Vast swaths of northern Syria, especially in the province of Idlib, have slipped out of the hands of President Bashar Assad, if not quite out of his reach. The feat is even more amazing when one considers the disarray among the outside powers supplying arms to the loosely allied band of rebels. The two Gulf powerhouses are no longer on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed.

The rift surfaced in August, with the alleged Saudi and Qatari representatives in charge of funnelling free weaponry to the rebels clearly backing different factions among the groups — including various shades of secular and Islamist militias — under the broad umbrella that is the Free Syrian Army FSA. The middlemen of the two countries operate out of Turkey, the regional military power.

Ankara has been quite public with its denunciation of Assad even as it denies any involvement in shuffling weapons across the border to Syrian rebels.

It claims its territory is not being used to do so. And yet, as TIME reported in June, a secretive group operates something like a command center in Istanbul, directing the distribution of vital military supplies believed to be provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels. Further reporting has revealed more details of the operation, the politics and favoritism that undermine the task of creating a unified rebel force out of the wide array of groups trying to topple the Assad regime.

The two men each have their own sources of funding and are independently distributing money and weapons to selected FSA units. However, he apparently was in the southern Turkish city of Antakya in late August.

According to rebel sources who dealt with him, the Lebanese politician was there overseeing the distribution of batches of supplies — small consignments of 50, Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades — to at least four different FSA groups in Idlib province as well as larger consignments to other areas including Homs.

The FSA sources also say he met with some commanders but not others — a selectivity that led to much chagrin. That kind of favoritism has caused problems on the ground in many ways.

Thomas gadson

But the 20 or so Syrians selected to distribute armaments some areas, like Damascus, have more than one representative were not all effective. Others did too, because we wanted the room to succeed. But the selectivity has bred further favoritism in the distribution of arms. Other representatives were blunter, seeking pledges of loyalty from FSA groups inside the country before delivering the goods.

The Qataris want to focus on aiding the regional military councils, FSA groupings within Syria set up earlier this year partly in order to get around the favoritism of the representatives. There are at least 10 military councils scattered throughout the country.

Goods would be delivered to a council and then distributed to the brigades under its umbrella. However, the Saudis, via Okab Sakr, appear to want to support only certain groups within the councils and not others.

The men claim that groups with higher media profiles — those that produce the most sensational snippets of amateur video, the ones with the most YouTube hits — receive the largest share of the spoils, regardless of the strategic importance of their operations.

The videos serve as advertisements to solicit funding and weapons not only from the Istanbul command center but also from private donors including clerics in the Gulf with massive fundraising abilities.Syrian rebels take position during clashes with regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo on Sept. Vast swaths of northern Syriaespecially in the province of Idlib, have slipped out of the hands of President Bashar Assadif not quite out of his reach.

The feat is even more amazing when one considers the disarray among the outside powers supplying arms to the loosely allied band of rebels. The two Gulf powerhouses are no longer on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed.

The Syria Revolutionaries’ Front

The rift surfaced in August, with the alleged Saudi and Qatari representatives in charge of funneling free weaponry to the rebels clearly backing different factions among the groups — including various shades of secular and Islamist militias — under the broad umbrella that is the Free Syrian Army FSA. The middlemen of the two countries operate out of Turkey, the regional military power.

Ankara has been quite public with its denunciation of Assad even as it denies any involvement in shuffling weapons across the border to Syrian rebels. It claims its territory is not being used to do so. And yet, as TIME reported in June, a secretive group operates something like a command center in Istanbul, directing the distribution of vital military supplies believed to be provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels.

Further reporting has revealed more details of the operation, the politics and favoritism that undermine the task of creating a unified rebel force out of the wide array of groups trying to topple the Assad regime. The two men each have their own sources of funding and are independently distributing money and weapons to selected FSA units. However, he apparently was in the southern Turkish city of Antakya in late August.

According to rebel sources who dealt with him, the Lebanese politician was there overseeing the distribution of batches of supplies — small consignments of 50, Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades — to at least four different FSA groups in Idlib province as well as larger consignments to other areas including Homs. The FSA sources also say he met with some commanders but not others — a selectivity that led to much chagrin. That kind of favoritism has caused problems on the ground in many ways.

But the 20 or so Syrians selected to distribute armaments some areas, like Damascus, have more than one representative were not all effective.

suleiman maarouf syria

Others did too, because we wanted the room to succeed. But the selectivity has bred further favoritism in the distribution of arms. Other representatives were blunter, seeking pledges of loyalty from FSA groups inside the country before delivering the goods.

The Qataris want to focus on aiding the regional military councils, FSA groupings within Syria set up earlier this year partly in order to get around the favoritism of the representatives. There are at least 10 military councils scattered throughout the country.

Goods would be delivered to a council and then distributed to the brigades under its umbrella.More than US Marines were sent as reinforcements to Tanf in southern Syria after Russia threatened to attack militants in the area, the Pentagon said. The troops were flown by helicopter. The Arab states will now reengage with Damascus. And as of January 8U. Altanf Syria DefetDaesh pic. Talks were held on January 7 between commanders of Pentagon-backed rebel groups, including the Maghawir Al Thawra battalion and Lions of the East, on transferring about 60, civilians from the Rukban camp near Tanf to rebel-held territory in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Observatory did not say how the rebels proposed to relocate the residents, which would involve crossing government-held areas. Mr Tillerson also denied the US was training a Kurdish-led border security force, saying officials had misspoken. Mr Tillerson said the US was not creating a new force, but rather trying to ensure that local fighters were able to protect liberated areas from attacks by IS remnants.

Daesh continues to displace. And they are fleeing… the regime liberation of those cities. And so that tells me that they — they understand the risk to both, and that they would much rather be in the SDF-controlled territories. And so I think that those examples, plus the examples in Manbij, in Tabqa, where everybody — the stabilization efforts are underway and everything is going well — are clear examples that this may not be one of those areas that we need to be concerned about.

But I will say that we are committed to making sure that the region is stable and secure, and the evil of Daesh is not welcome in that area, and the SDF are able to provide security and the local civil structures are able to provide governance. Major General James B. Pahon, Defense Department Spokesman Oct.

Defeating the Daesh will be the easy part. The stakes for Deir Ezzor could not be higher, an oil-rich eastern Syrian province. The Iranians want an overland route to the Mediterranean. The next major prize is the town of Bukamal [Abu Kamal], which straddles the highway linking the Iraqi capital of Baghdad to the Syrian capital of Damascus. Control over the border town and al-Qaim on the Iraqi side of it would enable Iran to reopen a vital land route between Tehran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in Beirut, deepening its strategic reach into the heart of the Middle East.

Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U. First, however, they will have to clear and consolidate their hold over the large area that was seized Sunday, October The EU has announced sanctions against a further 28 individuals and two companies connected with the Syrian regime. Most of the individuals are government ministers, though two of them are not.Toggle navigation. Out of Istanbul, the two Gulf states play a game of conflicting favorites that is getting in the way creating a unified rebel force to topple the Assad regime Vast swaths of northern Syria, especially in the province of Idlib, have slipped out of the hands of President Bashar Assad, if not quite out of his reach.

The feat is even more amazing when one considers the disarray among the outside powers supplying arms to the loosely allied band of rebels.

Syria crisis: US concerned weapons reaching jihadis - Tuesday 16 October 2012

The two Gulf powerhouses are no longer on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed.

The rift surfaced in August, with the alleged Saudi and Qatari representatives in charge of funneling free weaponry to the rebels clearly backing different factions among the groups — including various shades of secular and Islamist militias — under the broad umbrella that is the Free Syrian Army FSA.

The middlemen of the two countries operate out of Turkey, the regional military power. Ankara has been quite public with its denunciation of Assad even as it denies any involvement in shuffling weapons across the border to Syrian rebels.

It claims its territory is not being used to do so. And yet, as TIME reported in June, a secretive group operates something like a command center in Istanbul, directing the distribution of vital military supplies believed to be provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels.

Further reporting has revealed more details of the operation, the politics and favoritism that undermine the task of creating a unified rebel force out of the wide array of groups trying to topple the Assad regime.

The two men each have their own sources of funding and are independently distributing money and weapons to selected FSA units. However, he apparently was in the southern Turkish city of Antakya in late August. According to rebel sources who dealt with him, the Lebanese politician was there overseeing the distribution of batches of supplies — small consignments of 50, Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades — to at least four different FSA groups in Idlib province as well as larger consignments to other areas including Homs.

The FSA sources also say he met with some commanders but not others — a selectivity that led to much chagrin.

suleiman maarouf syria

But the 20 or so Syrians selected to distribute armaments some areas, like Damascus, have more than one representative were not all effective. Others did too, because we wanted the room to succeed. Other representatives were blunter, seeking pledges of loyalty from FSA groups inside the country before delivering the goods. The Qataris want to focus on aiding the regional military councils, FSA groupings within Syria set up earlier this year partly in order to get around the favoritism of the representatives.

There are at least 10 military councils scattered throughout the country. Goods would be delivered to a council and then distributed to the brigades under its umbrella. However, the Saudis, via Okab Sakr, appear to want to support only certain groups within the councils and not others.Some of these groups are well-known and have a strong presence in their local areas, but most seem to have their glory days behind them.

For example, the roster includes two factions of the Farouq Battalions. But Maarouf has been widely accused of diverting resources for his own use rather than deploying them to the front lines.

Even if most of these groups are now second-tier actors and the SRF has a strong Idlibi flavor, real unity between them could create a significant force on the ground, especially if backed by strong foreign funding.

Instead, it seems very much to be a case of coming together against a common enemy—the Islamist surge in general and the Islamic Front in particular.

To some extent, this is of course a natural process. Disparate groups that feel marginalized by the rapid rise of the Salafi factions and fear their access to Bab al-Hawa is threatened will lay their differences aside and come together to strengthen their collective bargaining position. The SRF groups belong to the Gulf-backed chunk of mostly nonideological or moderately Islamist insurgents that have made up the core of all the various FSA coalitions.

Clearly, then, the SRF was formed to add some extra muscle to the SMC, the National Coalition, and its exile government, as they are being threatened by the rise of the Islamic Front and other Salafi groups. Some Islamic Front leaders are clearly hostile to the new group and see it as part of a plot to destroy them.

Indeed, it seems like the December 6 incident and the Bab al-Hawa power struggle are quickly turning into a casus belli for both sides. Calmer heads may yet prevail. For his part, exile government and SMC representative Saadeddine insisted that the exile government had tried repeatedly to get the Islamic Front to join a restructured SMC and thereby be included in the future national army. But if some other party—whoever they are—tries to raise their weapons against the fighters, or against the Free Syrian Army, or the people of Syria that.

Follow the conversation— Sign up to receive email updates when comments are posted to this article. Downtown Beirut, P. Box Riad El Solh, Lebanon. Carnegie Middle East Center.

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Laith Marouf on recent events in Syria

Posted by: Aron Lund.Some of these groups are well-known and have a strong presence in their local areas, but most seem to have their glory days behind them. For example, the roster includes two factions of the Farouq Battalions.

But Maarouf has been widely accused of diverting resources for his own use rather than deploying them to the front lines. Even if most of these groups are now second-tier actors and the SRF has a strong Idlibi flavor, real unity between them could create a significant force on the ground, especially if backed by strong foreign funding.

Instead, it seems very much to be a case of coming together against a common enemy—the Islamist surge in general and the Islamic Front in particular. To some extent, this is of course a natural process. Disparate groups that feel marginalized by the rapid rise of the Salafi factions and fear their access to Bab al-Hawa is threatened will lay their differences aside and come together to strengthen their collective bargaining position.

The SRF groups belong to the Gulf-backed chunk of mostly nonideological or moderately Islamist insurgents that have made up the core of all the various FSA coalitions.

Clearly, then, the SRF was formed to add some extra muscle to the SMC, the National Coalition, and its exile government, as they are being threatened by the rise of the Islamic Front and other Salafi groups. Some Islamic Front leaders are clearly hostile to the new group and see it as part of a plot to destroy them.

Indeed, it seems like the December 6 incident and the Bab al-Hawa power struggle are quickly turning into a casus belli for both sides.

suleiman maarouf syria

Calmer heads may yet prevail. For his part, exile government and SMC representative Saadeddine insisted that the exile government had tried repeatedly to get the Islamic Front to join a restructured SMC and thereby be included in the future national army.

But if some other party—whoever they are—tries to raise their weapons against the fighters, or against the Free Syrian Army, or the people of Syria that. Follow the conversation— Sign up to receive email updates when comments are posted to this article. Downtown Beirut, P. Box Riad El Solh, Lebanon. Carnegie Middle East Center. Sign up for Carnegie Email. Experts Publications Events. Experts Publications.

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Religious Minorities.He first served as Prime Minister from 27 November until 25 November and then again from 9 February to 17 October Bakhit also held the position of Jordanian ambassador to Israel and the national security chief.

Appointed as Prime Minister by King Abdullah II less than three weeks after the Amman bombingsBakhit's main priorities were to maintain security and stability in Jordan. He was reappointed as Prime Minister by the King on 1 Februaryfollowing weeks of protests. He retired from the Armed Forces in as Major General. Bakhit has been Prime Minister twice, first from 27 November until 25 Novemberand then from 1 February The Amman bombings were a series of coordinated bomb attacks on three hotels in Amman, Jordan, on 9 November The attacks killed 60 people and injured others.

After two years of trying to get reforms through the parliament, followed by a questionable election, he resigned and was replaced by Nader al-Dahabi. After two weeks of street protestson 1 February King Abdullah fired his prime minister, Samir Rifaiand re-appointed Bakhit to his old position. While continuing to maintain a moderate stance in respect to the United States and the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, al-Bakhit has promised to effect changes in election laws, decentralize authority and grant further rights to political parties.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Associated Press. Retrieved 1 February Prime Ministers of Jordan. Tali'a Raslan Rikabi Raslan H. Al-Huda Rikabi H. Al-Huda Siraj Hashem T. Al-Huda S. Al-Rifai Hashem. Hashem S. Al-Rifai T. Al-Huda Mufti S. Al-Huda F. Mulki T. Al-Huda Mufti H.

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Majali Hashem S. Majali Talhouni Tal S. Al-Rifai Talhouni A. Al-Rifai M. Badran Sharaf Rimawi M. Badran Obeidat Z. Al-Rifai ibn Shaker M. Mulki Razzaz.

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