La Fundación Iman

IMAN Chairman calls on West to sanction Islamist terrorist groups

Martes, 17 Mayo 2016

Russian bid to blacklist Syrian rebel groups blocked at UN


Britain, France, the United States and Ukraine on Tuesday blocked a Russian request to add two Syrian rebel groups to a UN terror blacklist and sideline them from the Syrian peace process, diplomats said.

Russia had requested that Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) and Ahrar al-Sham be added to the sanctions list for their ties to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Adding names to the UN sanctions list requires a consensus decision from the 15-member council and after objections were raised by the four countries, Russia's request was rejected.

"Russia publicly attempting to designate groups that are parties to the cessation of hostilities could have damaging consequences to the cessation just as we are trying to de-escalate the situation on the ground," said a spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations.

"Now is not the time to shift course, but rather double-down on our efforts toward a reduction in violence.”

Jaish al-Islam is a member of the Higher Negotiations Committee (HNC) that is taking part in negotiations in Geneva to end the five-year war in Syria. The Saudi-backed rebel group is the most important in Damascus province.

Ahrar al-Sham is among the most powerful Islamist rebel groups in Syria. Financed by Turkey and Gulf states, it has fought alongside the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, around Aleppo and in neighboring Idlib province.

The dispute over the sanctions list came amid word from Moscow Tuesday that the 17-nation International Syria Support Group (ISSG) would meet in Vienna on May 17 to try to get peace efforts back on track.

An attempt last year by the ISSG to come up with a single list of "terrorist" groups in Syria fell apart after scores of names were submitted from all sides.

A Security Council diplomat, who spoke on condition he not be named, said blacklisting the two groups would be "seriously counter-productive, damaging both efforts to maintain the cessation of hostilities and resume peace negotiations in Geneva.”

He argued that isolating them from the mainstream opposition would result in a more hardline stance and drive them away from the search for a political settlement.

"It would provide a pretext for yet more moderate areas to come under target," he said.

The Damascus regime has consistently branded all its opponents -- armed or not -- "terrorists" since the outbreak of war in 2011.

Al-Qaida, Hard-Line Rebels Seize Alawite Village in Syria


Al-Qaida fighters and other ultraconservative Sunni insurgents seized a predominantly Alawite village in central Syria on Thursday, sparking fears of sectarian violence as families from the village were reported missing by activists.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said "terrorists" were killing residents of the village of Zaara, previously controlled by the government. Syrian state media said insurgents had looted and destroyed homes.

Clashes continued into the afternoon as government or allied Russian aircraft pounded rebel positions, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that seven militants were killed. The Local Coordination Committees, an activist-run network, said the insurgents killed over 30 pro-government fighters in the clashes.

Ahrar al-Sham, an ultraconservative Sunni militant group, led the assault on Zaara, along with the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian franchise, which often fights alongside opposition factions. The Observatory, which covers both sides of the conflict through a network of local activists, said families disappeared from Zaara after the militants took over.

Responding to the news, IMAN Chairman (ODFS Director) Ribal Al-Assad said:

“Jaish Al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham are terrorist organisations that need to be recognised as such. That the US, France and Britain have blocked official recognition of this fact is a travesty and a betrayal of the Syrian people.

“Jaish Al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham groups share the same perverse ideology and goals as Al-Nusra and Islamic State. They are all Salafi Wahabi groups who believe in establishing an Islamic Caliphate State under Sharia Law from Andalucia Spain to Xinjiang China, and kill all those who do not share their twisted ideology.

"What more evidence do we need of this? Ahrar Al-Shams is fighting alongside Al-Nusra to capture villages, killing and torturing innocent civilians as those poor souls in Al Zara, and slaughtering all of those who do not share their poisonous ideology. And still we refuse to label them terrorists! This sort of behaviour should be condemned by the international community in the harshest terms and those who engage in it should receive no support at all from external powers.

"If these groups are fighting alongside al-Nusra, which is listed by the US as a terrorist organisation and is al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, then logically they must also be added as a terrorist organisation.

“Even the Syrian Kurds, who are the United States’ closest allies on the ground in Syria, have called for the United Nations to recognise Jaish Al-Islam as a terrorist organisation. And we should not forget that Philip Hammond said that the UK has been 'too reluctant in the past to recognise the link between non-violent extremism and violent extremism.' How can Mr Hammond be saying that the UK has been 'too reluctant in the past to recognise the link between non-violent extremism and violent extremism, and yet we can't even recognise the link between violent extremist groups such as Al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham? If we are truly serious about tackling Islamic extremism, we should begin by recognising the links between al-Nusra, ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam, who all share the same ideology as ISIS.

“I strongly urge the United States and other members of the international community to reconsider their opposition to the Russian proposal and blacklist both Jaish Al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Shams. It would be morally bankrupt to continue this policy of turning a blind eye to terrorism. Moreover, officially recognising these groups as terrorist organisations would not only be stating the truth — it would help bring the conflict in Syria to a speedier conclusion.”

Más artículos de noticias »