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Official Discusses Middle East Conflicts, Conditions
American Forces Press Service ^ | Jim Garamone

Posted on 08/07/2006 5:46:31 PM PDT by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2006 – The activities in the Hezbollah-Hamas battlespace are being manipulated by Iran, directed by Syria and executed by Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon, a senior U.S. military official, speaking on background, said today.

The official also spoke about conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said three major movements are coursing through the Middle East. The first is Iran’s posturing for leadership in the region.

Iran’s prominence in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, the official said, points to the problem a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the region and world. Iran’s sponsorship of Hezbollah and its moves to gain influence in Shiia areas of Iraq and other areas of the Middle East and Persian Gulf are designed to gain time for the Iranian nuclear program, and also to increase Iranian regional power, he explained.

This does not mean Sunni extremists – al Qaeda and associated movements – have quit the field. The extremists, the official said, are the second movement in the region.

He said that while the Sunni terrorist groups have not increased their levels of activity, they are looking for mergers with other groups and ways to increase their value on the global stage. He said he expects the Sunni groups to make a statement with an attack outside the Middle East, but that the statement also could come as an attack on oil infrastructure in the region. Al Qaeda did launch an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure last year, he noted.

The third big issue the official cited is the Arab-Israeli conflict. Hezbollah, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine lead the news, he said, and the world must calm the region. When the peace process moves forward it seems to make the region in general a bit easier to deal with, he said. When the process breaks down, the region becomes very difficult not only for the United States, but also for the world to handle.

U.S. policy in the Middle East hinges on stability in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official said. The past seven months in Iraq, he noted, have seen the major problem shift from the insurgency to sectarian violence. Concern about this activity was the impetus for extending the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team for up to 120 days in Iraq, the official said. The unit has done an excellent job in Mosul and brings an expanded capability for melding operations with intelligence, he explained. The official said the American units mostly will perform outer cordon duty for Iraqi units, as they did during the 2005 elections.

Coalition and Iraqi units are making good progress against Sunni death cells – mostly al Qaeda in Iraq affiliates – the official said. They also are making some progress against Shiia death cells; a number of raids to take down these cells have taken place in the past few days, the official said. Coalition forces will engage in operations in Baghdad, he said, but they will be limited to the more precise operations against various death squad elements. He stressed that any solution must incorporate economic and political solutions in addition to military force.

In Afghanistan, the transition of the southern region to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force continues. The Taliban are contesting the provinces in the south, most notably Helmand province. The official said he expects an uptick in Taliban activity in the east, where U.S. forces are now mostly concentrated. Even there, the situation is complex, the official said. Along with the Taliban causing problems, drug lords, tribal conflicts and territorial fights pose additional challenges. Still, the official said, he doesn’t foresee anything unhinging coalition efforts in Afghanistan.

A danger does exist, however, that extremist ideology – Iranian or Sunni –might become mainstream in the region, the official acknowledged. If that happens, he said, either the region will move into a major war within itself or one of those two groups will mount a major action against the West.

The West must expose the enemies for what they are, the official said. Once that happens, he said, no one will want to follow the groups’ ideology.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: conditions; conflicts; daralislam; discusses; east; globaljihad; hamas; hezbollah; iran; iraq; islam; islamofascism; israel; jihad; lebanon; middle; muhammadsminions; muslim; official; syria; wot

1 posted on 08/07/2006 5:46:33 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...

and now a few words on the HezBUTTS!

2 posted on 08/07/2006 5:47:28 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Seem the HezBUTTS are losing support amongst the MidEast too:

Apparantly Jamaa Islamiya is none too happy with Zawahiri's statement from yesterday that the groups have merged.

I can't think of another case where a significant Islamist group has gotten in Al Qaeda's face like this. This will be interesting to watch..

The following statement was published on the website of the Jamaa Islamiya website:

The Islamic Group (Jamaa Islamiya) in Egypt denounces the Al Jazeera broadcast of the speech of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri that announces that they have joined the Al-Qaeda network, and denies that it has joined the group.

With regard to Dr Ayman's statements regarding some of the leaders of the group that it claims is joining Al-Qaeda, these are flagrant lies.

It is known that Dr. Omar Abdul Rahman was and still is amongst the strongest supporters of the initiative that the group announced in 1997, and he is still captive in the American prisons till today, may God ease his problems and may Allah raise his status.

As for Sheikh Abdul Akher Hammad, he has already declared on Al Jazeera that the reports that he joined Al Qaeda are false.

As for Sheikh Rafai Taha, since August 1998 he has withdrawal from the international jihad against the Jews and crusaders. He then reiterated his commitment to the Group. He remains imprisoned until today in an Egyptian prison, where he was since 2001. All that is known about him is that he confirms his commitment to the Group and its policies.

As for Sheikh Mohamed Mostafa al Muqri, he has made clear his support for the Initiative by publishing a book stating that Islamic Sharia prohibits the killing of civilians. Everything that he has written contradicts the beliefs of the Al Qaeda network regarding killing civilians.

And Brother Mohamed Khalil Al Hukayma, who appeared remains in the statement that Al Jazeera broadcast. If he is a brother we are not aware and do not know him, and he has no been for a single day a leader of the Jamaa Islamiya. His joining Al Qaeda is only his personal decision (act), nothing more or less.

There remains a disagreement between Jamaa Islamiya and Al Qaeda network, one that is a deep disagreement in see reality, how they define targets (goals) and methods, and their strategies. The group has written the Al Qaeda leaders several messages asking that they reconsider their views and save the energy of jihad that sleeps in the sould of believers wherever there are unfair colonizer or sinful occupier, and distance itself from the explosions of Riyadh and Casablanca, and instead of a strategy that united the enemies and fights the entire world.

Al Jamaa Al Islamiya

Karam Zohdi, Najeh Ibrahim, Issam Derbalah, Osamah Hafez, Fouad al Dawalibi, Ali Al Sherif, Asem Abdel Majid, Hamdi Abdel Rahman

For more translations and news on terrorism, visit

3 posted on 08/07/2006 6:16:34 PM PDT by Calpernia (
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And this one. Pretty soon the HezBUTTS will only be left with their DailyKos fan club.

There isn't enough yet to suggest a trend, but I'm seeing more and more reports from the
Arab world like this, which slam Al Qaeda, claiming that it is damaging the Muslim people
and the Muslim countries.

Combined with Gamaa Islamiya's disavowal of Zawahiri's statement that Jamaa Islamiya
has allied itself with Al Qaeda, it make me wonder if a subtle shift has occured in public
opinion. Again, it's too early to be certain, but I will be watching for other signs of a trend

Note: this article refers to Zawahiri's speech on Lebanon and Gaza, and not to

Jordanian Writer Mocks Al-Zawahiri's Latest Speech, Says Al-Qa'ida Incapable
Dr Fahd al-Fanik's column: "Al-Zawahiri's Speech No. 26"
Al-Ra'y (Internet Version-WWW)
Tuesday,August 1, 2006

Five full years have elapsed since the 11th of September 2001. Meanwhile, the Al-Qa'ida leaders have been hiding underground, sending one quixotic recorded speech after another to the Al-Jazirah satellite television threatening the United States and its allies with great disasters without doing anything significant on the ground. Is the Al-Qa'ida finished as an organization, or has it turned into a television phenomenon created by the two men, Usamah Bin-Ladin and Ayman al-Zawahiri? Or is there anything more than the eye can see or more than one can hear of the fiery speeches that the Al-Jazirah network records and airs as scoop, which has lost its glamour and glitter?

Al-Qa'ida organization is no longer capable of achieving anything, thus turning to producing speeches, something that any organization consisting of five or six people and having a recorder or a video camera can do.

The gist of Al-Zawahiri's latest speech carrying No. 26 consists of a host of instructions and a call for jihad to Arabs and Muslims. After all, does the HAMAS Movement need someone to remind it of the necessity to resist the occupation? Or does Hizballah wait for a green light from Ayman al-Zawahiri to fight Israel? Do the viewers of television not know that the United States is biased toward and allied with Israel so as to need Al-Zawahiri to remind them of this reality?

If Al-Qa'ida were able to take any action, it would act to prove its existence and translate if only a small portion of its threats into action. But it is no longer capable of doing anything with the exception of making speeches. It heaps abuses on the United States and Israel while they act as they please.

Verbal support for HAMAS and Hizballah is of no use to these movements. It only serves Israel's claims that it is fighting terrorism and that its aggression falls within the context of the US war on Al-Qa'ida and global terrorism. The least that Al-Zawahiri should do is to stop praising parties that need not his testimony or wait for his advice and calls.

As for Al-Qa'ida's speeches, they do not lack stupidity, which we hope is not intentional. For Al-Qa'ida does not distinguish between America's friends and foes, for all are crusaders who must be fought. This discourse only serves the United States on the one hand, and isolates the vanquished peoples, on the other, as Al-Qa'ida wants them to antagonize the world.

--Al-Qa'ida has offended the image of Islam in the world, tainting it with the suspicion of violence and terrorism, and making an Arabs or a Muslim suspected of terrorism until they are proved innocent. It has stopped the Islamic tide in Europe and the United States where it made Muslims an undesirable community, even if Muslims hold European or US citizenship.

(Description of Source: Amman Al-Ra'y (Internet Version-WWW) in Arabic -- Jordanian daily of widest circulation, partially owned by government; URL:

For more translations and news on terrorism, visit

4 posted on 08/07/2006 6:18:18 PM PDT by Calpernia (
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