April 27, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6403

Pakistani Jihadi Weekly: Russia's Withdrawal From Syria - 'An Extremely Happy Moment For Muslims'; 'The Sacrifices Of [Syrian] Muslims... And Their Forceful Resistance Will Become Stronger'

April 27, 2016
Special Dispatch No. 6403

Following are excerpts from an article on the Russian troop withdrawal from Syria, published by Haftroza Al-Qalam, an Urdu-language jihadi weekly of the Pakistani jihadi terror group Jaish-e-Muhammad that is freely available across Pakistan:

"The Pious Land Of Syria Has Become A Victim Of The Brutality Of International Powers At This Time, As Was The Case With The Land Of Afghanistan Some Time Ago"

"The pious land of Syria has become a victim of the brutality of the international powers, as was the case with the land of Afghanistan some time ago. But the test for Syria's Muslims is more difficult, because there Russia and America, despite appearing to be opposed to each other, are internally aligned. No effort is being spared to destroy the Sunni Muslims there through the coercive steps of the two countries, which was the most dangerous aspect of this war. Both [Russia and the U.S.] countries have declared that they entered the field ostensibly to resolve this issue, but actually they are both protecting the dictatorship of [the Shi'ite ruler] Bashar Al-Assad...

"In such a situation, this fresh news has come up with a good aspect: a part of the Russian troops is leaving Syria. Therefore, as per media reports, Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered the 'key part' of his military to withdraw from Syria. This is seen as an unexpected step. The process of withdrawal will begin Tuesday (March 15), and the Russian president says his country has achieved its objectives. U.S. officials have cautiously welcomed this Russian announcement, and have also said that Russia did not inform the U.S. in advance about this decision.

"Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said: 'We will have to watch what the real objectives of Russia are.' U.S. President Barack Obama has talked to the Russian president by phone in this regard. However, there has been no more information about this, from either American or Russian officials. The Russian statement about the troop withdrawal from Syria came at a time when talks are underway in Geneva... regarding a resolution of the five-year civil war in Syria. Russia is an important ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and a statement by the Syrian president's office has said that he is in agreement with this [Russian] decision. The statement noted that the withdrawal of the troops is 'in consonance with the situation on the ground.'"

"Other Invasion Forces Will Also Slowly Face Failure, And Be Forced To Withdraw" Their Troops From Syria

"The Russian intervention in the Syrian civil war in September 2015 tipped the scales in favor of the Syrian government in this war. After that the government forces retook many regions from rebel control. At a Kremlin meeting, Russian President Putin stated: 'In my view, the mission that was given to the defense ministry and armed forces has been achieved...' Russia has claimed that its military operations in Syria targeted only the terrorists - while the Western powers have been alleging that Russia has been targeting those opposed to Bashar Al-Assad. Syria's opposition party has cautiously welcomed the Russian decision....

"Earlier, the American and Western governments called the Russian intervention a threat to their interests. But they are not concerned about the extreme difficulties experienced by the Muslims there. Even if they [the U.S. and the Western/European powers] made some statements [in this matter], they were meaningless, and their tone and tenor clarified that the land of Syria was basically a grazing ground for both international powers, and that they can go there to hunt whenever they want.  Therefore, some time ago, the European governments stated: 'In the eyes of the West, Vladimir Putin entangled himself in a diplomatic difficulty by getting involved in the Syrian conflict...'"

"The fundamental objective behind Russia's intervention in Syria was to offer protection to Bashar Al-Assad and his government. But the Muslims' resistance there was so extreme that it was appearing difficult for Bashar Al-Assad to remain [in power] there. In such a situation, in order to offer him protection the Russian and the American intervention grew [i.e. in concert]. Simultaneously, Russia announced that if Bashar Al-Assad needed asylum, he would be offered political asylum in Russia. Therefore, 'Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he is not rejecting the possibility of providing political asylum to his long-time ally Bashar Al-Assad.' In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, [Putin] said that there is a need for reform in Syria which includes a new Constitution. He said that if the next elections are democratic, then there is no need for Mr. Assad to go anywhere, whether he is elected president or not. But if he loses, then Putin can offer political asylum to him..."

"President Putin launched the bombing campaign in September in order to aid the government of Bashar Al-Assad. Now, the withdrawal [of troops] has begun. This withdrawal is an extremely happy moment for the Muslims, and it is hoped that the sacrifices of Muslims there and their forceful resistance will become stronger and that other invasion forces also will slowly face failure and be forced to withdraw [their troops from Syria]."

Source: Haftroza Al-Qalam, Issue No. 536


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