American Herald Tribune | STEVEN SAHIOUNIE: The Lebanese military and security forces, in coordination with the Lebanese resistance Hezbollah, and the Syrian Arab Army have cleared out all armed terrorists from Arsal, Lebanon. The completion of the operation was announced on August 3, 2017.
In August 2014, various armed Radical terrorists including ISIS, attacked and occupied Arsal, killing a number of Lebanese soldiers and kidnapping 30 hostages. Arsal was originally a small town in an agricultural section of the Lebanese countryside. Syrian refugees began arriving in Arsal, and the generous Lebanese people allowed them to shelter there, safe from the fighting in nearby Syria. The United Nations and many charities set up tents and provided the basic necessities to support the growing refugee center. However, it soon became apparent that Arsal refugee center was not a ‘run of the mill’ tented place of refuge for war-weary families. It was in fact a Free Syrian Army (FSA) encampment. Those tents and free charitable provisions allowed the ‘rebel’ fighters to house their wives, children and elderly relatives in a safe area, and allowed the fighters safe-haven for rest and relaxation in a family setting, and free medical attention for wounded fighters by the famous “Doctors Without Borders” (MSF),which was one of the first charities to open facilities in Arsal.
Women and children and their elderly relatives cannot be blamed for the war crimes and atrocities of the FSA. The innocent families of FSA fighters are also victims of the foreign backed war in Syria, which has targeted unarmed civilians, and is not a civil war, but does have shades of sectarian war. The FSA is strictly from one Muslim sect, and has never advocated a secular democracy for Syria’s future. The very first banner held high by the FSA was: “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the Grave”. The FSA soon found themselves without support by the Syrian unarmed civilian population, and with dwindling numbers of fighters, they found they had to use Plan B, which was to actively invite their takfiri brothers in arms from around the world, including USA, UK, Australia and Europe. USA and NATO supported the FSA from the outset in 2011, and even after they were fighting side by side with Al Qaeda and ISIS as they slaughtered Syrian government forces, as well as the unarmed Syrian civilians. The USA and NATO support never wavered, until finally President Trump pulled the plug on the program which President Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had begun in 2011, with the unwavering Congressional support of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.
On August 2, 2017 about 7,000 terrorists and their families left in a brokered deal in more than 100 buses leaving Arsal and going to their final destination in Idlib, Syria. Idlib is a terrorist controlled area which is located East of Latakia and West of Aleppo. The Lebanese authorities and citizens are thrilled to have cleared out Arsal from armed terrorists. It is the hope of many Lebanese that all the millions of Syrian refugees living in tented camps, and renting houses in Lebanon will one day soon go home to Syria. Lebanese businessmen and the government officials may not be personally so eager to see the Syrians go home to peace, because the Lebanese are making millions of dollars off the Syrian war situation and the Syrian refugees. Some Lebanese may be hoping the Syrian War lasts forever.
Idlib was seized by a group of Radical terrorists supported by US-backed FSA in the spring of 2015. On a recent Lebanese talk-show from Beirut, a Lebanese political analyst was asked to explain why the terrorists are all going to Idlib. His answer began by asking: where do all the garbage trucks go? He then answered himself: they go to the garbage dump. In his observation, Idlib was the terrorist garbage dump, and he theorized that the dump will be eventually incinerated. His personal opinion was echoed in the words of Michael Ratney, the US State Department’s Syria Envoy, who expressed grave concern for Idlib, and an imminent threat of military action against the terrorists amassed there. Brett McGurk is the US Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh (aka ISIS). He recently made Turkey upset for statements he made linking Idlib and terrorism to Turkey.
The actual trip from Arsal , Lebanon to Idlib, Syria took 36 hoursfor over 100 buses full of persons, some who were unarmed civilians, and some who were armed terrorists with their families. After arriving, the armed terrorists were sent into Idlib city center, and the unarmed civilians were settled in the countryside surrounding Idlib. Turkey has said they do not want any more Syrian refugees coming to Turkey, and have closed the border area. Idlib sits close to the border with Turkey and it is feared some armed terrorists might cross the border into Turkey as they make their way to Europe as refugees.
Qatar is the key sponsor of the terrorists in Idlib, and is now under sanctions from Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf neighbors, who are claiming Qatar is a global sponsor of terrorism, and the Radical ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is an outlawed terrorist organization in many countries. “Many have called it the ‘Club Med of Terrorists’. Certainly it is among the most two-faced nations in the world.”, according to Sami Moubayed, a Syrian historian and former Carnegie scholar, and author of Under the Black Flag: At the frontier of the New Jihad.
The Syrian war is slowly coming to an end, apparently because the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have made advances on the ground, which have paralyzed the terrorists. The US and NATO position has swung on the pendulum and is now entering a new phase of battling terrorists instead of supporting them. Idlib may also be facing a new future as the ‘international community’ has lost its taste for takfiri terrorists after so many terrorist attacks around the world. In garbage dumps there is a process of sorting out the usable things, from the unusable. This system of sorting through the various groups in Idlib may be the next step towards a safe Northern Syrian border with Turkey.