Jamal Maarouf, “Abu Khalid”, leader of SRF, breaks with Nusra Front

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Video of an Iraqi and a Russian ISIS fighter inside Kobani

This video is supposedly shot in the centre of Kobani. Two men, one probably Iraqi and the other speaking with Russian accent – judging from his accent he has almost certainly learned Arabic in Egypt –  claim to address viewers while standing in the centre of Kobani/’Ayn al-‘Arab. Published here are the translation of what the two men – whom I have dubbed the Iraqi and the Russian – have to say and the Arabic transcription. The latter especially is taken over quite literally. Grammatical mistakes and some incongruencies have been left in to stay as close to the original as possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BtV2wvQgIg&feature=youtu.be

(The “Iraqi”)

In the name of Allah, prayer and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah.

We are here right now in the centre of ‘Ayn al-‘Arab. This is the cultural centre. Now, we have advanced Inshallah we have not come here for anything other to administer God’s law. We have no quarrel with the Kurds and we have not come for (anything other than) the administration of God’s law. Inshallah, we will continue despite the planes, despite the alliance, despite everything. Our morale, inshallah, is very high and the brothers are steadfast, no matter what, inshalllah. We do not expect anything other than the complete liberation of ‘Ayn al-‘Arab and the administration in it of God’s law. God willing, we will continue on this road.

(The “Russian”)

Here we are in the centre of the town. This here is the center of Kobani, this same street, you know, is the main ‘autostrada’ street. Thanks to God Almighty we advance, and advance, and advance daily, you know, we liberate and clean out the houses. As for their planes in the sky which bombard us 24 hours a day and at night…by Allah, we say that they don’t increase anything except for our faith, our certainty and our persistence. For we have learned that we are surely on the right side and there is no doubt about it that the unbelievers, you know, the world and all the unbelievers of the world have united against us. In order to do what? Because we have come to this land, in order to (the word of Allah is the most Supreme) to liberate the land of the abomination of the atheists, the PKK and others. This is their goal, you know, to prevent the arrival of the Islamic State, the establishment of the law of God Almighty.

باسم الله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

ها نحن، الآن في وسط عين العرب وهذا هو المركز الثقافي. والآن نحن الآن متقدمين إن شاء الله وما جئنا إلى هنا إلا لتحكيم شرع الله .ليس بيننا مقاتلة الأكراد ولا نحن أتينا لتحكيم شعر الله. وإن شاء الله ماضون رغم الطيران رغم التحالف، رغم كل شئ. المعنويات إن شاء الله مرتفعة جدا والأخوة ثابتين ثابتين إن شاء الله ولن نتوقف إلا لتحرير عين العرب كاملا ولتحكيم شرع الله فيها. وبإذن الله ماضين على هذا الطريق

 

ها نحن في وسط المدينة وهذا هو مركز المدينة، مدينة الكوباني، نفس الشارع يعني الشارع الأوتوستراد الرئيسي وبفضل الله عز وجل يوميا نتقدم ونتقدم ونتقدم، يعني نحرر ونمشط البيوت. أما طياراتهم في الجوالذين يقصفوننا ٢٤ ساعة في النهار وفي الليل… والله نقول إنهم ما يزدادون إلا إيمانا ويقينا وثباتا. أننا علمنا أننا فعلا على الحق ولا نشك في هذا بأن الكفار يعني العالم وكل كفار الدنيا اجتمعوا علينا لأجل ماذا؟  لأننا أتينا إلى هذا الأرض لتكون كلمة الله هي العليا. لنحرر هذا الأرض من رجس الملاحدة PKK وغيرهم. هذا هو هدفهم يعني ليمنعوا وصول الدولة الإسلامية من إقامة شرع ألله عز وجل

Al-Manar Footage Shows Ghouta Explosion Purportedly Killing Dozens of Rebels

As has been widely reported this morning, dozens of rebels (and/or civilians) appear to have been killed in an SAA/Hezbollah ambush on a road near Ghouta east of Damascus. Numbers vary, but casualties are told to be 100+. Al-Manar, the pro-Hezbollah TV station in Lebanon, aired heat-camera footage appearing to show the attack, which involved a massive explosion. Footage below (sound includes some google-like pings for whatever reason). The explosion occurs +/- 0.40 min.

Interesting Perspective on FSA Momentum

Whole story here.

“As for the “momentum” question, one of the greatest shibboleths of the last three months has been assessments that put the rebels on the losing side of this war. No one seemed to understand why Assad would gas them in Eastern Ghouta because no one seemed to even realize that the rebels had so firmly entrenched themselves in Eastern Ghouta, withstanding gunships, artillery, rockets and even prior releases of nerve toxins. In a very well done piece for Der Spiegel, Christoph Reuter and Holger Stark debunk this conventional wisdom by showing that, apart from the fall of Qusayr and Homs (strategic necessaries for the regime, but not the opposition), Assad’s forces have been suffering several debilitating losses. Khan al-Assal in the Aleppo, the sight of an early chemical weapons attack, fell in July as did Minnagh airbase. Last month, rebels took Khan Assir, the last transit corridor for the regime’s remaining troops in Aleppo who are now completely choked off. And in Rif Dimashq, Reuter and Stark write, not even the August 21 sarin attack enabled the Fourth Division to retake a single neighborhood, and it sure did try: “Instead, the division lost at least seven tanks in the Damascus neighborhood of Harasta alone. A rebel video provides an insight into the lack of personnel among the elite division: Two crew members flee a burning tank — but they are wearing no uniforms, no helmets and no radio gear. Shabiha militia members have apparently been forced to fill the gaps in the ranks of the army.”

This shows yet again another fatal weakness in Assad’s campaign: not only is he running out of viable regular soldiers — the bulk of whom he’s never trusted, and many of whom have either been killed by rebels, confined to barracks, or shot while trying to desert or defect — but he is relying more and more on guerrilla militias to do his fighting for him. Not all of these are acting directly on orders from Damascus High Command. The Syrian Arab Army, in other words, is losing its command and control capability and becoming more and more like… the Free Syrian Army.

If for no other reason, then, now would be an excellent time for Washington to try and turn the latter into an alternative military. Who knows? It just might come in handy someday.”