transfer to Iran due to Iraqi army activity against the armed militias.4



Hizbullah Attacks Inside Iraq


Thus, Hizbullah does not only interface with Iraqi Shiite militias on Iranian soil, but within Iraq itself. Indeed, Hizbullah units claimed responsibility for operations against coalition forces and Iraqi security personnel as early as the latter part of 2005.5 In June 2006, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield disclosed that Hizbullah cadres had attacked U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.6 Hizbullah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh had been tasked to organize Shiite militias in southern Iraq already in 2005. Reportedly, he had been seen in Basra, facilitating the movement of Iraqi Shiite militiamen from the Mahdi Army into Iran.7 He was also responsible for establishing Hizbullah cells outside of Lebanon, especially in Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain.


Testimony regarding the extent of Hizbullah involvement in terror throughout Iraq has been gathered from the interrogation of prisoners by U.S. forces. In August 2008, the U.S.-led Multinational Force-Iraq forces command reported the arrest of nine activists from the Hizbullah Brigades in Adhamiyah (Baghdad). One of them is suspected of operating a terror organization in Basra and smuggling weaponry from Iran. Another activist is suspected of involvement in launching missiles and mortar shells. War materiel and electronic equipment were discovered at his home.8


Previously, information was divulged about the commander of a terror cell who had undergone training in Iran. This activist trained sabotage experts in Baghdad and was responsible for terror attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces in Baghdad.9 Likewise, two activists from “the Hizbullah Brigades in Iraq” were arrested. They carried out propaganda activities in Baghdad on behalf of the organization, and in this framework they uploaded video clips to the Internet documenting terror attacks against U.S. forces.10 In September 2007 it was reported that U.S. forces had arrested a Hizbullah activist from Lebanon who functioned as an emissary on behalf of the Iranian Qods Force in Iraq.11


In his testimony before the Armed Services Committees of the Congress on April 8, 2008, General David Petraeus, the commander of the multinational forces in Iraq, reported that the Iranian Qods Force, with the assistance of Lebanese Hizbullah’s Department 2800, was training, arming and guiding the “Special Groups” in Iraq.12 Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, head of the Communications Division for the multinational forces in Iraq, also noted a month previously that terror operatives arrested at the end of 2007 reported they had undergone training in Iran directed by Hizbullah activists.13 Two activists of Lebanese Hizbullah (one of them Abu Mousa Dukduk) operated in the framework of the “Special Groups.”14 U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said in August 2008 that the interrogations of Hizbullah activists within the secret cells of the Mahdi Army (Jaish al-Mahdi) demonstrated the deep involvement of Iran in terror attacks against coalition forces and attempts by Iran to “create a Lebanonization or Hizbullahzation in parts of southern Iraq.”15


The official website of the Hizbullah Brigades in Iraq provided background data on the organization and its patterns of operation. The organization took credit for initiating terror attacks against coalition forces on October 23, 2003, when it attacked a Hummer vehicle belonging to American forces in Baghdad. The Hizbullah organization in Iraq operates a number of “brigades.” The Abu Fadel al-Abbas Brigade and the Karbala Brigade operate in the area of Baghdad, while the Zayd bin Ali Brigade operates in the area of the southern city of Basra. The prototypes of the terror attacks that the organization carries out can be deduced from official press announcements and scores of video clips the organization has disseminated that include:


  • The use of explosive charge theaters (setting off a number of sabotage charges of various types in one place in order to increase the vulnerability of armored vehicles and infantry forces).
  • The use of two explosive charges in succession in order to harm the rescue forces as well.
  • The use of mortars mounted on trucks in order to make a quick getaway.
  • The use of heavy stationary mortars.
  • The launching of missiles mounted on separate launchers (one or two at a time).
  • The massive launch of missiles (sometimes scores of missiles in a single attack).
  • Sniper fire at soldiers and foot patrols.
  • Launching a shoulder-fired Strela missile against helicopters (the downing of one American helicopter was documented on July 31, 2006).
  • The use of antitank launchers of the RPG-29 model with high armor penetration capability.16



Hizbullah’s Ideological Platform


The ideological platform of Hizbullah in Iraq is predicated on the Shiite faith and the path of Imam Khomeini. It sets forth three fundamental principles – “resistance, Jihad, liberation.” The major avowed goal is the removal of the “occupation” from Iraq. “From the very first minute our objective was to defeat the occupation within Iraq and subsequently expel it from Iraq, humiliated and defeated….The enemy will witness in the future things that will cause him great pain and the loss of many soldiers…that he has largely assembled from the back streets of New York, Texas and Hollywood. We swear by Allah that we have chosen this path and we will not abandon it until these invaders have been defeated.” This statement appeared on the group’s official Internet site in an announcement regarding the organization’s objectives.


Another announcement on February 13, 2008, was devoted to the memory of Imad Mughniyeh, the head of Hizbullah’s military wing who was assassinated in Damascus on the previous day. “We the Hizbullah Brigades in Iraq have sworn to avenge his death and continue on the path of struggle and Jihad until the removal of the Americans from the region,” the “liberation of Palestine,” and “the restoration of dignity and sovereignty to the Arab and Islamic homeland.”17 The Hizbullah Brigades also announced that any security agreement that would be signed between the Iraqi government and the American forces would be considered null and void and that Iraq had to adopt a policy that defined the United States as a threat to the region, defended Islam, and prevented any foreign control over its natural resources.18


Hizbullah has never concealed its support and sympathy for terror organizations operating in Iraq. When the Fourth Congress in Support of the Resistance was convened in Beirut on March 30, 2006, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah supported “resistance” in Iraq and Palestine.19 Hizbullah television station Al Manar provided ongoing coverage, surveying the terror attacks that the Hizbullah Brigades were carrying out in Iraq.20



Summary and Implications


Hizbullah’s deep involvement in terror throughout Iraq demonstrates that the organization does not view itself purely as a Lebanese factor with national and local objectives, but as an arm of Iran in spreading the Shiite Islamic Revolution throughout the Middle East (the Shiite crescent) and in the long term throughout the entire world. Over the last few decades, Hizbullah branches have appeared in several Arab countries with substantial Shiite populations like Bahrain, Kuwait, and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The military arm of Hizbullah, as the British Home Office Secretary termed it, is a dexterous arm of terror that is spreading its tentacles to various countries in the West for the purpose of fundraising, recruitment and establishing a network of sleeper terror cells to be activated by Tehran at the appropriate time.


The distinction between the military wing of Hizbullah and the political or social wing is an artificial distinction that is fundamentally flawed. Hizbullah views all wings of its organization as parts of a single body that are intended to achieve the identical strategic goal of spreading Islam and waging constant war against the apostates until their defeat. Decision-making on the military level is the purview of Hizbullah leaders headed by Hassan Nasrallah. The major objective of Hizbullah’s social-educational network, as Nasrallah’s deputy Naim Qassem has testified, is to create a new generation that will follow the path of the Imam Hussein, by “yearning for death in the love for Allah and craving for Jihad in the path of Islam.”21 In other words, the educational network of Hizbullah serves as an assembly line for the brainwashing of the younger generation to make them fit for their role as fighters prepared to serve as live bombs and suicide terrorists in the struggle against the apostates.


Western countries as well as international organizations have been collaborating with Hizbullah front groups and economic entities. Western aid funds help reinforce the Hizbullah infrastructure in Lebanon that is attempting to take over the country by exploiting the protection of democracy, in order to establish an extremist Islamic Shiite regime, similar to Iran, that will abolish democracy.


Hizbullah’s Jihad al-Bina (Jihad for development) construction company is in contact with European bodies and it receives funding, inter alia, from Lebanese municipalities that are supported by the West. This organization was apparently a partner in the establishment of Hizbullah’s clandestine military communications infrastructure and other projects set up in the context of Hizbullah’s attempts to establish the institutions of a “state within a state” prior to its final takeover of the Lebanese government.


*     *     *



[1]. Ali Nourizadeh, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to Train Iraqi Shiite Youths,” Asharq Alawsat, August 18, 2008.

2. http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/07/02/britain.Hizbullah/index.html

3. Refers to the organization Asaib al Haq (The “Bands of the Righteous”) and Hizbullah Brigades in Iraq that split off from the Mahdi Army.

4. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/15/america/NA-US-Iran-Iraq.php

5. Yaakov Katz, “"Hizbullah Operatives Caught in Baghdad,” Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2008, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331169189&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

6. Matthew Levitt and David Schenker, “Who Was Imad Mughniyeh?” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, PolicyWatch #1340, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2716

7. Ali Nouri Zadeh, “Imad Mughniyeh: Hezbollah’s Phantom,” Asharq Alawsat, August 11, 2006, http://www.asharqalawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=5964

8. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21764&Itemid=128

9. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&lang=arabic&id=21218

10. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21786&Itemid=128

11. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13845&Itemid=128

12. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&lang=arabic&id=18280,

http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13664&Itemid=128, http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13790&Itemid=128, http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/Petraeus-Testimony20070910.pdf

13. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&lang=arabic&id=17514

14. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&lang=arabic&id=17281,


15. http://www.mnf-Iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13542&Itemid=128

16. http://www.d-sunnah.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7733. The website of the Hizbullah Brigades in Iraq operated at http://www.alaseb.com and is currently unavailable.

17. http://www.alaseb.com

18. http://lahdah.com/vb/showthread.php?t=73699

19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/arabic/world_news/newsid_4860000/4860280.stm

20. http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=40231&language=ar,






21. http://www.naimkassem.net/books/hizb/jihad.htm#3


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Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a co-founder with Brian Falkenstein of the Orient Research Group Ltd. and is a former advisor to the Policy Planning Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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21 août 2008 4 21 /08 /août /2008 12:58
New Special Groups splinter emerges on Iraqi scene

In the wake of Muqtada al Sadr’s defeat at the hands of the Iraqi and Coalition forces this spring and fall, Iran has increased its backing of splinter Shia terror groups operating in Iraq. A previously unknown group, known as the Asaib al Haq, or League of the Righteous, has recently appeared on Multinational Forces Iraq’s radar. On Aug. 19, the US military issued its first press release on the group, announcing the capture of four operatives in Diyala province. Multinational Forces-Iraq provided exclusive details on the Shia terror group to The Long War Journal.

Yesterday’s raid and subsequent press release was the first official mention of the League of the Righteous at Multinational Forces-Iraq’s website. Coalition forces, likely members of Task Force 88, the special operations hunter-killer teams assigned to track al Qaeda and Shia terror groups in Iraq, targeted an operative from the League of the Righteous in the town of Qasarin, just 18 miles north of Baghdad in Diyala province. Coalition intelligence indicated the operative, who was a weapons smuggler and financier, was “attempting to restart” League of the Righteous cells in the region.

The operative, along with two associates, was captured in the raid after family members confirmed his identity. He immediately provided the name of a senior leader in the region and guided Coalition forces to the home. The leader was also detained.

There is little public information available on the League of the Righteous. The name appeared in an Associated Press report last week on Iranian support for Shia terror groups in Iraq. But few details on the group were provided, other than it was being funded by Iran as an assassination squad targeting Coalition forces and Iraqi officials and security forces. A Multinational Forces-Iraq spokesperson who wishes to remain anonymous provided additional details on the League of the Righteous in an e-mail interview with The Long War Journal.

The League of the Righteous is an offshoot from the Mahdi Army, the military arm of Muqtada al Sadr’s political movement. The group split from the Mahdi Army after he declared a cease-fire “because they disagreed with the path the Office of the Martyr Sadr (OMS) was taking,” the spokesperson said. “They make up a group which actively opposed MAS’ [Muqtada al Sadr’s] call for cease-fire and continued, and even increased, their anti-Coalition and anti-Iraqi attacks. They are as much an enemy of OMS as they are the Government of Iraq and the Coalition.”

In June, Sadr announced he would disband the Mahdi Army and form a small, secretive military arm to fight Coalition forces. He also withdrew the Sadrist movement from the political process and instead vowed to back independent candidates. The decisions caused shockwaves in the Mahdi Army, as some leaders wished to continue the fight against US forces in Baghdad and in southern and central Iraq.

Iran plays an important roll in supporting the League of the Righteous’ activities in Iraq. “We assess that Asaib al Haq (AAH) receives funding, training, weapons and even direction from the Qods Force, who have shown a desire to destabilize the legitimate government of Iraq,” the spokesperson said. Qods Force is Iran’s foreign special operations branch tasked with spreading the theocratic Khomeinist revolution.

Members of the League of the Righteous are sheltering in Iran. “Some have been there for a long time, while others have been there since fleeing to avoid capture in the spring,” the spokesperson said, referring to the military offensive against the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed terrorist groups in Iraq that began in March and is still underway in the southern provinces. The information was obtained from members of the group currently in custody, “as well as other intelligence sources,” the spokesperson said.

Multinational Forces-Iraq declined to provide an estimate on the size of the League of the Righteous, but noted that “their numbers have significantly dwindled because hundreds have been captured, killed, ran away or simply gave up their criminal lifestyles.” The group operates in Baghdad and the South as well as in Shia regions in Diyala province.

The League of the Righteous conducts attacks with the deadly, armor-piercing explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs. These are the signature weapons of Iran’s Qods Force. “We assess that these criminals have engaged in numerous EFP and IED attacks, as well as kidnappings, sectarian killings and other heinous crimes,” the spokesperson said, while also linking Hezbollah to the group. “The munitions and training to conduct these anti-Iraqi acts come from training received in Iran from the Qods Force as well as Lebanese Hezbollah trainers.”

The Iraqi military and Multinational Forces-Iraq have recently stepped up its attacks on the Hezbollah Brigades, another “Special Groups” offshoot that has conducted EFP and improvised rocket-assisted mortar, or IRAM, attacks on US and Iraqi forces. US forces have detained a senior Hezbollah trainer and several Qods Force officers inside Iraq since late 2006. Iran sent in Hezbollah operatives along with Qods Force into Iraq to train the Mahdi Army to operate along the same lines as Lebanese Hezbollah.

Iran’s Qods Force established the Ramazan Corps, the command assigned to direct the campaign against Coalition and Iraqi forces, after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Ramazan Corps ran three training camps in southern Iraq and established a network of supply and distribution points for Iranian-manufactured weapons. The Ramazan Corps also operated a command and control center in Amarah in southern Maysan province, a stronghold of the Mahdi Army. This infrastructure has been uprooted during the Iraqi-led offensive.

For more information on Iran’s involvement in supporting the Shia terror groups in Iraq, see:

Iranian Qods Force Agents Detained in Irbil Raid,
Jan. 14, 2007
The Karbala attack and the IRGC,
Jan. 26, 2007
Iran, Hezbollah train Iraqi Shia "Secret Cells",
July 2, 2007
Surging in Wasit Province,
Sept. 18, 2007
Captured Iranian Qods Force officer a regional commander in Iraq,
Oct. 3, 2007
Iran's Ramazan Corps and the ratlines into Iraq,
Dec. 5, 2007
Sadr forms new unit to attack US forces,
June 13, 2008
Sadrist movement withdraws from political process,
June 15, 2008
Mahdi Army decimated during recent fighting,
June 26, 2008
Iraqi forces detain Sadrist leaders, uncover Special Groups headquarters in Amarah,
July 2, 2008
Iraqi forces detain Sadrist leaders, uncover Special Groups headquarters in Amarah,
July 2, 2008
Iran continues to train Shia terror groups for attacks in Iraq,
Aug. 15, 2008

For more information on the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq, see:

Hezbollah Brigades propaganda specialist captured in Baghdad,
July 21, 2008
Coalition forces capture Hezbollah Brigades operative in Baghdad,
July 31, 2008
Coalition forces capture 9 Hezbollah Brigades operatives in Baghdad,
Aug. 12, 2008

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21 août 2008 4 21 /08 /août /2008 10:08
Des têtes nucléaires sous le béton ?
EPHRAIM ASCULAI, JERUSALEM POST                                                                       16 août 2008

Adaptation française* de Sentinelle 5768

Dans certains vieux films de gangsters, comme probablement dans la vraie vie, il y a la scène où la victime est jetée dans un moule d’immeuble en construction, et noyée dans une épaisse couche de ciment. Une chaussure révélatrice qui tombe, dans les vieux films – et plus récemment la caméra de sécurité cachée – donne la solution qui amène le coupable devant la justice, même si le cadavre n’a pas été trouvé. Le cas du site bombardé d’Al Khibar en Syrie comporte beaucoup de similitudes avec ces scenarios de film de gangster.

La preuve photographique de l’existence d’un réacteur nucléaire en construction sur le site était surabondante : des photographies du réacteur en construction, de grandes similitudes avec le réacteur Nord-Coréen de production de plutonium, et son camouflage récent sous la construction d’un immeuble à l’entour qui enfermait complètement la structure ; le pompage d’eau du fleuve Euphrate et l’écoulement de l’eau de retour depuis la construction vers le fleuve en aval, indiquant l’existence d’une puissante source d’énergie sur le site. La preuve de culpabilité la plus lourde est probablement la manière dont les Syriens ont rasé le site, bourré du béton dessus, et prétendu que c’était une espèce  de site militaire, mais pas un réacteur nucléaire.

Cela aurait dû suffire à l’AIEA (Agence Internationale de l’Energie Atomique) pour mettre en accusation la Syrie pour violation de TNP (Traité de Non Prolifération Nucléaire). Cependant, l’AIEA a demandé une inspection du site bombardé dans l’espoir d’être en mesure de collecter la preuve concluante. Un voyage d’inspection de quatre jours a eu lieu en juin 2008, des mois après que les Syriens eurent achevé leur nettoyage du site, mais elle a été sûrement limitée par les Syriens aux méthodes d’inspection « classiques » de l’AIEA – inspections visuelles et collection d’échantillons. Il est douteux que cela ait permis d’en découvrir beaucoup, après les efforts syriens de nettoyage. Le « cadavre » repose encore dans l’énorme quantité de béton entassée là ; il est possible cependant que les inspecteurs de l’AIEA soient parvenus trop près du foyer, puisque la Syrie a récemment annoncé qu’elle ne permettrait pas aux inspecteurs de retourner sur le site.

De plus, les Syriens ont pris une importante décision diplomatique, demandant un siège au Conseil des Gouverneurs de l’AIEA, forum de 35 membres qui peut décider si la Syrie a violé ses obligations. Du fait que la plupart des décisions de cet organisme sont prises par consensus, la Syrie s’assurerait ainsi contre toute condamnation. De cette façon, en refusant des inspections, et en gagnant un siège de gouverneur, qu’elle a de bonnes chances d’obtenir, la Syrie prend une double assurance.

Le temps est venu pour l’AIEA d’adopter une forte position sur la question syrienne, et de déclarer que la charge de la preuve repose désormais sur la Syrie pour démontrer qu’il n’y avait pas de réacteur sous la construction sur le site. La Syrie devrait permettre les inspections les plus intrusives, utilisant des technologies avancées, comme celles utilisées pour les inspections sur sites de la totalité des tests du Traité d’Interdiction. Si la Syrie refuse de s’y prêter, elle devra être censurée, et au grand minimum, se voir interdire de devenir membre de Conseil des Gouverneurs de l’AIEA. Du fait de l’attitude de l’actuel Directeur Général de l’AIEA, l est douteux que cela se produise.

Les USA sont aussi un acteur important dans l’affaire syrienne, puisqu’ils ont apporté la preuve des méfaits de la Syrie, et de sa connexion avec la Corée du Nord. Les USA agissent contre la proposition de laisser la Syrie devenir membre du Conseil. S’ils peuvent persuader la Corée du Nord de révéler sa connexion avec le réacteur nucléaire syrien, cela mettra fin aux mensonges et aux dénégations syriennes.

L’auteur est chercheur de haut niveau à “l’Institut des Etudes pour la Sécurité Nationale” (INSS)
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13 août 2008 3 13 /08 /août /2008 23:19
L’armée américaine annonce l’arrestation de combattants du Hezbollah en Irak

mardi 12 août 2008 - 12h17, par Chawki Freïha - Beyrouth

Logo MédiArabe.Info

L’organisation "mère" du Hezbollah est l’une des pièces maitresses du régime des mollahs en Iran, qui leur permet d’exporter la Révolution chiite de Khomeïny. Sa présence ne se limite pas au Liban, mais touche aussi le Koweït, le Bahreïn et l’Irak, sans parler de l’infiltration de l’Afrique et de l’Amérique latine. Les Américains viennent d’arrêter neuf membres de l’antenne irakienne, ce qui ne manque pas de tendre davantage les relations avec l’Iran.

Le site « Elaph.com » cite l’agence koweïtienne « KUNA » pour affirmer que l’armée américaine a arrêté, durant les dernières 24 heures, neuf membres du Hezbollah, dans des perquisitions menées en Irak, notamment au nord de Bagdad. Ces opérations, réalisées sur la base d’informations fournies par des terroristes arrêtés, ont permis l’arrestation du chef d’une cellule du Hezbollah et de trois de ses lieutenants. Ils sont responsables du trafic d’armes depuis l’Iran, et très actifs dans la région de Bassorah. Les autres terroristes étaient chargés de la fabrication d’engins explosifs dans le quartier d’Al-Azamiya. Il leur est attribué plusieurs tirs de missiles... Enfin, un membre du Hezbollah, chargé du site internet du mouvement et responsable de la propagande, figure parmi les terroristes arrêtés.

L’antenne irakienne du Hezbollah avait été mise en place, armée et financée par l’organisation mère du Hezbollah en Iran, et ses combattants avaient été entraînés par des instructeurs du Hezbollah Libanais. Imad Maghnieh était l’un des plus importants coordinateurs de l’installation du Hezbollah en Irak.

Traduction et synthèse de Chawki Freïha

Lire l'article original : Elaph.com

Coalition forces capture 9 Hezbollah Brigades operatives in Baghdad

Hezbollah Brigades' logo is nearly identical to that of Lebanese Hezbollah.

Coalition forces, likely the special operations hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88, have captured nine Hezbollah Brigades operatives during three raids in the Adhamiyah district in Baghdad over the past 24 hours.

The first intelligence-driven raid netted a Hezbollah Brigades cell leader who operated in Basrah. "According to information from suspects already in custody, he is believed to be involved in smuggling weapons and fighters across the Iraq-Iran border," Multinational Forces Iraq reported in a press release. Three other suspected Hezbollah Brigades associates were captured.

The second raid resulted in the capture of Hezbollah Brigades operative behind improvised rocket-assisted mortar (IRAM) attacks in Baghdad. Coalition forces "found weapons, as well as electronics equipment believed to be used in the manufacture of IRAMs" and also detained three other men.

A "propaganda expert" and other member of the Hezbollah Brigades were captured during the third raid. "The man admitted to designing websites for [Hezbollah Brigades] in order for the group to publicize their IRAM attacks on Iraqi and Coalition forces."

This is the third Hezbollah Brigades propaganda specialist captured in the past month. On July 31, Coalition forces detained a cell member who was responsible for videotaping attacks on US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad. On July 21, Coalition forces captured a member of a Hezbollah Brigades propaganda cell who was responsible for uploading attack videos to the Internet in New Baghdad.

The Hezbollah Brigades, or the Kata'ib Hezbollah, has been active for more than a year and has increased its profile by conducting attacks against US and Iraqi forces using the deadly explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, and improvised rocket-assisted mortars, which have been described as flying improvised explosive devices. The Hezbollah Brigades has posted videos of these attacks on the Internet.

Multinational Forces Iraq said the group receives support from Iran and is an “offshoot of Iranian-trained Special Groups," Sergeant Susan James, a Public Affairs NCO for Multinational Forces Iraq told The Long War Journal in July. The US military has referred to the Iranian-backed elements of the Mahdi Army as the Special Groups. The Hezbollah Brigades is described as "a separate and independent organization from Special Groups,” said James.

“We believe that Hezbollah Brigades does receive support from Iran,” James said. “That support likely includes funding, training, logistics, and material.” Iran's Qods Force funds, trains, arms, and supports Mahdi Army operatives to facilitate attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces. "They are also believed to receive guidance or direction from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps - Qods Force," Multinational Forces Iraq stated in the latest press release on the capture of nine Hezbollah Brigades operatives in Baghdad.

The logo used by the Hezbollah Brigades is nearly an exact match of the one used by Lebanese Hezbollah, which is directly supported by Iran. The logo shows an arm extended vertically, with the fist grasping an AK-47 assault rifle. US forces captured Ali Mussa Daqduq inside Iraq in early 2007. Daqduq is a senior Hezbollah commander who was tasked with setting up the Mahdi Army Special Groups along the same lines as the Lebanese terror group.

For more information on improvised rocket-assisted mortars, see: Mahdi Army uses “flying IEDs” in Baghdad.

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9 août 2008 6 09 /08 /août /2008 00:12
On the offensive in northern Diyala

Troops from the 1st Iraqi Army Division celebrate while passing through Jalulah. Photo by Bill Murray.

JALULAH, IRAQ – For the last 10 days, the Iraqi Army is carrying out its largest operation since 2003 here in the deserts and foothills of northern Diyala province near the Iranian border, searching for remnants of al Qaeda pushed out of urban areas by Iraqi and Coalition forces in the past year.

Iraq’s Quick Reaction Force, made up of Iraqi’s Army 1st Division and elements of the 9th Mechanized Division, operates at the discretion of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and moved from Baghdad to this area earlier in the summer. Diyala has gained a reputation as the most violent province in Iraq so far this year and is the location for the most recent female suicide bomber attacks. Nearly 50,000 Iraqi Army and Police troops and 4,000 U.S. soldiers are involves in the offensive.

“The Iraqi Army has started to clear all of the area – especially the hinterland that was controlled by al Qaeda,” said Iraqi Colonel Mounm Ashem Fahad, commander of the 1st Division’s 4th Brigade. “We have our orders from the Prime Minister that people aren’t allowed to have heavy weapons.”

The operation “Omens of Prosperity” began July 29 and has netted nearly 400 insurgents and numerous weapons caches. On Aug. 3-4, Iraqi soldiers discovered three weapons caches that included 44 rocket-propelled grenades, five RPG launchers, eight 82mm mortar rockets with fuses, 11 anti-personnel mines and five Iraqi military uniforms that could be used for suicide bomb attacks. Two Iraqi soldiers were killed in action and four soldiers were wounded.

Over the next two days, two additional caches were discovered and police captured a man who had convinced two young boys to use explosives against a military convoy. One of the boys was injured as a result and the convoy was never attacked.

“Jalulah is like a small Iraq -- our fathers and grandfathers had no problems in this area in the past,” said Captain Gasan, an Iraqi Police Officer who is also Sheik within one of the local tribes during a meeting between Colonel Fahad and Iraqi Police. “Ten members of my family have been sacrificed to terrorism. I’m proud to say we are ready to sacrifice everyone to get this area away from the radical Islamists.”

Kurdish and Iraqi flags fly outside the local KDP headquarters.

Tensions between the Arab-dominated Army and the Kurdish police and Peshmerga militias were on display but remained low-key. A confiscated machine gun from one of the Kurdish parties, the socialist Kurdistan Democratic Party, was given back later in the day in return for the flying of the Iraqi flag in front of the local party headquarters.

The 4th Brigade’s U.S. Military Transition Team reported a break with the past in terms of the Iraqi Army’s behavior toward civilians. Increasingly, the army is using less aggressive counter-insurgency behavior to achieve its aims – a lesson gleaned from the US experience during the last 18 months when it changed its tactics in Iraq toward counter-insurgency.

“Many of the reports have the local people saying they’re quite happy with the way the searches have gone,” said US Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Wilson, commander of the 12-man US Military Transition Team. “They were expecting very aggressive searches, doors being beaten down, furniture broken, and things being stolen. That hasn’t been the case with these guys.”

On Aug. 7, the task force cleared areas to the east and north of Lake Hamrin, an artificial lake that is now mostly dry due to the effects of a three-year drought. Much of the area, within the Khaniqin district, is guarded by Kurdish militias, the first time in years that Iraqi and Coalition forces have travelled through the area. No incidents between the forces were reported.

“The political consolidation among the Sunnis, Shia and Kurd is already done,” said Major General Tariq Abdul Wahab Jassim, commander of Iraq’s 1st Division. “Now let us focus on one Iraq.”

The operations will continue for an undetermined time, the US Army said.

Five members of al Qaeda’s executive council were captured during the first week of operations with support from a US-led Operation “Iron Pursuit” which covers both Diyala and neighboring Salahadin province.

Iraqi and US Special Operations forces are conducting air assault into known al Qaeda rear areas deep within the Hamrin Mountains.

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5 août 2008 2 05 /08 /août /2008 11:15
More than 375 suspected al Qaeda fighters detained in Diyala operation

Map of Diyala province [PDF]. Click to view.

More than 375 insurgents and al Qaeda operatives have been captured during the first week of Operation Omens of Prosperity in Diyala province. Six senior al Qaeda in Iraqi leaders in the province have been captured during the province-wide operation.

The Iraqi military announced it captured 265 suspected al Qaeda fighters during operations from July 29 through Aug. 2. Five members of al Qaeda's provincial shura, or executive council, were captured during this timeframe.

Iraqi troops captured Qussai Ali Khalaf, the leader of al Qaeda's Islamic State in Iraq in Diyala province; Adnan Gumer Mohammed, the provincial "judge"; Ahmed Quasim Jabbar the provincial military commander; Abu Anas al Baghdadi, "a top al-Qaeda operative in Diyala"; Basem al Safaah, who led sectarian attacks against Shia; and Antisar Khudair a woman who recruited female suicide bombers. Al Qaeda has stepped up female suicide attacks in an effort to bypass increased security.

The arrests over the past two days show the Iraqi security forces are operating throughout most of the province. On Aug. 3 Iraqi soldiers and police arrested 18 insurgents in the Adhim, Kanaan, and Tahrir regions, and captured 15 more in raids throughout the province. On August 4, Iraqi security forces captured 34 "wanted men" during operations in Khalis and captured 15 insurgents in Miqdadiyah.

Operation Omens of Prosperity

Operation Omens of Prosperity began on July 29 after the Iraqi and US military and the government of Iraq signaled the operation well in advance. Diyala has been the most violent province in Iraq this year as al Qaeda has attempted to regroup in the rural farmlands in the eastern and northern regions of the province.

Iraqi and US military intelligence indicates al Qaeda has camps and safe havens in the desert regions, the foothills of the Hamrin mountains, and around Lake Hamrin. "We have seen al-Qaida continue to be pushed into what we call 'the support zones' or the areas of the desert," said Major General Mark Hertling, the commander Multi-National Division North during a press briefing on July 27. "And we will continue to pursue them into those areas, relentlessly pursuing them and showing them there is no sanctuary until they leave this country."

These bases are used to strike and Iraqi military and civilian targets in the urban areas in Diyala as well as in Baghdad.

Operation Omens of Prosperity is currently broken down into three smaller operations: Sabre Pursuit, Iron Pursuit, and Bastogne Pursuit. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Iraqi soldiers and police, backed by about 3,000 US troops, are participating in the operation.

Sabre Pursuit, which began on July 25, four days prior to Omens of Prosperity, has focused on the southeastern region of Balad Ruz. The region appears to have been cleared as local security has been fully transferred to Iraqi soldiers and police and an emphasis is being placed on reconstruction efforts.

Iron Pursuit is a US-led operation that is "directed against all the support zones of al Qaeda in Iraq," Hertling said. The operation is spanning Diyala and neighboring Salahadin province. Iraqi and US troops are conducting air assaults into known al Qaeda rear areas.

Iron Pursuit also serves as a blocking force to catch al Qaeda fighters fleeing Diyala westward into Salahadin. Iraqi troops are "pushing toward the Uzaym River Valley attempting to kill or capture AQI members fleeing from Diyala into Salahadin in order to escape advancing Iraqi Security and Coalition forces." Three al Qaeda fighters have been killed and nine captured so far.

There has been no reporting on Bastogne Pursuit, which was mentioned by Hertling during the July 27 briefing, but the operation is likely to focus on the foothills of the Hamrin Mountains in the Kifri and Khanaqin districts in the north. Iraqi troops captured a senior al Qaeda financier and facilitator in the Lake Hamrin region.

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2 août 2008 6 02 /08 /août /2008 18:58
Juillet 31, 2008 No. 2008
L'Irak et la Turquie : une coopération régionale qui pourrait changer la région

Un chemin de fer et une autoroute reliant Basra et Istanbul apporteraient la prospérité aux deux pays

Le 16 juin 2008, le site www.tolerancy.org affichait un éditorial du Dr Hussain Sinjari, ancien ministre du gouvernement régional du Kurdistan, propriétaire et éditeur du journal irakien progressiste Al-Ahali et président de Tolerancy International, une ONG irakienne qui œuvre pour la tolérance entre les différents groupes arabes religieux et ethniques. Dans son éditorial, Dr Sinjari évoque la récente visite du Premier ministre turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan en Irak et le rapprochement entre la Turquie et l'Irak, et suggère de construire une voie ferrée et une autoroute reliant les deux pays. Extraits:

"En raison des longues décennies de dictature (…), notre pays est presque devenu une terre en friches. (…) Il faut changer cette malheureuse situation, et pour ce faire, nous avons besoin de ce type de coopération régionale stratégique (…) "

"La dernière visite d'un Premier ministre turc dans notre pays date de 1990. Aujourd'hui, dix-huit ans plus tard, un autre Premier ministre turc est venu à Bagdad (…) La création du Haut conseil de coopération stratégique entre les deux pays, co-présidé par les deux Premiers ministres et devant se réunir trois fois par an pour évoquer les questions cruciales de l'énergie, l'industrie militaire, la sécurité et la politique, a été un moment historique.

Cette visite historique est le fruit d'efforts du président irakien Jalal Talabani et du Premier ministre irakien Nouri Al-Maliki. Elle est intervenue suite au succès évident des dernières opérations militaires et sécuritaires en divers endroits d'Irak, dont Basra, Bagdad, Ramadi, Mossoul et d'autres lieux, où des groupes criminels avaient coutume de terroriser la population.

La visite d'Erdogan n'aurait pas été possible sans l'efficacité des mesures de sécurité. Arpentant Bagdad de jour comme de nuit, l'auteur de cet article a été témoin de l'amélioration [de la situation]. J'ai été récemment surpris de découvrir des centaines de familles se relaxant à Abu Nawas, une célèbre avenue de cafés et de restaurants sur la rive du Tigre, connue pour son poisson grillé mesgouf. La sécurité est maintenue dans la région par une société privée, le groupe Sandi, qui patrouille dans les bars et les restaurants, procède à des vérifications de véhicules, protège la population des terroristes et assure le maintien de l'ordre.

La Turquie semi-européenne - avec son parlement démocratiquement élu, ses médias libres et critiques, ses organisations civiles actives, les progrès accomplis dans les domaines de l'agriculture, de l'industrie, de l'éducation et du tourisme - formera un partenariat régional unique avec l'Iraq, qui détient les plus importantes réserves de pétrole au monde et les meilleures ressources humaines du Moyen-Orient. En raison des longues décennies de dictature, au cours desquelles notre richesse nationale a été gaspillée en armement, à la libération de la Palestine, en mensonges de propagande et en autres pratiques destructrices, notre pays est presque devenu une terre en friches. Il faut remédier à cette situation malheureuse, et pour ce faire, ce type de coopération régionale stratégique, nous permettant de rebâtir et de reconstruire, nous est nécessaire."

"Le peuple kurde vit le long de la frontière entre l'Irak et la Turquie, et peut beaucoup aider à former un pont entre les deux pays."

"Le peuple kurde vit le long de la frontière entre l'Irak et la Turquie, et peut beaucoup aider à former un pont entre les deux pays. L'insurrection armée doit prendre fin ; la population doit défendre ses droits et exprimer son mécontentement par des moyens civils acceptables. L'Etat n'est pas innocent non plus: sa politique doit être revue, afin de prêter davantage attention aux revendications et aux besoins de la population.

Les Turkmènes en Irak et les Arabes en Turquie sont des exemples de cette diversité qui peut et doit devenir une source de force et de richesse.

Si l'Irak souffre terriblement de ce que son voisin à l'Est, l'Iran, ait décidé de suivre la voie du nihilisme de Saddam, notre voisin au nord, la Turquie, tend la main de l'amitié, de la confiance, représentant pour nous un espoir et une promesse de prospérité."

"Accorder la priorité à la construction d'un chemin de fer et d'une autoroute modernes reliant Basra et Istanbul"

"J'ai ici une proposition à faire aux gouvernements d'Irak et de Turquie: accorder la priorité à la construction d'un chemin de fer et d'une autoroute modernes reliant Basra et Istanbul. Ces deux projets à grande échelle attireront les investissements des grandes sociétés, et de petites entreprises verront le jour le long de la voie ferrée et de l'autoroute.

Cette nouvelle artère reliera l'Irak à l'Europe via Istanbul, et la Turquie à la région du Golfe via Basra, et il ne faut pas réfléchir longtemps pour entrevoir la prospérité qu'elle pourrait générer - non seulement pour la population turque et irakienne, mais également pour l'Europe et la région du Golfe !

A l'heure de la mondialisation, une plus grande "diplomatie de tolérance" est nécessaire. Cette nouvelle approche consiste à trouver un terrain d'entente et des intérêts communs sans considération de foi, idéologie, ethnicité ou langue. L'Irak, la Turquie et d'autres pays devraient sonder les bénéfices d'une acceptation et d'une reconnaissance mutuelles. En suivant cette ligne de conduite, le Haut conseil de coopération stratégique servira d'exemple à d'autres qui se trouvent invalidés par une idéologie nocive."

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25 juillet 2008 5 25 /07 /juillet /2008 14:51
Iraqi military prepares for offensives in Diyala, Babil

Map of Iraq. Click to view.

Iraqi security forces are massing more than 30,000 soldiers and police for an upcoming operation against al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army in the eastern province of Diyala, according to police and military officials.

The operation, which was expected to be launched this week, has been scheduled to kick off on August 1, an anonymous senior Iraqi military officer told AFP. "The operation is aimed at cleansing the region of insurgents, al Qaeda and militias who are still there," the officer said.

Like other offensives against al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army, the Diyala operation will be planned and led by the Iraqi military. "It will be an operation led by the Iraqi army," an anonymous US military officer told AFP. "The US army will probably only watch. ... If they need help, we'll help them. If not, we will not do anything."

The US currently has a brigade based in Diyala. The 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment is operating in northeastern Diyala and has been conducting operations against al Qaeda strongholds along the Iranian border.

The Iraqi command has shown the ability to move and mass troops for large-scale operations this year. While this is not confirmed, elements from the 1st Iraqi Army Division -- redesignated the 1st Quick Reaction Force -- along with the 9th Iraqi Army Division (Mechanized), and several Emergency Response Brigades will likely join the 5th Iraqi Army Division based in Diyala. The 1st, 9th, and the Emergency Response Brigades have been used to conduct operations against the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and throughout the South.

Iraqi and US forces have conducted several operations in Diyala province since the surge was announced in January 2007. Last summer and fall, operations focused on clearing Baqubah, the Diyala River Valley north of Baqubah, and surrounding districts of the influence of al Qaeda and Mahdi Army. In January 2008, an operation was launched in the Miqdadiyah region, where al Qaeda was building a safe haven.

Al Qaeda still maintains a stronghold in the Hamrin Mountains, which span Diyala, Salahadin, and Tamin provinces. This area is a major fallback position for al Qaeda in Iraq and allied insurgent groups. The Miqdadiyah region was reported to be an al Qaeda stronghold earlier this year. The Mahdi Army operates along the fault lines in the eastern and southern areas of the province.

More Iraqis are currently being killed in Diyala province per day per capita than in any other province in Iraq, according to numbers compiled by Chris Radin of The Long War Journal. Diyala has 2.62 Iraqis killed per day per million inhabitants, compared to Ninewa (1.4) and Baghdad (0.6), the second and third most violent provinces.

Operations in Babil and Wasit provinces loom

Iraqi forces are also preparing for a security operation in Babil province, just south of Baghdad. An operation may also take place in Wasit province as the Diyala security operation take place.

In Babil, a curfew has been imposed in the provincial capital of Hillah as Iraqi security forces, backed by US troops, launched a search operation. The operation is taking place in northern Babil, an anonymous source told Voices of Iraq.

The operation is taking place where elements from the newly formed 17th Iraqi Army Division are based. This operation is likely smaller in scope than the planned Diyala offensive or prior operations in Basrah, Sadr City, Maysan, and Mosul.

The Babil operation is likely a precursor to an operation in Wasit province, which may be launched in conjunction with the Diyala offensive. Wasit sits on the eastern border of Babil and the southern border of Diyala.

Wasit is the only central-southern province that has not been a focus of major combat operations. The Iraqi military started its rolling offensive in Basrah in March, and then proceeded to tackle the provinces of Dhi Qhar, Qadisiyah, Maysan, and now Babil. All of these provinces are major areas of operations for the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups.

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22 juillet 2008 2 22 /07 /juillet /2008 16:45

Analyse de Khaled Asmar

La Syrie élimine ses agents devenus encombrants. A qui le prochain tour ?

En affirmant détenir les clés de la solution régionale, Damas confirme sa responsabilité dans les crises. Le pompier-pyromane de retour.

mardi 22 juillet 2008 - 09h41, par Khaled Asmar - Beyrouth

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Si l’assassinat du chef militaire du Hezbollah, Imad Maghnieh, en février dernier, au cœur du quartier le plus sécurisé de Damas, n’a pas encore été élucidé, les événements qui s’accélèrent ces dernières semaines semblent incriminer le régime syrien. D’autres terroristes notoires viennent à leur tour de faire les frais du revirement de Bachar Al-Assad.

Les événements qui se sont accélérés depuis l’assassinat de Maghnieh semblent confirmer ce que MediArabe.info avait déjà évoqué dès le lendemain de l’élimination à Damas du chef militaire du parti de Dieu. Il s’est vraisemblablement agi d’un acompte versé par Damas pour acheter sa réhabilitation et prendre ses distances avec l’Iran et le Hezbollah. Ce « revirement » s’est soldé par une ouverture française sur la Syrie, par l’accueil de Bachar Al-Assad à Paris (et l’annonce de la visite de Sarkozy en Syrie, en septembre prochain), et par l’engagement de négociations indirectes avec Israël, via la Turquie. En contrepartie, la France a obtenu de Damas un début de changement de sa politique à l’égard du Liban. Si cette mutation syrienne est sincère, elle mettrait un terme à soixante années de bellicisme syrien et de désir d’annexer le Liban, et conduirait au rétablissement de relations diplomatiques « normales » entre les deux pays, et à la délimitation des frontières. Dans ce cas, l’ouverture « très risquée » de Nicolas Sarkozy sur Assad aura payé.

Mais le régime syrien nous a habitués aux tergiversations, refusant de reconnaître la souveraineté et l’indépendance de son voisin. Pour éviter un nouvel ajournement de la normalisation, le président libanais Michel Sleiman a accepté l’invitation que lui a remise, le 21 juillet, le ministre syrien des Affaires étrangères, Walid Al-Moallem, pour se rendre en visite officielle à Damas. La visite de Moallem et l’invitation dûment adressée à Sleiman attestent déjà d’un progrès considérable, puisque le régime syrien avait l’habitude de « convoquer » les dirigeants libanais et non pas de les inviter, d’autant plus que ces derniers lui avaient toujours été redevables de leurs postes.

La visite de Sleiman à Damas - probablement dès la fin de la semaine - sera sans doute l’occasion de mettre de l’ordre dans les relations bilatérales et de résoudre les différends entre les deux pays. L’échange d’ambassades et le tracé des frontières sont à l’ordre du jour, mais le point le plus épineux demeure la question des disparus libanais en Syrie. Ayant toujours démenti leur existence, la Syrie a, selon des sources arabes, fait le « grand ménage de l’été », une semaine avant le sommet de l’Union pour la Méditerranée (UPM) à Paris, en éliminant plusieurs dizaines de prisonniers détenus à Sidnaya. Bien que cette tuerie ait été organisée à huis clos, des responsables jordaniens affirment que plusieurs Libanais et Jordaniens figurent parmi les prisonniers tués. Le journal koweïtien « Al Seyassah », révélait déjà, le 19 juillet, que deux chefs de l’organisation islamiste « Jund Al-Sham », liée aux services syriens, font partie des morts de Sidnaya. Il s’agit de A. Zacaria et de K. Omar. Le premier était proche d’Abou Messaab Zarqaoui et recrutait des combattants pour l’Irak ; le second était proche d’Abou Qaaqaa, le prédicateur syrien assassiné à l’automne dernier par le régime, pour éliminer les traces de l’implication officielle syrienne dans le terrorisme en Irak. Moins d’une semaine après ces disparitions « accidentelles », deux responsables de « Jund Al-Sham » au camp palestinien de Aïn El-Heloui, au Liban Sud, Chehadé Jaohar et Abou Ramez Al-Sahmarani, ont été tués avec l’un de leurs lieutenants.

Ainsi, en procédant à ce « grand nettoyage », directement ou par l’intermédiaire d’autres organisations palestiniennes ou radicales, la Syrie sacrifie ses agents au nom de sa réhabilitation, mais aussi pour ne pas avoir à rendre compte de sa politique belliqueuse dans la région (Irak, Liban, Palestine). Elle aurait également demandé aux dirigeants du Hamas palestinien établis à Damas de quitter le territoire syrien. Ils pourraient s’installer dans la banlieue sud de Beyrouth, fief du Hezbollah.

Les nombreux agents libanais de la Syrie devraient s’inquiéter et craindre pour leur sort. D’autant plus que toute normalisation syrienne avec l’Occident impliquerait un grand nettoyage au Liban. Le Hezbollah n’échapperait pas à cette règle. Selon le journal « Al Seyassah », du 22 juillet, « la Syrie a repris ses contacts avec l’ancien secrétaire général du Hezbollah et l’un de ses co-fondateurs, Sobhi Toufaïli, afin de renforcer son courant pour affaiblir le parti de Hassan Nasrallah et le diviser sur la base de l’appartenance régionale ». Le courant de Toufaïli est en effet essentiellement composé de chiites originaires de la Bekaa-Nord, qui n’apprécient pas la mainmise des chiites du Sud sur le Hezbollah. C’est un premier pas vers la pulvérisation du parti de Hassan Nasrallah et de sa neutralisation, après l’élimination de son chef militaire charismatique, Imad Maghnieh. Pour ce faire, les services syriens auraient promis à Toufaïli aides militaires et financements, pour briser le Hezbollah.

Si, à terme, l’établissement hypothétique des relations diplomatiques entre le Liban et la Syrie peut réjouir les Libanais, surtout les souverainistes de l’Alliance du 14 mars et de la « Révolution du Cèdre », la situation au Liban n’en sera pas pour autant stabilisée, et la facture que réclamera la Syrie sera salée. Mais cette évolution aura au moins le mérite de dévoiler la nature du régime syrien. Un pyromane qui allume le feu pour se présenter comme le seul pompier capable de l’éteindre.

Khaled Asmar

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8 juillet 2008 2 08 /07 /juillet /2008 21:05
Battle Over Sadr City Defines Apache Helicopter Regiment’s Tour in Iraq

Click to view images from Taji. Photos by Bill Murray.

TAJI, IRAQ: There are few pictures of a US Army Tactical Operations Centers, and once inside you realize why. Everything within the walls of a TOC in Iraq -- and there are dozens at the company, battalion and brigade levels -- is more or less classified. Screen after screen of live Unmanned Aerial Vehicle camera footage, high-definition video from floating balloons tethered high above each forward-operating base, high-powered FM radios connected with ground troops, three tiers of desks with sergeants and captains using internal message and email systems to communicate with UAV operators. It’s a bit Hollywood for the uninitiated.

On these screens, the battle for Sadr City in late March and April played out. The 4th US Army Division’s 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, located at Taji Airbase in the suburbs of Baghdad, had responsibility for close-air support and reconnaissance for most of Baghdad east of the Tigris River when between March 25 and mid-May, elements within Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army fought pitched with Iraqi Army and Coalition forces for control of the stronghold.

The spike in violence caused the regiment to keep six AH-64 Apaches in the air over northern and eastern Baghdad at all times as part of coordinated ground attacks with Iraqi National forces and the US 4th Division and 10th Mountain Division. During that time, Apaches from units surrounding Baghdad fired more than 200 Hellfire laser-guided missiles, killing 251 enemy combatants, according to Civil Affairs Sergeant First Class Chris Seaton. Sadr’s forces and the Iraqi government of Nouri al Maliki agreed on a cease-fire in May.

During that period there were "dozens of engagements a day. Now we’re back into where we want it to be," said Lieutenant Colonel Todd Royer, the regiment’s commander. "Iraqi security forces are showing active signs of improvement. Almost all the missions are joint, and almost all of them have been Iraqi led."

The evolution of US Army’s TOCs during the Iraqi conflict may be among the biggest reasons why the military "surge" in the past year has helped cut year-on-year violence in the country by up to 80 percent, according to the Department of Defense.

The near instantaneous, error-free communication between air surveillance and ground troops has allowed much fewer troops on the ground to coordinate with air support and Iraqi forces, making units such as the 10th Mountain Division a potent constabulary force using a fraction of the troops normally necessary for such role.

"The ground units have been ... getting high-value individuals, time-sensitive targets," said Apache pilot Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeffrey Dumond. "They were sporadic before in Sadr City. Then, it became everyday, then, several times a day. It seems to have worked. It’s uneventful out there now."

Doing the job of a unit twice its size, the 3rd Regiment operates 24 Apache helicopters, the US military’s premier attack helicopter, and 10 Blackhawk helicopters -- used for everything from medivac flights to office moves. In the past seven months, the 36 helicopters have flown 14,000 hours, more than a regular unit would fly in two years.

Sadr's forces took a relentless pounding from US aerial attacks and the Iraqi Army, while anecdotal evidence from Iraqi police and Army patrols showed parts of Sadr City decimated of grown men, leaving only 12 or 13-year-old boys to fight. Violent activities in Sadr City have plummeted since the May cease-fire. More than 1,000 members Mahdi Army member are believed to have been killed there, while another 1,300 Mahdi Army fighters from Iraq may have escaped to safe houses in Iran.

US intelligence reports say Sadr is trying to get his leaders to meet him in Qom, Iran, where he may be hiding, in order to reconstitute forces with a focus on attacking exclusively US military targets.

"It’s possible there is a slowdown because of the regional elections coming up" in October or November, said Dumond, speaking after an evening pilot's briefing. "They may feel they need to rebuild trust" after organized bombing in crowded areas angered Shia populations that represent the core of Sadr’s political support.

The exhibition of force by the US and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki in the past months is not without US critics. A Washington Post article published May 23 criticized the unit and particular pilots for civilian deaths and injuries occurring during the March to May period.

"The Post article did a real disservice to the pilot," said Major Geoff Crawford, second in command of the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. "It came here with an agenda." Officers in the unit wrote a letter to the Washington Post, complaining that much of the story’s reporting was taken out of context. The letter itself was edited without permission before publication, Crawford said.

Despite the importance of the Iraqi Army’s investiture of Sadr City and Basrah and the dethroning of Sadr’s powerbase within Baghdad, periods of decreased violence in the past have not lasted, while political reconciliation between Shia, Sunnis and Kurds remains incomplete.

"Success now is not determined by the number of engagement, but by lack of engagements," said Captain Matthew Paladino, who operates the regiment’s Tactical Operations Center.

The regiment this month is in the process of transferring south to Baghdad’s International Airport, taking over surveillance and close air support over much of southern Iraq until February, when the 700 soldiers in the unit rotate back to Fort Hood, Texas.

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Magie de la langue hébraïque

A tous nos chers lecteurs.


Ne vous est-il jamais venu à l'esprit d'en savoir un peu plus sur le titre de ce blog ?

Puisque nous nous sommes aujourd'hui habillés de bleu, il conviendrait de rentrer plus a fond dans l'explication du mot lessakel.

En fait Lessakel n'est que la façon française de dire le mot léhasskil.

L'hébreu est une langue qui fonctionne en déclinant des racines.

Racines, bilitères, trilitères et quadrilitères.

La majorité d'entre elle sont trilitères.

Aussi Si Gad a souhaité appeler son site Lessakel, c'est parce qu'il souhaitait rendre hommage à l'intelligence.

Celle qui nous est demandée chaque jour.

La racine de l'intelligence est sé'hel שכל qui signifie l'intelligence pure.

De cette racine découlent plusieurs mots

Sé'hel > intelligence, esprit, raison, bon sens, prudence, mais aussi croiser

Léhasskil > Etre intelligent, cultivé, déjouer les pièges

Sé'hli > intelligent, mental, spirituel

Léhistakel > agir prudemment, être retenu et raisonnable, chercher à comprendre

Si'hloute > appréhension et compréhension

Haskala >  Instruction, culture, éducation

Lessa'hlen > rationaliser, intellectualiser

Heschkel > moralité

Si'htanout > rationalisme

Si'hloul > Amélioration, perfectionnement


Gageons que ce site puisse nous apporter quelques lumières.

Aschkel pour Lessakel.



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