May 28th 2012 10:22:56 PM
SYRIAN OPPOSITION LEARNS TERROR TACTICS FROM KOSOVO ALBANIANS: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Now Trained by Kosovo’s and America’s KLA TerroristsPosted by Julia Gorin
I had recently called attention to the fact that Libyan and Syrian rebels were looking to the “former” rebels constituting today’s KLA government of Kosovo for guidance on post-war Christian-less peace. I wrote that, when a delegation from Tripoli visited Pristina last month because “Kosovo’s post-conflict transition process could serve as a useful model for Libya” and because it wanted to “learn about Kosovo’s experience in reintegrating [KLA fighters],” what they really wanted to know was how Albanians managed to get terrorists legitimized and weaponized by the West.
The Libyans also wanted to learn from Albanians “what [they] did first after the end of the war… and how…the amnesty and disarmament processes went.” I explained that what the Albanians did first was ethnically cleanse every town and village of its non-Albanian populations and of any Albanian opposition, with NATO’s help. As for disarmament, there was none. Unless you’re talking about disarming the already sitting Serbian ducks. And as for amnesty for the Albanian “fighters,” evidently what was meant by that was wholesale immunity for Christian-killing that continued well beyond the “end” of the war, and to this day. (Type in “Kosovo” and “climate of impunity” and find any number of international reports on the matter including by HRW and Amnesty.)
Then came Syria’s turn:
Syrian opposition studies terror tactics in Kosovo (Russia Today, May 4)
A delegation of Syrian rebels has made a deal with Pristina authorities to exchange experience on partisan warfare. The Syrian opposition is sending militants to Kosovo for adopting tactics and being trained to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime.
On April 26, a delegation of Syrian opposition members made a stop in Pristina on their way from the US to hold talks on how to make use of the experience of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Syria, reports the Associated Press.
So far, a poorly-organized Syrian opposition has proven unable to self-organize and form a steady front against the forces of President Assad.
Terror tactics used by militants allow them to kill military and governmental officials, but do not help to hold positions against a regular army.
“We come here to learn. Kosovo has walked this path and has an experience that would be very useful for us,” says the head of the Syrian delegation Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian-born human rights activist and dissident. “In particular, we’d like to know how scattered armed groups were finally organized into the KLA.”
Syrian opposition leaders have promised to immediately recognize Kosovo once they seize power in the country.
… The training camp on the Albanian-Kosovo border that has welcomed Syrian attendees was originally organized by the US to help the KLA train its fighters.
That is, the U.S.-sponsored terror-training camps are still active in Kosovo. (On a related note, each KLA brigade had a well-guarded Arabic mujahed officer installed by the American company Military Professional Resources Inc. See also: “KLA terrorists were transported into the battlefield by NATO helicopters…NATO instructors were training as many as 10,000 KLA terrorists at camps in Albania and Turkey…In addition to using civilian homes and places of worship as firing positions, the KLA’s members would often remove their uniforms and intermingle themselves among real civilians.”) Continuing with the current Syria-Kosovo article:
The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years until, in 1998, it was taken off the list of terrorists with no explanation given. The KLA used to have up to 10 per cent of underage fighters in its ranks.
There were numerous reports of the KLA having contacts with Al-Qaeda, getting arms from that terrorist organization, getting its militants trained in Al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan and even having members of Al-Qaeda in its ranks fighting against Serbs.
In 1998-1999 Kosovo separatists started an armed conflict with Belgrade to split the Kosovo region from Serbia. The war in the region was marked with mass atrocities and executions of the civilian population [the “mass” part of that being by the KLA]. Most of the Serbs that used to live in Kosovo became refugees.
The same horrors that were witnessed during the war in Kosovo are now apparently being prepared for the multi-confessional Syrian population by Islamist Syrian Liberation Army trained in Muslim Kosovo in the middle of Europe.
The Syrian Liberation Army group that actually formed the delegation to Kosovo has been fighting with the Syrian government for over a year now. This stand-off has claimed well over 9,000 lives, about half of them Syrian servicemen, law enforcers and officials.
Lately, the militants have been squeezed out of the Syrian cities and their positions along the Syrian-Turkish border. Being unable to turn the tide independently, the Syrian Liberation Army has been addressing to its foreign sponsors to start a military intervention into Syria to topple President Bashar Assad. [Again, echoes of Kosovo.]
However, Global Research Dot CA Contributor Benjamin Schett told RT the Syrian rebels would not learn much in terms of military tactics from the KLA.
“The so-called Kosovo Liberation Army – this terrorist group – had in fact already been defeated by the Serbian army in 1998.”
Schett says that once Serbia agreed on a ceasefire, pulled back troops, and let in OSCE observers, the KLA used this situation to intensify their attacks so as to provoke a military reaction. [ “And at the same time they managed to present themselves as the innocent ones and the freedom fighters and the victims and the Serbs as aggressors to the Western media, which finally provoked a Western intervention in March 1999 after they staged a fake massacre in Račak.”]
Schett believes the Syrian rebels would go to Kosovo for knowledge in public relations techniques. He says despite their lack of military prowess, they were adept at making the Western public believe they were fighting for a justified cause amid reports they had committed a slew of war crimes and human rights abuses.
MARAUDER AND ETHNIC CLEANSING TACTICS
Wiping out local minorities after an extensive NATO air-strike were the only combat tactics the KLA had mastered and the only thing the Syrian opposition can really learn from them, foreign affairs editor for the US-based Chronicles magazine, Srdja Trifkovich, told RT.
RT: Just what might the Syrian opposition learn at these camps?
Srdja Trifkovich: Well, first of all I don’t think they can learn much from the KLA veterans in terms of combat efficiency because the KLA was singularly unsuccessful in its rebellion against the Serbian security forces until the NATO bombing. They started their terrorist ambushes in 1997. They intensified their activities in 1998…But even during the bombing the Serbian forces maintained full control of all of the key population centers and they even kept the roads open. It’s only that the KLA came in after the Serbs started withdrawing under the terms of the ceasefire with NATO. And even then they were not engaging in combat, they were acting as marauders ethnically cleansing non-Albanians. So the first point is that there is nothing to learn in terms of combat efficiency and in terms of actually organizing a successful guerilla force.
RT: Words that have been associated with the KLA – assassination, terror, bombings – is that really the kind of thing that the Syrian opposition wants to be associated with?
ST: It seems that they don’t care, because I understand that Ammar Abdulhamid, one of the Syrian opposition leaders who came to Pristina and actually spoke to an AP reporter, said “We are here to learn.” Now this should be a huge wake-up call for those Syrians who are not supportive of the opposition, especially the minorities: the Alawites, the Christians – either Orthodox or Greek Catholic – the Shiites, the Kurds. The moderate Sunni Muslims should remember that if the Syrian rebels learn from the KLA, that means there will be a bloodbath after the fall of Assad and there will be no room for anyone but the majority group which subscribes to its extremist credo, whether it is that of greater Albania in Kosovo or the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot in Syria.
Media reports suggesting that Kosovo officials have established contact with the Syrian opposition to train Syrian militants in the secessionist province are causing alarm, the Russian Ambassador to the UN said Monday.
”The training of militants would run counter to the efforts of the UN and Arab League special envoy, which are supported by the entire international community,” said Vitaly Churkin, speaking at a session of the Security Council devoted to the situation in Kosovo.
The UN Ambassador went on to warn of the possible global implications of such paramilitary exercises.
“Apart from this, turning Kosovo into an international drilling ground where the militants of paramilitary formations would get training might become a serious destabilizing factor reaching out to places far beyond the boundaries of the Balkans,” Churkin said.
Diplomats and media reports said that at least three exiled Syrian activists have been in Kosovo recently for talks with the former Kosovo rebels who fought a separatist war against Serbia in 1998-99, which culminated in NATO unleashing a ferocious, 78-day aerial bombardment (March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999) on Yugoslavia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed its concern over the media reports.
“Lately there have been media reports about contacts between Syrian opposition representatives and the authorities of the so-called Republic of Kosovo,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Monday. “This is not just about ‘exchange of experience’ in organizing separatist movements aimed at toppling existing regimes, it is also about training Syrian militants in Kosovo.”
They intend to use areas that are geographically similar to the Syrian landscape, the ministry statement continued. It is likely that training centers will be opened at the former bases of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
“Such intentions raise concerns. They run counter to the efforts of United Nations – Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan, backed by the entire international community. We are calling on international organizations present in the province to take whatever steps are necessary to foil such schemes,” the Foreign Ministry concluded.
While Rodney Atkinson reminds us that it was the hasty, illegal, and “deliberate breakup of Yugoslavia by Germany and NATO” that “provided great opportunities for Islamic terror organisations to infiltrate Kosovo and Bosnia,” Lee Jay Walker and Boutros Hussein of the Modern Tokyo Times website comment on Russia’s concerns about Kosovo’s ratlines helping Syrian terrorists:
The Russian Federation is alarmed by reports that Kosovo under the leadership of ethnic Albanians and in complete collusion with America, is being prepared to train Syrian Islamists in this disputed territory. Irrespective of what people think about the Kosovo crisis, the end result is the most telling…[U]nder various Western organizations vast numbers of Orthodox Christians have fled Kosovo.
Indeed, it is appalling to think [there is] a part of Europe where Orthodox Christians have to be protected by outside forces when venturing into many parts of Kosovo where Serbians have been cleansed, or reside in small pockets; that despite this fact, Kosovo under Kosovo Albanian rule is still deemed worthy to instigate more violence. The Western organizations based in Kosovo are meant to show “a caring side” to the intervention of Kosovo whereby non-Albanians are protected. However, the truth couldn’t be further away when it comes to the elites of Washington and London. This applies to the bigger picture being a disguise in order to “pull the strings” in a strategic part of Europe…
The ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, stated in relation to Syria, that…”turning Kosovo into an international drilling ground where the militants of paramilitary formations would get training might become a serious destabilizing factor reaching out to places far beyond the boundaries of the Balkans.”
…After all, several radical Sunni Islamists who were involved in September 11 had obtained training in Bosnia, [where] killing Orthodox Christians was…tolerated by the Bill Clinton administration. Therefore, once more it would appear that certain important individuals in America have no qualms about using Kosovo in order to train terrorists and mercenaries.
News about possible new ratlines…which aren’t under the influence of Western governments and important players who stay “in the shadows,” reached the Russian Foreign Ministry [which] commented that “contacts between Syrian opposition representatives and the authorities of the so-called Republic of Kosovo…is not just about ‘exchange of experience’ in organizing separatist movements aimed at toppling existing regimes, it is also about training Syrian militants in Kosovo.”
[G]iven the fact that the Kosovo Albanian leadership relies on Western support, it is abundantly clear that ratlines lead back to Washington and London. [And remember that] if it wasn’t for economic, political, and military support from outside nations which support the Kosovo Albanian leadership, then this “Washington-London imposed nation state” wouldn’t exist independently outside of Serbia….
Enver Hoxhaj, a spokesperson for the Kosovo Albanian leadership, commented that “We were among the first governments in Europe who was supporting the opposition in Libya and in other Arab countries last year, because we were fighting for the same aspirations, for the same values…We have the same approach to Syria and have some diplomatic contacts between my government and (the) Syrian opposition…We are supporting very much their cause.” […]
Can there be any doubt left as to what the KLA was, and what Belgrade was responding to in 1999 — after decades of politically correct inaction that by now should ring familiar to us as well? And Milosevic wasn’t even an Assad, so the case is doubly made. Yet to this day, all that Americans hear — and usually believe — is the continued parroting of their government’s KLA-planted propaganda. (There was another case of it just last week in The Washington Times which, separately, also included a slap in the face to hundreds of WWII vets in time for Memorial Day.)
It’s quite sad that all of the preceding items come to us by way of Russian media. As I quoted Jim Jatras in that previous Syria-Kosovo blog: “In each case — Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, and of course Chechnya — U.S. and NATO come down on the side of Saudi-supported Sunni jihadists, while Russia is against them.”
It begs the question, Why are only the Russians defending Christianity, and why are they alone in opposing jihad? If you consider that even while this is the case, Vladimir Putin’s closest bodyguards are Chechen, then you might start to suspect that maybe, just maybe, when one respects their own religion, one gets a little respect back.
We’ve arrived at a sad state of affairs indeed when the American conscience, as represented by soulless Washington, is so far gone that it takes Russia to remind America of what falls within international sanity, not to mention legality, as the former tries to contain the chaos that the latter is proliferating.
Here’s where Americans might finally start to realize that our concern is not the jihad, but still Russia. That the apparently less suicidal and more jihad-rational Russia is our target speaks to a self-killing impulse of huge proportion, leaving us with a US-less world gone mad, and about to go madder.
Related: From a local Kosovo “Criminal Incidents” log, with few details provided:
Four suspects (three Syria citizens and one K/Albanian) have been arrested since three foreigners illegally crossed the border from Serbia whereas the suspect K/A male helped them to enter into the territory of Kosovo.