In tweet, leader of Islamic Front in Syria warns Alawites

4 Apr

Zahran Aloush is the head of the Army of Islam and military commander of the Islamic Front – IF. The Islamic Front is an Islamist group. It belongs, in the Syrian context, to the so called “moderate rebels”. They work together with FSA (Free Syrian Army) and with Jabhat al Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) but fight against ISIS, an organisation which is even more radical than Al-Qaeda.

On Friday April 4th 2014, Mr Aloush published the following tweet regarding operations of IF in Latakya countryside:

Screenshot 2014-04-05 01.39.04

The English translation of this tweet is:

“The cheap calls of help by the Nusayri [derogatory term for Alawites] intellectuals are useless after fear stroke the hearts of this filthy sect. Islamic Front is moving forward inshallah until purifying the coast.”


Some background of the fight for Kasab in northern Syria

2 Apr

Recently the strategically important town of Kasab in northern Syria (Latakia province) has been captured by rebels.

Screenshot 2014-04-02 23.38.43

Losing Kasab (a predominantly Armenian town just south of the border with Turkey) is a disaster for the Assad-regime.


- Because Kasab was the only crossing  on the Syria-Turkey border still controlled by the Assad regime. At the moment the Syrian government has lost control of ALL its border crossings with Turkey.

- By concurring the Kasab-area the rebels managed, for the first time ever, to reach the Mediterranean. it is now much more easy for them to fight their way southwards in direction Latakia – the heartland of president Assad’s Alawite sect.

-  Turkey clearly still fully supports the rebels in Syria. To make the rebel advance possible in the Kasab-area, Turkeys air force created a De facto no-fly zone above it.  This made it very difficult for Assad’s pilots to attack the advancing rebels from the air. Also reliable sources claim that the rebels allegedly were allowed by Turkey to move from inside Syria (east of Kasab) into Turkey and use Turkish territory to move back into Syria (north of Kasab). Last year the Turks also allegedly allowed rebels from Syria to use such a corridor through Turkey. Although at the last moment the attack on Kasab was cancelled.

- After losing territory around Yabroud and Aleppo to pro-Assad-forces, the victory of Kasab is an important moral boost for the rebels in Syria.

The battle for Kasab also makes it clear why it really is more accurate to speak of “rebels in Syria” instead of “Syrian rebels”. Sure, many rebels are Syrians, but many also are not. On many fronts now Syria’s revolution is fought and guided by rebels who are inside Syria but don’t have the Syrian nationality. Btw, on the regime side there are also many non-Syrian fighters like Lebanese or Iraqi Shi’ites.

The battle of Kasab is an example of how “rebels in Syria” are not necessarily “Syrian rebels”.

The very well informed tweep @CaucasusAffairs (who is with rebels inside Syria) tweeted today that the attack on Kasab was led by “Abu Moussa the Chechen” (a Chechen) who went for jihad to Afghanistan and hooked up with Mullah Omar.

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Below the English translation of two tweets by @CaucasusAffairs on Abu Moussa the Chechen:

“To those asking me about Abu Moussa the Chechen – who is the head of the military operation in Kasab – he is one of the mujahideen from Sunzha-sector in Chechnya where he was under the command of emir Muslim. Then he moved for jihad with Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. And now he is the military emir of Ansar as-Sham, which follows the Islamic Front. Abu Moussa the Chechen is the one who led the operation in Kasab and he planned for it.”




Russia’s worries explained in this simple map: Over the last 25 years the EU and pro EU-forces have moved eastwards between 1500 and 1800 km. Red line 1989, yellow line 2014

27 Feb

Screenshot 2014-02-27 13.19.44

Here pictures of “We are all ISIS”-campaign on twitter

25 Feb

There is currently a huge fight going on in northern Syria between the ultra radical puritans of Al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al Nusra) and the ultra-ultra radical puritans of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Shaam). Both claim to follow the correct interpretation of Islam. And both claim to be rebel groups fighting Al-Assad, although at the moment they are more occupied with fighting each other.

Pro-ISIS accounts on twitter have started a campaign to prove Al-Qaeda sucks and that ISIS is receiving more and more support.

According to this pro-ISIS account (@abualdawi) people from all around the world are apparently sending in their support in the shape of “We are all ISIS”-pictures. Mostly from Indonesia but also from Sweden, Holland, Bosnia, Canada, Lebanon, Pakistan, India and of course Belgium.

I’ve posted some pics here. My favorite is the first one: The Hello-Kitty ISIS-supporter. ISIS-cake comes in second. Dutch ISIS-soccer guys on Johan Cruyff-field third. Check pics below:






Population equivalents of Pakistan’s provinces and territories

24 Feb

Screenshot 2014-02-24 17.31.13

Link naar gruwelijk filmpje van Vlaams sprekende jihadist in Syrie

21 Feb

Belgian historian and Arabist Pieter van Ostaeyen (on twitter –> @P_vanostaeyen) found this very morbid clip on Facebook:

A Belgian jihadist in Syria celebrates the death of a so called “sahawat enemy” (basically a non-ISIS-rebel) and cursing him. To ridicule the victim even more, somebody has put a cigarette in the dead man’s mouth.

In the second part of this clip the Belgian jihadist mourns the death of three ISIS-fighters who are lying a couple of meters away from the first dead man. The video was posted today on Facebook.

Please do NOT watch the clip in case this kind of videos will upset you!

This is the link. Again: It is graphic.

Amazing camel show by Pakistan’s “Desert Rangers” in Cholistan

21 Feb

By Harald Doornbos (twitter@HaraldDoornbos)

Some places in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert are so remote that jeeps cannot reach it. But camels can. This is one of the reasons Pakistan’s Desert Rangers even today are still using 160 camels to patrol the border with India in the Cholistan Desert in southern Punjab. I had the privilege to see the Desert Rangers in action with their camels during last weekend’s Desert Jeep Rally. Here some of my pictures of this amazing unit performing a camel show in the vicinity of the majestic Derawar Fort.

(Click on pics for large!)

Camels in front of the huge Derawar Fort in Cholistan desert:


I bumped into some Desert Rangers on patrol during Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally 2014. Hot air balloon in background. Stunning scenery:


Camel in gallop. Rider shows skills by staying “in the saddle” without a saddle:


Upside down. Member of Desert Rangers  was able to stand upside-down while came was trotting. Don’t do this at home:


Here a close up of acrobatic action by Desert Ranger who managed to stay on camel while the animal trotted around 400 meters:


Another balancing act by a soldier. Perfect harmony between men and animal using only a rope while camel walked through desert:


Members of Desert Rangers salute superiors during camel show:


Again, don’t try this at home:


Camel of Punjab Desert Rangers chilling out:


Desert Rangers on the move:


Next four pics show precision skills of two Desert Rangers as camels go in fast trod:

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Guests of honor (on top of camels, from left to right): Punjab Rangers Wing Commander Iftikhar, Minister of State Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman (and son) and Punjab Rangers Brigadier Riaz. Many thanks to all three gentlemen for their hospitality!:


Here some use full links:

Website of Pakistan Rangers:

Wikipedia entry on Pakistan Rangers:

Wikipedia entry on Cholistan Desert:


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