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Funeral of Badr Organization Military...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
13 Mar 2015

March 12, 2015
Karbala, Iraq

Thousands of Iraqi Shiites attended the funeral of Saad Tamimi, the military commander of the Badr Organization in Tikrit who was killed in battle on Wednesday 11 March. The Badr Organization is arguably the most powerful of the Shiite militias who make up the Hashid Shaabi or "Popular Mobilization" umbrella group of militias.

Also in attendance was the Badr military leader in Karbala, Major General Hamed Saheb, also known as Abu Mustapha al-Karbalai'. General Saheb accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of working to help the United States, referred to as "the devil", carry out its agenda in Iraq.

The mourners carried the coffin of Tamimi to holy Shiite shrines in Karbala while chanting Shiite slogans.

Analysts and U.S. officials have repeatedly stated their concerns about the sectarianism that is (re)emerging in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he is "very concerned" about reports that Iran and Shiite militias are leading the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and exacerbating sectarian strife in that nation.

In a speech to Congress on 3 March, Carter said: "Sectarianism is what brought us to the point where we are, and so I do look at it with concern. We are watching it very closely."

Transcription:

SOUNDBITE: Major General Hamed Saheb, Military Commander of Badr Organization in Karbala (Arabic, Man)
02:59 – 04:51
“I offer condolences to myself, my brothers the mujahideen, and the people of Karbala on the occasion of the martyrdom of this hero from the military wing of Badr Organization. He participated in several operations. Eight days prior to his death, he took part with me in a very difficult operation, during which he marched ahead of my mujahideen brethren, calling: “Martyrdom! Martyrdom!” The day before yesterday, he was martyred in the Salahuddin district while he tried to sweep the area after it was liberated from the criminal gangs, which had entered the land of Imam Hussein, the Commander of the Believers. I congratulate you as well as ourselves for offering an elite of [martyrs] for the sake of the Master of Martyrs [Imam] Abi Abdullah al-Hussein, in defense of the land of Iraq and the holy shrines. We say, from the city of Imam Hussein, that neither ISIS, nor the malicious House of Saud, foundling Qatar, or damned Turkey will be able to achieve this scheme in Iraq, the scheme of America, the Great Satan. This is thanks to this safety valve [POINTING TO PORTRAIT OF AYATOLLAH SISTANI] who issued such a great fatwa, and these men who obeyed the fatwa.
God willing, in the next few hours, the good news of the full liberation of Salahuddin province will be announced.
Yes, we offered martyrs and casualties but, relatively to previous operations, their numbers are small.”

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Inside Hezbollah (Last version)
Nabatieh
By Cherine Yazbeck
30 Nov 2014

Shot list:
00:00 - 00:05
A wide shot shows a large billboard featuring portraits of Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria, with Hezbollah and Amal flags around it. The writing at the bottom of the billboard reads: “The Martyrs of Holy Defense.”
00:06 – 00:10
A medium shot shows details of the billboard.
00:11 – 00:14
A medium shot shows a billboard featuring Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah.
00:15 – 00:47
Interview with Ali Arab, a Hezbollah supporter, man, Arabic/ interview transcript below
A medium shot shows young Hezbollah scouts holding large portraits of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader; and Sayyid Abbas al-Mussawi, a Hezbollah Secretary-General assassinated by Israel.
00:48 – 01:15
Various shots show a large number of male Hezbollah supporters wearing uniforms inspired by Ashura and beating their chests as a sign of grief for Imam Hussein.
01:16 – 02:48
Interview with Habib Fayyad, a political analyst affiliated with Hezbollah, man, Arabic / interview transcript below
Archive footage of Hezbollah parade in south Beirut; recent footage of children participating in Ashura commemoration in Nabatieh; archive footage of the Lebanese parliament; recent footage of missile launchers and Hezbollah fighters in military fatigues and as part Ashura parade in Nabatieh
02:49 – 03:37
Interview with participant in Ashura commemoration, man, Arabic/ interview transcript below

03:38 – 04:23
Interview with Habib Fayyad, a political analyst affiliated with Hezbollah, man, Arabic / interview transcript below
Archive footage shows Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah and fighters during a parade in south Beirut.

Interviews
00:15 – 00:47
Interview with Ali Arab, a Hezbollah supporter, man, Arabic/ interview transcript below
A medium shot shows young Hezbollah scouts holding large portraits of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader; and Sayyid Abbas al-Mussawi, a Hezbollah Secretary-General assassinated by Israel.
“It is normal that we are at risk from different parties and we should be aware of what is happening around us. It is true we are ready on all fronts against all of the Tafkiris [religious extremists], and even against Israel. This parade, particularly in Nabatieh, is a challenge to the Israelis, so they know we are not afraid of them. This is a big Jihad for us.” 01:16 – 02:48 Interview with Habib Fayyad, a political analyst affiliated with Hezbollah, man, Arabic “Hezbollah defines itself as a resistance movement against Israeli occupation and against any danger that may affect Lebanon. It is a resistance movement that is also involved in politics. It is also an Islamic movement, but it does not practice Islam in politics. Hezbollah has an Islamic doctrine, but it does not apply it in the political agenda it advocates in the Lebanese political arena. It [Hezbollah] is also is merged with other active political parties and movements in the Lebanese scene. “Hezbollah’s legitimacy is derived, firstly, from its partisans [its popular support base]; and secondly from the Taif Agreement [agreement ending the Lebanese civil war], which states that Lebanon shall resist Israel in all possible ways. Its legitimacy is also derived from the Lebanese parliament, since Hezbollah has members in it; and from the Lebanese government, of which it is a part. All of the pervious and current governments have clearly recognized the legitimacy of Hezbollah as a pillar of resistance against Israel. However, the most important thing is that its [Hezbollah’s] legitimacy is obvious and logical because, whenever there is an occupation, there is the right of the population to resist the occupation.”

02:49 – 03:37
Interview with participant in Ashura commemoration, man, Arabic
“Of course, Hezbollah is legitimate as it has liberated the South along with other allied parties including the Amal Movement, the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP) and the Communist Party. “All parties have fought [against Israel]. “Hezbollah’s weapons are targeted against innocent civilians and are not to be used in [civilian] neighborhoods. “It never fought in the streets. It is not only me; everybody says that its weapon is the most honest. Without [its weapons], Lebanon would not exist and there would be no one ruling the country, not even a president of the republic. “On the contrary, the weapons must remain in the hands of Hezbollah, in the hands of the resistance. “More than that, it [Hezbollah] should be more powerful. “We need ten times more rockets. It shall remain and we will protect it.”

03:28 – 04:23
Interview with Habib Fayyad, a political analyst affiliated with Hezbollah, man, Arabic
“Hezbollah has qualified and capable leaders in various domains: in politics, in military, social welfare, in security, in culture, in education and in economy. Hezbollah does not have to give a list of its leaders for security reasons, since the enemy, Israel, targets it. It only publishes the names of those who appear in the media. Aside from these [people], Hezbollah does not have to publish the names and tasks of its ranks.”

Hezbollah Fighters Defy ISIS and Israel on Ashura

Giant portraits of Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria tower over the main square in the Lebanese southern city of Nabatieh.
The commemoration of Ashura has taken place every year in this square. It is a tribute to Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad and a central figure for Shiite Muslims who was killed more than 1,300 years ago. But Hezbollah’s engagement in defending the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has cast a heavy shadow on this religious occasion.
“We are here today to renew our allegiance to Imam Hussein, who died defending Islam, and also to show a good image of Islam, which other organizations, like ISIS, do not show,” said Ahmad Daifi, a Hezbollah militant in his twenties who was participating in organizing the event. The battle against ISIS and other groups that Hezbollah describes as “takfiri” or extremist has spilled into Lebanon. Explosions as well as attacks across the border, believed to be orchestrated by ISIS and Nusra Front, have shaken the fragile country during the past year. “It is normal that we are at risk from different parties and we should be aware of what is happening around us,” said Ali Arab, a Hezbollah supporter. Hezbollah and Amal, another major Shiite party, took special measures to secure the crowds against suicide bombings in Nabatieh and other predominantly Shiite areas in Lebanon during Ashura. In Beirut’s southern suburbs, Hezbollah special forces, fully clad in black, were seen for the time on the streets. But Hezbollah claims that the fight against militant groups originating in Syria has not distracted it from its war with Israel. In a speech commemorating Ashura, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah said that his party is winning the fight in Syria and is also ready to retaliate against any Israeli attack. Hezbollah staged a military parade in front of a large crowd in Nabatieh. Dozens of fighters wearing military fatigues marched behind missile launchers mounted on military trucks. Hezbollah considers missiles the backbone of its arsenal in its fight against Israel, despite a Security Council resolution that put an end to a bloody war with Israel in 2006 and banned the party from stockpiling weapons near the border.
Hezbollah’s opponents, however, say that its ongoing military activities are actually a source of instability, not protection. Sunni and Christian major political forces have repeatedly demanded that the militant group hand over its weapons to the government after Israel withdrew most of its forces from south Lebanon in 2000. The party’s critics have also urged Hezbollah to stop fighting in Syria.
Habib Fayyad, an analyst affiliated with Hezbollah, reiterated the party’s official position in defense of its choice to maintain its weapons.
“Hezbollah’s legitimacy is derived, firstly, from [its popular support base], and secondly from the Taif Agreement [agreement ending the Lebanese civil war], which states that Lebanon shall resist Israel in all possible ways,” Fayyad said. “Its legitimacy is also derived from the Lebanese parliament, since Hezbollah has members in it, and from the Lebanese government, of which it is a part. All of the pervious and current governments have clearly recognized the legitimacy of Hezbollah as a pillar of resistance against Israel,” he added. Hezbollah has had members of the parliament since 1992, when the first elections were organized two years after the end of the 15-year-long civil war. In 2005, Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated. The Syrian regime was seen as the culprit behind the attack and Syrian forces withdrew under international and popular pressure. Hezbollah has since participated in government coalitions, which is seen as way to protect its military activities. Four members of Hezbollah were later indicted of Hariri’s killing by an international tribunal, but the party refused to hand them over. Despite a claim that it does use weapons inside Lebanon, Hezbollah fought against the Sunni Future Movement in 2007 when the latter demanded that Hezbollah dismantles its secret telecommunication network. This exacerbated sectarian tensions – Hezbollah was accused of militarily occupying Beirut, a predominantly Sunni city. But Fayyad referred to the Israeli occupation of a small area called Shebaa farms in south Lebanon to say that Hezbollah still has to right to maintain its arsenal. “The most important thing is that [Hezbollah’s] legitimacy is obvious and logical because, whenever there is an occupation, there is the right of the population to resist the occupation,” he said.

Hezbollah Defiant in Ashoura Commemor...
Nabatieh
By Cherine Yazbeck
06 Nov 2014

November 7, 2014
Nabatieh, Lebanon

The Lebanese Shia Party Hezbollah staged a defiant Ashoura commemoration in its south Lebanon stronghold of Nabatieh. Despite threats from radical sunni groups like ISIS to attack Ashoura commemorations, Hezbollah members and supporters took to the streets to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech praising his party's role in the Syrian conflict and declaring Hezbollah's readiness to confront any challenges.

Defying ISIS- Beirut's Shia Commemora...
Beirut
By Transterra Editor
04 Nov 2014

November 4, 2014
Beirut, Lebanon

Amidst tight security, Lebanese Shia citizens defy ISIS bomb threats and participate in Ashura celebrations in Beirut's southern suburbs.

Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala in 680AD. While primarily a religious celebration, Ashura in Lebanon is highly tied to politics. This year's rally in south Beirut ended with a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who defended his party's military actions in Syria.

Sunni militant groups like ISIS and Nusra Front have been threatening to attack Hezbollah controlled and Shia dominant areas in Lebanon in revenge for Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian conflict. Last year, Beirut's southern suburbs experienced a wave bombings at the hands of Nusra affiliated militants.

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Afghanistan's Shia'a Commemorate Ashoura
Kabul
By Maria de la Guardia
01 Nov 2014

Member's of Afghanistan's minority Shia'a community gather in Kabul during Ashoura to commemorate the death of Imam Hussain, a grandchild of the Prophet Mohammed, and 72 other members of the Prophet's family in the battle of Kerbala. The term 'Ashoura' means "tenth" in Arabic. It falls on the 10th day of the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.

During Ashoura, thousands gather in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, where they eat in open-air restaurants and take part in Muharram processions. Meanwhile, young men perform 'Zanjeer,' a form of ritual self-flagellation with sharp knives and chains, lamenting the death of Hussein. This practice has been banned in much of the Islamic world: Ali Khamenei banned the practice in Iran and Hezbollah banned it in Lebanon. However, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and India the practice persists.

Security is at high alert as in recent years Ashoura gatherings in Afghanistan have been the target of terrorist attacks. Twin bombings during Ashoura killed 58 people in Kabul and four in Mazar-i-Sharif in 2011, apparently targeting Afghan Shai'a.