Interesting in that one may now see the new narrative of Gulf allies trying to “flip” the Nusrah front to the non-AQ side!
Translated today in our Mideastwire.com Daily Briefing:
On March 5, the independent Al-Rai al-Aam daily newspaper carried the following report: “Sources said that the leaders of An-Nusra Front in Syria are considering to break their connection with Al-Qa’idah organization to form a new entity supported by some Gulf States in order to try and oust Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. Sources from within the front and sources close to it indicates that a Gulf State is working on encouraging [An-Nusra] to proceed forward with this step, which will allow it to obtain funding.
“This will transform An-Nusra Front from an armed faction growing weak into a force capable of confronting ISIL knowing that the latter group is now being subjected to the pressures of the air raids, the progress of the Kurdish forces and the Iraqi army forces. Although An-Nusra Front is not waiting for a final decision on this matter from its Shura Council, it is however not wasting any time. Indeed, the Front attacked some small, non-Jihadist groups and seized their lands by forcing them into dropping their weapons. The front was thus attempting to enhance its authority in North Syria and to pave the way for the new entity.
“The sources said that officials from intelligence services belonging to Gulf States met with the head of An-Nusra Front, Abou Mohammad al-Golani, several times in the past few months in order to encourage him to abandon Al-Qa’idah and to discuss the support that these services can provide him with. The officials promised funding as soon as the separation [between An-Nusra and Al-Qaidah] occurs.
“The Damascus Grunter, a prominent Jihadist figure closely connected to several Islamic groups including An-Nusra Front in Syria, said: “The new entity will be born soon. It will include An-Nusra Front, Al-Mujahideen Army, Al-Ansar and other small factions.” He added: “The name An-Nusra will be dropped and the front will break away from Al-Qa’idah. However, not all An-Nusra’s princes are okay with this, which is the reason behind the delay of the announcement.”
“The new entity will work on confronting ISIL, An-Nusra’s main competitor in Syria. Some are hoping that the fighters of the new entity…will manage to confront ISIL by obtaining the right funding, training, and armament. Jihadist sources said that Al-Golani suggested to the group’s Shura council a merger between the front and the Al-Mujahideen and Al-Ansar Army, a smaller jihadist group including local and foreign fighters under the orders of a Chechen commander… A source from An-Nusra Front in Aleppo said: “An-Nusra Front pledged allegiance to Sheikh Zawahiri in order to avoid being forced to pledge allegiance to Al-Baghdadi. However, this wasn’t a good idea. It’s now time to let it go. This hasn’t done any good to An-Nusra and caused to become blacklisted.””
“The response in Congress suggested considerable opposition to a nuclear deal. But a new poll by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation and the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development shows that a clear majority of Americans — including 61 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats — favor an agreement.”
Below is a draft version of what ultimately appeared in our Verso 2007 book – “Voice of Hezbollah”.. so NOT a final version.
The Israeli PM chose yesterday to use a quote that is likely – and I stress on the word likely – not accurate…. it is because, of course, the controversial 2002 quote points to the “global reach” aspect of Hezbollah which was necessary in post-2002 era for the Neo-LiberalCons to marshal military/media forces against the “Axis of Evil”… and we all know how that turned out!
He could have pointed to this speech which we CAN verify to make an argument about the anti-jewish side of the conflict between Israel and its enemies…Although this aspect of the conflict – the racism – is something that needs greater context and care, I would argue, in informing a public debate and policies (especially ones that could lead to more wars that are ultimately counter-productive and bad on many levels).
May 7 1998
Nasrallah’s speech below to a political rally in Beirut, broadcast live on the nascent, Hezbollah-affiliated Al Manar television station, contains a rare series of publicly pronounced vilifications directed against Jews as Jews. Perhaps not surprisingly, the first several lines of the speech, which describe “Zionists Jews” as “the descendents of apes and pigs” (the Zionist qualification is quickly dropped thereafter), was among the most widely circulated quotes attributed to Nasrallah by the English language media during the 2006 Hezbollah-Lebanon war – submitted as evidence, along with a small handful of other quotes, of Nasrallah and Hezbollah’s apparently uncompromising and totalizing hatred of all adherents of the Jewish faith. The careful reader and analyst should of course note that Nasrallah’s rhetoric here plainly contradicts the previous statement, where he points to the experience of Iran’s Jewish community as evidence that, “our war is not against Judaism or Jews but against Zionism which created its racial state in Israel.”
As several scholars have suggested, this apparent contradiction enormously complicates the potential for any kind of a future reconciliation, or normalization between the two sides (though it should be said that it does not preclude a potentially containable, non-violent level of hostility). For although Nasrallah at times suggests that Hezbollah could live side by side with Jews – of course only under Hezbollah’s particular vision of a unified Palestinian state where many Jews would be forced to leave – this statement, in particular, suggests that Hezbollah’s scepticism of Judaism, exacerbated over 16 bloody years of fighting the State of Israel, may have run so deep as to become dangerously mired in what amounts to racial hatred.
Of course, there may also have been a more immediate element of populist politicking in the statement that follows. In an effort to offset its previous loss of three Parliamentary seats in 1996, the Party vigorously appealed to its base ahead of the country’s first municipal elections in late May 1998.
Meanwhile, the regional situation, too, appeared to be moving Hezbollah into a comparatively even more radical stance overall. Only one month before this speech, amid a general air of accommodation created by Mohammed Khatami’s 1997 presidential win in Iran, the country’s Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister, Ayatollah Mohajerani, had declared that “if Israel withdraws from South Lebanon with guarantees for fixed and secure borders, there will be no further need for Hezbollah’s resistance operation there” – a suggestion angrily rejected by Nasrallah.
With Syrian and Israeli negotiations still frozen but looming nonetheless, a worsening political split in Tehran reverberating in Lebanon and the process of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations well on their way to October’s Wye River Accords, Nasrallah’s words may therefore indicate, more than anything, the Party’s creeping realization and fear that regional normalization might soon be imposed on the Party, no matter its concerns about Israel or Jews for that matter.
(…) Very regrettably, The 10th of Muharram [the day of Ashoura] this year coincides with the 50th anniversary of the historic catastrophe and the tragic event, namely, the establishment of the state of the Zionist Jews, the descendants of apes and pigs, on the land of Palestine and the holiest of our holy places. This enemy celebrates its overwhelming victory. A few million vagabonds from all over the world, brought together by their Talmud and Jewish fanaticism, are celebrating their victory over the nation of 1.4 billion Muslims. This is why I say that it is a tragic, painful, and bitter thing that a small number of people gather in Palestine, dancing and holding celebrations in Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy city to celebrate their great victory over the nation of Muhammad. When this Muslim nation was small, the Jews were unable to defeat it, and the Jews of Bani al-Nudayr, Bani Qurayzah and Khaybar were forced out of their castles and fortresses.
Over the past 50 years, the Jews have succeeded in defeating the nation of 1.4 billion Muslims and the nation of hundreds of millions of Arabs. Fifty years have passed and the enemy is still wagering on its superiority, backed by the US administration. Here, I would like you to know that the historical position of this administration towards Israel is based not only on interests and political and economic considerations, but also on ideology. It is more ideological commitment than political interests.
They bet that with time they will be able to impose peace on the Arab countries and on the Palestinians by giving them a very low percentage of the West Bank. They do not want any discussion on the issue of Jerusalem. They imagine they can impose peace on Syria which would enable them to keep part of the Golan Heights, and that they can impose a peace on Lebanon under which the Lebanese State and army will turn into guards to protect the Israeli border, while the mujahidin and honourable people are punished, and the collaborators and traitors are awarded medals.
But despite all these Jewish ambitions, we in this nation say that the dreams of the Israelis have come to an end. The blood that will not be defeated by the sword that has been unleashed in southern Lebanon, Western Bekaa and Palestine. Today, this blood is boiling in the veins of Arabs and Muslims. The dreams of the Israelis are over. We promise and warn them that their dreams are over, and that the time has come for them to wake from their dreams and face reality, a reality in which people refuse to live in humiliation and view life with the Zionist Jews as nonsense, a reality in which every man, young and old, loves to blow himself up to tear apart the bodies of the invading, occupying Jews.
This nation has a message, religion, culture and tremendous capabilities. All that this nation needed was to regain its freedom and will. Now it is regaining them through the blood of the young martyrs of this nation. We, therefore tell all those who have held conferences and discussed the tragedy of the past 50 years: Do not despair, do not be pessimistic, and do not become hostages to theories and your imagination. Come and join us in the real world, the world of jihad and martyrdom, and you will see that we are able to change the equation.
I would like to draw attention to the grave nature of this usurping entity in Palestine, this cancerous growth and harmful microbe, this entity without borders. Israel’s borders stop where its arm, tanks and spears can reach. Israel’s borders extend to river sources and sea basins, and any place where there is a trace of an old Talmud or a stone on which an old Jewish rabbi sat. That is the land of Israel. The waters of the Nile and the Euphrates, the mountains of Yemen, and the land of Khaybar are part of Israel’s land. Is this not the dream? But let us return to Khaybar: The army of Muhammad has returned carrying the message, history, religion and culture, full of resolve and determination, with its leaders being martyrdom seekers, just like Ali and Hussein, may God’s peace and prayers be upon them. So wait for the dream of the Khaybarites to collapse, just as Khaybar collapsed.
Far from despair, a state of vigilance and readiness exists among the nation. There is a great respect for jihad, mujahidin, martyrs and the option of jihad. There is a rejection of normalization with the enemy. This is even true in Egypt, which signed a peace agreement [with Israel] 20 years ago. The same applies to Jordan, whose king bows down every morning and evening on the Jews’ doorsteps.
Hope in Lebanon grows with the presence of the Islamic Resistance and with the intifada, which erupted in Palestine, and which, God willing, will return to the land of Palestine. Hope increases with the great political steadfastness in Syria led by President Hafiz al-Assad and in the Islamic Republic [of Iran] led by His Eminence Ayatollah Khamene’i, the Guardian of the Muslims’ cause, may his shadow be extended. We tell Netanyahu: Let Arafat bargain with you over 1 percent or 0.5 per cent. If Netanyahu’s decision to raise the ratio of the withdrawal from the West Bank from 9 to 10 per cent requires the mediation of heads of states, prime ministers, and foreign ministers of major powers, compare this with Arafat, who immediately accepted a reduction from 30 per cent to 13 per cent because of his humiliation, loss, disgrace and relinquishment of jihad. But this nation will not accept from Netanyahu 1 per cent, 9 per cent, or 30 per cent. This nation will only accept every inch of the sacred land of Palestine (…)
Regarding the Israeli proposal for Lebanon, I would like to point out that the Zionists seek to drive a wedge among the Lebanese concerning Resolution 425 with its security conditions. The Zionists are also trying to drive a wedge between the Lebanese and Syrians, between the Syrians and Iranians, and between the resistance and the state. The Zionists are spreading rumours, suspicions, and lies.
Regarding some statements and analyses which have reported that Iran has facilitated the Israeli proposal, I would like to stress that all these things are sheer lies, aimed at launching psychological warfare, driving a wedge, and making both Syria and Lebanon feel that they are besieged and isolated in their confrontation. Iran not only calls for the unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Lebanon, but also calls for the elimination of Israel. This is evident in Iran’s ideological, religious, political and firm stance, which is the stance of the imam and leader. Iran’s stance is too lofty to be harmed by lies and accusations.
Regarding Hezbollah’s stance, some circles have said that a certain political deal has been made. I would like to say that Hezbollah’s stance and pride are far too lofty to allow it to participate in this kind of deals. I want to declare here that during the April  war, the foreign ministers of great countries contacted us and suggested ideas sweetened with many political incentives. They said they would recognize us as a big political party in Lebanon and as an important political factor in the Lebanese equation. They also said that the doors of financial and material assistance would open for our institutions, and that we would be recognized by the highest authorities in the world in return for abandoning our resistance and stabbing our friends in Syria in the back. But we categorically rejected all this because we are the sons of Abu Abdullah al-Hussein, who know nothing of treason and who do not sell out their religion for the entire world.
If any Lebanese, Syrian or Arab is apprehensive about the conflict with the Zionist enemy, then we are not. This struggle is our religion, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and life. It is our Hussein and Zeinab, and our infants. We will never bargain over it regardless of the proposed deals or temptations.
Like Hussein, we call on the traitors, the agents, and those led astray – the Lebanese agents in Antoine Lahd’s militia – to repent. We have been urging them to do so for a long time. To make it easier for them, we submitted a draft bill to the Chamber of Deputies, pardoning and giving immunity from trial to anyone who repents and flees from the agents’ army within three months. We presented this draft bill several months ago – that is, before Israel woke up to Resolution 425 with its security conditions. Our objective was to help dismantle Antoine Lahd’s militia and save these poor young Lebanese men from death. Unfortunately, this draft bill remained filed away until it appeared at a moment when there was talk about deals, suspicions and hints of accusations.
We reiterate our call to the agents to repent and rejoin their kinsfolk and homeland. We do not tell them to come and join Hussein’s group [Hezbollah] so as to be killed or martyred, but tell them to leave the killers and the corrupt, return to your homes, and live in peace and safety. We hope that the parliament will settle this matter soon. I declare to you that if the draft law isn’t discussed soon in the parliament, then the coalition of the resistance will – regrettably – have to retract it. This will waste a chance to dismantle the Lahd militia, but the resistance will have to withdraw the draft so that it won’t be misused one day when deals are made at the expense of Lebanon and the resistance.
I would like to remind the [Lebanese] government that although the people are occupied with the municipal elections, the regional incidents, the Israeli suggestion, and the resistance, all this won’t make them forget that the authorities are responsible for the difficult economic situation. This matter is the responsibility of the authorities, and they should never ignore this momentous reality in Lebanon. I would also like to ask the people to participate strongly in the municipal elections, to choose the fittest candidates, so that the people can participate in their own development and treating their economic ailments, so long as this government continues to ignore all their suffering and pains.
In conclusion, and as on every 10th of Muharram, we renew the slogan against the Great Satan. As we did last year, we shout: Death to America. We shout in the face of the killers of prophets and the descendants of the apes and pigs: We hope we will not see you next year. The shout remains: Death to Israel.
 Magnus Ranstorp, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” St. Andrews Working Paper, October 2000, p. 20.
 For the significance of this date in the Shia calendar, see above, p. ** n. **.
 Jewish tribes in central Arabia that clashed with the Prophet and his followers and who eventually submitted to the rule of Islam.
 For the concept of “Greater Israel”, see above, p. ** n. **.
 Khaybar, in the modern state of Saudi Arabia, was an oasis community north of Medina inhabited by Jews. Muhammad conquered it in 628 CE.
 For the first Palestinian intifada, see above, p. ** n. **.
 Nasrallah is referring to the vigorous US-Israeli-Palestinian negotiations over the percentage of land that would be included in Further Redeployments (FRDs) of Israeli forces as called for by the 1995 Interim Agreement and the 1997 Hebron Protocol. Under the eventual formula worked out at Wye River, the first and second FRD was to have consisted of the transfer to the Palestinian Authority (under either full Palestinian control or mixed Israeli military/Palestinian civil control) of 13 per cent of territory that had previously been under full Israeli control.
 See statement on the April Understanding
 The son of Ali, the first Shia Imam. For further details of Hussein, see above, p. **.
 For Lahd and the SLA, see above, p. ** n. **.
Unfortunately, PM Netanyahu just used a quote from Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, that we determined was likely fabricated in our 2007 book: “If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
I pasted the entire speech and the preface below from our 2007 book “Voice of Hezbollah” for Verso.
Netanyahu did not choose to use the clearly – though rarely uttered – anti-jewish quotes we can verify from Nasrallah (there are about two in the last thirty years [N.B. ADDITION – I would add after the original post that there are actually five] which are verified and which clearly smack of an anti-jewish discourse). These two quotes (Jews are “apes and pigs” and that Jews are a “lowly” people) are far less, of course, than the extensive level of anti-jewish discourse uttered by many US allies in the region and beyond (and remember that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have sponsored the most hateful, consistently anti-jewish discourse over the last 60 years!). The problem for the PM is these two quotes dont convey the idea of relentless terrorism on a global scale that the fabricated quote does… which is why they chose to use it of course!
From our book:
“Arabs are not Red Indians” October 22 2002
Nasrallah’s speech to the Islamic Institution for Culture and Education in Beirut has for years provided a key piece of evidence for critics who charge that Hezbollah is anti-Jewish, rather than anti-Zionist, and that the Party seeks the destruction of Jews worldwide. The particular line at issue, published by the English-language Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star, read: “If they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” That particular translation, however, provided by reporter Badih Chayban, was subsequently disavowed by the Star’s managing editor, but more to the point, the line does not appear in the excerpted version actually printed in Arabic the following day by An Nahar – whose transcription serves as the original for this translation. There is, though, a break at the point where Nasrallah could have potentially made the remark, leaving open the possibility that he may in fact have delivered the comment subsequently translated by The Star, reported and then circulated. However, given An Nahar’s generally critical stance towards Hezbollah over the years, sometimes even despite Lebanese government (and Syrian) efforts at media censorship, such an omission would appear unlikely.
Apart from this, Nasrallah strikes an especially defiant and indeed triumphant tone following the general softening of rhetoric by Israel in regards to Lebanon’s stated – and on October 16, fully realized – aim of diverting more water from the Wazzani river, a coveted source for the River Jordan, which, like the Hasbani river also in the south, sprang from Lebanese lands. In September, Sharon had stated flatly that such a diversion would be a causus belli – a reminder of Sharon’s long list of threats made and actions taken against Lebanon.
Nasrallah makes clear that, although its forces had not carried out any operations during the crisis, “any aggression against Lebanon will not be met by weakness, retreat or submission; responsibility is responsibility and a decision is a decision.” Although a standard element in Nasrallah’s rhetoric, his assertion held added significance since Hezbollah had significantly stepped up its operations over the previous eight months, including occasionally outside of the disputed Shebaa Farms and despite Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi’s public statement in April in Beirut that the Party should act with greater restraint. Iran’s reformist-leaning government, Nasrallah had suggested at the time, could offer its insight, but ultimately it could not affect Party decisions when it came to basic issues of territorial sovereignty. This particular stance which aimed to liberate territory that Hezbollah and some other Lebanese considered as occupied, would prove ever more controversial in the coming months and years as the spectre of wide scale Israeli occupation faded and as Lebanon’s need for international assistance grew ever greater.
We will speak today in a language of hope, open horizons and prosperous futures so that no one will fall victim to the psychological warfare that the American administration is waging against the world, and especially against Muslim and Islamic movements. No one should be fearful or scared, for nothing that Sharon says, or does, should ever scare anyone. Israel no doubt has a high level of experience in waging psychological warfare, but even in such wars, they make deadly mistakes, and inadvertently render us a great service without our saying or doing anything to earn it.
For example, a few days ago, Sharon returned from the United States and declared, “Hezbollah has missiles that can travel 300 kilometres, and this means that not a single populated area in Israel is safe from Hezbollah’s missiles.” Sharon wanted to use this statement to his benefit, and to the detriment of Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria and Iran; all he managed to do, however, was to scare his own people to death. If the resistance uses only Katyusha rockets, it could cause the displacement of two million Jews, and these would have to look for somewhere else to live, probably in the centre of Israel. How would it be, then, if Hezbollah’s missiles, as Sharon says, can reach every single populated area in Israel? If these are launched, where will all the Israelis go? Will they run to where the intifada is raging in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the West Bank?
And he continues [as published]: The United States, which is coming to impose its direct control over the region, knows very well that even if it brought all its military forces to Iraq, or elsewhere in the region, it will not be able to stay for long. The American and Israeli administrations have to understand that Arab and Muslim populations, and the people of this area as a whole, are not the Red Indians whom they can annihilate or isolate in the desert or on mountains. The people of this area are alive, and their ancestry goes back to the first human beings that walked on this land, which they call ‘the Old World’.
The onset of widespread American-Israeli barbarism in our region also marks the end of the United States’ hegemony over the world, because it will unleash an open and an unbalanced confrontation against it. The people on the other side of this confrontation are the leaders, officers and soldiers, not a state that could be threatened or a regime that can be dismantled and its financial resources dried up.
As we said a few days ago, what took place, and is still happening in Wazzani was a great victory; the fact that Lebanon could do what it did, and that Israel keeps quiet about it, is in itself a great accomplishment. Israel could make a sales-pitch for its silence to the Americans, the United Nations, France and the European Union, but the fact remains that the whole world knows that its silence, and its political sales-pitch, is insincere. They all know that if Israel had been able to respond, one way or another, before or after the opening of the Summit, it would have done so. Now we hear people say once again that since the Francophone Summit is over, Sharon may respond by launching an operation. I believe that it is a gross oversimplification to assume that Sharon did not bomb Lebanese installations before or after the opening of the Francophone Summit because it was being held in Lebanon. What he took into account when making this decision prior to the Francophone Summit, he will take again into account after the Summit is over.
It is wrong for the Lebanese to assume that their great accomplishment was all thanks to the Francophone Summit; this accomplishment came as a result of their unity, their state, their resistance, their people and their solidarity with Syria, in addition to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support, which endorses all Lebanon’s endeavours to regain its usurped territorial, water and other rights. All these things existed before the Francophone Summit, and will be there when it ends. We will reiterate everything we have said previously: any aggression against Lebanon will not be met by weakness, retreat or submission; responsibility is responsibility and a decision is a decision. Today, any weakness or lack of resolve in our words, our logic or in our performance does not mean that the other side will respect us, appreciate our circumstances, and will cooperate with us; rather, it will lead to more arrogance, more tyranny and more aggression against Lebanon and the region.
 “Red Indians” remains as a common reference for Arabic speakers to Native Americans in the United States.
 Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem would later write that “During the Israeli ‘Defensive Shield’ operation… the Resistance escalated its activities in the Shebaa Farms, increasing the frequency to a daily basis…sending a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people’s uprising and pain.” Qassem, Hizbullah, p. 136.
 The annual Francophone summit, only days before Nasrallah’s speech, brought French President Jacques Chirac to Beirut, as well the leaders of 55 states around the world. Nasrallah, in a well-reported appearance, attended the opening ceremonies.
On March 3, the independent Al-Jarida newspaper carried the following report by its correspondent in Jerusalem: “Al-Jarida has learned that last month, the Israeli authorities arrested liberated detainee Sodqi al-Maqt and arrested yesterday liberated detainee Fida’ ash-Shaer and Atef Darwich, all from the Golan, and accused them of coordinating with Hezbollah to open the “Golan front” and of leaking information and pictures described as being sensitive to the party and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Al-Jarida was able to break through the military censorship and acquire information about the accusations made against the detainees, although the army issued an order preventing the publication of whichever reports surrounding the arrest of Al-Maqt before March 15, and issued an order yesterday preventing the publication of reports on the arrest of Ash-Shaer and Darwich.
“A knowledgeable source thus told Al-Jarida that Israel arrested Al-Maqt after the Syrian “Al-Ikhbariya” television channel carried pictures showing Israeli military vehicles and ambulances carrying elements believed to be from An-Nusra Front and the Free Army inside Israel. The source indicated that Israel was interrogating Al-Maqt, Ash-Shaer and Darwich, on charges of being behind the leaking of these pictures that were described as being “sensitive,” and exposed the link between Israel and Syrian groups, some of which are extremists. Israel accused this network of providing Hezbollah and Al-Assad’s regime with information about the military movements in the Golan, along with sensitive information about a confidential visit by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon to an Israeli army position following the “Shaba’a attack.””
Excerpted from today’s Mideastwire.com Daily Briefing:
On March 3, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Rif Daraa Kamel Sakr: “The strategic Al-Hara Hill can clearly be seen with the naked eye from the town of Hamrit, which separates Rif Qoneitra and Rif Daraa. And Hezbollah’s fighters can also see it with the naked eye and with their military binoculars, and they will soon head to it with the Syrian army troops to re-seize it from the fighters of An-Nusra Front. Hence, the southern Daraa Front will witness “the mother of all battles” in Al-Hara Hill, as Hezbollah’s fighters are waiting for the go-order to participate in its liberation. This battle will also be an opportunity to test the nature of the confrontation on the Syrian southern front, considering that the high hill overlooks the separation line with the Israeli entity, and Hezbollah’s fighters will be at a stone’s throw away from the Israeli soldiers, but along the Syrian front this time around.
TRANSLATED: Hezbollah is already spearheading coordination between Leb army and Syria army i.e. fact on the ground
These coming weeks and months look to be especially bad along the whole border line of Lebanon and syria… and quite possible also along the border with Israel if some sides have their way.
Translated today by Mideastwire.com – for a free trial email firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 27, the independent Al-Rai al-Aam daily newspaper carried the following report: “The echo of the upcoming battle in Syrian Qalaoun and the adjacent Lebanese Ersal barren areas is being heard throughout North Bekaa. Logistical and military preparations are taking place in addition to major preparations by the Hezbollah public and environment to support the Party if need be. All signs indicate that a wide battle will be taking place for sure in the barren areas of Ersal, Kaa, and Ras Baalbek in addition to the barren areas of Qalamoun…
“The Bekaa is “boiling” on a high temperature unlike the cold weather there. All eyes are focused on the armed groups that are deployed within dispersed geographical regions occupying an area of more than fifty kilometers along the Syrian borders. These regions represent a major source of concern for the Lebanese army, Hezbollah and the people of North Bekaa who now feel a threat against their lives more than any time in the past. This comes in light of pieces of information indicating that these groups are planning a military operation against the Lebanese border towns in order to break the pressure created by the Syrian regime and Hezbollah…
“Numbers of Hezbollah fighters in the Bekaa villages and towns that are “administratively” and religiously affiliated to the Party were placed in the mood of the battle a short while ago. Pieces of news have been recently circulating indicating that the Party’s leadership issued a special circular addressing these fighters mainly in the area of Bekaa-Hermel asking them to brace for defending their villages. This came in light of pieces of information indicating that the Free Syrian Army, An-Nusra Front and ISIL are making massive military preparations to attack a number of areas affiliated to Party starting from the Ersal barren areas all the way to Ras Baalbek and Kaa.
“In addition, a large number of Bekaa youths were invited to join the Hezbollah training centers in order to prepare for the upcoming days. Although the people of these towns failed to either confirm or refute these pieces of information, they are in a constant state of alert and willing to take part in any battle that Hezbollah might ask them to fight.
“…But what about the borders and the preparations inside the Lebanese arena for this battle? And what will be the role of the Lebanese army? The available pieces of information indicate that the army is ready to respond to any attempt carried out by the fighters to infiltrate the Lebanese borders. The majority of the weapons received by the army recently including the canons and ammunition have been used to enhance the fronts where the army is deployed in the Bekaa…
“Concerning Nasrallah’s call for coordination between the Lebanese and Syrian armies in order to confront terrorism, intersecting pieces of information indicate that Hezbollah is running the field coordination most of the time between the Lebanese and Syrian armies via an operation room on the field run by the Party in coordination and cooperation between the two sides. The jets of the Syrian regime played a role in the last battle that occurred in the Ras Baalbek barren areas where the Lebanese army lost five troops. Indeed, the Syrian jets launched several raids against the armed groups thus killing large numbers and forcing others to pull out…”