Two Years on, the Stakes of Russia’s War in Syria Are Piling (Op-ed)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MOSCOW TIMES)

 

Two years ago, on Sept. 30, 2015, Russian warplanes launched their first airstrikes in Syria, plunging Russia into a civil war that had already been festering for four years.

Moscow intervened in Syria vowing to fight Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, terrorist groups banned in Russia. Its objective was to transform its relationship with Washington and Brussels by disarming an imminent threat to the West after it had hit Russia with sanctions for the Kremlin’s “adventures in Ukraine.”

Days before the airstrikes began, Putin delivered a speech at the United Nations General Assembly calling for a united front against international terrorism, framing it as the modern equivalent of World War II’s coalition against Hitler.

But two years later, Russia’s hopes of winning concessions in Ukraine for its campaign against Islamic State have come to very little. Putin’s strategic alliance with the United States never materialized.

Russia, however, has met two less lofty goals. One was to rescue the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, Moscow’s longtime ally, from the inevitable defeat at the hands of an armed Sunni rebellion.

Moscow leveraged its ties with Iran, another regime ally, to deploy Shia militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the Syrian rebels. This allowed Moscow to send a modest ground force to Syria — artillery and some special operations forces — without a large footprint.

Russia helped Assad recast the civil war and the popular uprising against his regime as a fight against jihadi terrorists by focusing its airstrikes over the last two years on moderate Syrian rebel groups, while paying little attention to Islamic State.

This rendered the conflict black and white — a binary choice between Assad and jihadists. It allowed Moscow to sell its intervention as support for Syria’s sovereignty against anarchy and terrorism. Russia made clear that it saw the path to stability in the Middle East as helping friendly autocrats suppress popular uprisings with force.

At home, the Kremlin sold its Syrian gambit as a way of defeating terrorism before it reached Russian soil. Russia, after all, needed to prevent Russians and Central Asians who joined Islamic State from returning home to wreck havoc at home soil.

Moscow was also able to use Syria as a lab for its newest weaponry.

By workshopping newly-acquired precision cruise-missile strikes, Russia joined the United States in an exclusive arms club. Showcasing military prowess, while keeping casualties figures low — some 40 Russia servicemen died in Syria — it was able to win public support at home for the intervention.

But perhaps most importantly, the Kremlin’s intervention in Syria has reaffirmed Russia’s status as a global superpower which is capable of projecting force far from its own borders.

Andrei Luzik / Russian Navy Northern Fleet Press Office / TASS

While Moscow may have been offended by former U.S. President Barack Obama’s dismissive description of Russia as a “regional power,” it impressed Arab leaders with its unwavering support for Assad, which was important at a time when U.S. commitment to allies’ security and the stability in the region was in doubt.

Moscow’s backing of Assad ensured it had channels with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, despite their support for Syrian rebels. It was even able to convince the Gulf to wind down its support for the opposition as a Russia-led victory for the regime became inevitable.

Russia’s alliances with Jordan and Egypt proved useful in setting up direct lines to armed opposition groups to reach de-escalation agreements. And even as it fights alongside Shia Iran, Moscow has avoided being drawn into a sectarian proxy war with Sunni Arab states.

Russia’s most stunning diplomatic coup was to change Turkey’s calculus in the war from a proxy adversary into a major partner in securing the decisive victory in Aleppo. Through the Astana process, Russia alongside Turkey wound down fighting with moderate rebels.

Russia’s victory in Syria was helped by Washington’s decision not to immerse itself into Syria and a war by proxy with Russia. Instead, the U.S. focused its military operations on defeating Islamic State in eastern Syria.

Now, with de-escalation in western Syria, regime forces and Russian airpower are turned to defeating Islamic State, which has brought them into contact with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advancing from the northeast as part of their offensive to liberate Raqqa from Islamic State.

The potential for a U.S.-Russia kinetic collision in Syria with unpredictable consequences is escalating. This highlights the looming endgame in Syria and the choices Moscow and Washington will have to make moving forward.

Washington needs to decide whether it wants to stay in Syria for counterinsurgency operations to prevent the re-emergence of Islamic State. It may also decide to block Iran from establishing the “Shia land bridge” from the Iraqi border to the Mediterranean.

But this entails supporting the SDF and helping them control sizeable real estate northeast of the Euphrates river and blocking regime forces and Russia from advancing east.

Moscow needs to decide whether it wants to be dragged into Assad and Iran’s strategy of ensuring a complete military victory in Syria and preventing the opposition from exercising any autonomous self-rule. That could see Russia pulled into a nasty proxy fight with the Americans.

Two years after Russia intervened in Syria, the war may be winding down. But the stakes for Moscow and Washington are stacking.

The views and opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

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1,300 Jews Get To Visit The Temple Mount: To Honor The 2 Jewish Temples That Once Stood There

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Breaking records, over 1,300 Jews on Tuesday visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem for the Tisha B’av fast commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples that once stood at the site.

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Despite fasting, 1,043 people braved the heat and went up to the Mount during the morning visiting hours, while hundreds more waited in line to visit the holy site.

The site reopened to Jewish visitors in the afternoon. By 5 p.m., almost 1,300 non-Muslim visitors had toured the site.

Hebrew media reports said the number was unprecedented since Israel captured the OId City in 1967.

In light of recent tensions surrounding the site, the Jewish visitors were required to leave their identity cards with police before passing through metal detectors at the Mughrabi Gate, the only gate to the compound through which non-Muslims may enter.

Because of the large number of people seeking to go up to the compound, visitors were escorted around the site in larger groups than usual, Israel Radio reported.

מאות יהודים עלו להר הבית בבוקר צום תשעה באב, ורבים ממתינים בתורים ארוכים. בשל העומס הסיורים מתקיימים בקבוצות גדולות מהנהוג @Roi_Yanovsky

Police said that six people were ejected from the Temple Mount for violating the site’s rules for non-Muslim visitors, which include a prohibition on prayer, while four people were arrested after a scuffle broke out between three Jews and a Muslim man as one of the groups was leaving the compound through the Chain Gate.

500 יהודים שכבר עלו להר הבית הבוקר

In addition to the extra security measures at the Mughrabi Gate, large numbers of police were deployed throughout the Old City ahead of the expected arrival of tens of thousands of worshipers to the Western Wall throughout the day.

Police said cars would be prohibited from entering the Old City beginning at 5 p.m., except those belonging to Old City residents.

On Monday night, thousands of Jews attended prayers at the Western Wall to observe the start of Tisha B’Av, days after violence shook the city.

Prayer leaders read aloud from the Book of Lamentations, believed by Jews to be the biblical prophet Jeremiah’s account of the destruction of the First Temple by invading Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the retaining wall of the Second Temple, built on the site of the First and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

The wall is at the foot of the Temple Mount compound, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gilded Dome of the Rock shrine in the heart of the Old City. The compound is the third-holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site for Jews.

Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both temples, as well as several other disasters in Jewish history.

Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City during the annual Tisha B'Av fast day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples, on July 31, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City during the annual Tisha B’Av fast day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples, on July 31, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The event comes after relative calm returned to Jerusalem following almost two weeks of Palestinian protests over security measures at the Temple Mount, installed after a July 14 terror attack in which three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli policemen with weapons they had smuggled into the compound.

Muslim worshipers had refused to enter the Temple Mount until the security installations at entrances to the site were removed, while Palestinian protesters staged near-daily protests in and around East Jerusalem and the West Bank, some of which turned violent.

The clashes left five Palestinians dead. A week after the Temple Mount terror attack, a Palestinian terrorist broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three members of a single family to death while they were having Shabbat dinner. In a Facebook post hours before his murderous spree, the terrorist cited the events surrounding the Temple Mount as a main motivator.

The crisis was contained last week when Israeli authorities removed the newly installed measures, including metal detectors, following heavy pressure from Jordan, the custodian of the Temple Mount, and the Palestinians.

Border Police officers stand guard as Jewish men pray during the Tisha B'Av fast at a gate leading to the Old City of Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound on July 31, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Border Police officers stand guard as Jewish men pray during the Tisha B’Av fast at a gate leading to the Old City of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound on July 31, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The site has frequently been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Under a decades-old agreement enforced by Israel, only Muslims are allowed to pray inside the compound, although non-Muslims are allowed to visit.

AFP contributed to this report.

Attempting to understand the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE WORDPRESS BLOG SITE OF ‘SEELISTENUNDERSTAND’)

 

Post July 30th 2017
1. In the last 2 posts, I described the creation of Israel. I did it because the Palestinians claim the state of Israel for them while they can’t submit any evidence to prove their ownership. This you must know: the words, in the oriental world, must not be proved. The Arabs are not scientists. As for them if somebody said a word-it is for sure in the rock. No more proof is needed. This is exactly what is currently happening in the Mount Temple-Al Aqsa. The matter the fact is that the mount temple is the place where the 2 Israeli temples were standing. In order to change these facts, the Palestinians made excavations, in the mount temple in order to remove all evidence. The Israeli department of antiques followed them, cleaned the excavated/thrown send and found these interesting facts/Jewish symbols that are the best evidence of the existence of the Israeli temple there.
2. Since the 1948 (independence) war until the 6 days war the Temple Mount was in the hands of Jordan. The king(s) of Jordan was in charge of controlling the place. In the 6 days war (1967) Israel was attacked by 3 Arab states. One of them was Jordan. So, Israel was forced to protect itself. In this war Israel released east Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. But, in order to establish/maintain good relations with the Jordanians-Israeli Minister of defense agreed to give the Waqf (Muslim committee that watches the holy places) to be in charge of ruling Al Aqsa. It does not mean that Israel pulled its hand of the holiest place for Jews.
3. Like usual, the Arabs described Israel’s gesture in the wrong way (or they did understand it in the right way but tried to deviate the history) and took full responsibility of the place and tried to inherit the Jews rights in the place.
4. The Jews claimed their rights. This conflict was extreme and the result was that Muslims attacked, and killed Israelis. Among the killed Israelis there were Israeli Arabs, Druze policemen. In these attacks 3 Israeli Muslims were killed. I repeat, the Muslims attacked and killed Israelis. The Israelis were killed by arms that were stored in Al Aqsa mosques, which are in the Temple mount area. Following it the Israeli Gov. installed (Magnetometers=MM) Metal detectors in the mount temple. This was done in order to protect the crowd that attends the temple mount to pray. The Muslims disliked the installation of the MM. They claimed that this is a change in the Status Quo in the mount. They started rioting which caused a couple of dead and injured Muslims. They also claimed that Israel is dirtying the holy place. (Can you believe that Israel is doing it in the Jewish holiest place in the world). They also applied to Unesco that decided that the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, in general, is a holy Muslim place, while Israel/Jews have no relation to it. What a poor resolution of a stupid committee. It is interesting to inform you that Jerusalem is mentioned in the bible 720 times. In the Quran-0.000 times. So, whose capital it is?
5. One of the lies that the Muslims are using for years is that “Al Aqsa” is in danger. The danger, according to them, is because Israel poured some chemicals into the walls of “Al Aqsa” that dissolves the walls. When? Where? How? they never detailed. They did not submit any proves of it. For the Arabs, a lie like this, coming out from the mouth of a Muslim recognized/honorable/respected person is enough. He knows better than anybody and whatever he says is the God’s words. They are connected direct by cell phone.
6. The Muslims say that whatever Israel is doing it is aimed to reconstruct the Jewish temple. In order to incite the Palestinians Abu Mazen says that they will prevent it with their blood. Many more hallucination Muslims follows him. They are looking to hate Israel. Among them we find Erdogan of Turkey that is looking to take the lead of the Muslim world. Jordan that tell their citizens that Israel dirt “Al Aqsa”. Same do Qatar, S. Arabia and Egypt are joining this celebration against Israel.
7. The point is that “Al Aqsa” is not behaving anymore like the place of God. It became the place of politics. They spread the incitement with videos, cartoons that are produced by brain washed Muslims.
8. All of this was caused because Israel gave The Muslims the right to control/run the Mount temple. You can’t find such a behavior, that one religion gives its competitor the rights to run the holiest place in the world.
9. Israel did it with open mind as we thought that it will convince the Muslims that Israel is looking for true peace relations. But, it seems that with the Arabs there will never be peace as if they are looking, following the Quran, to spread the Islam all over, even by enforcing the conversion/killing people that do not believe in the Islam.
10. The most important point is that due to the stupid Israeli permission to leave the management of the Temple Mount in the hands of the Waqf, Israel lost precious points in the fight for ruling the holiest Jewish place. But, we are not going to give up as sooner or later the 3rd temple will be built.
11. Until 50 years ago there were many Muslim’s documents that confirmed the ownership of Israelite’s on the temple. Many histories and theological documents, including Prophet Muhammad, promised that the temple mount belongs to the Jews. The interesting point is that Unesco’s representatives are so flat that they does not know, or they know but in order to help the Muslims, they “forgot” it for a short while, of Unesco’s meetings/discussions.
12. I must tell you that I don’t know about one, even a single old/ancient documents that confirm the ownership of the Palestinians of the mount temple.
13. Now, let me tell you, as Israeli citizens that was born in Israel and that have very many Muslim friends the following:
13.1. Most of the Israeli Muslims are honest people, hard workers. Even the most religious ones see the benefit of living in Israel, side by side with the Jews. They want to live in peace.
13.2. The problem with the Arabs is their habits, how they get their knowledge and their education. Basically the family and their home is the surrounding that they grow in. The Arab’s most common habit to sit on the floor and listen very carefully, to the stories of the old people. This come along with black, very strong/concentrated, very sweet or bitter coffee + cigarettes or hookah. The youngsters listen very carefully. It happens daily. This is a part of the social life. Sometimes the stories are very interesting, but most of the time they are not or the teller repeats the same story couple of time.
13.3. The above described can be seen in most Arab homes. In undeveloped countries in the farms/villages where there is minimal schools. Pity that the majority of the Arabs lives in such conditions and get such education. Unfortunately this vast number of people is the people that are the easiest to convince to join the Islam and to send them to be killed in battle or suicide bombs. This must be stopped immediately as the suicide bombs are human being and they deserve their lives like us.
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In friendship
Amir

Hundreds Of Jordanians Protest Against Israel: Call For End Of 1994 Peace Treaty

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL NEWSPAPER)

 

Hundreds of Jordanians held a protest near the Israeli embassy in Amman on Friday, calling on the government to shut it down and cancel the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

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Emerging from a nearby mosque following prayers, the protesters chanted “Death to Israel” and “No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil,” an AFP correspondent said.

The protesters were also demanding justice for two Jordanian nationals killed by an Israeli embassy worker this week, including a 17-year-old who authorities said attacked the guard with a screwdriver.

Israel, which questioned the guard on Thursday, said the guard fired in self-defense, and that the attack on him was nationalistically motivated.

Jordanian security forces stand on guard in front of protesters during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017, calling for the shutting down of the embassy, expelling the ambassador, and canceling the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. (AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

Jordanian security forces stand on guard in front of protesters during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017, calling for the shutting down of the embassy, expelling the ambassador, and canceling the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. (AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

According to Hebrew-language media reports, some protesters tried to break into the empty embassy building before being dispersed by security forces.

The Israeli guard and other embassy staff, including the ambassador, had returned to Israel to praise from Israel’s prime minister, prompting unprecedented criticism from Jordan’s king who said Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions were “provocative.”

The incident set off a stand-off between Israel and Jordan, with tensions already high after Israel introduced new security measures at the highly sensitive Temple Mount in the Old City, administered by a Jordanian-controlled trust. The last of the security equipment was removed on Thursday, nearly two weeks after being put in place in the wake of a July 14 terror attack at the site in which three terrorists shot dead two Israeli officers with weapons they had smuggled onto the compound.

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Protesters in Amman, try 2 surround the Israeli embassy amid rising tensions between Israel & Jordan pic.twitter.com/b7OZ1XrtEW @AmichaiStein1

A Jordanian government official said Friday that Jordan will not allow the return of Israel’s ambassador until the shooting of two Jordanians by the embassy security guard has been properly investigated.

“Jordan will not allow ambassador Einat Schlein or the rest of the embassy staff to return until a thorough investigation has been opened” into Sunday’s shooting, the official said.

Jordan informed Israel of its decision, the official added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2017 meets with security guard 'Ziv,' who shot dead two Jordanians as he was being stabbed by one of them at the Israeli Embassy compound in Amman on July 23. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2017 meets with security guard ‘Ziv,’ who shot dead two Jordanians as he was being stabbed by one of them at the Israeli embassy compound in Amman on July 23. (Haim Zach/GPO)

On Thursday, the Jordanian monarch called on Netanyahu to try the guard, who travelled home on Monday night with other embassy officials after being briefly questioned by Jordanian investigators.

The guard was welcomed home and greeted as a hero by Netanyahu, who embraced him and said: “You acted well, calmly and we also had an obligation to get you out.”

Israel maintained the guard had diplomatic immunity.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the security guard shot dead a Jordanian worker, Mohammed Jawawdeh, 17, who had come to an apartment to install furniture and had stabbed him in the back with a screwdriver.

A second Jordanian, the landlord of the apartment, was also killed — apparently by accident. He was buried on Thursday in Madaba, southwest of the capital.

A Jordanian inquiry had confirmed the sequence of events.

Jordan’s public prosecutor Akram Musaid charged on Thursday that the guard was responsible for the killings and possession of a firearm without a licence.

Palestinian President Abbas Still Calling For More Violence Upon The People Of Isreal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction has called for Muslims to “intensify the popular struggle” over the Temple Mount, despite the removal of metal detectors and security cameras from the holy site after a week of protests over the increased security measures.

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Muslim worshipers have stayed away from the sacred Jerusalem compound since Israel installed metal detectors there last week, in the wake of a July 14 terror attack carried out with guns that had been smuggled onto the Mount. Instead, they have performed mass prayer protests outside the shrine, some of which devolved into clashes with Israeli security forces.

Following the shooting, Israel took the rare step of closing the Temple Mount to Muslim worshipers on a Friday — the holiest day of the week in Islam — in order to search for weapons, before reopening it two days later after installing metal detectors at the entrances to the compound. Previously detectors had only been placed at the Mughrabi Gate, the entrance for non-Muslim visitors.

The detectors were removed early Tuesday morning amid intense pressure from the Arab and Muslim world, although metal railings and scaffolding placed by the police in recent days are still in the area where the metal detectors once stood, and Muslims again stayed away in protest.

In its Wednesday decision, the Fatah Central Committee said that it would continue protests over the security measures and called for this week’s Friday prayers to again take place outside of the compound. Last Friday saw violent protests in several Jerusalem locations at the end of prayers.

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 25, 2017. (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 25, 2017. (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)

Abbas said on Tuesday he will maintain a freeze on security coordination with Israel — an unprecedented step imposed in the wake of the placement of the metal detectors — “unless all measures go back to what they were before July 14.”

“All the new Israeli measures on the ground from that date to the present are supposed to disappear,” he said. “Then things will return to normal in Jerusalem and we will continue our work after that in relation to bilateral relations between us and them.”

After Tuesday evening prayers, violence once again broke out in East Jerusalem, with rocks thrown at police officers, who responded with tear gas and other “non-lethal crowd disposal methods,” police said in a statement.

The tensions surrounding the site were also cited by assailants in two recent terror attacks, including last week when a Palestinian stabbed to death three members of the Salomon family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish as they celebrated Shabbat.

The security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians, in place for years despite near-frozen diplomatic ties, is seen as critical for both Israel and Abbas’s Fatah faction to keep a lid on violence in the West Bank, particularly from the Hamas terror group.

In January 2016, head of the PA’s security forces Majed Faraj said his forces, working with Israeli security services, managed to foil hundreds of attacks against Israelis in less than a year.

Despite the removal of the metal detectors and security cameras Tuesday, Muslim leaders advised worshipers to continue to stay away from the Temple Mount.

The Jordanian-controlled Waqf Islamic trust, which administers the site, said a decision to continue the boycott was pending a review of new Israeli security arrangements there.

Overnight Tuesday, Israel’s security cabinet said it would replace the metal detectors with “advanced technologies,” referring reportedly to cameras that can detect hidden objects, but said the process could take up to six months.

Muslim women pray outside Jerusalem's Old City on July 25, 2017. (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

Muslim women pray outside Jerusalem’s Old City on July 25, 2017. (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

A Waqf official told The Times of Israel that it was continuing the boycott of the Temple Mount until all security measures added after the attack are removed.

The official noted that “the new high tech cameras” would not be accepted in place of the metal detectors.

Waqf officials pointed to the increased police presence as an example of security measures they demanded be removed along with the metal detectors.

Raoul Wootliff and Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

Amman city, the capital of the Jordanian kingdom

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘COGNITIO’ AND GOOGLE PLUS)

 

Universal knowledge in Video.

Amman city, the capital of the Jordanian kingdom

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Amman city, the capital of the Jordanian kingdom. Since 1947, when it counted 90,000 inhabitants, has experienced a very strong increase of population, especially for the massive influx of refugees occurred after the establishment of the State of Israel after the war of June 1967.Israel 360

It is the highest industrial and commercial center of the country, with textile and food processing plants, cement factories, tobacco factories. In recent years there has been a discreet tourist movement. Road junction communications, achieved by the railway from Damascus who Proceed to the South, up to Ras an-Naqb. In the surrounding region, phosphate extraction. Already the Ammonite capital as of Rabbath Ammon, in the first half of the 3rd century. B.C. Philadelphia was named in honor of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Aggregated under Rome to the province of Arabia, it was conquered by the Arabs in 635 and resumed the name of Amman, becoming one of the richest caravan cities, thanks to its location on the road linking Damascus, Bostra and Elat to the Red Sea.Rome 360

The acropolis of the ancient city has a complicated underground facility for water. They remain remains of walls and a temple dedicated to Hercules. In the lower town are the ruins of a theater of 6000 seat capacity, an Odeon, and a nymph. Nearby you were found many Roman tombs.

The Greek and Roman archaeological remains are added elements of Byzantine civilization and Islam.

Because of several earthquakes and natural disasters Amman remained nothing more than a small village with attached a ruin until the year 1887 when the government came to the Circassians, who decided to build a railway line between Damascus and Medina and the passer Amman to facilitate the residents of their territories the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Amman is located in a hilly area of northwest of the Jordan and is located at an altitude of 1,029 m above sea level and 773 meters. The city was built on seven hills, but today covers an area of nineteen hills that are called Jabal or mountain. Many of the districts of Amman take their name from the seven hills features.

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A Dose Of Truth About Israel And The Palestinian/Arab Reality

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE BLOG OF ‘SEELISTENUNDERSTAND’. HE (AMIR) MADE THIS COMMENT TO THE HUMAN RACE)

 

Post July 25th 2017

  1. From Israeli science park in Rehovot all the way to Japan’s stock exchange. All of it for just $1.1 billion. This is the price that Mitsubishi Pharma paid to the Israeli start up “Neuroderm” the Israeli developer of biomed to fight Parkinson. This medicine is in the 3rd phase of tests by the FDA. The so far results are 100% satisfying. If it would not be like that Mitsubishi would have never payed this money. There were another 3 companies that were looking at “Neuroderm”, Pfizer, Glexo, and Novartis. Congratulation to you Israel that instead of killing, like its enemies do, we look to save and make people enjoy their lives.
  2. More from Israel: who is the designer of the dresses of Byonsse, Kim Kardishian, Lady Gaga, Christi Tigen, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, Kendal Jenner and more that I don’t know? Yes, you are right. He is Israeli, His name is Alon Livneh and he is the hottest designer of clothes for VIP. Lets congratulate him as Israel doesn’t get that much appreciation, like other countries, not because its inability. It is because people like to hate us. We don’t worry about it as we, compared to our total number, are leading the world in many subjects. In any rate Israel contributes to the world’s economy much more than many countries.
  3. Oren Almog was sitting with his family, in 2003, in a restaurant after enjoying the Israeli beach. A Palestinian terrorist/suicide bomb, lady, explodes herself in the restaurant. Alon lost 5 of his family and he became blind since then. This explosion changed his life completely. At that time, till the explosion, he was 10 years old. He was playing, with his friends, like children of this age were doing. He had to change the entire of his life. He had to adopt completely different/new life style. He has recovered. He finished his high school studies and got a university degree. He served, full service, in the army. . Today he will speak in the UN telling the representatives there, hopefully if they will be kind enough to listen to him, about his life and the damage that the inhumane terrorists cause to Israel and it will infect the world. He will speak about the terror ideology and try to convince the UN to establish rules/laws against it. He will tell the UN that 4000 innocent Israelis were murdered by Palestinians. He will remind the UN that Palestine encourages killing/murdering by paying the murderers/their families a constant fairly/descent salary. He will submit figures like the total salaries in 2016 exceeded the enormous figure of $270 million. $100000 were paid directly to the family of the Suicide bomb that killed his family. The interesting point is that 30% of this money, the payment to Shahid’s family, are coming from charities and international assistance. So, in other words, by paying this money you, the payer, encourage the murder of Jews. Why do you do it? Would you like If I was paying it to kill your family? If your reply is “no”, please stop all payments to the funds that support the Arabs. All of them.
  4. Jordan is a small state. 80% of its population is Palestinians that support Hamas. The balance 20%, that are Bedouins, support the King. This is a very funny composition. The king, Abdullah, is suppose to rule the kingdom. But he is not. He must follow the opinions of his state’s majority. They, of course are anti Israel. But he/they need Israel as Israel gives them backing with water, power, gas and most importantly, security. Abdullah would have never survived without the support of Israel. So, he must play the game of the strong man. He makes it by submitting to the UN a vast quantity of complains against Israel. These complaints are discussed to the sun rays. But, at night, when the darkness takes place, he calls Israel to apologize. We understand it very well and we support him. He knows that he depends on the good will of Israel. So, he was very anxious about the last conflict concerning the installation of the Magnetoneters, that detects metals. It was too dangerous for his rule. He was doing his utmost to finish it a.s.a.p. So, when Israel sent to him its messenger, he was very happy to solve the problem.
  5. The solution was that he, Abdallah will release the security man that killed 2 Jordanians and in return, Israel will uninstall the Magnetometers. This is quite a fair solution as both, Israel and Jordan climbed too high on the tree. Everybody thought that the issue was solved. But it is not.
  6. Today this morning the Magnetometers were removed, like decided. But, in spite of it the Muslims were praying outside “Al Aqsa”. (To remind you “Al Aqsa” is not a mosque. It is the entire of the area where the 4 Muslim mosques are standing). The reason for the outside praying is that they refuse to enter to “Al Aqsa” because they don’t want/need Israeli permission to enter it and just the removal of the Magnetometers, by Israel, they see it as Israeli rule of the “Al Aqsa” and therefore they will not enter. OK. This is Muslim logic that I don’t understand. Do you?
  7. It must be clarified that the Muslims resistance to the installation of the Magnetometers is misunderstood. All over the world, in airports, in mosques, like in Mecca and Medina, that are the 2 most holy mosques in Saudi Arabia. Magnetometers are a standard equipment to secure the prayers. But, what is good to the Palestinians when they enter the other mosques are not good for them when they enter to “Al Aqsa”. If you understand it, please explain.
  8. Israel and Jordan have 2 common enemies that are the enemies of more Arab Sunni countries: Daesh and Iran. Instead of combining forces the stupid Arabs fight their stupid wars that does not resolve any of the problems. It should be made clear to the Arabs that they need Israel, because of its advanced fighting/battle technology. If they carry on talking to themselves they encourage their enemies and weakening themselves. This must be their guide line. If they want to win, they must have Israel fighting with them.
  9. I am telling/offering you, Arab countries. Please, be sensible and stop fighting Israel and fight you real enemies-the Shea.

Please buy Israeli products.

In friendship

Amir

Jordan Adopts “Green Growth” to Promote Economy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Jordan Adopts “Green Growth” to Promote Economy

A tourist boy takes a picture of a camel at the Red Rose ancient city of Petra

Amman – Jordan has started the implementation of a series of measures to encourage green growth and create new job opportunities.

The new package of measures is focused on creating decent jobs in a country that suffers from rising unemployment and low economic growth rate of only 2.3 percent in 2017.

This came in the Jordan Economic Monitor report, which was released during a ceremony held in Amman.

The report also said that the new green growth measures were aimed at benefiting the most from local energies and reducing dependence on costly imports.

Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the World Bank, the report noted that regional instability, especially in Syria and Iraq, was the main factor behind the commercial recession in the Kingdom.

It added that crises in the region have contributed to the slowdown in economic performance in Jordan, which was only 2 percent in 2016, compared with the growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which was 3.2 percent for the same year, according to recent figures by the World Bank.

The Jordanian government has recently launched its economic growth plan, which seeks to double the rate of economic growth during the period 2018-2022. Last month, the ministry also launched the National Green Growth Plan, which focuses on energy, water, waste, transportation, tourism, and agriculture.

Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, in a speech delivered on his behalf by Ziad Obeidat, said that regional conflicts have directly impacted the Jordanian economy.

He noted that the average domestic GDP rate for the years 2006-2010 was 6.5 percent compared with 2.6 percent in 2011-2016, and the unemployment rate among young people reached 35.6 percent compared with 30.8 percent in 2015.

For his part, the World Bank’s acting director for the Middle East Kanthan Shankar said: “Jordan has an opportunity to vitalize green growth and undertake climate action as part of a sustainable solution to fiscal, economic and climate vulnerabilities.”

“Such actions would spur job creation, reduce dependence on commodity imports, attract foreign direct investment and leverage international climate finance,” he added.

US-Backed Syrian Fighters Seize Parts Of ISIS ‘Capital’ Raqqa

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

US-backed Syrian fighters seize parts of IS ‘capital’ Raqqa

June 11 at 10:43 AM
BEIRUT — A U.S.-backed Syrian opposition force said Sunday it has captured a northwestern neighborhood of the Islamic State group’s de-facto capital of Raqqa the second district to fall in their hands in days after the group launched a wide offensive to gain control of the extremists’ de facto capital.The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters captured the neighborhood of Romaniah after two days of fighting that left 12 IS gunmen dead, including a commander known as Abu Khattab al-Tunsi.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said SDF fighters now control Romaniah and the eastern neighborhood of Mashlab. The fighters have also entered Raqqa’s western neighborhood of Sabahiya and the industrial district in the east.

Raqqa was among the first cities captured by IS, in January 2014, and has been the home of some of the group’s most prominent leaders. The battle for the city is expected to be extended and bloody, and could mark a major turning point in the war against the extremists.

IS has been fortifying its positions in Raqqa for months, setting up barriers and hanging sheets of cloth over main streets to provide cover from warplanes. A belt of land mines and militant checkpoints circle the city.

SDF fighters began their offensive on the city of Raqqa on June 6 under the cover of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said the city was subjected to intense airstrikes and shelling by the SDF and the U.S.-led coalition releasing a video that showed wide destruction in one of the neighborhoods. The video also showed severely wounded men and children being rushed to hospitals.

In southern Syria, Jordan said its border guards have killed five suspected infiltrators approaching the kingdom’s border from Syria in a pickup truck and two motorcycles.

The military said in a statement that the incident took place near the spot where Jordan, Syria and Iraq meet.

Jordan has been on alert for possible infiltrations by IS extremists who seized territories in Syria and Iraq in 2014. In recent months, Jordan expressed concern that U.S.-backed offensives against IS will push some of the militants closer to the kingdom’s border.

The army said nine vehicles approached Jordan from Syria in the past three days, and border guards opened fire to hold them back. The army says that in the latest incident, troops fired on a pickup truck and two motorcycles, killing five.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Jordan Army Shoots Dead 5 For Approaching Border Near Syria

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Jordan Army Shoots Dead 5 for Approaching Border near Syria

Jordan

The Jordanian army announced on Sunday that its forces shot dead five people who were approaching their position from the Syrian side of the border.

The border guards killed the individuals who were coming from Tanf, a Syrian desert town where US special forces training rebels are based.

The Jordanian army said it destroyed a car and two motorbikes in the incident.

The army statement did not give any details of the identity of the men and whether they were smugglers or militants in the area where Jordan’s northeastern borders meet both Iraq and Syria.

The statement however said that before the shooting, a convoy of nine cars had approached from the Tanf area but fled after the army fired warning shots.

The town has been a flashpoint in recent weeks as militias backed by Iran have tried to get near the US garrison, prompting US coalition jets to strike back.

Tanf lies near the strategic Damascus-Baghdad highway that was once a major weapons supply route for Iranian weapons into Syria.

ISIS militants launched a suicide attack last April on the heavily defended base in which the Pentagon said an estimated 20-30 ISIS fighters were involved. US jets bombed the militants in the hit and run attack.

Staunch US ally Jordan has also been threatened by the militants.

Moscow on Wednesday condemned the US-led coalition strike on pro-regime fighters in Tanf as an “act of aggression” that targeted the most effective forces battling “terrorists” in the war-torn country.

“It was an act of aggression which breaches the territorial sovereignty of Syria and intentionally or not targeted those forces that are the most effective in fighting the terrorists on the ground,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The US-led coalition on Tuesday said it had destroyed a unit of pro-regime forces in Syria as they advanced near an area where coalition commandos have been training and advising rebels.

A group of about 60 pro-regime forces moved into the area with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons and armed technical vehicles, the coalition said in a statement. They posed a threat to the coalition forces at the Tanf Garrison, it added.

The assault marks the second time in less than a month that coalition forces have attacked pro-regime forces as they headed toward the garrison inside a supposed “deconfliction zone” claimed by the US.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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