, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just as the US and UK vetoed a Russian call to put Ahrar Al Sham on a terror list, this Rebel group ethnically cleansed allawites in the town of Al Zara in Homs province.

U.S., U.K., France and Ukraine refused Russia’s call to label
Jaish al-Islam & Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist groups


(By HandsOffSyria) ~ Obama, Cameron, and Hollande stand bravely together, shoulder to shoulder, to defend head chopping, suicide bombing Salafist jihadis who want to forge their own Islamic Caliphate in Syria

Statement by the Reuters Agency:

“Britain, the United States, France and Ukraine blocked a Russian proposal at the United Nations to blacklist Syrian rebel groups Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham for links to Islamic State and al Qaeda militants, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Russia made the proposal late last month and the U.S. mission to the United Nations had signalled it would oppose the move, saying it would undermine attempts to get a sustained halt in the fighting in Syria.

The U.N. Security Council’s 15-member Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee has to agree by consensus before individuals or groups can be blacklisted.

Jaish al-Islam (Islam Army) is a major armed rebel group in Syria and part of the High Negotiation Committee, which was set up in Riyadh last December to negotiate on behalf of opposition groups at U.N.-brokered peace talks with the government.

The High Negotiation Committee is backed by Western nations and key Arab states.

Ahrar al-Sham withdrew from the Riyadh meeting, saying “revolutionary groups” were sidelined. But the group did attend the last round of peace talks in Geneva.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has long said that Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham should not be involved in Syria peace talks.

Ahrar al-Sham is an ultra-orthodox Salafist group and has fought as part of a military alliance including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which was not part of a cessation of hostilities agreement brokered in February.

Ahrar al-Sham, whose late leader fought alongside Osama bin Laden, last year denied sharing al Qaeda’s ideology or having organizational ties to the group.


Survivors of al-Zara massacre:
“Terrorists killed children and women in homes and roads”

(SANA) ~ A number of the locals of al-Zara town in the southern countryside of Hama who survived the massacre committed by terrorist groups against the locals of the town on Thursday at dawn said members of those terrorist groups attacked the town and killed children and women in homes and roads.

Speaking to the Syrian TV, one of the survivors said that the armed terrorist groups infiltrated into the town at dawn while its people were sleeping, raided homes and killed children, women and elderly in a brutal manner, adding that terrorists killed his mother and his aunt, kidnapped his uncle and killed his sons.

He pointed out that the terrorists were using PKC machine guns, laser sniper rifles and RPG shells which they fired at houses before they broke into them and killed families.

Another survivor said that around ten families are lost, indicating that the terrorists killed some of the abducted persons on the spot, while another survivor said that the terrorist groups had flattened houses in the town.

The survivors confirmed that they contacted members of the Syrian Arab Army to rescue the injured and to evacuate them to safe areas.

On Thursday, terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and other armed affiliated to it infiltrated into al-Zara town and committed a massacre against its locals and abducted a number of children and women, destroyed and stole the locals’ properties and houses.


Syrian villagers describe massacre by militant group
spared from U.N. terror blacklist

Eyewitnesses from Zara, an Alawite Syrian village, have revealed brutal killings and kidnappings at the hands of Ahrar al-Sham and Al-Nusra fighters to RT. This week, Western powers blocked the militant group’s inclusion on the UN terrorist list.

Ahrar al-Sham, which espouses a strict Salafist form of Sunni Islam, reportedly fought alongside the Al-Nusra Front, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, which is not protected by the US and Russia-mediated ceasefire in Syria.

The group admitted responsibility for the raid but claimed that it had not mistreated those who did not resist.

“Civilians were not targeted. On the contrary factions made great effort to spare civilians and deal with prisoners humanely,” said an Ahrar al-Sham spokesman in a statement, cited by Reuters.

However, residents of the village who spoke with RT Arabic painted a different picture of events, describing the raid on the settlement as a war crime.

“They killed elderly people, took children and women as captives. We want to find out what happened to them afterwards. We know nothing about them,” Abdou Khalifa, a villager, who himself sustained wounds, told the channel.


“Strangers came to our village. Most of them were foreigners, we understood that they weren’t from Syria from the way they looked. They attacked our village, many were killed. My brother is among the dead, his children were wounded. They killed entire families,” said Ahmad Muhammad al Qasem.

“They perpetrated a massacre,” said another villager, Munzer Qasem. “I heard of two or three entire families killed. Abu Naval’s family was killed. He was an old man and was killed together with his daughters. They were slaughtered in their own house.”


Villagers said that “scores” of people were either killed or taken hostage by the Islamist raiders. The accounts tallied closely with those shown by Syrian state television and emerging on social media.

One of the gruesome images that emerged on social media showed Ahrar al-Sham fighters standing above several bloodied corpses of women. The group did not deny the veracity of the photograph, but insisted that the women bore arms, and had been killed in combat.

US refuses to blame Ahrar al-Sham

The incident comes as something of an embarrassment to Washington, after it defeated Russia’s long-standing proposal to designate the group, along with another militant movement, Jaish al-Islam, as terrorist organizations, for their radical ideology and co-operation with Al-Qaeda inspired terrorist movements.

If Russia’s initiative had been approved by the UN Security Council, the two groups would have become legitimate targets for Syrian, Russian and Western airstrikes, and would lose their place on the High Negotiation Committee, the Saudi-backed body that represents part of the fractured Syrian opposition during international peace talks.

But London, Paris, Washington and Kiev defeated Russia’s proposal, with a US mission spokesperson saying that designating “groups that are parties to the cessation of hostilities could have damaging consequences to the cessation just as we are trying to de-escalate the situation on the ground.”

The US State Department admitted that the incidents during the capture of Zara were “unacceptable and incomprehensible” but refused to pin the blame on Ahrar al-Sham or clearly condemn the group’s cooperation with Al-Nusra.


“Ashar al-Islam is not… a designated foreign terrorist organization and therefore is a party to the cessation. And our expectation of them is the same expectation we have for everybody else who is a party to the cessation, that they will observe it, that they will abide by it,” said a State Department spokesman during Friday’s press briefing in Washington.

“And we’ve said all along that we’ve seen some comingling, and we have seen even to some degree some troubling cooperation between certain opposition groups and al-Nusrah. Again, I’m not specifically talking about this attack”.

The spokesman also admitted that the State Department had not threatened the group with potential blacklisting for their cooperation with a designated terror organization, but reiterated that the US had made its expectations “very clear.”

“Those that are part of the HNC and the armed opposition, we have made very clear our expectations for their behavior and conduct with respect to the cessation of hostilities,” John Kirby said.

Gregory R. Copley from the International Strategic Studies Association believes that the reason Washington refuses to condemn or blacklist Ahrar Al-Sham is that the US is short of so-called moderate opposition allies in Syria,

“The only reason for the US not to brand them as a terrorist group is to keep them as an ally in the fight against President Assad, because the US doesn’t have many allies on the ground with any strength, so they are relying on these groups which have strong relationships with Saudi Arabia and Turkey as well,” Copley told RT.

Tacit US support for Ahrar Al-Sham, at a time of emerging reports of atrocities potentially committed by the group, blemishes Washington’s reputation, he said.

The downside of such rhetoric is that “the US does look bad as a result,” Copley added. “You can’t have it both ways.” 


Video by SyrianGirlPartisan Youtube
Photo by SyrianGirlPartisan Twitter
Survivors Statement by SANA, Manar al-Frieh/Manal
RussiaToday Report
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you,
to facilitate the correct information's diffusion,
to cite all these original links and sources.

NOTE: The contents of the articles, speeches or comments on this page are of sole responsibility of their authors. The team and the editorial staff of SyrianFreePress do not necessarily subscribe every point of view expressed and are not responsible for any inaccurate, incorrect or offensive statement in this article. Complaints and corrections (verifiable) will be welcomed and accepted. Copyright owners can notify their claims to us, and the verified contents will be removed.