‘A Massacre is Inevitable’ wrote the Los Angeles Times in an article dated Sep. 23, 2016. The prophesy was fulfilled on April 15, 2017. The article had detailed the long siege of Al-Fu’ah and Kafriya which had begun March 28, 2015.
April 13, 2017: a convoy of buses carrying 5,000 people from the neighboring villages of Al-Fu’ah and Kafriya left the area on their way to Jebrin center, in Aleppo, which is a meeting place to provide initial food and medical care to displaced Syrians. The two villages are in the Idlib Province, West of Aleppo. They had been under siege for several years, surrounded by terrorists fighting the Syrian government, because these villages were populated by Shia Muslims. The terrorists in Syria, regardless of their name or international supporters, are all radical Salafi Muslims. This was a sectarian siege of civilians.
On the way to Aleppo the buses stopped at Rashidin, and were parked there for 2 ½ days. During this time the terrorists who were in control of the buses and evacuation plan refused to allow the families to leave the bus for bodily functions, or to provide any food. Thousands of people were tightly packed into commercial buses, and were entire families: the elderly, men, women, children and babies.
April 15, 2017: Rashidin is in the heart of terrorist controlled territory in the Idlib Province. The terrorist group Ahrar al Sham was in control of the buses. While hundreds of people were sitting in these buses, literally parked bumper to bumper, a truck pulled up and announced it had potato chips for the kids. The kids came pouring out of the buses running toward the truck, which was parked opposite of the buses, in a gasoline station. They had been without food deliveries for 2 ½ days. The truck was packed with explosives and detonated by remote control. The ensuing explosion and fire ripped through 6 buses packed with people, killing over 100, injuring many more, and also destroyed 20 Syrian Red Crescent ambulances which were part of the convoy.
Also killed in the huge blast and inferno were over 30 Ahrar al Sham terrorists, who were escorting the buses. The group says it is starting a probe into the cause of the attack, and said it is ready to cooperate with an international investigation to determine who carried it out. The only access to the area was by terrorists. However, there are hundreds of separate terrorist groups, each fighting for their piece of the pie, and the cash which follows. The person, or group, which planned and carried out the attack on April 15, 2017, has to be someone who wants to hurt Ahrar al-Sham.
Who is Ahrar al-Sham?
Ahrar al-Sham, is a coalition of multiple Salafist units, with support from Qatar and Turkey. Ahrar al-Sham aims to create an Islamic state under Sharia law, and was for a time openly allied with the al-Nusra Front, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, until a rift in January 2017. Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Iran and Egypt have designated Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist organization while according to the U.S. Department of State, “Ahrar al-Sham is not a designated foreign terrorist organization”. While CNN and BBC describe them as ‘rebels’ fighting the “Assad Regime”, they are not. The use of the term rebels implies that the ‘rebel’ is rebelling against their own government, or leader. However, these terrorists are not all Syrian. They are a mixture of various regions: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and t he Middle East. A citizen of Belgium, for example, cannot be labeled as a “Syrian Rebel”.
Who would want to target the terrorists guarding the buses, and in the process massacre civilians?
The deal was brokered by Iran and Qatar on March 28, 2017. It was called “The Four Towns Agreement”, which provided for thousands of civilians to be evacuated from Kafriya and al-Fu’ah, and part of the deal, government forces are allowing 2,000 terrorists and their families to leave two towns in southwest Syria: Madaya and Zabadani.
This was a ‘swap’ of 2 very different groups of people. In the northwest, they were people opposed to terrorism, and in support of the Syrian government. In the southwest, they were armed terrorists and their families. The 2 groups would be leaving safely.
March 28, 2015: the siege of Kafriya and al-Fu’ah began. Jibhat al Nusra imposed a full siege blocking all humanitarian supplies to the towns. On August 10, the terrorists launched an assault on al-Fu’ah, after detonating a car bomb and tunnel bomb, and advanced towards it. Between September 3 and September 5, the terrorists intensively shelled the 2 villages and launched a number of attacks. On September 18, the terrorists launched a new attack on the2 villages, firing almost 400 shells and rockets, while nine car bombs (including seven suicide bombers) were detonated. The overall number of suicide bombers with VBIEDs that attacked al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in the battle of September 18-19 was estimated to be 26 VBIEDs. The attackers were: 11 Uyghurs, one Lebanese, 2 Saudis and 11 Syrians.
On January 11, 2016, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme organized an aid convoy to deliver food, medicine and other aid to Kafriya and al Fu’ah. Despite several humanitarian convoys entering the besieged area, the citizens were still suffering from very difficult survival conditions, basic medical care, vaccines and food were not available and Jibhat al Nusra terrorists continued to bombard the towns causing daily casualties among civilians. On November 21, rebel shelling and sniper fire killed at least one civilian in Fuah and Kefraya, and from December 3-6, more than 10 civilians in al-Fu’ah and Kafriya were killed by terrorist shelling. On December 18, a group of busses from Aleppo headed toward al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in order to evacuate 2,500 civilians there as part of an agreement that would also evacuate the remaining civilians from the former terrorist-held districts of Aleppo after the offensive. En route, 6 buses were attacked and burned, fighters from Jibhat al Nusra prevented the evacuation. 2 days later, more than 1,000 people from al-Fu’ah and Kafriya left the towns in buses and headed to Aleppo.
Who is Jibhat al Nusra?
Columnist David Ignatius reported: Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia were the primary sponsors of the new coalition that was led by Jibhat al Nusra. Financial Times reporter Erica Solomon quoted terrorists and activists claiming that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were consistently ferrying in cash and supplies to support a military offensive in Aleppo directed byJibhat al Nusra. The coalition, whose formation was announced in March 2015, comprises a range of mostly jihadist and Islamist groups, the most prominent being Al-Qaeda affiliate Jibhat al Nusra and the powerful Ahrar al Sham. Other important members include Faylaq al-Sham, a coalition of Muslim Brotherhood-linked battalions.
The United States has designated Jibhat al Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization, followed by the United Nations Security Council and many other countries. In November 2012, The Washington Post described Jibhat al Nusra as the most successful arm of the terrorist forces. According to the Consortium Against Terror Finance (CATF), Qatar has been able to get away with funding Al Nusra, despite their terrorist designation, through Kidnapping for Ransom. Jibhat al Nusra has, thus far, kidnapped a diverse group of people from Turkey, Fiji, Lebanon, Syria, and Italy among others. In each occasion, Qatar engages in a substantial financial agreement with Al Nusra in exchange for hostages. CATF suggests that the U.S. turns a blind eye to Qatar’s funding of Al Nusra because Al Nusra is one of the only groups that poses a plausible threat to both ISIS and the Syrian ‘regime’. According to the Institute for the Study of War, the reason why Al Nusra is the only plausible threat is because of Qatar’s funding: “Jabhat al-Nusra has become the best-armed force among the opposition groups. It has been at the tip of the spear in operations in Eastern Syria, Aleppo, and Damascus. Its combat proficiency and relatively greater access to material and funding have led other opposition groups to tolerate its participation in military operations across the country.” According to the Fiscal Times, Qatar has great influence over the group that goes beyond ransom payments. In many cases, Qatar acts as a political mediator between Jibhat al Nusra and governments.
Fellow Persian Gulf Arab countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have publicly rebuked Qatar for its support of political Islamists like Jibhat al Nusra across the Middle East. Saudi Arabia designated Jibhat al Nusra a terrorist organization on March 7, 2014
The massacre at Rashidin was possibly a manifestation of a rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Hillary Clinton sent a lengthy email about ISIS to John Podesta, citing sources including Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region, which accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding the group. It was sent in August 2014, as the terror group grabbed control of swathes of Iraq and Syria. Her email urges a ‘low profile’ effort, and argues the U.S. should ‘use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL.’
Infighting and battles between Saudi supported terrorists, versus the Qatari supported terrorists, presents a recipe for a massacre.