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4. Juli 2014, 00.05 Uhr:

Die Achse Teheran-Moskau-Washington-Damaskus

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Nun fliegen über Bagdad also erneut amerikanische Kampfhubschrauber, deren Piloten diesmal, wenn sie ihnen begegnen den iranischen und russischen, vielleicht im Westen des Landes auch syrischen Airforce-Kollegen aus dem Cockpit zuwinken können.

Die US-Administration macht damit de facto nun gemeinsame Sache macht mit den Iran und Moskau, stellt de facto der Achse des Widerstandes die Luftwaffe. Dazu schreibt Armin Rosen:

The U.S.’s deployment of attack helicopters to Iraq for possible use against ISIS doesn’t prove that Washington is explicitly assisting Moscow, Damascus, and Tehran in their regional ambitions, which have had such a disruptive effect on the post-Arab Spring Middle East. But that may be the likeliest effect of the U.S. joining the fight in Iraq on the side of Russia, Syria, and Iran.

Michael Doran, a former senior director at the National Security Council and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Business Insider that the Obama administration needs to stifle both Iran and ISIS’s regional strategies if it wants a comprehensive solution to the problems wracking Syria and Iran. In his view, the U.S. needs to avoid taking a side in the region’s larger Sunni-Shiite split — now encapsulated in the fight between Shiite Iran and its Iraqi clients, and Sunni extremists like ISIS — and work to curtail all of the region’s bad actors.

“If you want to build up a non-jihadi Sunni force that is capable of commanding loyalty from people on the ground then you have to fight Assad and push against Iran, and you push back against ISIS and Iran at the same time,” he said. “If you’re just fighting ISIS then you’re building an Iranian security system in the region.”

“The Iraqis are a thin membrane between the U.S. and the Qods Force,” says Doran, referring to the foreign arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. “Any intelligence that we give to the Iraqis is probably going to be on the desk of Qassem Suleimani in less than a day.”

With this increased commitment of U.S. military assets to Iraq, the U.S. isn’t just forcing itself to coordinate logistics with the Iranian-Syrian-Russian alliance in the Middle East. It’s also bringing American policy alarmingly close to that of some of the region’s more destructive forces — whether Obama intends for this or not.

U.S. policy could have this effect even if it isn’t the Obama administration’s intent to strengthen Iran’s hand. Even simply coordinating intelligence with a sectarianized and Iranian-infiltrated Iraqi military could play to Tehran’s advantage.

2. Juli 2014, 17.34 Uhr:

Unterstützung für Terrorganisation sinkt im Nahen Osten

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Laut einer neuen PEW Umfrage verlieren Hizbollah, Hamas und Al Qaida an Unterstützung im Nahen Osten und die Sorge über die Zunahme islamischen Extremismus wächst. Die Zahlen sprechen eine recht deutliche Sprache, noch immer unterstützen, das die Kehrseite fast die Hälfte aller befragten Palästinenser “suicide bombings":

Majorities in most of the nations polled are concerned about extremism. And in most Middle Eastern countries, concern about extremism has increased in the past year.

Hezbollah, the militant organization headquartered in Lebanon with strong ties to the Shia-led Iranian government, is seen unfavorably in every Middle Eastern country surveyed. Opinions of the extremist group, which is labelled a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and European Union, are on balance negative in Asia and Africa as well, although many in those regions do not offer an opinion. (….)

Overall, most people surveyed have an unfavorable impression of Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization that is in control of the Gaza Strip and designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. This includes people who live under its rule. (…)

When Muslims are asked whether suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilian targets can be justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies, few in the countries surveyed say that this form of violence is often or sometimes justified, and support has generally diminished in the last decade. Still, significant minorities of Muslims in a few countries do hold the view that it can be justified.

In the Middle East, support for suicide bombing is highest in the Palestinian territories, where 46% of Muslims say that it is often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam. Support is particularly high among Muslims in Gaza (62%) versus those in the West Bank (36%).

30. Juni 2014, 15.14 Uhr:

Pride Parade in Istanbul

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

30. Juni 2014, 11.57 Uhr:

'Verheizt nicht unsere Söhne im Irak'

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Seit dem Ende des iranisch-irakischen Krieges zeichnet weiss jede iranische Führung, dass trotz grossartiger Erklärungen, wie man Jihad und Tod liebt, die Iraner doch eigentlich lieber am Leben bleiben. Auf den unzähligen Kriegsschauplätzen des Nahen Osten und in weltweiten Terroreinsätzen ließ man deshalb bevorzugt arabische Verbündete sterben, allen voran Mitglieder der Hizbollah. Wurde der Iran mit eigenen Leuten aktiv, so meist hinter der Front, die als Berater , Planer oder notfalls noch, wie in Syrien, als höhere Offiziere in der Regel nicht direkt in die Kämpfe eingriffen.

Sollte sich der Iran im Irak nun weiter engagieren, wird er kaum um die Entsendung eigener Truppen herumkommen, die dann im Nordirak  kampferprobten sunnitischen Milizionären und Jihadisten gegenüber stehen werden.

Und schon regt sich der Widerstand:

Parents of Iranian soldiers, who have been sent to north Iraq to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and help the Iraqi Army, have called on their government to not send their sons to Iraq. (…)

On Saturday, the parents of Iranian Soldiers who have been sent to Iraq protested in front of the Iranian Army and Protection Building in Iranian Capital Tehran and called on the authorities to bring back their sons and to not participate in the current clashes happening in Iraq.

According to a BasNews source, the parents told the officials that they did not want their sons killed in Iraq, and asked them to bring back the Quds forces.

29. Juni 2014, 11.48 Uhr:

Salwa Bugaighis

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Am Wahltag in Libyen wurde Salwa Bugaighis ermordert. Ein Nachruf:

She has been described as one of the bravest women in Libya and not even death threats could stop her from voting in Wednesday’s elections. But Salwa Bugaighis’s public defiance may have alerted her enemies to her presence in Benghazi and led to her murder on Wednesday evening.

Ms Bugaighis was one of the most prominent human rights activists in Libya and her brutal killing at her own home caused profound shock, even in a society which is being increasingly exposed to bloody strife.

The lawyer was shot and stabbed on the day of the general election, an exercise in democracy she had played a part in establishing from the early, uncertain days of the revolution which led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. (…)

The ceaseless campaign Salwa Bugaighis carried out for women’s rights led to her being condemned by jihadist groups, as well as by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Grand Mufti, Al-Sadiq al-Gharyani. She repeatedly stressed that she was a follower of Islam, but spoke out against the hijab, arguing there was nothing in the faith demanding that women should cover themselves entirely, and rarely even wore a headscarf herself.

29. Juni 2014, 11.05 Uhr:

'Sie bombardieren uns nicht'

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Nun also erzählen Isis Kommandeure es schon selbst der internationalen Presse: Das syrische Regime lässt sie in Ruhe, schließlich hat man gemeinsame Feinde, und das zählt im Nahen Osten mehr als alles andere.

“We know they are not going to bomb our key sites. Their main enemy is the so-called moderates.”

Raqqa was attacked a week after the conversation. But the main Isis base, a hospital in central Aleppo, remains unmolested by either jets or artillery. The Isis operative said the absence of air strikes against its forces had enabled it to gather strength and numbers as it pushed towards Mosul. “Now the border is irrelevant,” he said. “They are breaking down the state just as they said they would.”

27. Juni 2014, 13.45 Uhr:


von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

In Yarmouk verhungern Palästinenser? Kein Grund, Assad nicht zu seinem Wahlsieg zu gratulieren von einem, der selbst solche Wahlen nicht abhalten lässt:

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has said the re-election of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad started “a countdown to the end of Syria’s crisis".

Agency France Press quotes Abbas as saying in a hand written message to Al-Assad: “Your election to the presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic guarantees Syria’s unity and sovereignty, and starts of a countdown to the end of Syria’s crisis and its war against terrorism.”

This is the clearest support that Al-Assad has received from the PA since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in mid-2011. Abbas expressed his hopes for stability in Syria and “success” for Al-Assad.

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