Military Escalation in Yemen

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Military Escalation in Yemen

The month of November witnessed an increase in the intensity of military operations in several strategic positions in Yemen, especially in the strategic oil-rich governorate on Marib, where the most important refineries and power plants are located. It also witnessed intensive attacks in the governorate of Taiz, and the withdrawal of UAE-backed allied forces from their defensive positions around the seaport of al-Hudaydah, which was subsequently seized by the Houthis. Moreover, Saudi forces withdrew from their position in the military base of al-Burayqah in Aden, the Houthis occupied the US embassy in Sanaa, which had been shut since 2015, and missile and drone attacks on Saudi intensified. The military escalation and intensive missile attacks did not spare the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which has been subjected to a barrage of intensive missile attacks since 26 November, with the special operations unit carrying out a series of assassinations against al-Houthi leaders, to the point where the situation in Yemen has come close to total collapse in the political, economic, and financial spheres. The exchange rate of the Yemeni rial collapsed as it lost two thirds of its value and reached 1600 rials to the dollar. This heralds a catalogue of dire and devastating consequences that may lead to plunging the country into famine now that food prices have recently risen sharply.

This escalation has coincided with the UN report on the real famine from which 8 million Yemenis are suffering, and with another report by the UN Development Programme, which warned that by the end of 2021 the death toll of the war, which by next Ramadhan will have entered its eighth year, will have exceeded 377, 000.

This reality explains the statement of the Yemeni Shurah Council’s Chairman Ahmed Obaid Bin Dagher who accused the alliance of changing their objectives, the “Legitimacy” of having lost its leadership role, and the army of fighting with its minimum capabilities. Bin Dagher summed up the situation Yemen has come to by saying that, “the republic and the unity are being subjected to a deliberate and financed systematic destruction, and dismantling policies aimed at dividing and tearing the homeland and society apart.” He concluded “the military option ended in a stalemate and the humanitarian and living conditions have become catastrophic.” This implies the presence of clear indications suggesting an intention to turn the page of armed struggle and accept the reality and the borders drawn up by the military battles on the ground.

All this has come in the context of kick-starting the Iranian nuclear file, bringing Iran back to her initial functional role before the “Arab Spring”, and downsizing the activity of her surrogates in the region. It has also come against the backdrop of bin Salman’s pledge to change the face of Saudi in the next five years; in other words, the objectives of the Yemeni war are close to serving their purpose, which are reflected in federalising Yemen, terrifying and restructuring Saudi, and restoring Iran to her former function.

This is why on Thursday 30 November, and during an interview with the London-based Elaph newspaper, Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak linked the failure of UN envoys to Yemen to the “Iranian role”, which harnesses Yemen as part of its project in the region and to enhance its negotiating position. He also linked it to the lack of effective international pressure on the Houthis to compel them into opting for peace, and slammed the role of UN envoys to Yemen, which in his opinion is futile in the absence of an international will to generate a solution. He said, “none of the international envoys represent their personal willpower but rather the international willpower; hence, a significant part of any failure an international envoy faces will be down to the extent of support he receives, and the extent of influence wielded by the international powerbrokers to tackle the factors impeding peace.” This accentuates indirectly foreign intervention and imposes the dictates of the influential and relevant power, namely the US. Yemen has had four UN envoy since 2011, the last of whom was Hans Grundberg, who assumed his mission few months ago following the failure of his predecessors, Griffiths, Ould Cheikh, and Benomar, in achieving lasting peace. This is corroborated by what Saudi Foreign Minister Faysal bin Farhan told France24 channel on 14 November 2012, namely that his country, “is committed to ending the struggle in Yemen”. He reiterated the Saudi project calling for a ceasefire and blamed the surrogates of Iran, i.e., al-Houthi and Hezbollah, for the continuance of the struggle by saying, “but the Hezbollah-backed Houthis refuse to respond to these calls, despite the fact that they still stand. On the other hand, the Houthis continue to attack the city of Marib and to fire ballistic missiles on the kingdom.” The Saudi minister hinted at the desire of his country to move through the Saudi-Iranian talks towards “tackling vital issues preoccupying Saudi”, and indicated that ironing out the issues troubling the countries of the region was linked to “reaching a final agreement on the nuclear file.”

By reading the statements of Saudi and the Yemeni “Legitimacy”, we deduce a tendency to exert pressure on the Houthis, portray them as the extremist party threatening peace, link them to Hezbollah, denounce their political vision which is built on “clinging to the divine right to rule”, absolve the “Legitimacy” of responsibility to divide Yemen, and point the finger at the Houthis. Such calls cropped up during the speech of President Hadi on 30 November marking the 53rd anniversary of independence, in which he said, “this militia should be compelled to peace and national consensus…. And it should awake from the delusions of political hegemony and ethnic and lineal superiority.” For his part, Yemeni Foreign Minister was quoted as saying during the Rome Med - Mediterranean Dialogue currently held in the Italian capital that peace in Yemen necessitated from “the Houthi militia to forsake the divine right to rule and adhere to equal citizenship as a constitutional clause and an essential condition for permanent peace in Yemen.”

The omens of this approach emerged in the US in the shape of a report compiled by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and published by Marib Press website; it stated that the Houthis constituted the obstacle impeding the efforts aimed at settling the Yemeni crisis, that the militias confirmed their consistent intransigence, and they are nowadays toying with the slogan of Peace to bide time and stage further terrorist operations.

The report also stated that putting the Houthis back on the terrorist list “met the criteria” and that the Houthis’ status was a topic of debate by the US administration, adding that the Houthis’ dominion over the Yemeni western coastline could threaten the shipping of 6 million oil barrels a day via the Red Sea. This alluded to a warning to Europe and her interests in Bab al-Mandab designed to lure her into supporting the American solutions, especially now that the Ethiopian struggle has erupted.

As for the military withdrawals from the battlefield, they were interpreted by the spokesperson of the Arab Coalition Forces, Colonel Turki al-Maliki, as being “a redeployment process concordant with the strategic plan of the coalition”, without giving any elaboration on the strategic plan, which could be deduced from the American political demands from the coalition to undertake confidence-building measures to execute the final agreement on Yemen. This is expected to end the struggle by granting the Houthis some of their demands, namely lifting the air and naval siege imposed on Sanaa’s airport and the seaport of al-Hudaydah, securing their financial status and the energy security in Marib by sharing the oil revenues and taxes, and by pledging to secure the demands of bin Salman, namely providing Saudi with American protection, dissipating Saudi’s security fears, ending the threats of the Houthis, and supplying Saudi with sophisticated weapons against ballistic missiles and drones, as well as securing the status of the strategic Taiz governorate, which is deemed the southwestern access to Sanaa, where the “Giants Brigades” have been redeployed.

Moreover, the sweeping attack launched by the Houthi forces on Marib, which according to a statement by the Houthi Movement led to the death of 15,000 Houthi militiamen in the past six months, has brought the Houthis out of their mountainous strongholds to the open and flat spaces in Marib and Bijan and Shabwa, facilitated the task of the coalition forces, weakened the Houthis, and encouraged some tribes and parties, and southern Yemeni movements to rally around the coalition forces to fend off the Houthi attacks. This sent a message to the Houthis stipulating that the cycle of violence would only end if political concessions were made and foreign dictates were observed through the Saudi-Iranian understandings concluded at the Baghdad meetings. This approach is perfectly compatible with the context sought by America and her policies calling for accepting the influence of the fait accompli and the division on its basis.

The region will undoubtedly enter a dark tunnel with no light at the end of it, as long as those in charge of its affairs are but pawns amidst the powers with covetous designs in our lands. Those powers are reorganising the region in order to preserve their interests, irrespective of the interests of the Muslims, the owners of these lands. The status quo of these lands will remain the same unless the Ummah moves to seize control of her forces to remedy the situation, removes these meagre entities, which derive the means of their existence from complying with the demands of the covetous powers, and establish the Khilafah State, which will restore of the Muslims and the rule of Allah the Almighty on earth, and endeavour to remove the injustice afflicting not just the Muslims, but the nations and peoples of the entire world.

“For, Allah always prevails in whatever be His purpose.” [Yusuf-21]

2 Jumada al-Oolah 1443h
6 December 2021


 

Latest articles

  • Protests in Iran 

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

    Political Observation - Protests in Iran


    The protests in Iran have entered their second week since the 22-year-old girl Mahsa Amini was killed after she was arrested by the “moral police” for wearing “inappropriate clothes”. The Iranian opposition mentioned that the young girl, who came from the Kurdish region of Iran, had received a blow to the head which plunged her into a coma for three days before she died. America did not shy away from openly backing these protests; the US State Department stressed that it “supports the rights of Iranians to peacefully assemble and express themselves, without fear of violence and detention by security forces.” It also explicitly stated it “will be able to provide more digital services to people in Iran, from access to cloud computing services to better tools to enhance their online security and privacy.” Antony Blinken for his part tweeted on 23 September, “We took action today to advance Internet freedom and the free flow of information for the Iranian people, issuing a General License to provide them greater access to digital communications to counter the Iranian government’s censorship.”

    Consequently, the US Treasury issued a host of directions “to expand the free flow of information and access to fact-based information to people in Iran consistent with the new ways people use the Internet today.” For his part, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he would activate the firm's satellite internet service, Starlink, in response to the Iranian government’s restrictions to prevent the opposition from disseminating news and clips condemning the police forces and Revolutionary Guards. The Iranian interior minister, Ahmed Wahidi, said “some social networking sites have directed the riots and ignited the fires”; he clarified that “several stages of the riot acts were the result of training received from those sites,” stressing that the interior ministry has “applied some restrictions on social media to preserve the security of the country and the safety of the masses.” As for the Iranian army, it issued a communiqué on Friday 23 September in which it stated “these desperate acts constitute part of an evil strategy by the enemy to weaken the Islamic system” and “the army will resist them.”

    What is remarkable is that the protests and demonstrations were portrayed as a "revolution against the hijab", and against Khamenei's government. Videos circulating on social media showed women in gatherings taking off their headscarves and then burning them.

    The clips also showed protesters in Tehran and other cities setting fire to police stations and their vehicles, and even an exchange of fire, despite the campaign of arrests and killings carried out by the security forces against demonstrators.

    On the other hand, the Iranian regime mobilised its supporters on Friday, September 23, in counterdemonstrations in support of the wearing of the hijab, chanting: "The call to abolish the veil is an implementation of the policy of the Americans."

    It is no secret the protests in Iran this time differ from what was witnessed in 2009, in what was known as the "Green Movement" and the demands of which were political, or the 2018 and 2019 demonstrations which had economic demands after the rise in gasoline prices. These recent protests bear a cultural character, dominated by the removal and burning of the hijab which represents religious symbolism, in addition to burning pictures of Khamenei and Qassem Soleimani, who represent the conservative "religious" movement. This indicates that there is American backing for the rival "modernist" reformist forces with the aim of exerting pressure on the conservatives. The government authorities met the protests with repression which included the arrests of "reformist" Faezeh Rafsanjani two days ago on charges of inciting the demonstrations. These widespread protests have come at a sensitive time for the Iranian regime, which has been weakened by international economic sanctions related to its nuclear program, in addition to the stalled negotiations to return to the 2015 Vienna Agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the Biden administration is trying to invest in before the upcoming midterm elections.

    Based on these facts, these demonstrations, whose flames are being fanned by America, fall within the context of extreme pressure on the mullahs’ regime in order to twist its arm into making concessions in the negotiations on the nuclear file, to curb Iran and its surrogates in the region, especially in Iraq, restrain it from seeking a rapprochement with China and Russia and curb its stubbornness and its recent transgressions in the Iraqi file. This explains the eruption of protests on the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan to reset the “Kurdish-Shiite” alliances in favour of the Iraqi government and the Sadrist movement, and also their eruption in the hotbeds of tension planted in the southern flank of Russia related to the ethnic setup, including the Iranian-Azeri people, which could set the Russian Federation on fire, as well as the impact of the Azeri and Persian ethnic conflict on the Turkish-Iranian relationship and its intersections in the Syrian and Kurdish files.

    However, these demonstrations do not seem to be a prelude to the process of overthrowing the Iranian regime, as much as they are extreme pressures to undermine the “religious” foundation on which the regime is built, and which lends it the justification to pursue its expansion into neighbouring countries. The protests are designed to downsize the regime in favour of spreading the liberalism adopted by the Biden administration, and using it to remove religious barriers and achieve its interests; this explains the focus of news coverage on the scenes of burning the hijab and symbols of the conservative movement, and on the support of the arts, journalism and sports circles for the protests which prompted Iran’s Chief Justice, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i, to attack celebrities, saying: “Those who became famous thanks to the regime’s support during the difficult days have joined the enemy instead of standing by the people, and they should compensate for the material and moral damage they caused to the people.”

    The United States, which is behind these protests, is the same one that stood behind the Iranian regime since the Khomeini revolution until Iraq was handed over to Iran and its militias, and the green light was given to it to support the Syrian regime, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen, and even the Hamas and the “Islamic Jihad” movements in Palestine. While it remained supportive of the mullahs’ regime and exchanged benefits and interests with it at the expense of the people of the region, it did not stop maximising the opposition’s momentum, striking it with the conservative regime forces, and then choosing the winner among them to serve it in implementing its policies in the region. The mullahs’ regime in Iran could have sided with the nation’s religion and the interests of the people, continued to build military power, exploited the turmoil of relations between the major powers for its benefit and freed itself from international restrictions, had it not been for the treachery and suspicious foreign relations fuelled by nationalism and sectarianism, narrow interests and historical hatred against the people of the region, despite the theatrics it carries out occasionally to show false hostility to what it calls the Great Satan.

    Were it not for the fact that the regime and the opposition follow the line of America and present a distorted image of Islam, the resentful youth would not have dared to burn the hijab as an expression of their discontent with a religion in whose name the most heinous crimes are committed. The Muslims of Iran are like the children of the Islamic Ummah, thirsting for unity and the return and application of pure Islam and for getting rid of the collaborators and religious merchants, repelling the aggressors, and putting an end to humiliation and subservience. Undoubtedly, this is the demand of this Ummah, despite the deception practised by America and its agents to hide this fact and promote its secularism and liberalism, which made Western peoples like beasts in the butchers' sheds.

    6 Rabi’ al-Awwal 1444h                                                       hizbuttahrir.org
    2 October 2022

     

  • Hamas & Syrian Regime Restore Relations 

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 
     
    Political Observation - Hamas & Syrian Regime Restore Relations
     
    In a move that evoked criticism from its staunchest supporters, the Hamas Movement announced on Thursday 15 September that it was forging ahead with “building and developing solid relations” with the criminal Syrian regime, after nearly 11 years of "estrangement". In a statement that included cajoling and an apology to the butcher Bashar, the movement expressed its "appreciation of the Syrian Arab Republic, leadership and people, for its role in standing by the Palestinian people and their just cause," adding that it had officially decided to resume relations with Damascus.
     
    Hamas' statement came following a visit by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to Moscow at the head of a delegation which included his deputy and two members of the movement's top leadership, under the pretext of "developing the relationship with Russia" and generating a positive equilibrium for the Russian role in favour of the Palestinian cause.
     
    In fact, the restoration of relations between "Hamas" and the Syrian regime was not surprising given the current alignments in the region, including the Turkish leadership's move towards reconciliation and rapprochement with Syria and  resuming normal relations with "Israel", and given the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the Syrian regime through Jordan and Egypt in preparation for readmitting Syria to the League of Arab States. This is  in addition to the Qatari sponsorship, which represents the Hamas movement’s American channel,  and which has been working towards integrating Hamas into the regional solution; and this is in addition to the latter’s relationship with Iran and Hezbollah, whose Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah revealed in 2020 an ongoing mediation to restore the relationship between Hamas and the Syrian regime and heralded its imminent resumption.
     
    However, the new development in this issue is the convergence of US-Russian interests regarding this reconciliation and the return of relations between Hamas and the Syrian regime. It is no secret that the major decisions of Hamas, such as visiting Russia and responding to it and Iran regarding reconciliation with the Syrian regime, must pass an American green light through the movement’s sponsors in Qatar, in light of the isolation imposed by the United States on Moscow, , and in the context of the United States’ efforts to rehabilitate the Syrian regime regardless of its position on Bashar, who is looking to restore his control over most of the Syrian soil, including the Kurdish areas in the north, with an Iranian-Turkish-Russian understanding, and regardless of its position on the Iranian regime, which has gone too far in its stubbornness regarding its outstanding files with America.
     
    Despite this, Hamas’ reconciliation with the criminal Syrian regime provides it with support from Hamas supporters inside Syria and the regional neighbourhood, and Hamas’s intention to proceed in the regional solution will provide the Syrian regime with justifications to get rid of its previous slogans against the Zionist entity and engage in a regional solution in the future, which represents an American interest, irrespective of whether Bashar remains president or is deposed and replaced by another puppet.
     
    Therefore, the endeavour to restore relations between the Assad regime and Hamas is proceeding according to the plan for a regional solution sponsored by the United States, which Joe Biden disclosed in an article in the Washington Post two days before his visit to the region last July, under the title “Why I’m going to Saudi Arabia”. Describing his visit to the region as being in the Americans' interest, he said, " A more secure and integrated Middle East benefits Americans in many ways. Its waterways are essential to global trade and the supply chains we rely on. Its energy resources are vital for mitigating the impact on global supplies of Russia’s war in Ukraine. And a region that’s coming together through diplomacy and cooperation — rather than coming apart through conflict — is less likely to give rise to violent extremism that threatens our homeland or new wars that could place new burdens on U.S. military forces and their families.”  
     
    As for Russia, it is in its interest to possess bargaining chips, pressure, and attempt to influence the relevant parties in the Palestine issue, and the attempt to provide propaganda for the Syrian regime, in addition to investing in Hamas to improve the image of Russia in front of Islamic public opinion and Muslim races within the Russian Federation in light of Putin's need for soldiers from Russia's Muslims in the war on Ukraine to avoid the indignation of the Slavic race that grumbled about Putin's partial mobilisation declaration, and in consideration of the Russian tension with the Zionist entity regarding the standpoint on the Russian-Ukrainian war. At this level, the US-Russian interest converges with the restoration of relations between Hamas and the Syrian regime.
     
    It is noteworthy that the United States opened the way for Hamas towards the Arab countries after the Battle of the Sword of al-Quds, in which the Biden administration colluded to overthrow Netanyahu and portray the movement as a victor, presenting it as a representative of the will of the people of Palestine.  Ismail Haniyeh was welcomed in Algeria and placed in the first row with other leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, who is still complicit in Hamas’s hijacking of the limelight from the rest of the factions and its appearance as the strongest representative of the “Palestinian people,” in preparation for its inclusion in the final and lasting solutions. This also includes Ismail Haniyeh’s visit to Lebanon and his appearance at the wake of the defunct Sultan of Oman, and his efforts to calm the atmosphere with Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan, and distance the movement from the Muslim Brotherhood after their role declined due to the “counter-revolutions” under the pretext of restoring consideration to the “Palestinian cause.”
     
    The pragmatic approaches of the Hamas leadership reveal beyond a reasonable doubt and justification the regional and international understandings about the position of the regional solution, and its willingness to engage in it, especially after Khaled Meshaal announced the “General Principles and Policies” document in 2017. Its position became clearer in its spineless stance during the recent aggression on Gaza and the targeting of the Islamic Jihad movement.
     
    Its complicity in the regional solution has appeared through its reliance on political support from Qatar and military support from Iran, and through its decision to mend fences with the Syrian regime, and its fluctuating positions, in total disregard of its religion and the will of the Ummah and the people of Palestine, its popular bases and supporters and even its loyal cadres. Its complicity was further illustrated through the changing of its charter and accepting the two-state solution under false pretences, and its quest to join the treacherous Palestine Liberation Organisation and to take it as a cover for deception, negligence and concession, knowing that the sons of the Ummah, including the Hamas cadres, are aware that the liberation of Palestine will not be in alliance with the agents in Syria and the killers in Tehran, but rather on the ruins of these treacherous regimes, especially the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, the scion of treason, who killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Syria, who are no different from the people of Palestine, and destroyed the Palestinian camps since the beginning of its war on the people of Syria, displaced their inhabitants, killing more than 4,000 Palestinians since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, and still detains more than 2,400 Palestinian old men, women and children in his slaughterhouses, as well as millions of displaced Syrians in refugee camps. The balance in favour of the Palestine issue will not occur by relying on Russia, which informed Hamas and Bashar the criminal that it did not come to Syria to fight "Israel", and that Hamas must accept the resolutions of international legitimacy and fall under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Hamas must take heed of the saying of Allah the Almighty, “And do not incline to those who do wrong, lest the Fire touch you.” [Hud-113]
     
    For all of this, we advise the Hamas movement to correct its compass according to its religion, to return to its senses and to abandon the treacherous regional solution, and not to sell the honour of the Ummah in the market for submissive solutions, and thus squandering the sacrifices of the millions who have rejected the existence of the usurping entity and fiercely stood up to it, to the point where the criminal regime continues to lack security three quarters of a century after its rise. We also advise the loyal members of the movement, especially those in the military wing, to stand united in the face of a regional solution, no matter how much hardship they incur, and to take the political leaders to task, so that they do not harness the sacrifices of Muslims to regain Palestine for the benefit of the parties to the regional solution and of entrenching the Zionist entity.
     
    We also direct our call to the Islamic Ummah to remain vigilant and wary of the solutions proposed by America, and in which the countries of the region are proceeding and want the Hamas movement to follow suit. The sacrifices of the Hamas movement should not blind us from the bitter reality, which, if turned into reality, Allah forbid, Palestine will then be lost, and so will the sacred precincts, and the resistance fighter will turn into a guard for the security of the usurping entity, as was the case with the PLO, which signed the agreement that turned it into a guard in Oslo.  
     
    “And Allah always prevails in whatever be His purpose: but most people know it not.” [Yusuf-21]
     
    1 Rabi’ al-Awwal 1444h                                                      hizbuttahrir.org
    27 September 2022 
     
  • Recent Developments in the Ukrainian War 

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

    Political Observation - Recent Developments in the Ukrainian War

    A few days back, Turkey offered to mediate to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, bring together the Russian and Ukrainian presidents and proposed handing back the lands occupied by Russia. However, the Kremlin responded to the Turkish offer by stating that the prospects for a settlement at the present time were out of the question. This is not the first time Turkey has offered mediation between Ukraine and Russia as it has been preceded by several attempts since the Russian military operation was launched including an offer of mediation in February 2022, March 2022 and last August, all under different circumstances, as Russia was in a more comfortable position, and neither Russia nor America had an interest in stopping the war as Russia had her stakes and America had her strategy which surfaced in her desire to prolong the war.

    As for mediation at the present time, it is probably a trial balloon that has been agreed upon between Turkey and Russia who is suffering from painful field losses, a lack of combat human resources and most importantly, the expansion of hotbeds of tension in the Russian lebensraum such as the Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan conflict coinciding with the move and visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Armenia, akin to her provocative visit to Taiwan, in order to support Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who came to power following the Velvet Revolution against Russia’s man, Serzh Sargsyan, in order to lure Armenia out of Russian influence. Pashinyan was pushed into the recent Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict to put pressure on Europe, in addition to America's incitement of the Moldovan government over the Transnistria file with the aim of intensifying pressure on Russia and raising Europe's concern over the expansion of the war towards the Romanian borders. Moreover, the voice of the Georgian government has been growing louder as it has recently received Western military support to fortify itself against any possible Russian aggression. Therefore, it is possible that the Turkish mediation aims to feel the pulse of America and motivate the Europeans towards the option of calm, i.e., sending a message suggesting the possibility of ending the war before winter enters and the situation in Europe worsens, especially since the discontent among European countries has widened in the past few days due to the rise in energy prices, the consequent expected recession and the disturbances that this may cause.

    The mediation and Russia’s rejection of it also fall within the context of maneuvering to gain time by discouraging America from continuing the counterattack on the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions after the Russians had lost Kharkov and Izyum, and at the same time, Russia is trying to send a message expressing her determination to continue the war.           hizbuttahrir.org

    Therefore, it is likely that the Turkish mediation is not a prelude to a breakthrough as much as it entails messages, trial balloons and maneuvering. Turkish mediation is important for Erdogan in terms of stressing the usefulness of the relationship with Putin and justifying it after he was slammed by the Europeans, and in terms of owning the key to returning to America to ease pressure on him in the upcoming elections, especially in the presence of the Turkish economic interests in stopping the conflict.

    As for Putin, he wants to send a message to the Russian masses that he will not give up his gains, especially to the extreme right which criticised him personally after he had assumed the military leadership of the operation. In this context, news reports indicate that there are Ukrainian preparations for an attack similar to the five-day attack which achieved great success in the Kharkov and Izyum regions, boosted the morale of Ukrainian soldiers, shook the image of the Russian army and revealed a weakness in Russian human resources which prompted Putin to announce partial mobilisation on the advice of the defence ministry, in addition to resorting to upping the ante in his speech today in which he said that there are “anti-Russian plans in Ukraine; they have turned the Ukrainian people against Russia.” He indicated that “Kiev obtained an order to undermine the proposals for a peaceful solution,” explaining that "Washington, Germany and others give orders to Kiev against Russia." He added “we cannot let down the people of the land. Therefore, the parliament of the Donbas took the decision to hold a referendum on self-determination and joining Russia.” Meanwhile, the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, announced the signing of a law "holding a referendum on the accession of the Lugansk People's Republic to the Russian Federation". Likewise, the head of the administration of the Kherson province, Volodymyr Saldo, announced his approval to hold a popular referendum on the accession of the province to Russia, while the head of the administration of the Zaporizhzhia region Yevgeny Balitsky announced on Tuesday that the referendum on the province's accession to Russia would take place from 23 to 27 September. hizbuttahrir.org

    It is clear from the standpoints of both Putin and the leaders of these regions, especially the Zaporizhzhia region, that they are the target of Ukrainian military preparations with US and Western support. This explains Putin's escalation in his speech that "the threat to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant poses a threat of a nuclear disaster…. Russia has nuclear weapons….and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us.”

    It is no secret that Putin is trying, by annexing Donbass to Russian lands through a referendum, to justify his call for partial mobilisation in order to avoid domestic discontent and criticism given that he is defending Russian lands and the Russian people, in addition to his quest to secure the battlefronts with soldiers as a precaution against the Ukrainian attack and the continuation of the war in which America seeks to invest as far as possible.

    25 Safar 1444h                                                                      hizbuttahrir.org
    21 September 2022

     

     


     

  • Horizons of Iranian Nuclear Deal between Signing & Postponement 

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

    Political Observation - Horizons of Iranian Nuclear Deal between Signing and Postponement

    On Monday 12 September, the regular meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) kicked off in Vienna to discuss several files, including the Iranian nuclear program, to which Tehran was invited to give explicit answers, especially about the traces of uranium that were found at undeclared sites. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said there was currently no progress in the ongoing investigation into Iran's nuclear activities.

    For his part, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Iranian response to Europe's proposals to revive the agreement "takes us backwards." He added, “I can’t give you a timeline except to say, again, that Iran seems either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to reach an agreement and they continue to try to introduce extraneous issues to the negotiation that make an agreement less likely," at a press conference in the Mexican capital.

    It is no secret that the world was waiting for the moment of the end of the nuclear agreement crisis with Iran, and Josep Borrell had expressed his hope to sign the agreement within days but America impeded the agreement and the IAEA announced that Iran had exceeded the permitted ceiling in uranium enrichment; thus, the negotiation efforts headed towards the unknown, which raises the question about the motives of the US administration to block the path towards reaching a formula that revives the agreement with Iran.

    It seems that America’s motives for disrupting the agreement stem from the issue’s relationship to the regional file, which requires Iran to play the role of a scarecrow to the countries and peoples of the region, and to the Israeli public opinion, pending the caravan of normalisation and alliance making considerable progress. It is also related to the issue of Iranian presence and influence in the files of Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

    The negotiations coincided with the crisis of governance in Iraq, in which Iran insisted on interfering in its process, and on confronting Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement with firmness, stubbornness and escalation; this was reflected in the armed clash that the Popular Mobilisation Forces instigated a few days ago, and in the insistence of Al-Maliki’s group to form the government. It was also reflected in the statement of Ibrahim Raisi following the bloody events in the Green Zone, and his saying that Iraq's stability depends on the parties' commitment to the agreement and the political track, which implies a threat that either we will stay in Iraq or hell will break loose.

    Muqtada al-Sadr and Mustafa al-Kadhimi realised this and were compelled to retreat "tactically" in order to avoid the chaos that Iran has the skill to orchestrate in her favour. Thus, the position of al-Sadr and al-Kadhimi was inevitable in order to sidestep the manoeuvre of Iran who sought to reshuffle the pack through the threat of civil war that Al-Maliki wielded in the leaked recordings a month ago, especially since Iran’s submission to American dictates in Iraq would impact on her position in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, weaken the positions of her surrogates in those states, and undermine her gains in the region.

    As for the Syrian file, there was an agreement in the Tehran summit between Russia, Iran, and Turkey, where the tone of Iran’s media towards Turkey, especially Hezbollah’s media, has changed, and an Iranian insistence on continuing to support Hezbollah through routes close to the Russian bases in Latakia has emerged, in addition to the American and "Israeli" clashes and strikes against Iranian sites in Syria, Russia's threat to activate the S-300 air defence systems to deter "Israeli" attacks, and Hassan Nasrallah's threats to Israel regarding the maritime dispute over gas areas, all of which angers America, who regards Turkey and Iran's rapprochement with Russia as a threat to her interests. Thus, it was not surprising that America cooled off the file of the agreement after it was about to be finalised. However, a sudden solution to this file could not be ruled out if America were to deem it necessary.

    The final issue is pertinent to the American domestic political realities. Biden will not take a step towards a solution with Iran unless he is confident that the solution will not be used by his opponents in the upcoming elections, and he must also take into account the repercussions of the agreement on the Lapid government which Netanyahu is targeting. Therefore, despite Lapid’s tough stance towards the US-Iran agreement, as he is courting the Zionist rightwing, his coalition partner, Benny Gantz, stated in a speech before the annual Jerusalem Post conference in New York City, that if any agreement were to be signed with Iran, it should ensure that she did not possess a nuclear weapon.

    The Iranian leadership perceives these facts and is keen to conclude the agreement before the US midterm elections and before the “Israeli” elections, as a precaution against Netanyahu’s return and the victory of the Republicans in the US Congress, given that they are the most intransigent vis-à-vis the Iranian file, which they use to woo the rightwing evangelicals and the Zionist lobby in the United States. The Biden administration is also aware of this and is reluctant to agree to the nuclear deal before the midterm elections, lest it should be exploited against the Democrats, but it will not miss the opportunity to conclude the agreement if it manages to impose the conditions that nullify the pretexts of “Israel” and the Republicans at home, such as maintaining sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and keeping the justifications that enable her to exert pressure on Iran regarding her regional interference and ballistic missiles, as well as reserving the right to withdraw from the deal in the future, which Iran still refuses, and which makes it possible to defer the crisis until after the US midterm elections and the “Israeli” elections.

    As for the standpoints of France, Germany, and Britain, who expressed doubts about Iran's intention to revive the agreement, they come in the shape of pressure on Iran to speed up her response to America's dictates because the three countries have an interest in lifting sanctions on Iran and benefiting from her energy sources under America's insistence on weaning Europe off Russian gas.

    24 Safar 1444h                                                                           hizbuttahrir.org
    20 September 2022

     

     

  • Dimensions of Greek Harassment of Turkey 

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

    Political Observation - The Dimensions of Greek Harassment of Turkey

    A Turkish defence ministry source announced on 23 August that Turkish F16 jetfighters had been radar locked by a Greek S300 air defence system stationed on the Greek island of Crete, adding that harassing Turkish jetfighters by radar-locking them and directing missiles at them proved that Greece had activated the S300 batteries which was tantamount to an act of aggression according to the rules of engagement stipulated by NATO.

    Against the background of continuous Greek provocation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Greece, saying: Greece's occupation of Aegean Sea islands does not bind us." When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. As we say, all of a sudden, we may come suddenly one night". Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Greece, “the bad neighbour”, was harassing Turkish forces in the Aegean Sea in various ways and was arming the Aegean islands in contravention of the Lausanne and Paris treaties. Commenting on what happened, he stressed that his country's land, sea and air forces “would not be lenient in responding to any harassment.”

    In order to perceive the dimensions of the Greek provocation and the threats launched by Erdogan, it is imperative to revisit its circumstances, as it is remarkable that it came after America had resumed reviewing the file of selling F-16 jetfighters to Turkey, with the presence of a Turkish delegation in America for this purpose, and after the American offer to sell jetfighters to Turkey in exchange for her forsaking the S-400 defense system, and in conjunction with Greece's amendment of a defence agreement with the United States allowing American forces to reach Greek military bases and expand their military build-up there. This places the incident within the context of exerting pressure on Erdogan regarding his relationship with Russia and reminding him of his membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the consequent commitments and positions towards Russia, especially since it came a month after the tripartite summit in Tehran that brought Erdogan, Raisi and Putin together, and since Erdogan accused America and the alliance of being the first to have supported "terrorism" in Syria, and demanded the United States to get out of east Euphrates. It also came with Erdogan's endeavour to return to a policy of "zero problems" with the countries of the region, reformulate regional alliances and energy projects in the eastern Mediterranean and secure “Israeli” gas to Europe. hizbuttahrir.org

    As for the second dimension, related to Erdogan’s statements in particular, it is to intimidate Greece and emphasise his standpoint on the conflict with her over the islands and borders, which could have ignited a war between the two countries with French incitement of Greece, had it not been for the American intervention to broker a deal through German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July 2020, which Greece later violated. Also included in this dimension is Erdogan’s harnessing of the incident for media consumption in the context of meeting the challenge of the upcoming elections and playing the nationalist chord, as he always does in every election, in addition to the fact that Greece’s harassment serves Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his upcoming elections as well, especially as he derives his popularity from hostility towards Turkey; he also tends to exploit the nationalist factor and he spoke of the loss of Izmir and Western Anatolia 100 years ago, describing it as a "massive loss."

    Both men face upcoming elections in the middle of next year as well as economic and financial upheavals and an energy crisis. This is in addition to the fact that the event coincided with American pressures on Turkey regarding the commercial violations committed by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), which received a letter of reprimand from the United States, and some of its men were even subjected to investigations by US intelligence on Turkish soil. Macron took advantage of this point to raise the issue of Turkey's distinction from other countries by allowing her to deal with Russia and making her the only channel and mediator with Putin during his meeting with French ambassadors to the world.

    It seems America was compelled to exert pressure on her men in TÜSİAD to nullify France's pretexts for opening channels of communication with Putin, or justifying the rejection of energy-related sanctions on Russia. This is despite the fact that America has turned a blind eye to them throughout the previous period, considering that they are among her men and forces in the deep state, which she harnesses to fluster Erdogan. TÜSİAD, which is headed by Orhan Turan, is the most famous and economically and politically influential association in Turkey; its members number 4,500 companies which pay more than 80% of the state’s tax income, in addition to controlling 50% of the GDP and approximately 85% of Turkey's foreign trade, and it employs about 50% of the workforce in Turkey. It is led by major industrial companies in Turkey including Koç Holding which is one of the 500 largest companies in the world according to Forbes Magazine.  hizbuttahrir.org

    TÜSİAD has a historical record of political influence starting with its campaign against the government of Bulent Ecevit (1979) for its refusal to deploy America’s spy planes on Turkish soil during the Cold War, then its support for the minority government headed by Süleyman Demirel, then its financial and media support for forming the coalition of the Motherland Party and dissolving The Welfare Party (Necmettin Erbakan), especially since it had an active role in establishing the Turkish Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) which is a rival to TÜSİAD.

    Accordingly, the Greek provocations to Turkey do not deviate from the American means aimed at exerting pressure on Turkey and warning Erdogan against undermining American interests, especially since the event came amid Turkey's threats to launch a new military operation against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria. America is also exploiting the Greek fear of Turks to contain Greece and scale down her dependence on France in the confrontation with Turkey, especially since Greece has had bad relations with Germany since the outbreak of its financial crisis at the start of the last decade. 

    However, Greece’s aim from harassing Turkish jetfighters involves asserting her sovereignty over the Turkish islands in the Aegean Sea, which were plundered from the Ottoman State after her defeat in World War I, and given to Italy, then to Germany and then to Britain after World War II. Then Greece inherited the islands from Britain on condition that they remained demilitarised in accordance with the treaties concluded with Turkey, and Greece’s target is to change this legal status, namely, abolishing the provision not to arm the islands, establishing Greek sovereignty over them and arming them despite Turkey. There is also a European-American complicity to besiege Turkey as a precaution against Turkey's exit from NATO for any reason.

     

    20 Safar 1444h                                                                       hizbuttahrir.org
    16 September 2022

     

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