Syria: 132 Tunisian Insurgents Killed in Aleppo, Tunisia developing into Salafist Hot-Bed
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) 132 Tunisians were killed in the Syrian city of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. The Tunisians had been deployed to Syria to support the ongoing campaign by foreign backed insurgents, to conquer and secure Aleppo as a possible seat for a foreign-backed “transitional government”. The campaign on Aleppo began after the successful national reconciliation had undermined any remaining feasibility of a successful armed subversion and foreign interference. Tunisia is experiencing a recent increase of problems with Salafist radicals.
On Thursday, 14 February 2013, Tunisian radio and TV sent several reports, stating that as many as 132 Tunisian nationals have been killed in and around Aleppo. The northern Syrian city has, over the last one and a half week, seen fierce fighting, after insurgents succeeded at securing greater parts of the city. Syrian military forces have since been in fierce battles with the insurgents, and succeeded at clearing most of the areas that were taken by the insurgents.
The mercenary campaign against Aleppo had been launched at a time, when the Syrian government and political parties and organizations in Syria had begun with the implementation of a program for national dialog, reconciliation and reform. Over the course of the last week, the Syrian Prime Minister Al-Halaki, who is charing the ministerial group which is responsible for the national dialog, had successful and constructive meetings with both representatives of the National Initiative of Kurds in Syria and representatives of the People´s Will Party. The campaign in Aleppo is by many analysts considered as a desperate, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi and US-backed attempt to derail the national dialog and to deflect attention from growing Russian criticism of the USA, for failing to stop the attempted subversion.
The reports about the massive Tunisian casualties demonstrate, that the influx of insurgents is organized from abroad. According to the Tunisian radio station Express FM, the majority of the killed insurgents came from the Sidi Bouzid province of Tunisia. Many of them were deployed to the Al-Qaeda associated Al-Nusra. According to Express FM, the Al-Nusra has distributed photos of some of the killed insurgents, and promised to send photos of all the killed Tunisians to their leaders in Sidi Bouzin so the slain can be identified.
The fact, that the deployment of insurgents is well-organized, has been well-known since the onset of the armed insurgency. During the failed June-July 2012 campaigns to secure Homs as seat for a transitional government, the Libyan LIFG commander, and since the regime change in Libya, Tripoli Military Governor, Abdelhakim Belhadj, commanded some 20.000 insurgents under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.
After the decisive defeat of the Free Syrian Army the influx of Salafist, often Al-Qaeda associated mercenaries to Syria, is predominantly being organized by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The assassinated Syrian journalist Maya Naser documented, that Turkey released convicts, who had been sentenced for terrorism from jail, to fight in Syria. Among the killed Turkish convicts, who according to their sentences should have been in Turkish prisons, was the brother of the mastermind behind the 2004 HSBC bombing in Ankara, that killed scores and wounded 700 Turks.
A classified official Saudi-Arabian document which nsnbc published in 2012, documented, that Saudi Arabia deployed hundreds of convicts from Arab and African countries, whom Saudi Arabian courts had sentenced to death by decapitation. The convicts were given the choice between execution and fighting a “Holy War” in Syria.The deployment constitutes a flagrant breech of the Geneva Conventions, which guaranty the war-time rights of civilian and military prisoners. Forced Use of Prisoners is considered a serious warcrime.
Tunisia is increasingly developing into a Salafist hotbed. A recent report by the International Crisis Group is drawing attention to an increased Salafist and Al Qaeda presence in Tunisia. The report states, that this presence could be particularly dangerous, because Tunisia is destabilized by an institutional crisis, which was caused by the assassination of the Tunisian opposition leader Shokri Belaid.
It is a well established fact, that France and French-backed politicians in Mali, in particular the ousted Malian president Touré, but also Mali´s interim-President Dioncounda Traoré have cooperated with Touareq and Al Qaeda forces, to create a pretext for a military intervention in Mali. The influx of Salafists and Al-Qaeda in Tunisia could be indicative of the risk , that a foreign backed attempt to destabilize Tunisia is being hedged.