Πολύ ωραίο άρθρο του πρακτορείου Reuters για την Al-Nusra, την θυγατρική της Al-Qaeda στην Συρία. Το άρθρο γράφει ότι το 2015 το Κατάρ προσπαθούσε να πείσει την al Nusra να εγκαταλείψει την Al-Qaeda, και να συνεχίσει να την χρηματοδοτεί το Κατάρ, προκειμένου μαζί να χτυπήσουν τον ISIS και τον Άσαντ.
Ο ISIS διοικείται από τους πρώην ανθρώπους του Σαντάμ Χουσέιν, οι οποίοι είχαν εκπαιδευτεί από τους Σοβιετικούς. Επίσης, οι άνθρωποι του Σαντάμ κυνηγούσαν μαζί με τους Τούρκους τους Κούρδους της Τουρκίας και του Ιράκ. Και προφανώς ο Σαντάμ πουλούσε και λαθραίο πετρέλαιο στην Τουρκία, και τα ίδια αυτά δίκτυα χρησιμοποιοεί σήμερα ο ISIS για να πουλάει πετρέλαιο στην Τουρκία και τον Άσαντ.
Το Κατάρ προσπαθούσε να φέρει προς το μέρος του al Nusra, την οποία οι Αμερικανοί αναγνωρίζουν ως τρομοκρατική οργάνωση, και να την μετατρέψει σε μία τοπική οργάνωση της Συρίας, ώστε να κόψει κάθε επιρροή του Ιράν στην Nusra, γιατί είναι γνωστό ότι το Ιράν έχει μεγάλη επιρροή στην Al-Qaeda, παρόλο που η Al-Qaeda είναι Σουνιτική οργάνωση.
Το Ιράν, το Σουδάν και η Χεζμπολάχ είχαν εκπαιδεύσει στα στρατόπεδα του Σουδάν τους άνδρες του Οσάμα μπιν Λάντνε στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του 90. Οι Άραβες της Al-Qaeda, Σαουδάραβες, Αιγύπτιοι, Σουδανοί, Λίβυοι κλπ, έδιναν στο Ιράν και την Χεζμπολάχ χρήματα, τα οποία διέθεταν σε αφθονία, και το Ιράν και η Χεζμπολάχ τους έδινε τεχνογνωσία και όπλα, τα οποία αυτοί διέθεταν σε αφθονία.
Επίσης, το Κατάρ θέλει η Nusra να μην έχει στόχο τους Αμερικανούς και τους Γάλλους, όπως συμβαίνει με την Al-Qaeda, αλλά να έχει στόχο τον ISIS και τον Άσαντ, ώστε να μπορεί να συνεργαστεί κάπως και με το ΝΑΤΟ.
Αν λάβουμε υπόψη μας τις πρόσφατες (Σεπτέμβριος 2015) δηλώσεις του πρώην αρχηγού της CIA, στρατηγού Petreaus, το Κατάρ μάλλον κάτι κατάφερε με τα πετροδόλαρα του (βλέπε Guardian).
Οι Αμερικανοί δεν έχουν βγάλει την al Nusra από την λίστα με τις τρομοκρατικές οργανώσεις, αλλά ο Petreous δήλωσε ότι ίσως θα πρέπει οι ΗΠΑ να συνεργαστούν εναντίον του ISIS με τα πιο μετριοπαθή στοιχεία της Al-Qaeda στην Συρία, δηλαδή με την al Nusra.
Από την άλλη πλευρά βγήκε ο Υπουργός Εξωτερικών των ΗΠΑ ο Kerry, και είπε ότι οι ΗΠΑ πρέπει να συνεργαστούν με την Ρωσία εναντίον της al Nusra και του ISIS, που πρακτικά σημαίνει να χτυπήσουν οι Αμερικανοί και οι Ρώσοι μαζί την al Nusra, η οποία απειλεί τον Άσαντ και τους Ρώσους, και να επιτρέψουν οι Ρώσοι στους Αμερικανούς να χτυπήσουν τον ISIS, ο οποίος απειλεί τους Αμερικανούς και τους Γάλλους αλλά όχι τον Άσαντ.
Οι Ρώσοι δημιουργούν πολλές δυσκολίες στην προσπάθεια των Αμερικανών να χτυπήσουν τον ISIS, και πρόσφατα ο εκπρόσωπος της Ρωσίας δήλωσε ότι οι Ρώσοι δεν σκοπεύουν να στείλουν δυνάμεις για να χτυπήσουν τον ISIS, γιατί ο Άσαντ δεν τους έχει ζητήσει ποτέ κάτι τέτοιο. Βλέπε το κρατικό Ρωσικό πρακτορείο ειδήσεων RT (Russia Today) “Russia not planning to send troops to fight ISIS in Syria – Putin’s spokesman”, Αύγουστος 2015.
Πολλές φορές οι Ρώσοι λένε ότι χτυπάνε τον ISIS, αλλά τον χτυπάνε ελάχιστα. Αυτόν δεν σημαίνει ότι οι Ρώσοι και ο ISIS είναι φίλοι. Σημαίνει ότι μπορούν να συνεννοηθούν και να μην ανακατεύονται ο ένας στις δουλειές του άλλου, αφού είναι και παλιοί γνώριμοι, κάτι που δεν συμβαίνει πλέον με την Nusra και την Ρωσία.
Γενικά οι Ρώσοι θέλουν στην Συρία να έχουν αντιπάλους που να μην μπορούν να συνεννοηθούν με το ΝΑΤΟ, όπως είναι ο ISIS και η al Nusra, ώστε να μην μπορεί το ΝΑΤΟ να τους δώσει όπλα. Γιατί οι Σουνίτες είναι η μεγάλη πλειοψηφία της Συρίας, άρα κάποιους αντιπάλους θα έχουν οι Ρώσοι, οι Ιρανοί και οι Αλαουίτες του Άσαντ, και θέλουν αυτούς τους αντιπάλους να μην μπορεί να τους υποστηρίξει το ΝΑΤΟ. Είναι μία πολύ λογική τακτική.
Όσο στον Άσαντ επιτίθεται ο ISIS, οι πρώην άνθρωποι του Σαντάμ Χουσέιν, ορκισμένοι εχθροί των ΗΠΑ, ή όσο του επιτίθεται η Al-Qaeda, της οποίας η αποστολή είναι ο ιερός πόλεμος εναντίον των Αμερικανών, το ΝΑΤΟ δεν μπορεί να δώσει όπλα που θα χρησιμοποιηθούν εναντίον του Άσαντ και των Ρώσων, γιατί αυτά τα όπλα θα χρησιμοποιηθούν και εναντίον του ΝΑΤΟ σε κάποια άλλη χώρα.
Γι’αυτό και οι Ρώσοι με τον Άσαντ διαλύουν κάθε μετριοπαθή αντιπολίτευση και δεν βομβαρδίζουν τον ISIS, ώστε οι Τούρκοι και οι Άραβες να είναι μόνοι απέναντι στην Ρωσία, το Ιράν και τον Άσαντ, χωρίς την υποστήριξη του ΝΑΤΟ. Αν υπάρξει αντιπολίτευση φιλική προς την Δύση το ΝΑΤΟ θα σπεύσει να την φορτώσει με όπλα.
Δεν το λέω ως κάτι κακό για την Ρωσία αυτό. Η Ρωσία δέχτηκε μία επίθεση στην Συρία από τους Τούρκους και τους Άραβες, και προσπαθεί να προστατεύσει τα συμφέροντα της, και να εμποδίσει τον αγωγό Κατάρ-Τουρκίας, και ο καλύτερος τρόπος για να γίνει αυτό είναι στην Σουνιτική Συρία να κυριαρχούν Σουνίτες, γιατί Σουνίτες θα κυριαρχούν στην Σουνιτική Συρία, που να είναι όμως εχθροί του ΝΑΤΟ, ώστε οι Τούρκοι και οι Άραβες να είναι μόνοι τους απέναντι στην Ρωσία.
Δεν είναι άλλωστε μυστικό ότι η Ρωσία και ο Άσαντ βοήθησαν πάρα πολύ τους ανθρώπους του Σαντάμ να οργανωθούν, και αυτοί οι άνθρωποι έγιναν στην συνέχεια ο ISIS.
Οι Άραβες και οι Τούρκοι υποστήριζαν εδώ και χρόνια την al Nusra, γιατί ήταν πολύ δυσαρεστημένοι με την στάση των Αμερικανών, οι οποίοι αρχικά δεν έκαναν επέμβαση στην Συρία, παρά την τεράστια στήριξη της Τουρκίας και της Γαλλίας σε μία τέτοια επέμβαση, λόγω των αντιδράσεων της Ρωσίας, της Κίνας και της Γερμανίας.
Στην συνέχεια οι ΗΠΑ βελτίωσαν τις σχέσεις τους με το Ιράν, και τώρα είναι και αμφίβολο αν όλοι οι Αμερικανοί θέλουν να χτυπήσουν τον Άσαντ και να δυσαρεστήσουν το Ιράν, ενώ ο Πούτιν συζητάει αυτό το ενδεχόμενο υπό προϋποθέσεις. Οι Ιρναοί είναι που δεν συζητούν το ενδεχόμενο απομάκρυνσης του Άσαντ. Ο Πούτιν το συζητάει.
Οι Τούρκοι και οι Άραβες συνεργάζονται με όποιες ομάδες του ISIS και της Al Qaeda μπορούν να αγοράσουν εναντίον του Άσαντ, χωρίς να δίνουν μεγάλη σημασία στους νατοϊκούς, από τους οποίους έχουν μεγάλα παράπονα στην Συρία. Γιατί όταν λέμε ότι ο ISIS είναι οι άνθρωποι του Σαντάμ εννοούμε ότι τα κορυφαία στελέχη του είναι οι πρώην αξιωματικοί του Σαντάμ. Δεν εννοούμε ότι κάθε συμμορία που συνεργάζεται με τον ISIS είναι άνθρωποι του Σαντάμ Χουσέιν.
Κοιτάξτε πόσες συμμορίες έχει στην Συρία. Πολλές από αυτές τις συμμορίες έχουν και φυλετικά και γεωγραφικά χαρακτηριστικά. Σήμερα συνεργάζονται με τον ένα αύριο με τον άλλο. Άρα όταν λέω ISIS εννοώ τα κορυφαία στελέχη των μυστικών υπηρεσιών του Σαντάμ, που ήταν εκπαιδευμένα από την Κα Γκε Μπε, και δεν εννοώ την κάθε τυχάρπαστη συμμοριούλα.
Χάρτης Οι Συμμορίες της Συρίας
Όταν λέμε δηλαδή ότι οι Ρώσοι και ο Άσαντ έφτιαξαν τον ISIS μην το ακούτε σαν κάποια θεωρία συνωμοσία. Ειλικρινά το λέω. Το εννοώ. Οι Ρώσοι ήθελαν στην Σουνιτική Συρία και στο Σουνιτικό Ιράκ να υπάρχουν δυνάμεις που να μην μπορούν να συμμαχήσουν με το ΝΑΤΟ, και προφανώς η καταλληλότερη δύναμη ήταν οι άνθρωποι του Σαντάμ Χουσέιν.
Όταν οι Αμερικανοί νίκησαν τον Σαντάμ το 2003, διέλυσαν τον στρατό του, ο οποίος ήταν Σουνιτικός στρατός ώστε να έχει σε τάξη την μεγάλη πλειοψηφία των Σιιτών (65%), ώστε να φτιάξουν οι Σιίτες έναν δικό τους πλέον στρατό. Όλα τα κορυφαία στελέχη του Σαντάμ, που χρόνια πολεμούσαν τους Αμερικανούς, και συνεργάζονταν με τους Σοβιετικούς και τους Τούρκους, είδαν τις ζωές τους να καταστρέφονται μετά την επίθεση των ΗΠΑ, και με την βοήθεια των Ρώσων έφτιαξαν τον ISIS, φορώντας έναν Ισλαμικό μανδύα. Ένα πολύ ωραίο άρθρο για το πως η Ρωσία και ο Άσαντ δημιούργησαν τον ISIS είναι το άρθρο του Spiegel “The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State”, Απρίλιος 2015.
Το Γερμανικό Spiegel είναι το κορυφαίο πολιτικό περιοδικό της Ευρώπης, και το μεγαλύτερο σε κυκλοφορία. Είναι ας πούμε το Newsweek της Ευρώπης.
Αυτό δεν σημαίνει ότι η Ρωσία δεν θα κοντραριστεί με τον ISIS κάποια στιγμή, Απλά η Ρωσία δεν φοβάται τον ISIS επειδή ο ISIS δεν μπορεί να λάβει βοήθεια από το ΝΑΤΟ, ούτε φυσικά από την Κίνα.
Οι Ιρανοί, για τους ίδιους λόγους με τους Ρώσους, χτυπούσαν τους μετριοπαθείς αντάρτες της Συρίας, ώστε να υποστηρίξουν την Al-Qaeda στην Συρία, γιατί με τους ανθρώπους του Σαντάμ οι Ιρανοί ήταν ορκισμένοι εχθροί. Ούτε με την Al-Qaeda ούτε με τον ISIS μπορεί να συνεργαστεί το ΝΑΤΟ, και αυτό εξυπηρετεί και τους Ρώσους, και τους Ιρανούς και τον Άσαντ.
Οι Τούρκοι άργησαν πάρα πολύ να αναγνωρίσουν την al Nusra ως τρομοκρτική οργάνωση, αδιαφορώντας για το τι έλεγαν οι Αμερικανοί, γιατί η al Nusra χτυπούσε τους Κούρδους της Συρίας. Το ίδιο έκαναν και με τον ISIS, ο οποίος επίσης χτυπούσε τους Κούρδους. Η Ρωσία, η Τουρκία, και οι ΗΠΑ έχουν πλέον τρεις διαφορετικές πολιτικές στην Συρία. Τελείως διαφορετικές.
Το 2014 οι Τούρκοι αναγνώρισαν την Nusra ως τρομοκρατική οργάνωση για να ευχαριστήσουν τους Αμερικανούς, όταν είδαν ότι έχαναν το παιχνίδι στην Συρία.
Η τρομοκρατία είναι ένας ζωντανός οργανισμός, και επειδή είναι πάντα κρατικά χρηματοδοτούμενη, αλλάζει με το πέρασμα του χρόνου, όπως αλλάζουν και οι διεθνείς σχέσεις. Ο κόσμος νομίζει ότι οι Αμερικανοί χρηματοδοτούν την τρομοκρατία, ενώ την τρομοκρατία την χρηματοδοτούν οι Ισλαμιστές, οι Ρώσοι και οι Κομμουνιστές δικτάτορες της Λατινικής Αμερικής. Οι ΗΠΑ έχουν την στρατιωτική τους δύναμη και δεν χρειάζονται τρομοκρατία. Οι πιο αδύναμοι χρειάζονται τρομοκρατία. Γι’αυτό ακούτε τους Έλληνες δημοσιογράφους και ουρλιάζουν για τις ηλεκτρονικές ταυτότητες, γιατί ξέρουν ότι είναι τεράστιο πλήγμα στην τρομοκρατία.
Να γυρίσω στην al Nusra. Προφανώς οι Αμερικανοί δεν μπορούν να συνεργαστούν στενά με την Al Nusra, γιατί σίγουρα κάποια στιγμή στο μέλλον θα την ξαναβρούν μπροστά τους, αλλά μπορούν να συγχρονιστούν μαζί της αν το επιθυμούν. Μπορούν για παράδειγμα να μην της δίνουν όπλα, ή να της δίνουν όχι σοφιστικέ όπλα, ώστε μαζί να χτυπάνε τον ISIS.
Δύο επιλογές έχουν οι ΗΠΑ. Ή να συνεργαστούν με την Nusra εναντίον του Άσαντ, της Ρωσίας και του ISIS, η να αφήσουν τους Ρώσους να διαλύσουν την Nusra, ώστε να τους αφήσουν και οι Ρώσοι να διαλύσουν τον ISIS. Και οι Αμερικανοί είναι μπερδεμένοι στο πως πρέπει να χειριστούν την κατάσταση. Άλλοι ζητάνε συνεργασία με την Ρωσία άλλοι ζητάνε σύγκρουση.
Αυτό που πρέπει να κρατήσετε είναι ότι με τα σημερινά δεδομένα ο εχθρός του Άσαντ και της Ρωσίας δεν είναι ο ISIS αλλά η al Nusra.
Να πω επίσης ότι οι Άραβες και οι Τούρκοι ήταν αρχικά ενωμένοι εναντίον του Άσαντ, αλλά λόγω της κόντρας της Τουρκίας και του Κατάρ με την Σαουδική Αραβία και την Αίγυπτο για το θέμα της Μουσουλμανικής Αδελφότητας οι σχέσεις τους κατέρρευσαν, και άρχισαν στην Συρία να σκοτώνονται και μεταξύ τους, εκτός από τον πόλεμο με τον Άσαντ, τους Ιρανούς και τους Ρώσους. Το 2015 οι Σαουδάραβες τα βρήκαν μερικώς με τους Τούρκους, τους έστειλαν τα F-15, ο νέος Βασιλιάς δέχτηκε και μεγαλύτερο ρόλο στην Συρία για την Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα, και λογικά όλοι μαζί υποστηρίζουν την al Nusra εναντίον του Άσαντ.
Αν και όπως έχω πει οι Σαουδάραβες έχουν πολύ μεγαλύτερα περιθώρια συνεννόησης με τους Ρώσους, σε σχέση με τους Τούρκους και τους Καταριανούς, γιατί δεν τους ενδιαφέρει το φυσικό αέριο.
Να πω επίησς ότι ο Άσαντ ενδιδαφέρει του Άραβες και τους Τούρκους πολύ περισσότερο από τον ISIS, αλλά ο ISIS ενδιαφέρει πολύ περισσότερο από τον Άσαντ τους Αμερικανούς, ειδικά από την στιγμή που οι Αμερικανοί έκαναν με τους Ιρανούς την συμφωνία για το πυρηνικό πρόγραμμα.
Βλέπε "Η Συμμαχία Πούτιν-ISIS και η Συμμαχία Χίτλερ-Στάλιν"
Βλέπε "Η Συμμαχία Πούτιν-ISIS και η Συμμαχία Χίτλερ-Στάλιν"
Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity”, Μάρτιος 2015 Syria
“David Petraeus' bright idea: give terrorists weapons to beat terrorists”, Σεπτέμβριος 2015
not planning to send troops to fight ISIS in – Putin’s spokesman”, Αύγουστος 2015 Syria
1η, 2η Παράγραφος
“No, this isn’t being discussed in any way. This issue isn’t on the agenda,”Peskov told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the possibility of Russian military involvement in
The press-secretary also told the media that Syrian President Bashar Assad, had never asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to send troops to battle IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Middle East Eye: Η al Nusra θέλει να αποσχιστεί από την al Qaeda, και να ενωθεί με τις υπόλοιποες οργανώσεις στην Συρία, γιατί υπάρχει ο φόβος να συνεργαστούν οι Ρώσοι και οι Αμερικανοί εναντίον και της al Nusra και του
“Nusra Front split from al-Qaeda 'imminent', sources claim”, Μάιος 2015
1η, 2η , 3η , 4η , 5η , 6η , 7η, 8η Παράγραφος
The Nusra Front will imminently announce an official split from al-Qaeda, several sources confirmed on Monday.
Opposition activists in southern Syria have told Middle East Eye that they expect the news to be announced very soon, with Arabic media reports suggesting that the group's leader Abu Mohammad al-Jolani will now make a very rare appearance to signal his independence from the militant group.
Sources within Nusra, one of the most effective anti-government factions in
’s civil war, said that
the new group would change its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. They
also stressed the group would lose access to al-Qaeda funds, although
analysts have disputed the claims. Syria
Mohamed Okda, an expert on Syrian issues who has been involved in negotiating with Syrian groups, told MEE that the money would keep flowing because the bulk of the group's funding came from private Gulf donors who would not abandon the Syrian cause as Nusra was unlikely to renounce its ideological heritage.
“Nusra is doing this to force the other rebel groups like Ahrar [al-Sham] and others into a corner, and push them into joining the new Shami front that Nusra will announce," Okda told MEE.
"They might be severing relations with al-Qaeda as an organisation," he said, adding that he knows both foreign and Arab al-Nusra Front fighters.
"[But] they are not breaking up with the ideology of al-Qaeda. [They are] firm believer[s] of al-Qaeda ideology, and a firm believer of attacking the West. They have huge respect for [former leader Osama] Bin Laden. So the separation is not ideological, it's organisational.”
Rumours of a split have been circulating since Saturday when Charles Lister, a Syrian analyst, tweeted that Nusra’s Shura Council had voted to sever its ties with al-Qaeda, although Nusra’s official media channels have yet to comment.
They come amid reports of a supposed pact between the
US, which supports elements of the Syrian
opposition, and ,
which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to target Nusra alongside the
Islamic State (IS) group. Nusra split from IS in 2014. Russia
11η , 12η , 13η , 14η Παράγραφος
It has also clashed with other opposition rebel groups, especially those they view as having received American support.
A noted researcher of Islamic militancy told MEE that he believed the reports of a split were credible and that the move had been approved by al-Qaeda leaders.
“Nothing definitively confirms it but the impression I am getting is that this is something being done with al-Qaeda's approval,” said Aymenn al-Tamimi, research fellow at the Middle East Forum, a
Tamimi said the split was likely driven by the threat of the new US-Russia agreement to target the group inside
and had been orchestrated with a local audience in mind. Syria
CNN: Ο Kerry είπε ότι οι ΗΠΑ και η Ρωσία θα συνεργαστούν εναντίοντης Al-Qaeda στην Συρία, αλλά υπάρχουν μεγάλες αντιδράσεις στο κόμμα και στο Πεντάγωνο, γιατί πολλοί αμφιβάλλουν ότι οι Ρώσοι θα τηρήσουν τις δεσμεύσεις τους. Η συμφωνία δεν περιλαμβάνει τον ISIS, κάθε χώρα θα χτυπήσει τον ISIS μόνη της.
Russia to cooperate against
al Qaeda in ”,
Ιούλιος 2016 Syria
1η, 2η, 3η Παράγραφος
Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that the U.S. and Russia had agreed to cooperate in Syria against the al Nusra Front, al Qaeda's Syrian branch, in an effort to "restore the cessation of hostilities, significantly reduce the violence and help create the space for a genuine and credible political transition" in Syria.
But Kerry, appearing alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in
, declined to provide details of the
cooperation, saying "the concrete steps that we have agreed on are not
going to be laid out in public in some long list because we want them to
Proposals to deepen military cooperation with
in Syria have sparked a rift
at the highest levels of the Obama administration, with the Pentagon openly
challenging the idea that
could be trusted to uphold its end of the bargain. Russia
The agreement does not necessarily pertain to ISIS, with the draft saying that each country would reserve the right to strike
Bloomberg: Οι Ρώσοι εμποδίζουν τους Αμερικανούς να βομβαρδίσουν τον ISIS για να βοηθήσουν τους αντάρτες που υποστηρίζουν, και δεν κάνει και τίποτα για να χτυπήσει τον
Αμερικανοί φοβούνται ότι στις προσπάθεις τους να χτυπήσουν τον ISIS να γίνει κάποια σύγκρουση ΗΠΑ-Ρωσίας. Οι Αμερικανοί
κατηγορούν τους Ρώσους ότι βομβαρδίζουν τους αντάρτες που υποστηρίζουν οι ΗΠΑ
και όχι τον ISIS.
“New Russian Air Defenses in
Grounded”, Δεκέμβριος 2015 U.S.
Russia’s military operations inside Syria have been expanding in recent weeks, and the latest Russian deployments, made without any advance notice to the U.S., have disrupted the U.S.-led coalition's efforts to support Syrian rebel forces fighting against the Islamic State near the Turkey-Syria border, just west of the Euphrates River, several Obama administration and U.S. defense officials told us. This crucial part of the battlefield, known inside the military as
Box 4, is where a
number of groups have been fighting the Islamic State for control, until
recently with overhead support from fighter jets. U.S.
"The increasing number of Russian-supplied advanced air defense systems in Syria, including SA-17s, is another example that Russia and the regime seek to complicate the global counter-Daesh coalition’s air campaign,” said Major Tim Smith, using another term for the Islamic State.
The increasing number of Russian air defense systems further complicate an already difficult situation over the skies in
and do nothing to advance the fight against the Islamic State, which has no air
force, Smith said. He added that Syria could instead be using its
influence with the regime to press President Bashar al-Assad to cease attacking
civilians. “Unhelpful actions by Russia Russia
and the Syrian regime will not stop coalition counter-Daesh operations in Syria, nor will such actions push the coalition
away from specific regions in
where Daesh is operating,” said Smith. Syria
8η , 9η Παράγραφος
top officials are debating how to respond to 's expanded air defenses,
said another administration official who was not authorized to discuss internal
deliberations. The administration could decide to resume flights in support of
the rebels fight Islamic State, but that could risk a deadly incident with the
Russian military. For now, the Russia U.S.
seems to be acquiescing to ’s
effort to keep American manned planes out of the sky there and "agree to
their rules of the game," the administration official said. Russia
U.S. planes out of the way, Russia has stepped up its own airstrikes along
the Turkey-Syria border, and the Obama administration has accused it of
targeting the rebel groups the
was supporting, not the Islamic State. The Russian strikes are also targeting
commercial vehicles passing from U.S. Turkey
the administration official told us. The Syria Washington
Post reported that the Russian strikes have
resulted in a halt of humanitarian aid from as well. Turkey
Middle East Eye: Πως η Τουρκία και η Ρωσία βοήθησαν τον
ISIS. Από το 2011 μέχρι τα μέσα του 2014,
όταν ο ISIS όρμησε στην
Μοσούλη, η Τουρκία άφηνε ανοιχτά τα σύνορα της με την Συρία. Υπήρξαν κάποια
χτυπήματα της Τουρκίας στον ISIS αργότερα το 2014. Ο ISIS πουλούσε πετρέλαιο και στους Τούρκους και στον Άσαντ σε
χαμηλές τιμές. Τα κανάλια του λαθρεμπορίου που χρησιμοποιεί ο ISIS είναι τα ίδια κανάλια με αυτά που χρησιμοποιούσε ο Σαντάμ.
Russia, and the rise of the Islamic
State”, Δεκέμβριος 2015 Turkey
Turkey’s focus on bringing down Assad and Ankara’s fear of Kurdish autonomy led it into these policies, and now, having seemingly found the will to act to uproot IS’s infrastructure on Turkish territory, there is the problem of actually doing so, when IS can (and has) struck inside Turkey. The concerns about these external funding mechanisms for IS, while doubtless important, obscure the larger problem: IS’s revenue is overwhelmingly drawn from the areas it controls and only removing those areas of control can deny IS its funds.
Turkey shot down a Russian jet on 24 November, the first time since 1952 a NATO member had brought down a Russian military aircraft.
claimed that its airspace had been violated and that numerous requests to
withdraw were ignored. The Russian plane landed in northern Ankara : one pilot, Oleg Peshkov, was
killed in the descent by the Turkoman rebels of Alwiya al-Ashar (The Tenth
Brigade) and one, Konstantin Murakhtin, was later rescued. In the wake of
this, Syria Moscow took retribution with economic
sanctions against Turkey,
including limiting tourism and banning charter flights
and also trade in certain foodstuffs. Turkey
Russia’s ruler, Vladimir Putin, then raised the stakes on 30 November by accusing Turkey of perpetrating the shoot-down in order to protect IS, with which the Turkish government has commercial interests, notably oil but also weapons.
subsequently accused Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being a personal profiteer from the criminal
trade in oil with IS. The reality is quite otherwise, of course. As David
Butter of Moscow Chatham House put it, given Turkey’s
for energy, “if oil was a consideration for the Turkish authorities … it would
have had good reason to hold fire.” Russia
Russia attempted to buttress its claims of an IS-Ankara oil trade by having its Ministry of Defence publish a map, among other “evidence,” purporting to show the three border crossings through which this trade takes place.
The problem is that not a single one of the border crossings is controlled by IS. Bab al-Hawa in Idlib is controlled by rebels at war with IS; Hasaka is controlled by a mix of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that Turkey is bombing inside Syria and the Assad regime; and Zakho is in Iraqi Kurdistan, where IS has been unable to penetrate. After forces led by the PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK, pushed IS out of Tal Abyad in June, the only border crossing left solely to IS is Jarabulus.
Russia’s perspective, Moscow’s
were not only untrue but had the feel of projection. IS sells nearly half of
its oil to Turkey ’s
client, the Assad regime, through Russian businessmen,
and Russian weapons bound for the regime are a “top source” of IS weaponry. Russia
Russia has also helped the Assad regime in its efforts to strengthen extremist forces to overpower the nationalist rebels, including by sending IS fighters from the Caucasus to the Fertile Crescent andmost recently by preventing US air strikes against IS in northern Aleppo while bombing the rebels fighting against IS, essentially providing IS with air cover.
That said, it is true that Turkey has pursued policies that have strengthened IS, driven primarily by the desire to see Assad overthrown - and finding that the United States was effectively on the other side, Turkey had to go it alone. From 2011 until shortly after IS stormed into
Mosul in mid-2014, Turkey maintained effectively an open border with
Anecdotal reports abounded of visiblly foreign
jihadi-Salafists heading for IS-held areas of Syria Syria
being waved through customs. Turkey
There was a Turkish crackdown against IS later in 2014, with border crossings closed and some vetting taking place of who was crossing between Syria and Turkey; some would-be IS holy warriors were even arrested. Turkey, however, still has not closed down a 60-mile stretch of its 565-mile border with
that is held by IS. Syria
And the accusation that IS is - or at least, was - trading oil in
is undoubtedly true. In
October 2014, David Cohen, the Turkey US
undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, gave a speech in which he
said: "According to our information, as of last month, ISIL [IS] was
selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including
some from ,
who then transported the oil to be resold. Turkey
"It also appears that some of the oil emanating from territory where ISIL operates has been sold to Kurds in
and then resold into .
And in a further indication of the Assad regime’s depravity, it seems the
Syrian government has made an arrangement to purchase oil from ISIL. … We
estimate that beginning in mid-June, ISIL has earned approximately $1 million a
day from oil sales." Turkey
The evidence is that by late 2014 and early 2015, under the pressure of the US-led coalition airstrikes, IS’s oil income was severely diminished. But IS’s oil revenue appears to have crept back up later in 2015. Treasury sanctions at the end of September 2015 disclosed that Sami al-Jabouri, an Iraqi who had been IS’s shari’a council chief and deputy in southern
was IS’s supervisor of oil and gas, antiquities, and mineral resources
operations beginning in April 2015. Mosul
At that time al-Jabouri had, in collaboration with Fathi at-Tunisi (Abu Sayyaf), IS’s “oil minister,” “worked to establish a new funding stream for ISIL from increased production at oil fields held by the organisation” (italics added). It might well be that IS’s oil income is now decreasing again: US military officials said at the beginning of December that over the previous 30 days, more than 40 percent of IS’s income from oil had been “affected".
As to official Turkish complicity in the IS oil trade, the first direct evidence that this had occurred came in May 2015 when at-Tunisi was struck down by a US Special Forces raid, and captured data provided some details:
"[At-Tunisi] was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to
From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from
eastern fields … and Turkish buyers were its main clients. … One senior Western
official familiar with the intelligence gathered at the slain leader’s compound
said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking Syria Isis members was now 'undeniable'."
“There are hundreds of flash drives and documents that were seized there,” the official told the Observer. “They are being analysed at the moment, but the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and
Still, whatever was previously the case, the current level of oil transactions between IS and people even in Turkey is believed to be minimal, not least because IS’s ability to refine fuel has been reduced by the air strikes and there is little market for crude oil in Turkey. There is also the fact, though, that
has “clamped down on key supply routes”
to IS: Turkey
"Long before Islamic State took root in
and Syria, local smugglers
ferried oil, gas and other supplies in and out of . … For a small cut of the
action … poorly paid border officials in the region sometimes looked the other
way. But … Turkey started stepping up its campaign against oil smuggling from
Syria in 2012 … In 2014, according to Turkish government officials, efforts
intensified … The operations 'suffocated the illegal fuel trade,' said one official
in the Hatay provincial governor’s office. …" Turkey
"Turkey has doubled the number of troops on the Syrian border to 20,000, erected hundreds of miles of razor-wire fencing, installed powerful floodlights and dedicated 90% of its drone flights to border surveillance, according to one Turkish government official. … “It’s like the US-Mexican border, where, despite America’s war on drugs and all its preventative enforcement, narcotics from Mexico continue to enter the country,” the Turkish government official said. …
US officials dismissed Mr Putin’s allegations
was backing Islamic State … as unfounded. … One former Turkey US government official who worked with
on efforts against Islamic State also challenged the Russian claims. 'We knew
that there was illicit oil smuggling activity along the Turkish border, but Turkey
was actively seeking to contain the smuggling,' the official said." Turkey
There had been and to an extent remains a question about Turkey’s willingness to challenge IS’s operations on its soil given IS’s boasted-of capacity to inflict “civil and economic chaos” inside Turkey, something that need not be doubted given the precarious state of sectarian relations in Turkey for many years. With
’s need for tourist dollars
and its government relying on economic growth for
legitimacy as it imposes some ugly authoritarian strictures,
this was a serious threat. Turkey
Not all of this can be blamed on Turkey’s recent policies - some of the networks IS is using to smuggle oil across borders date back to the Saddam Hussein regime’s effort to evade the sanctions - but it is clear that Turkey has laid the foundations for what would be called, if it happened to Westerners, “blowback”.
Well-placed Western observers have worried about the “level of … support” for IS among the Syrian refugees in
and Syrian rebels at war with IS have noted that IS “has many
spies … in ,
and not just spies but killers". The full force of that fact was brought
home at the end of October when an IS spy who had infiltrated Raqqa Is Being
Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), the activist group working in IS-held areas to
expose the caliphate’s crimes, murdered two RBSS
journalists, Fares Hammadi and Ibrahim Abd al-Qader, in Turkey. Turkey
The IS terrorist strikes - the 6 January suicide bombing in Istanbul, which “only” killed one person; the 5 June bomb attack on the Kurdish rally in Diyarbakir that murdered four people; the bombing of the largely Kurdish peace rally in Suruc on 20 July in which 33 people perished; and finally the bombing at the Ankara railway station on 10 October that massacred 102 people, essentially Turkey’s 9/11 - do seem to have stiffened Turkish resolve. When
concluded its investigation
two days ago, it is notable that of the three named major IS agents operating
on Turkish soil, two had already been arrested. Turkey
Halis Bayancuk (Abu Hanzala), a senior IS leader based in Istanbul, was rounded up in late July, and Asaad Khelifalkhadr (Abu Suhayf), a key provider of logistics and supplies to IS foreign fighters arriving in Turkey, had also been taken into custody (admittedly on charges related to his fake passport rather than terrorism, though this seems to be more an Anatolian Al Capone strategy than Turkey soft-peddling the criminal case against Khelifalkhadr.)
The man still at large, Ilyas Aydin, is undoubtedly more important than the other two - he is IS’s leader in Turkey - but one has to assume he got the position on some kind of merit, so it is hardly surprising he should have proven more elusive. Dismantling the networks IS established inside
while the government
effectively turned a blind eye will be a massive undertaking, even with the
will to do so. Turkey
As the conflict has worn on, another fact has become salient:
Turkey fears the internal
effects of a on its border more
than the caliphate. The Turks joined the anti-IS coalition in August, but
it quickly became apparent that Kurdish
primary goal was constraining the PYD/PKK, against which the majority of its
force was targeted. Turkey
Some of the most serious accusations against
Turkey to date are of direct support, in the
form of weaponry supplied by Turkish intelligence, to Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda
Syria Turkey’s support has helped make Ahrar
a-Sham, the most extreme majority-Syrian insurgent group that has links to al-Qaeda, one of
the most powerful forces in northern . Syria has not been coy about this. Turkey
During an effort to construct a unified list of vetted insurgents, the
used a colour code: green (trusted allies), red (enemies), and yellow (those
somewhere in the middle). America put Nusra and Ahrar in the red category;
Ankara put Nusra and Ahrar in the yellow category, “gambling that they could
build a moderate rebel force by nudging groups in the middle toward the green,
friendly category". US
Despite American protestations, “We ultimately had no choice but to agree to disagree,” said Francis Ricciardone, the
until August 2014. Moreover, since the formation earlier this year of Jaysh
al-Fatah, an insurgent coalition that includes both Nusra and Turkey
has openly provided it support. In short, Ahrar, Turkey Turkey’s
government has a deeply problematic view of the insurgent landscape in ,
quite apart from its view of and policies toward IS. Syria
has played an unhelpful role
in IS’s rise. But the problem with saying that Turkey Turkey
- or Saudi Arabia, or
- is really behind IS is not just distortion; it’s intellectual
laziness. The wish is father to the thought; if IS is just being bankrolled by
some nefarious foreign actor, then the solution is simply to shut down the
funding and watch IS wither. Unfortunately, defeating IS will not be that
Smuggling to the outside world, including through Turkey, of oil and antiquities, has been important, as has been the importation of foreign fighters, who have no social connections to the local areas and thus no compunction in obeying orders to commit the most appalling atrocities that help to suppress any inkling the population might have to revolt. The foreigners are largely unskilled and get used as suicide bombers and cannon fodder, but as Stalin noted: quantity has a quality all its own.
And there really are underexplored areas of IS’s finances. Nibras Kazimi had a very interestinginvestigative report recently on the possible earnings IS was receiving from money laundering through Iraq’s banking system - a revenue stream in amounts to dwarf anything being talked about from oil - and the unwillingness of the Iraqi political class to tackle this because unravelling IS’s holdings would unravel everybody else’s and potentially leave people vulnerable to charges of funding terrorism.
There is also the problem that
Iran, the real
power behind the throne in ,
uses the same system to help finance its own operations, notably the war
against the Syrian population. Baghdad
But, helpful as all these revenue streams are, focus on them obscures the self-sustaining nature of IS’s statelet.
In terms of weapons, IS has gained some weapons from careless shipments to the Syrian rebels and even confiscated some weapons from rebels, but these are negligible. IS’s weapons are largely taken from the Iraqi military, as well as from the Assad regime directly and the above-mentioned Russian and Iranian weapons shipments to the regime.
There is no credible evidence that Saudi Arabia has ever funded IS - nor Qatar, come to that, despite the clear funding Doha provides to Hamas and Ahrar, and the deniable mechanisms Qatar at least has operated in letting supplies get to Nusra.
Foreign donors do contribute to IS, but the amount they contribute has never mattered: between 2005 and 2010 - which includes the period when IS was at its absolute nadir, driven from controlling any territory, forced underground, and its leadership shattered - documents show that IS never received more than five percent of its budget from abroad. IS has only gained in strength since then, gathering to itself the real source of its wealth: captive populations.
The population over which IS’s 80,000-square-mile statelet rules is estimated at around 10 million. The extraction of zakat from the population and a sophisticated system of “taxes” - extortion - charges the population on everything from agricultural profits and livestock to the jizya (poll tax) against non-Muslims and the confiscation of property and assets of people marked as IS’s enemies.
Destroying the caliphate’s finances, effectively and sustainably, means denying it control of territory. Any other conclusion is an attempt to circumvent the difficult task of finding a way to roll back IS’s territorial control.
Spiegel: Πως ο Άσαντ και ο Πούτιν δημιούργησαν το Ισλαμικό Κράτος
“The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State”, Απρίλιος 2015
1 , 2, 3 Παράγραφος
Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi was the real name of the Iraqi, whose bony features were softened by a white beard. But no one knew him by that name. Even his best-known pseudonym, Haji Bakr, wasn't widely known. But that was precisely part of the plan. The former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein's air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years. Former members of the group had repeatedly mentioned him as one of its leading figures. Still, it was never clear what exactly his role was.
But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated. SPIEGEL has gained exclusive access to the 31 pages, some consisting of several pages pasted together. They reveal a multilayered composition and directives for action, some already tested and others newly devised for the anarchical situation in
rebel-held territories. In a sense, the documents are the source code of the
most successful terrorist army in recent history. Syria
For the first time, the Haji Bakr documents now make it possible to reach conclusions on how the IS leadership is organized and what role former officials in the government of ex-dictator Saddam Hussein play in it. Above all, however, they show how the takeover in northern
was planned, making the group's later advances into possible in the first place.
In addition, months of research undertaken by SPIEGEL in Iraq , as well as other newly
discovered records, exclusive to SPIEGEL, show that Haji Bakr's instructions
were carried out meticulously. Syria
The story of this collection of documents begins at a time when few had yet heard of the "Islamic State." When Iraqi national Haji Bakr traveled to
Syria as part of a tiny advance party in late
2012, he had a seemingly absurd plan: IS would capture as much territory as
possible in .
Then, using Syria Syria as a
beachhead, it would invade . Iraq
It seemed as if George Orwell had been the model for this spawn of paranoid surveillance. But it was much simpler than that. Bakr was merely modifying what he had learned in the past: Saddam Hussein's omnipresent security apparatus, in which no one, not even generals in the intelligence service, could be certain they weren't being spied on.
24 , 25 , 26 Παράγραφος
In 2010, Bakr and a small group of former Iraqi intelligence officers made Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir and later "caliph," the official leader of the Islamic State. They reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face.
Bakr was "a nationalist, not an Islamist," says Iraqi journalist Hisham al-Hashimi, as he recalls the former career officer, who was stationed with Hashimi's cousin at the Habbaniya Air Base. "Colonel Samir," as Hashimi calls him, "was highly intelligent, firm and an excellent logistician." But when Paul Bremer, then head of the
occupational authority in ,
"dissolved the army by decree in May 2003, he was bitter and
Thousands of well-trained Sunni officers were robbed of their livelihood with the stroke of a pen. In doing so,
created its most bitter and intelligent enemies. Bakr went underground and met
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in America Anbar Province in western . Zarqawi, a Jordanian by
birth, had previously run a training camp for international terrorist pilgrims
in Iraq .
Starting in 2003, he gained global notoriety as the mastermind of attacks
against the United Nations, US troops and Shiite Muslims. He was even too
radical for former Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Zarqawi died in a Afghanistan air
strike in 2006. US
28 , 29 , 30 Παράγραφος
Bakr gradually became one of the military leaders in Iraq, and he was held from 2006 to 2008 in the
and Abu Ghraib Prison. He survived the waves of arrests and killings by
American and Iraqi special units, which threatened the very existence of the IS
precursor organization in 2010, Islamic State in Camp Bucca . Iraq
For Bakr and a number of former high-ranking officers, this presented an opportunity to seize power in a significantly smaller circle of jihadists. They utilized the time they shared in
to establish a
large network of contacts. But the top leaders had already known each other for
a long time. Haji Bakr and an additional officer were part of the tiny
secret-service unit attached to the anti-aircraft division. Two other IS
leaders were from a small community of Sunni Turkmen in the town of Camp
Bucca . One of them was
a high-ranking intelligence officer as well. Tal Afar
In 2010, the idea of trying to defeat Iraqi government forces militarily seemed futile. But a powerful underground organization took shape through acts of terror and protection rackets. When the uprising against the dictatorship of the Assad clan erupted in neighboring
the organization's leaders sensed an opportunity. By late 2012, particularly in
the north, the formerly omnipotent government forces had largely been defeated
and expelled. Instead, there were now hundreds of local councils and rebel
brigades, part of an anarchic mix that no one could keep track of. It was a
state of vulnerability that the tightly organized group of ex-officers sought
to exploit. Syria
42, 43 Παράγραφος
True to Haji Bakr's plan, the phase of infiltration was followed by the elimination of every person who might have been a potential leader or opponent. The first person hit was the head of the city council, who was kidnapped in mid-May 2013 by masked men. The next person to disappear was the brother of a prominent novelist. Two days later, the man who had led the group that painted a revolutionary flag on the city walls vanished.
"We had an idea who kidnapped him," one of his friends explains, "but no one dared any longer to do anything." The system of fear began to take hold. Starting in July, first dozens and then hundreds of people disappeared. Sometimes their bodies were found, but they usually disappeared without a trace. In August, the IS military leadership dispatched several cars driven by suicide bombers to the headquarters of the FSA brigade, the "Grandsons of the Prophet," killing dozens of fighters and leading the rest to flee. The other rebels merely looked on. IS leadership had spun a web of secret deals with the brigades so that each thought it was only the others who might be the targets of IS attacks.
47, 48 Παράγραφος
Until the end of 2013, everything was going according to Islamic State's plan -- or at least according to the plan of Haji Bakr. The caliphate was expanding village by village without being confronted by unified resistance from Syrian rebels. Indeed, the rebels seemed paralyzed in the face of IS' sinister power.
But when IS henchmen brutally tortured a well-liked rebel leader and doctor to death in December 2013, something unexpected happened. Across the country, Syrian brigades -- both secular and parts of the radical Nusra Front -- joined together to do battle with Islamic State. By attacking IS everywhere at the same time, they were able to rob the Islamists of their tactical advantage -- that of being able to rapidly move units to where they were most urgently needed.
52, 53, 54, 55, 56 Παράγραφος
Haji Bakr stayed behind in the small city of
where IS had long had the upper hand. But when rebels attacked at the end of
January 2014, the city became divided within just a few hours. One half
remained under IS control while the other was wrested away by one of the local
brigades. Haji Bakr was stuck in the wrong half. Furthermore, in order to
remain incognito he had refrained from moving into one of the heavily guarded
IS military quarters. And so, the godfather of snitching was snitched on by a
neighbor. "A Daish sheik lives next door!" the man called. A local
commander named Abdelmalik Hadbe and his men drove over to Bakr's house. A
woman jerked open the door and said brusquely: "My husband isn't
here." Tal Rifaat
But his car is parked out front, the rebels countered.
At that moment, Haji Bakr appeared at the door in his pajamas. Hadbe ordered him to come with them, whereupon Bakr protested that he wanted to get dressed. No, Hadbe repeated: "Come with us! Immediately!"
Surprisingly nimbly for his age, Bakr jumped back and kicked the door closed, according to two people who witnessed the scene. He then hid under the stairs and yelled: "I have a suicide belt! I'll blow up all of us!" He then came out with a Kalashnikov and began shooting. Hadbe then fired his weapon and killed Bakr.
When the men later learned who they had killed, they searched the house, gathering up computers, passports, mobile phone SIM cards, a GPS device and, most importantly, papers. They didn't find a Koran anywhere.
Haji Bakr's state continued to work even without its creator. Just how precisely his plans were implemented -- point by point -- is confirmed by the discovery of another file. When IS was forced to rapidly abandon its headquarters in Aleppo in January 2014, they tried to burn their archive, but they ran into a problem similar to that confronted by the East German secret police 25 years earlier: They had too many files.
63, 64 , 65 , 66, 67, 68, 69 Παράγραφος
But in the first months of 2014, yet another legacy from Haji Bakr began playing a decisive role: His decade of contacts to Assad's intelligence services.
In 2003, the
Damascus regime was panicked that then-US President George
W. Bush, after his victory over Saddam Hussein, would have his troops continue
to topple Assad as well. Thus, in the ensuing years, Syrian intelligence
officials organized the transfer of thousands of radicals from Syria Libya, Saudi
Arabia and Tunisia
to al-Qaida in .
Ninety percent of the suicide attackers entered Iraq via the Syrian route. A
strange relationship developed between Syrian generals, international jihadists
and former Iraqi officers who had been loyal to Saddam -- a joint venture of
deadly enemies, who met repeatedly to the west of Iraq . Damascus
At the time, the primary aim was to make the lives of the Americans in
hell. Ten years later, Bashar
Assad had a different motive to breathe new life into the alliance: He wanted
to sell himself to the world as the lesser of several evils. Islamist terror,
the more gruesome the better, was too important to leave it up to the
terrorists. The regime's relationship with Islamic State is -- just as it was
to its predecessor a decade prior -- marked by a completely tactical
pragmatism. Both sides are trying to use the other in the assumption that it
will emerge as the stronger power, able to defeat the discrete collaborator of
yesterday. Conversely, IS leaders had no problem receiving assistance from
Assad's air force, despite all of the group's pledges to annihilate the
apostate Shiites. Starting in January 2014, Syrian jets would regularly -- and
exclusively -- bomb rebel positions and headquarters during battles between IS
and rebel groups. Iraq
In battles between IS and rebels in January 2014, Assad's jets regularly bombed only rebel positions, while the Islamic State emir ordered his fighters to refrain from shooting at the army. It was an arrangement that left many of the foreign fighters deeply disillusioned; they had imaged jihad differently.
IS threw its entire arsenal at the rebels, sending more suicide bombers into their ranks in just a few weeks than it deployed during the entire previous year against the Syrian army. Thanks in part to additional air strikes, IS was able to reconquer territory that it had briefly lost.
Nothing symbolizes the tactical shifting of alliances more than the fate of the Syrian army's Division 17. The isolated base near Raqqa had been under rebel siege for more than a year. But then, IS units defeated the rebels there and Assad's air force was once again able to use the base for supply flights without fear of attack.
But a half year later, after IS conquered
and took control of a gigantic weapons depot there, the jihadists felt powerful
enough to attack their erstwhile helpers. IS fighters overran Division 17 and
slaughtered the soldiers, whom they had only recently protected. Mosul
72, 73, 74 Παράγραφος
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may be the officially named leader, but it remains unclear how much power he holds. In any case, when an emissary of al-Qaida head Ayman al-Zawahiri contacted the Islamic State, it was Haji Bakr and other intelligence officers, and not al-Baghdadi, whom he approached. Afterwards, the emissary bemoaned "these phony snakes who are betraying the real jihad."
Within IS, there are state structures, bureaucracy and authorities. But there is also a parallel command structure: elite units next to normal troops; additional commanders alongside nominal military head Omar al-Shishani; power brokers who transfer or demote provincial and town emirs or even make them disappear at will. Furthermore, decisions are not, as a rule, made in Shura Councils, nominally the highest decision-making body. Instead, they are being made by the "people who loosen and bind" (ahl al-hall wa-l-aqd), a clandestine circle whose name is taken from the Islam of medieval times.
Islamic State is able to recognize all manner of internal revolts and stifle them. At the same time, the hermitic surveillance structure is also useful for the financial exploitation of its subjects.
Η Ζωή του Αρχηγού της Al-Qaeda του Ιράκ, του Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
“The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi”, Αύγουστος 2006
1η , 2η, 3η, 4η Παράγραφος
On a cold and blustery evening in December 1989, Huthaifa Azzam, the teenage son of the legendary Jordanian-Palestinian mujahideen leader Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, went to the airport in
welcome a group of young men. All were new recruits, largely from Peshawar,
Pakistan Jordan, and they had come to fight in a
fratricidal civil war in neighboring —an outgrowth of the
CIA-financed jihad of the 1980s against the Soviet occupation there. Afghanistan
The men were scruffy, Huthaifa mused as he greeted them, and seemed hardly in battle-ready form. Some had just been released from prison; others were professors and sheikhs. None of them would prove worth remembering—except for a relatively short, squat man named Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalaylah.
He would later rename himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Once one of the most wanted men in the world, for whose arrest the United States offered a $25 million reward, al-Zarqawi was a notoriously enigmatic figure—a man who was everywhere yet nowhere. I went to
earlier this year, three months before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike in early June, to find out who he
really was, and to try to understand the role he was playing in the
anti-American insurgency in .
I also hoped to get a sense of how his generation—the foreign fighters now
waging jihad in Iraq Iraq—compare
with the foreign fighters who twenty years ago waged jihad in . Afghanistan
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, barely forty and barely literate, a Bedouin from the Bani Hassan tribe, was until recently almost unknown outside his native
. Then, on February 5, 2003,
Secretary of State Colin Powell catapulted him onto the world stage. In his
address to the United Nations making the case for war in Jordan , Powell identified
al-Zarqawi—mistakenly, as it turned out—as the crucial link between al-Qaeda
and Saddam Hussein’s regime. Subsequently, al-Zarqawi became a leading figure
in the insurgency in Iraq Iraq—and
in November of last year, he also brought his jihadist revolution back home, as
the architect of three lethal hotel bombings in . His notoriety grew with every atrocity
he perpetrated, yet Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials remained
bedeviled by a simple question: Who was he? Was he al-Qaeda’s point man in Amman ,
as the Bush administration argued repeatedly? Or was he, as a retired Israeli
intelligence official told me not long ago, a staunch rival of bin Laden’s,
whose importance the United States exaggerated in order to validate a link
between al-Qaeda and pre-war Iraq, and to put a non-Iraqi face on a complex
Everyone I spoke with readily acknowledged that as a teenager al-Zarqawi had been a bully and a thug, a bootlegger and a heavy drinker, and even, allegedly, a pimp in Zarqa’s underworld. He was disruptive, constantly involved in brawls. When he was fifteen (according to his police record, about which I had been briefed in
), he participated in
a robbery of a relative’s home, during which the relative was killed. Two years
later, a year shy of graduation, he had dropped out of school. Then, in 1989,
at the age of twenty-three, he traveled to Amman . Afghanistan
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"He was an ordinary guy, an ordinary fighter, and didn’t really distinguish himself,” Huthaifa Azzam said of al-Zarqawi’s first time in
. “He was a quiet guy
who didn’t talk much. But he was brave. Zarqawi doesn’t know the meaning of
fear. He’s been wounded five or six times in Afghanistan Afghanistan
He seems to intentionally place himself in the middle of the most dangerous
situations. He fought in the battles of Khost and Kardez and, in April 1992,
witnessed the liberation of Iraq
by the mujahideen. A lot of Arabs were great commanders during those years.
Zarqawi was not. He also wasn’t very religious during that time. In fact, he’d
only ‘returned’ to Islam three months before coming to Kabul . It was the Tablighi Jamaat
[a proselytizing missionary group spread across the Muslim world] who convinced
him—he had thirty-seven criminal cases against him by then—that it was time to
cleanse himself.” Afghanistan
A Jordanian counterterrorism official expanded on al-Zarqawi’s time in
for me. “His second
time in Afghanistan
was far more important than the first. But the first was significant in two
ways. Zarqawi was young and impressionable; he’d never been out of Jordan
before, and now, for the first time, he was interacting with doctrinaire
Islamists from across the Muslim world, most of them brought to Afghanistan
by the CIA. It was also his first exposure to al-Qaeda. He didn’t meet bin
Laden, of course, but he trained in one of his and Abdullah Azzam’s camps: the
Sada camp near the Afghan border inside Afghanistan . He trained under Abu Hafs
al-Masri.” (The reference was to the nom de guerre of Mohammed Atef, an
Egyptian who was bin Laden’s military chief and, until he was killed in an
American air strike in Afghanistan in November 2001, the No. 3 official in
Abu Muntassir Bilah Muhammad is another jihadist who spent time fighting in
and who would later
become one of the co-founders of al-Zarqawi’s first militant Islamist group.
“Zarqawi arrived in Afghanistan
as a zero,” he told me, “a man with no career, just floundering about. He
trained and fought and he came back to Afghanistan with ambitions and dreams:
to carry the ideology of jihad. His first ambition was to reform Jordan ,
to set up an Islamist state. And there was a cachet involved in fighting in the
jihad. Zarqawi returned to Jordan
with newfound respect. It’s not so much what Zarqawi did in the jihad—it’s what
the jihad did for him.” Jordan
But perhaps as important as anything else, it was in
that al-Zarqawi was introduced to Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (whose real
name is Isam Muhammad Tahir al-Barqawi), a revered and militant Salafist cleric
who had moved to Zarqa following the mass expulsion of Palestinians from
in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The Salafiya movement originated in Egypt, at
the end of the nineteenth century, as a modernist Sunni reform movement, the
aim of which was to let the Muslim world rise to the challenges posed by
Western science and political thought. But since the 1920s, it has evolved into
a severely puritanical school of absolutist thought that is markedly
anti-Western and based on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Today’s most
radical Salafists regard any departure from their own rigid principles of Islam
to be heretical; their particular hatred of Shiites—who broke with the Sunnis
in 632 A.D. over the question of succession to the Prophet Muhammad, and who
now constitute the majority in Iran and Iraq—is visceral. Over the years,
al-Maqdisi embraced the most extreme Kuwait school
of Salafism, closely akin to the
puritanical Wahhabism of , and in the early 1980s he
published The Creed of Abraham, the single most important source of
teachings for Salafist movements around the world. Al-Maqdisi would become
al-Zarqawi’s ideological mentor and most profound influence. Saudi
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Al-Zarqawi and al-Maqdisi left
in 1993 and returned to .
They found it much changed. In their absence the Jordanians and the Israelis
had begun negotiations that would lead to the signing of a peace treaty in
1994; the Palestinians had signed the Jordan
Accords of 1993; and the Iraqis had lost the Gulf War. Unemployment was up
sharply, the result of a privatization drive agreed to with the International
Monetary Fund, and Jordanians were frustrated and angry. The Muslim Brotherhood—the
kingdom’s only viable opposition political force, which had agreed to support
King Hussein in exchange for being allowed to participate in public and
parliamentary life—appeared unable to cope with the rising disaffection. Small
underground Islamist groups had therefore begun to appear, composed largely of
men who had fought in the Afghan jihad, and who were guided by the increasingly
loud voices of militant clerics who felt the Muslim Brotherhood had been
co-opted by the state. Oslo
After the two men returned home, al-Maqdisi toured the kingdom, preaching and recruiting, and al-Zarqawi sought out Abu Muntassir, who had already acquired a standing among Islamic militants in
“We talked a lot, over a couple of days,” Abu Muntassir told me. “He was still
pretty much a novice, but very willing, very able, and keen to learn about
Islam. I was teaching geography at the time in a government school, so it was
easy for me to teach Islam as well. After some time, Zarqawi asked me to work
with him in an Islamic group; al-Maqdisi was already on board. The idea was
there, but it had no leadership and no name. First we called it al-Tawhid, then
changed the name to Bayat al-Imam [Allegiance to the Imam]. We were small but
enthusiastic—a dozen or so men. Our primary objective, of course, was to
overthrow the monarchy and establish an Islamic government.” Jordan
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In another botched operation, al-Maqdisi (according to court testimony that he denied) gave al-Zarqawi seven grenades he had smuggled into
, and al-Zarqawi hid them in
the cellar of his family’s home. Al-Maqdisi was already under surveillance by
Jordan’s intelligence service by that time, because of his growing popularity.
The grenades were quickly discovered, and the two men, along with a number of
their followers, found themselves for the first time before a state security
court. Al-Zarqawi told the court that he had found the grenades while walking
down the street. The judges were not amused. They convicted him and al-Maqdisi
of possessing illegal weapons and belonging to a banned organization. In 1994,
al-Zarqawi was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He would flourish there. Jordan
Swaqa prison sits on the southern desert’s edge, sixty miles south of Amman, and its political prisoners, both Islamist and secular, are housed in four wings. Al-Zarqawi embraced prison life in the extreme—as he appears to have embraced everything. According to fellow inmates of his with whom I spoke, his primary obsessions were recruiting other prisoners to his cause, building his body, and, under the tutelage of al-Maqdisi, memorizing the 6,236 verses of the Koran. He was stern, tough, and unrelenting on anything that he considered to be an infraction of his rules, yet he was often seen in the prison courtyard crying as he read the Koran.
He was fastidious about his appearance in prison—his beard and moustache were always cosmetically groomed—and he wore only Afghan dress: the shalwar kameez and a rolled-brim, woolen Pashtun cap. One former inmate who served time with him told me that al-Zarqawi sauntered through the prison ward like a “peacock.” Islamists flocked to him. He attracted recruits; some joined him out of fascination, others out of curiosity, and still others out of fear. In a short time, he had organized prison life at Swaqa like a gang leader.
When Abu Rumman entered Swaqa, al-Zarqawi was in isolation following a prison brawl. “It was quite extraordinary,” Abu Rumman said. “My first glimpse of Zarqawi was when he was released. He returned to the ward as a hero surrounded by his own bodyguards. Everyone began to shout: Allahu Akhbar! By that time Zarqawi was already called the ‘emir,’ or ‘prince.’ He had an uncanny ability to control, almost to hypnotize; he could order his followers to do things just by moving his eyes.”
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In 1998, three or four of al-Zarqawi’s tracts were posted on the Internet, after heavy editing. Soon they came to the attention of Osama bin Laden, in
. It was the first time
he had ever heard of al-Zarqawi. Afghanistan
In May of the following year,
King Abdullah II—newly enthroned after the death of his father, King
Hussein—declared a general amnesty, and al-Zarqawi was released from Swaqa. He
had made effective use of his time there. As he had done nearly a decade
before—when he befriended wealthy Saudi jihadists in Khost—he had expanded his
reach and his appeal during his prison years. Among the fellow inmates he had
converted to Salafism and brought into the Bayat al-Imam were a substantial
number of prisoners from Jordan . Iraq
After returning for a few months to Zarqa, al-Zarqawi left again and traveled to
. He may or may not have
known that Pakistan
was about to declare him a suspect in a series of foiled terrorist attacks
intended for New Year’s Eve of 1999. The plan, which became known as the
“Millennium Plot,” involved the bombing of Christian landmarks and other
tourist sites, along with the Radisson Hotel in Jordan . Had it succeeded, it would have been
al-Zarqawi’s first involvement in a major terrorist attack. Amman
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In December 1999, al-Zarqawi crossed the border into
and later that month he and bin Laden met at the Government Guest House in the
southern city of ,
the de facto capital of the ruling Taliban. As they sat facing each other
across the receiving room, a former Israeli intelligence official told me, “it
was loathing at first sight.” Kandahar
According to several different accounts of the meeting, bin Laden distrusted and disliked al-Zarqawi immediately. He suspected that the group of Jordanian prisoners with whom al-Zarqawi had been granted amnesty earlier in the year had been infiltrated by Jordanian intelligence; something similar had occurred not long before with a Jordanian jihadist cell that had come to
. Bin Laden also
disliked al-Zarqawi’s swagger and the green tattoos on his left hand, which he
reportedly considered un-Islamic. Al-Zarqawi came across to bin Laden as
aggressively ambitious, abrasive, and overbearing. His hatred of Shiites also
seemed to bin Laden to be potentially divisive—which, of course, it was. (Bin
Laden’s mother, to whom he remains close, is a Shiite, from the Alawites of Afghanistan .) Syria
Al-Zarqawi would not recant, even in the presence of the legendary head of al-Qaeda. “Shiites should be executed,” he reportedly declared. He also took exception to bin Laden’s providing Arab fighters to the Taliban, the fundamentalist student militia that, although now in power, was still battling the Northern Alliance, which controlled some 10 percent of
Muslim killing Muslim was un-Islamic, al-Zarqawi is reported to have said. Afghanistan
Unaccustomed to such direct criticism, the leader of al-Qaeda was aghast.
Had Saif al-Adel—now bin Laden’s military chief—not intervened, history might be written very differently.
A former Egyptian army colonel who had trained in special operations, al-Adel was then al-Qaeda’s chief of security and a prominent voice in an emerging debate gripping the militant Islamist world. Who should the primary target be—the “near enemy” (the Muslim world’s “un-Islamic” regimes) or the “far enemy” (primarily
Israel and the )? Al-Zarqawi was a
near-enemy advocate, and although his obsession remained the overthrow of the
Jordanian monarchy, he had expanded his horizons slightly during his prison
years and had now begun to focus on the area known as al-Sham, or the Levant,
which includes Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and historic Palestine. As an Egyptian
who had attempted to overthrow his own country’s army-backed regime, al-Adel
saw merit in al-Zarqawi’s views. Thus, after a good deal of debate within
al-Qaeda, it was agreed that al-Zarqawi would be given $5,000 or so in “seed
money” to set up his own training camp outside the western Afghan city of United States , near the Iranian
border. It was about as far away as he could be from bin Laden. Herat
Saif al-Adel was designated the middleman.
In early 2000, with a dozen or so followers who had arrived from
and Amman, al-Zarqawi set out for the western
desert encircling .
His goal: to build an army that he could export to anywhere in the world.
Al-Adel paid monthly visits to al-Zarqawi’s training camp; later, on his Web
site, he would write that he was amazed at what he saw there. The number of
al-Zarqawi’s fighters multiplied from dozens to hundreds during the following
year, and by the time the forces evacuated their camp, prior to the Herat
air strikes of October 200l, the fighters and their families numbered some
2,000 to 3,000. According to al-Adel, the wives of al-Zarqawi’s followers
served lavish Levantine cuisine in the camp. U.S.
It was in
Herat that al-Zarqawi formed the militant organization
Jund al-Sham, or Soldiers of the Levant. His
key operational lieutenants were mainly Syrians—most of whom had fought in the
Afghan jihad, and many of whom belonged to their country’s banned Muslim
Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s exiled leadership, which is largely based in
Europe, was immensely important in recruiting for the camp, although whether it also supplied
funds remains under debate. What is clear, however, is that al-Zarqawi’s
closest aide, a Syrian from the city of Hama named Sulayman Khalid Darwish—or
Abu al-Ghadiyah—was considered to be, until his death last summer on the
Iraqi-Syrian frontier, one of al-Zarqawi’s most likely successors. Herat
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At least five times, in 2000 and 2001, bin Laden called al-Zarqawi to come to
and pay bayat—take an oath of
allegiance—to him. Each time, al-Zarqawi refused. Under no circumstances did he
want to become involved in the battle between the Kandahar Northern
Alliance and the Taliban. He also did not believe that either bin
Laden or the Taliban was serious enough about jihad.
United States launched its air war inside ,
on October 7, 2001, al-Zarqawi joined forces with al-Qaeda and the Taliban for
the first time. He and his Jund al-Sham fought in and around Afghanistan Herat
Al-Zarqawi was wounded in an American air strike—not in the leg, as U.S.
officials claimed for two years, but in the chest, when the ceiling of the
building in which he was operating collapsed on him. Neither did he join Osama
bin Laden in the eastern mountains of Tora Bora, as Kandahar officials have also said. Bin
Laden took only his most trusted fighters to Tora Bora, and al-Zarqawi was not
one of them. U.S.
In December 2001, accompanied by some 300 fighters from Jund al-Sham, al-Zarqawi left
Afghanistan once again, and entered . Iran
During the next fourteen months, al-Zarqawi based himself primarily in
Iran and in the autonomous area of Kurdistan, in
northern Iraq, traveling
from time to time to Syria
and to the Ayn al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp in the south of —a
camp that, according to the former Jordanian intelligence official, became his
main recruiting ground. More often, however, al-Zarqawi traveled to the Sunni
Triangle of Lebanon .
He expanded his network, recruited and trained new fighters, and set up bases,
safe houses, and military training camps. In Iran, he was reunited with Saif
al-Adel—who encouraged him to go to Iraq and provided contacts there—and for a
time, al-Zarqawi stayed at a farm belonging to the fiercely anti-American
Afghan jihad leader Gulbaddin Hekmatyar. In Kurdistan he lived and worked with
the separatist militant Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, ironically in an area
protected as part of the “no-fly” zone imposed on Saddam Hussein by Iraq . Washington
One can only imagine how astonished al-Zarqawi must have been when Colin Powell named him as the crucial link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime. He was not even officially a part of al-Qaeda, and ever since he had left
Afghanistan, his links had been not to Iraq but to . Iran
“We know Zarqawi better than he knows himself,” the high-level Jordanian intelligence official said. “And I can assure you that he never had any links to Saddam.
is quite a different matter. The Iranians have a policy: they want to control Iran .
And part of this policy has been to support Zarqawi, tactically but not
“In the beginning they gave him automatic weapons, uniforms, military equipment, when he was with the army of Ansar al-Islam. Now they essentially just turn a blind eye to his activities, and to those of al-Qaeda generally. The Iranians see
as a fight against the Americans, and overall, they’ll get rid of Zarqawi and
all of his people once the Americans are out.” Iraq
In the summer of 2003, three months after the American invasion, al-Zarqawi moved to the Sunni areas of
He became infamous almost at once. On August 7, he allegedly carried out a
car-bomb attack at the Jordanian embassy in Iraq . Twelve days later, he was linked to
the bombing of the United Nations headquarters, in which twenty-two people
died. And on August 29, in what was then the deadliest attack of the war, he
engineered the killing of over a hundred people, including a revered cleric,
the Ayatollah Muhammad Baqr al-Hakim, in a car bombing outside Shia Islam’s
holy shrine in Najaf. The suicide bomber in that attack was Yassin Jarad, from
Zarqa. He was al-Zarqawi’s father-in-law. Baghdad
Of course, no one did more to cultivate that image than al-Zarqawi himself. He committed some of the deadliest attacks in
though they still represent only some 10 percent of the country’s total number
of attacks. In May 2004, he inaugurated his notorious wave of hostage
beheadings; he also specialized in suicide and truck bombings of Shiite shrines
and mosques, largely in Shiite neighborhoods. His primary aim was to provoke a
civil war. “If we succeed in dragging [the Shia] into a sectarian war,” he
purportedly wrote in a letter intercepted by Iraq forces and released in
February 2004, “this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis who are fearful of
destruction and death at the hands of the Shia.” (The authenticity of the
letter came into question almost immediately.) U.S.
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Regardless of his growing notoriety in
al-Zarqawi never lost sight of his ultimate goal: the overthrow of the
Jordanian monarchy. His efforts to foment unrest in Jordan included the 2002
assassination of the U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley, and, on a far larger scale,
a disrupted plot in 2004 to bomb the headquarters of the Jordanian intelligence
services—a scheme that, according to Jordanian officials, would have entailed
the use of trucks packed with enough chemicals and explosives to kill some
80,000 people. Once it was uncovered, al-Zarqawi immediately accepted
responsibility for the plot, although he denied that chemical weapons would
have been involved. Iraq
Later that year, in October 2004, after resisting for nearly five years, al-Zarqawi finally paid bayat to Osama bin Laden—but only after eight months of often stormy negotiations. After doing so he proclaimed himself to be the “Emir of al-Qaeda’s Operations in the
,” a title
that subordinated him to bin Laden but at the same time placed him firmly on
the global stage. One explanation for this coming together of these two former
antagonists was simple: al-Zarqawi profited from the al-Qaeda franchise, and
bin Laden needed a presence in Land
of Mesopotamia .
Another explanation is more complex: bin Laden laid claim to al-Zarqawi in the
hopes of forestalling his emergence as the single most important terrorist
figure in the world, and al-Zarqawi accepted bin Laden’s endorsement to augment
his credibility and to strengthen his grip on the Iraqi tribes. Both
explanations are true. Iraq
“From the beginning, Zarqawi has wanted to be independent, and he will continue to be,” Oraib Rantawi, the director of the
Al-Quds Center for Political Studies in , said to me. “Yes, he’s gained stature
through this alliance, but he only swore bayat after all this time
because of growing pressure from Iraqis who were members of al-Qaeda. And even
then he signed with conditions—that he would maintain control over Jund al-Sham
and al-Tawhid, and that he would exert operational autonomy. His suicide
bombings of the hotels in Amman ”—in
which some sixty civilians died, many of them while attending a wedding
celebration—“was a huge tactical mistake. My understanding is that bin Laden
was furious about it.” Amman
The attacks, which represented an expansion of al- Zarqawi’s sophistication and reach, also showed his growing independence from the al-Qaeda chief. They came only thirteen months after he had sworn bayat. The alliance had already begun to fray.
The signs were visible as early as the summer of 2005. In a letter purportedly sent to al-Zarqawi in July from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian surgeon who is bin Laden’s designated heir, al-Zarqawi was chided about his tactics in
And although some experts have cast doubt on the letter’s authenticity (it was
released by the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence), few
would dispute its message: namely, that al-Zarqawi’s hostage beheadings, his
mass slaughter of Shiites, and his assaults on their mosques were all having a
negative effect on Muslim opinion—both of him and, by extension, of
al-Qaeda—around the world. In one admonition, al-Zawahiri allegedly advised
al-Zarqawi that a captive can be killed as easily by a bullet as by a knife. Iraq
“Not at all,” he replied. “Zarqawi had the ambition to become what he has, but whatever happens, even if he becomes the most popular figure in Iraq, he can never go against the symbolism that bin Laden represents. If Zarqawi is captured or killed tomorrow, the Iraqi insurgency will go on. There is no such thing as ‘Zarqawism.’ What Zarqawi is will die with him. Bin Laden, on the other hand, is an ideological thinker. He created the concept of al-Qaeda and all of its offshoots. He feels he’s achieved his goal.” He paused for a moment, then said, “Osama bin Laden is like Karl Marx. Both created an ideology. Marxism still flourished well after Marx’s death. And whether bin Laden is killed, or simply dies of natural causes, al-Qaedaism will survive him.”
Τι χρωστάει το Ιράν στον ISIS και τι Χρωστάει ο ISIS στο Ιράν
What ISIS Owes
and Vice-Versa Iran
Perhaps the world's most infamous terrorist movement—the Islamic State of
Iran and Syria
(ISIS), owes something to the world's foremost state-sponsor of terrorism—the
Islamic . Yet, most major
media outlets have failed to note the complex history between theocratic,
and the Sunni group describing itself as the Islamic State. Instead, coverage
has often fixated on sectarian differences and the simple
narrative that Shi'ite Iran
is fighting Sunni ISIS. This omits the important role that Iranian mullahs and
their policies have played in providing support—originally direct but now
indirect in the wake of open conflict—to the Islamic State. Iran
ISIS is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but the group's
origins can be traced to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born terrorist who
founded Tawhid wal-Jihad (“Monotheism and Jihad”). The Tawhid wal-Jihad terror
cell eventually expanded into the Islamic State's progenitor—al-Qaeda in (AQI). Iraq
Afghanistan following the arrival of U.S.-led
coalition forces in Operation Enduring Freedom, Zarqawi was “based in Iran and northern ” for “about a year.” After a
brief arrest by Iranian authorities, he was allowed to “move freely” throughout
the region to recruit, according to Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan in their
book Iraq ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. The
authors assert that according to Jordanian intelligence services, “it wasn't Baghdad America
should have been looking at [for links to Zarqawi's group]…it was .” (pg. 17) Tehran
“The Iranians have a policy: they want to control
And part of this policy has been to support Zarqawi, tactically but not
strategically….In the beginning they gave him weapons, uniforms, military
equipment, when he was with the army of Ansar al-Islam [a Sunni terror group
based in northern Iraq ].
Now they essentially just turn a blind eye to his activities, and to those of
al-Qaeda generally.” Iraq
Somewhat prophetically, a Jordanian official stated, “The Iranians see
as a fight against the
Americans, and overall, they'll get rid of Zarqawi and all of his people once
the Americans are out.” (pg.18) (“The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi,” July 2006, The Iraq Atlantic)
Sunni terrorists Iran
Support from Shi'ite
Iran for non-Shi'ite terror
groups is hardly unprecedented: Tehran has a
history of strategically supporting Sunni terrorists that share the Islamic
Republic's objectives of attacking Israel
(such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad) or those who attack the “far
enemy” of the ,
such as al-Qaeda. Followers of Osama bin Laden sought and received sanctuary in
United States Iran after fleeing
following the U.S.-invasion in response to al-Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001 terror
After receiving Iranian support, al-Zarqawi eventually would turn to sectarian warfare in
Shi'ite holy places and murdering members of that Islamic sect. Long-dominated
by Sunni members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, post-U.S. invasion Iraq saw the
rise of Shiite officials. While this better reflected the country's demography,
it also provided both an opportunity for Iraq
to project its influence and concurrently for al-Zarqawi to exploit Sunni fears
of being shut out. As Weiss and Hassan observe, the election of Shiite Iraqi
officials—some of whom had lived in Tehran Iran
prior to the U.S.
occupation—allowed al-Zarqawi to exploit an “incipient but real problem in Iraq's political evolution…the creeping takeover
by chauvinistic Shia politicians, many of whom were spies or agents of
influence of 's
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).” (pg. 29) Iran
Following al-Zarqawi's death in a 2006 U.S.-drone strike, the subsequent U.S.-led surge of forces and the so-called “Anbar-Awakening”—in which Iraqi Sunni tribes rejected the brutality of AQI in favor of U.S.-provided security, Sunni extremist terror groups briefly receded in key provinces. Yet, with the rise of the Islamic State in
of many former AQI terrorists—“ISIS has couched its current campaign in Syria and in exactly” the same sectarian
terms as al-Zarqawi used. Meanwhile, the movement hopes to spur Sunni
recruitment by targeting Shi'ites and prompting a fierce counterreaction. Iraq
Atrocities committed in
Syria's civil war by
Tehran-backed Shi'ite militias and U.S.-listed terror organizations like the
Quds ( Jerusalem) Force of the Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Kata'ib Hezbollah among others provided
considerable help to ISIS in recruiting
In May 2011, Quds Force head Qassem Suleimani was sanctioned by the
the human rights abuses and repression of the Syrian people.” As Weiss and
Hassan note, Suleimani used the head of Tehran's Badr Corps and Iraqi
Transportation Minister, Hadi al-Amiri, to funnel weapons to Syria's General
Intelligence Directorate—munitions often used in documented human rights
abuses, including the targeting of civilian populations. The extensive level of
Iranian involvement in Syria has also been noted by former Syrian Prime
Minister Riyad Hijab who—after defecting in August 2012—declared: “Syria is
occupied by the Iranian regime. The person who runs the country is not Bashar
al-Assad [Syria's President] but Qassem Soleimani.” (pg. 139) United States
National Defense Forces in Syria—groups trained and often led by IRGC commanders—have been accused by Human Rights Watch of singling out Sunnis for attacks in Syrian towns of al-Bayda and Baniyas. As the Wall Street Journal has noted (“Syria's Alawite Force Turned Tide for Assad,” Aug. 26 2013), National Defense Force trainees are “told that the war in Syria is akin to epic battle for Shiite Islam, and if they die they will be martyrs of the highest rank.”
From torture and mockery to mockery and torture
These forces—and those of the Iranian supported dictator himself Bashar al-Assad—stand accused of “a broad array of torture against their captives, including pipe beatings, whippings, electrocutions, acid burns, fingernail extractions.” According to Shiraz Maher, an expert on radicalization at Kings College: “It was physical torture mixed with a campaign to mock the core aspects of Sunni belief. That's what caught the attention and anger…..This is why the foreign fighter trend started from the Gulf and North Africa.” (pg. 135)
To be sure, corruption and wanton human rights abuses of the Sunni-dominated Ba'athist regimes of the Assad family in Syria and Saddam Hussein in Iraq have played an undeniable role in fomenting Islamist groups of both sects—Sunni and Shiite. So did the pro-Shi'ite policies of former Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki which were exploited by jihadi terror groups. Other papers have also noted blowback from the Assad regime's funding and funneling of anti-coalition terrorist fighters into Iraq and elsewhere as well as connections of ousted Iraqi Ba-athist leaders connectionsto ISIS. (“Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State,” April 18 2015, Der Spiegel)
This is to say nothing of the ideology of the Islamic State, which overlap at its crudest with that of the Islamic Republic in sanctioning of the murders of Muslim apostates, Jews, homosexuals and repeated calls for the destruction of the United States.
The rise and growth of the Islamic State—beginning with the foundations of AQI and associated terror groups—would be hard to imagine without the initial Iranian-provided weapons, funds, and sanctuary for its founding father or the steady stream of Sunni recruits reacting to the rhetoric of sectarian holy war mouthed by Iranian-backed clerics. Such rhetoric, along with the anti-Sunni brutality of Iranian terror groups and Iranian-trained militias, has helped boost the Islamic State numbers in Syria and Iraq.
In May 2014, amidst battles between Iranian militias and ISIS and a break between ISIS and al-Qaeda, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani noted in a message to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that their organization had not attacked Iran since its founding. Further, despite enduring allegations of collaboration with the Islamic Republic, the group had “refrained from targeting it” acting “upon the orders of al-Qaeda to safeguard its interests and supply lines in Iran.” The Islamic State spokesman proclaimed, “let history record that Iran owes al Qaeda invaluably.” (pg. 18-19)
It may also be said that the Islamic State owes the first Islamic Republic “invaluably”—and that people in the region and those in the West are paying immeasurably. Public understanding would be much better served by news media coverage that goes beyond the simplified narrative of Shi'ite Iran fighting the Sunni Islamic State.
Independent: Al-Qaeda έτοιμη να κάνει το Ισλαμικό Εμιράτο της στην Συρία. Η Al Qaeda ήταν πάντα καλύτερη από τον
ISIS στο να προσελκύει φτωχούς ανθρώπους
“Al-Qaeda could be preparing to launch own 'Islamic State' in
after exploiting world's focus on Isis”, Μάιος 2016
1η, 2η, 3η Παράγραφος
Al-Qaeda could be preparing to declare its own sovereign state in Syria after quietly gathering strength in the shadow of the international campaign against Isis, an analyst has warned.
Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, said that after five years building its power base in the midst of the civil war leaders are moving to create a new “Islamic emirate”.
Writing in Foreign Policy magazine he said Jabhat al-Nusra - the al-Qaeda affiliate that was linked with
Isis until a bitter split in
2013 - had been building local support and influence in its territories.
Researchers concluded that it had also been more successful than Isis in attracting impoverished and unemployed youths with the promise of security, education, structure and, most importantly, victory.
Washington Institute: Καταριανοί ιδιώτες κάνουν δωρεές στον
Qatar and ISIS Funding: The Approach”, Αύγουστος 2014 U.S.
1η έως 4η Παράγραφος
America views its close ally, Qatar, as a terrorist funding trouble spot.
has gone so far as to call the small Persian Gulf
state a permissive environment for financing terrorist groups.
United States says it does not have evidence
that the government of Qatar
is funding the terrorist group now known as the Islamic State ( ISIS). But it does believe that private individuals in
are helping to finance this group and others like it. And it thinks the Gulf
state is not doing enough to stop this. Qatar
Qatar's policies, the has employed a
carrot-and-stick approach. It heaps praise on its ally for developing new
anti-terrorist financing regulations, while privately discouraging and
sometimes publicly admonishing its support for terrorist organizations. United States
Yet the fundamental problem is that
counterterrorism agenda sometimes conflicts with what perceives to be its own
political interests. Qatar 's
security strategy has been to provide support to a wide range of regional and
international groups in order to bolster its position at home and abroad. This
strategy has involved generously supporting Islamist organizations, including
militant ones like Hamas and the Taliban. Allowing private local fundraising
for Islamist groups abroad forms part of this approach. Closing channels of
support to militant Islamists -- i.e., what Qatar Washington
would like Doha to do -- would be inimical to 's
basic approach to its own security. Qatar
National Interest: Κάποιοι Αμερικανοί πιστεύουν ότι το Ιράν θα τους βοηθήσει να νικήσουν τον ISIS, ενώ στην πραγματικότητα το Ιράν θέλει να έχει υπό έλεγχο τον ISIS και όχι να τον νικήσει, γιατί ο
ISIS δυσκολεύει τους Αμερικανούς να ανατρέψουν τον Άσαντ. Στο
Ιράκ τα πράγματα είναι πιο πολύπλοκα για το Ιράν, γιατί το Ιράν δεν θέλει να
αποκτήσει ο ISIS αρκετή δύναμη που
θα του επιτρέψει να διεκδικήσει την επιρροή στο Ιράκ από το Ιράν στο μέλλον.
Αλλά στο Ιράκ το Ιράν δεν τα έχει καταφέρει καλά όπως φάνηκε στην επαρχία al anbar. Οι καλύτεροι
σύμμαχοι εναντίον του ISIS είναι οι Σουνίτες
Άραβες. Επίσης το Ιράν θέλει να διώξει τις ΗΠΑ από την Συρία και το Ιράκ, και
επομένως μία λύση που θα δίνει πάτημα στις ΗΠΑ θα είναι πολύ κακή για το Ιράν.
Won't Defeat ISIS for You”, Ιούλιος 2015
1η, 2η , 3η , 4η, 5η, 6η Παράγραφος
ISIS’s persistence has led some analysts to conclude—most recently Harvard’s Stephen Walt—that ISIS’s “state” will be a long-term reality in the region and one that
may soon have
to come to terms with. From developing its own currency to managing a system of
governance and terror wrapped in ideological fervidity, the Islamic State
certainly has shown its resilience, despite its morphing geography since it
captured Mosul in the summer of 2014. Washington
Since the finalizing of the Iranian nuclear agreement,
Iran has been touted in Washington
in some policy circles as the best partner in fighting ISIS. Potential common interests between Washington and Tehran—as
well as Iran’s military
capabilities—could make Tehran an effective ally
in rolling back ISIS at a time when the United
States is wary to commit to another ground war in the Middle East. This assessment has three substantial blind
Tehran’s strategy in Syria
and Iraq has been focused
more on containing and managing ISIS than
defeating it. This strategy is driven by different considerations in both
countries. In Syria, ISIS is
seen as an effective tool in both weakening the U.S.- and GCC-backed opposition
militias and buttressing the argument that President Assad is a most amenable
alternative in .
Iraq, on the other hand, presents a difficult balancing act for Tehran that
consists of both managing ISIS as a security threat to Iran’s heartland and
Iraq’s Shi’a communities and avoiding empowering Sunni communities to such a
degree that they could later pose a credible challenge to Iran’s influence in
the Iraqi state. Syria Tehran will prefer to keep
unstable until its dominant influence is assured. Iraq has been less than effective
in pursuing this strategy as evidenced by its recent poor performance in Al Anbar
Province and its difficult recapture of Tikrit in the spring. Iran
Second, the best partners in defeating
ISIS are Sunni Arab
states and communities. ISIS’s resilience in the region has been sustained both
by the effective use of military tactics and organizational strategy, but also,
by a deepening ideological resonance amongst disenfranchised Sunnis in
communities worldwide from Afghanistan
to the banlieues of .
Without a sustained buy-in from leading Sunni states on both the governmental
level and on the civil-society level to counter Paris ISIS’s
ideology, the Islamic State will continue to be a feature in the region’s body
politic. As a senior Gulf official once noted, the responsibility of defeating ISIS isn’t an American or Iranian responsibility, but the
responsibility of the Muslim community worldwide to reject this violence.
Iran’s endgames in Iraq
and Syria are in complete
contrast to the ’ objectives. While United
and Tehran may share a few common interests in
weakening ISIS, Tehran is seeking to both push
the United States out of the
region and to curtail the influence of Saudi
Arabia and the . A political solution in Syria or Iraq, which
gives the United States and the GCC a further foothold in these states, would
be an outcome that Iran would vigorously oppose. Gulf
Washington policymakers should be wary, then, of embracing
as such a partner as it considers recalibrating U.S.
strategy in countering ISIS.
The Atlantic: Η αεροπορία του Άσαντ λειτούργησε ως η αεροπορία του ISIS και βοήθησε τον ISIS να πάρει το Χαλέπι. Ο
ISIS δεν προσπαθεί να ρίξει τον Ασαντ αλλά
να φτιάξει το χαλιφάτο. Το 2014 που ξεκίνησε ο ISIS ήταν ένα δώρο για τον Άσαντ γιατί οι Ισλαμιστές έφευγαν από
την Συρία και πήγαιναν στο Ιράκ. Ο Ομπάμα πρόσφατα είπε ότι δεν είναι ανάγκη να
φύγει αμέσως ο Άσαντ, αλλάζοντας στάση. Το άρθρο παρομοιάζει την συμμαχία
Άσαντ-ISIS με την συμμαχία
Ναζί-Κομμουνιστών, και λέει ότι αργά ή γρήγορα θα μαχαιρώσουν ο ένας τον άλλο.
“Bashar al-Assad and the Devil’s Endgame”, Σεπτέμβριος 2015
2η , 3η , 4η , 5η Παράγραφος
Assad’s plan, it seems, is to deliberately aid the rise of
I call the devil’s gambit. The logic is simple and
ruthless: radicalize the opposition so that the Syrian dictator looks like a
lesser evil to domestic and foreign audiences. Here, Assad benefits from the
inherently polarizing nature of civil war, as a cycle of atrocities and revenge
pushes all sides to the extreme. He has further spurred radicalization by
focusing the regime’s fire on moderate enemies, while reportedly releasing jihadists from jail and purchasing oil from ISIS.
In recent months, the Syrian military allegedly used air strikes to help ISIS
advance toward the city of .
Khaled Khoja, a Syrian opposition leader, claimed that Assad’s fighter jets
were acting as “an air force for Aleppo ISIS.”
In the widening gyre, the center cannot hold. Back in 2011, the relatively moderate Free Syrian Army seemed a plausible candidate to lead the resistance against Assad. Now the leading rebel factions include
Islamic Front, and the al-Nusra Front, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda. The
effort to train a moderate Syrian force has proved to be a pitiful and quixotic
quest. After 10 months and millions of dollars, the U.S. has created a rebel
army that is five strong. Not 5,000 strong, or 5 percent of the
opposition. But literally five guys—barely enough to run a burger joint. United States
The tyrant and the terrorists have a symbiotic relationship. While
rails against the secular regime, its focus is on building the caliphate, not
getting rid of Assad. Meanwhile, ISIS’s advance in in 2014 was a godsend for the
Syrian regime. The insurgents headed away from Iraq . And the group’s capture of the city
of Damascus and
much of Anbar province terrified the West. A reluctant Barack Obama could not
accept the fall of Mosul Baghdad, and authorized
extensive air strikes against ISIS.
The tyrant and the terrorists have a symbiotic relationship. While
rails against the secular regime, its focus is on building the caliphate, not
getting rid of Assad. Meanwhile, ISIS’s advance in in 2014 was a godsend for the
Syrian regime. The insurgents headed away from Iraq . And the group’s capture of the city
of Damascus and much
of Anbar province terrified the West. A reluctant Barack Obama could not accept
the fall of Mosul Baghdad, and authorized extensive
air strikes against ISIS.
For both Western countries and Assad’s Alawite constituency at home, the choice is stark: the devil you know, or a pack of rapacious demons. If Assad were to fall, the chief beneficiary would be the very Islamist forces that the
is bombing. To be
reminded of the dangers of toppling a dictator, United States U.S.
officials need only look to ,
where the overthrow of Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011 led to anarchy. Assad is the
TINA candidate: There is no alternative. Libya
The devil’s gambit, then, appears to have succeeded. The Obama administrationhas recently backed away from insisting that Assad must relinquish power, and signaled instead that the dictator could stay in power for a transitional period as part of a peace settlement.
But the key word here is “appears.” As with the pact between the Nazis and the Soviets in 1939, the partners in
dance of death will happily stab each other when the moment is opportune. Syria
The Atlantic: Ο Άσαντ βοηθάει τον
ISIS μέχρι το σημείο που δεν γίνεται αρκετά ισχυρός για να τον
χτυπήσει. Ο Άσαντ βοηθάει τον ISIS από την μία πλευρά, και από την άλλη προχωράει σε συμμαχία
με την κυβέρνηση της Βαγδάτης εναντίον του. Αν ο ISIS αποκτήσει παραπάνω δύναμη απ’όση πρέπει ο Άσαντ θα τον
“Bashar al-Assad and the Devil's Gambit”, Ιούλιος 2014
10η , 11η , 12η Παράγραφος
ISIS is priceless. The Sunni extremist boogeyman holds
the key to his political survival. As ISIS continues its assault in Iraq, employing tactics that include beheadings,
crucifixions, and systematic torture, Assad has cemented his alliance with Baghdad, as well as with Iran,
Hezbollah, and . Russia
Even Assad’s enemies are rethinking their strategy. European countries worry about the thousands of Europeans who have traveled to
to fight Assad—and their potential return as violent militants. Meanwhile, the Syria United States has dispatched hundreds of
advisors to join the battle against ISIS in . Members of the Obama
administration are backing away from the goal of toppling Assad. “Anyone calling
for regime change in Iraq Syria,” said one official, “is frankly blind to the
past decade; and the collapse of eastern Syria,
and growth of Jihadistan, leading to 30 to 50 suicide attacks a month in .” Iraq
The devil’s gambit is a chancy maneuver, since the resulting radicals could grow too powerful to control. For a dictator, the sweet spot is an extremist force that’s strong enough to inspire fear abroad, but not capable enough to topple the regime—which is roughly where
ISIS is right
now. If the militants become too potent, Assad will probably turn on them with
Telegraph: Το 2011 ο Άσαντ ελευθέρωσε από τις φυλακές του τους πιο επικίνδυνους τζιχαντιστές, οι οποίοι το 2013 πήραν της πετρελαιοπηγές της Συρίας και άρχισαν να του πουλάνε το πετρέλαιο τους. Ο Άσαντ δεν χτυπάει τους Ισλαμιστές, και οι μη Ισλαμιστές Σουνίτες θα μπορούσαν να τους χτυπήσουν αν δεν φοβόντουσαν τους βομβαρδισμούς του Άσαντ και της Ρωσίας.
“As long as there is an Assad, there will be an Isil - he'll make sure of it”, Δεκέμβριος 2015
2η , 3η Παράγραφος
So it is with Bashar al-Assad in
From the very beginning of his country’s insurrection, Assad has done his best
to help Islamist zealots hijack the Syrian opposition; he worked particularly
hard to create ideal laboratory conditions for the rise of the Islamic State of
Syria Iraq and the Levant (Isil). His supremely cynical aim was to convince
the West to accept him as an essential bulwark against the very threat he
helped to conjure into being. Put bluntly, Assad is an arsonist posing as a
This is an old trick. Every Arab dictator since
sought to confront his people and the world with a stark choice: either support
me or watch the jihadists take over. The ruse is obvious, time-honoured – and
6η , 7η , 8η , 9η , 10η Παράγραφος
So for as long as there is an Assad, there will be an Isil. He will make sure of it. Why? Because for as long as there is an Isil, some in the West will argue that we need Assad to defeat it.
The conclusion should be obvious: the man who needs Isil more than anyone else is not best qualified to cause their demise. Assad’s role in engineering Isil’s ascendancy is well-documented. Back in 2011 and 2012, he emptied Sednaya prison outside
of its most dangerous Islamist prisoners. He must have known that these outlaws
would use their liberty to infect the rebels with the jihadist virus – and they
duly did so. An excellent book, Damascus Isis:
Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, names three
Isil commanders who were carefully released from Assad’s jails.
Helped by the talent that the dictator had set free, Isil captured the oilfields of eastern
in 2013. But there is no point possessing oil unless you can sell the stuff.
Fortunately for Isil, Assad bought their oil and funded their advance. Syria
regime remains the largest single buyer of Isil’s oil and one of the biggest
donors to the terrorists’ coffers. These facts are not seriously disputed,
indeed the businessman accused of negotiating the oil deals between Isil and
Assad – one George Haswani, the owner of HESCO engineering –
has been named and subjected to EU sanctions. Syria
Meanwhile, observers of the war have noticed a pattern. Assad strains every sinew to fight the non-Islamist rebels, but Isil has generally been immune from his barrel bombs and poison gas. Last year, only six per cent of Assad’s military operations targeted Isil, according to a study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy. The other rebels felt the fury of 94 per cent of Assad’s military effort.
There is a bitter irony here. Without the threat posed by Assad’s forces and Russian air power, many Sunni rebels in
would indeed take up arms against Isil. The way to turn them against Isil would
be to stop the depredations of Assad. So the idea that the dictator is
indispensable to the fight against Isil is the exact reverse of the truth. In
fact, getting rid of Assad would be the key that unlocks a Sunni army to defeat
the terrorists. Syria
Ο Άσαντ άδειασε τις φυλακές του από τους Ισλαμιστές και όταν πήραν τις πετρελαιοπηγές το 2013 άρχισε να αγοράζει το πετρέλαιο τους, και άρχισε και αυτός και ο ISIS να βομβαρδίζει τους αντάρτες του Free Syrian Army.
“How Assad helped the rise of his 'foe' Isil”, Αύγουστος 2014
2η, 3η, 4η, 5η , 6η , 7η Παράγραφος
Logic would suggest that Mr Assad and Isil are out to destroy one another. But logic works in curious ways in the
Middle East. As he wages a
ruthless struggle to hold power, the evidence suggests that Mr Assad has
quietly cooperated with his supposed enemies and actively helped their rise.
The thinking behind this apparently perverse strategy is simple. Mr Assad wants to force his own people and the West to make an unpalatable choice: either he stays in place, or
falls into the hands of Isil's fanatics. When push comes to shove, Mr Assad
thinks that most Syrians and the Western powers will back him over the
But this plan will only work if Isil is the most powerful rebel force. The signs are that Mr Assad has done his best to make this come true.
As recently as 2012, Isil was a marginalised movement confined to a small area of
. Then Mr Assad emptied Sednaya
jail near Iraq
of some of its most dangerous jihadist prisoners. If he hoped that these men
would join Isil and strengthen its leadership, then that aspiration was
certainly fulfilled. A number of figures in the movement's hierarchy are
believed to be former inmates of Syrian prisons, carefully released by the
By 2013, Isil had managed to capture oilfields in eastern
. But to profit from these
assets, they needed to find a customer for the oil. Mr Assad's regime stepped
in and began buying oil from Isil, thereby helping to fund the movement,
according to Western and Middle Eastern governments. Syria
Having provided Isil with talented commanders, courtesy of his prison amnesties, and filled its coffers with oil money, Mr Assad then chose to focus his military campaign on the non-Islamist rebels. Every town and suburb held by the Free Syrian Army was relentlessly pounded from the air and ground. A year ago, the regime even used poison gas against insurgent strongholds in
The signs are that Isil has returned the favour. Instead of trying to bring down Mr Assad, Isil has concentrated on fighting the non-Islamist rebels. When the movement reached what may prove to be the apex of its military strength earlier this year, Isil did not advance on
and try to overthrow the regime. Instead, it chose to invade northern Damascus
and trigger the current crisis. Iraq
Time: Ο Άσαντ φοβάται τον Free Syrian Army και την Al Nusra. Ο ISIS ποτέ δεν απείλησε πραγματικά τον Άσαντ. Αν ο Άσαντ ήθελε να εξολοθρεύσει τον ISIS θα τον βομβάρδιζε. Ο Άσαντ όμως βομβαρδίζει τον Free Syrian Army. Όσο ο ISIS γίνεται ισχυρότερος τόσο οι ΗΠΑ ανησυχούν για τον ISIS και όχι για τον Άσαντ. Αν κάποια στιγμή ο ISIS εξολοθρεύσει την αντιπολίτευση, ο Άσαντ θα τον καθαρίσει αν τον αναγνωρίσει πρώτα η διεθνής κοινότητα.
“Why Bashar Assad Won’t Fight
ISIS”, Φεβρουάριος 2015
The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has long had a pragmatic approach to the Islamic State of
Iraq and Greater Syria ( ISIS),
says a Syrian businessman with close ties to the government. Even from the
early days the regime purchased fuel from ISIS-controlled oil facilities, and
it has maintained that relationship throughout the conflict. “Honestly
speaking, the regime has always had dealings with ISIS,
out of necessity.”
7η, 8η , 9η , 10η Παράγραφος
Assad does not see ISIS as his primary problem, the businessman says. “The regime fears the Free Syrian Army and the Nusra Front, not ISIS. They [the FSA and Nusra] state their goal is to remove the President. But
doesn’t say that. They have never directly threatened .” As the businessman notes, the
strikes on Damascus ISIS targets are minimal. “If the
regime were serious about getting rid of ISIS,
they would have bombed Raqqa by now. Instead they bomb other cities, where the
FSA is strong.” That said, the businessman does not believe that the regime has
a formal relationship with ISIS, just a pragmatic one. “The more powerful ISIS grows, the more they are useful for the regime. They
make America nervous, and
the Americans in turn see the regime as a kind of bulwark against ISIS.”
A senior Western diplomat who specializes in the Syrian civil war agrees that
is seen as an asset by Assad. “They will do whatever it takes to devalue the
opposition, even if it means strengthening ISIS.
They know that if it comes to choosing between the black flag [of ISIS] and Damascus, the international community will choose .” And the
strategy has worked extremely well. “The way it’s going now, it’s a matter of
months, not even a year, that the moderate opposition is so weakened that it
won’t be a factor anymore. So in just a few months from now the regime will be
able to achieve its strategic goal of forcing the world to choose between Damascus and the black
So by ignoring the conflict between the Syrian opposition and the Assad regime to focus purely on
ISIS may solve problems in the short term, says the
diplomat, “but there will be more problems to come. These are the ingredients
for a further escalation of the conflict — alienating large parts of the Sunni
population, so that they have no choice but to join ISIS.
Not for ideological reasons, but because they will do whatever it takes to
overthrow the regime in .”
Not only that, it will widen the geographical boundaries of the conflict by
making this a fight of all Sunnis. “It’s a clear recipe for further escalation
well beyond the geographical boundaries of the current conflict.” Damascus
Damascus believes that once it has neutralized most of the
opposition, it can then defeat ISIS with ease.
“ ISIS alone, the regime can deal with them.
What Assad wants is international recognition of his legitimacy as ’s
President,” says the businessman. “When the war is over, he can easily handle Syria ISIS with the help of Hizballah and the Iranian
“Turkey-ISIS Oil Trade”, Δεκέμβριος 2015
1η, 2η, 3η Παράγραφος
The sale of oil products by
ISIS garners about $500
million/year. The US led multinational coalition has pledged to destroy ISIS. Its strategy includes depriving ISIS
of financial support. Allegations abound that Turks are engaged in oil trade
with ISIS. Additionally, President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and his family are allegedly implicated. Erdogan takes these
charges seriously. He promised “to vacate his post of ’s presidency if the claims
are substantiated by concrete evidence.” Turkey
The Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights appointed a team of researchers in the
States, Europe, and to investigate the
allegations. Researchers focus on secondary media sources. This research paper
cites relevant reports. Turkey
Smugglers transport oil using a variety of means, generating significant revenues for
ISIS. Smuggled oil finds its way into ’s export facilities and onto
tankers in Ceyhan bound for international markets. There is no “smoking gun”
linking the Government of Turkey Turkey
or Erdogan directly to ISIS oil sales. It is
apparent, however, that Turkey
turned a blind eye to ISIS oil trade. Turkey
failed to seal its border, facilitating ISIS
oil exports. Turks have profited at stages of the supply chain.
Το μεγαλύτερος μέρος του πετρελαίου του ο ISIS το εξάγει στην Συρία και την Τουρκία
“Islamic State oil is going to Assad, some to
official says”, Δεκέμβριος 2015 U.S.
Islamic State militants have made more than $500 million trading oil with significant volumes sold to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and some finding its way to
Turkey, a senior
Treasury official said on Thursday. U.S.
5η, 6η , 7η Παράγραφος
"ISIL is selling a great deal of oil to the Assad regime," Szubin, acting under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence with the Treasury, told an audience at
Chatham House in . London
"The two are trying to slaughter each other and they are still engaged in millions and millions of dollars of trade," Szubin said of Assad's government and Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The "far greater amount" of Islamic State oil ends up under Assad's control while some is consumed internally in Islamic State-controlled areas. Some ends up in Kurdish regions and some in
he said. Turkey
11η, 12η Παράγραφος
Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet last month,
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had intelligence that large amounts of
oil and petroleum products were moving across the border from Islamic State
territories to . Turkey
The son of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has denied Russian allegations that he and his family were profiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory.
Ένας Ρώσος επιχειρηματίας με επαφές στον κύκλο του Πούτιν αγοράζει πετρέλαιο από τον ISIS
“An Energy Mogul Becomes Entangled With Islamic State”, Μάιος 2016
1η, 2η Παράγραφος
Haswani sees himself as a patriot. In the West, he is a wanted man. Syria
Mr. Haswani acts as a middleman between Islamic State and the Syrian government, the terror group’s largest customer, Western security officials allege. Islamic State controls much of Syria’s energy infrastructure and sells stolen oil and natural gas at a discount—even to the regime it is ostensibly battling.
7η, 8η Παράγραφος
Buttressing Mr. Hawsani are his strong ties to
He teamed up years ago with one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates to build the
sprawling gas-production facility in Russia ’s Tuweinan region that caught
the attention of the Obama administration. Syria
Administration officials said
Moscow’s military and economic
alliance with Damascus makes it clear
knows of the dealings between the Assad regime and Islamic State. Russia
Mr. Haswani built the Tuweinan gas facility in partnership with a company owned by Gennady Timchenko, a Russian businessman and confidante of Mr. Putin’s. Mr. Timchenko’s firm, OAO Stroytransgaz, has provided Russian engineers for the project over the past decade, the company said.
has long accused Mr. Timchenko of serving as a front for the business interests
of Mr. Putin, particularly in energy. Mr. Timchenko declined to comment.
He has said in the past that he was a self-made businessman, independent of the
Russian leader. U.S.
“Timchenko’s activities in the energy sector have been directly linked to Putin,” the Treasury Department said at the time.
Foreign Policy: Οι Αμερικανοί έχουν συνειδητοποιήσει ότι δεν θα κερδίσουν τον ISIS στο Ιράκ αν δεν κερδίσουν τον
ISIS στην Συρία. Η
θυγατρική της Al-Qaeda στην Συρία, η al-Nusra, διέλυσε τους
Σύρους αντάρτες που υποστηρίζουν οι Αμερικανοί.
“Kerry: Assad and ISIS Have ‘Symbiotic’ Relationship”, Νοέμβριος 2014
The Obama administration’s strategy against the Islamic State initially focused on stopping the militants’ advances in
but recently the U.S. and
its partners have realized that without degrading ISIL’s stronghold inside Syria, the group can’t be defeated inside .
The anti-ISIL coalition is also seeing that moderate rebel groups fighting the
Islamic State and who could potentially be an alternative to Assad are facing
mounting attacks by both the Syrian regime and ISIL militants. Iraq
Syrian rebels being trained and equipped by the CIA were routed by al Qaeda-affiliated groups including Jabhat al-Nusra, the
Postreported. The Free Syrian
Army was losing its stronghold in the northern Syrian Washington province
of Idlib and that may complicate
efforts to ramp up a program to recruit and train thousands of rebels, the Post
stated. As a result, the Obama administration is assessing whether it
should step up covert aid to rebels while an overt Pentagon plan to train
opposition groups gets underway, the Post reported. U.S.
Al-Arabiya: Η Τουρκία πρότεινε στην Ρωσία να χρησιμοποιήσει το Ιντσιρλίκ για να χτυπήσει τον
Turkey proposes cooperation with Russia in fighting ISIS”,
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Turkey has proposed cooperating with Moscow to combat ISIS in Syria, suggesting it could open its Incirlik Air Base to Russia - comments that highlight a revival in ties strained by Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane last year.
Moscow pledged to rebuild relations after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan last week expressed regret over the shooting down of the aircraft, with the loss of the pilot, near the Syrian frontier.
had broken off virtually all economic ties and banned tourists from visiting
Turkish resorts. Moscow
“We will cooperate with everyone who fights Daesh. We have been doing this for quite a while, and we opened Incirlik Air Base for those who want to join the active fight against Daesh,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on state broadcaster TRT Haber on Sunday, using an Arabic acronym for
Time: Πάρα πολλοί Μουσουλμάνοι της Ρωσίας μπήκαν στην Συρία από τις χώρες της Κεντρικής Ασίας για να πολεμήσουν στο πλευρό του ISIS, και κάποιοι από αυτούς τους Ρώσους Μουσουλμάνους έγιναν και ανώτατα στελέχη του
“How the Russian Fighters of ISIS Became a Terror Threat in
”, Ιούνιος 2016 Turkey
At the time, thousands of other young men from across the former Soviet Union were flooding into Syria, mostly from the predominantly Muslim regions of southern Russia and the formerly communist states of Central Asia, such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In the last few years, volunteers from this part of the world have distinguished themselves as some of the fiercest fighters—and some of the top commanders—in the terrorist army known as ISIS. And according to Turkish authorities, these Russian-speaking militants may now have started going on missions outside of their self-proclaimed caliphate in
Syria and . Iraq
Ο Άσαντ καθάριζε τους μετριοπαθείς εξεγερμένους για να μην έχουν οι νατοικοί αξιόπιστο συνομιλητή
ISIS is the symptom. Assad is the disease”, Νοέμβριος 2015
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The Syrian regime has avoided large-scale fights with the Islamic State. Assad wants the Islamic State to remain an imminent threat so the international community will see two options: Keep Assad or let terrorists take over
. Assad created the chaos that
allowed the Islamic State to rise. His regime now has a strategy that bolsters
the Islamic State's hold on northern Syria : The U.S.-backed Syrian
rebels who are supposed to be fighting the Islamic State are being slaughtered
by the Syrian Army and by Assad's Iranian and Russian allies. Assad's brutal
campaign against Sunni communities drives thousands of young Syrians to join
the jihadis. Syria
And now that the Islamic State has pulled off a series of devastating attacks in
, Western governments
are promising a “ruthless,” “merciless,” “pitiless” war against the group. But
none are mentioning Assad. Paris
Assad himself tried to spin the
attacks into a justification for the international community to support his
government. France has long been a supporter of the Syrian opposition, a policy
Assad says has encouraged terrorism. Paris
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Former White House official Dennis Ross tweeted a response: “Bashar Assad is not the answer to defeating
ISIS; he helped produce them, buys
their oil, is the cause that draws foreign fighters to them.”
At Saturday night's Democratic debate, each candidate promised to fight the Islamic State but none mentioned Assad. Even Republican candidates who have been staunch advocates of arming the rebels fighting Assad, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, focused their reactions to the
attacks on the Islamic State instead. Paris
Some experts warn that even if you completely destroy the Islamic State in
Syria and , if Assad is allowed to
continue his campaign of terror, another ruthless organization will just appear
and take its place. That's why Kerry's drive to replace Assad, despite a low
chance of success, is crucial. Iraq
Needs the Islamic State to Save Assad”, Ιούνιος 2016 Russia
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Moscow’s claims that its mission was fighting IS or
real goals can be summarized as three: Russia
Rescue the Assad regime, which was assessed to be in mortal peril
Damage the mainstream armed opposition, especially those elements supported by the West, in order that
can … Russia
Rehabilitate the Assad regime internationally by inter alia leaving only extremists as its opponents, depriving the international community of credible interlocutors, and therefore strengthening the Russian hand to make peace talks an instrument for re-legitimizing Assad, rather than removing him
Από το 2011 μέχρι το 2013 το Κατάρ ήταν ο μεγαλύτερος χρηματοδότης της αντιπολίτευσης στην Συρία, αλλά τώρα η Σαουδική Αραβία αρχίζει να το ξεπερνάει.
bankrolls Syrian revolt with cash and arms”, Μάιος 2013 Qatar
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The gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3bn over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria, far exceeding any other government, but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels.
The cost of Qatar’s intervention, its latest push to back an Arab revolt, amounts to a fraction of its international investment portfolio. But its financial support for the revolution that has turned into a vicious civil war dramatically overshadows western backing for the opposition.
In dozens of interviews with the Financial Times conducted in recent weeks, rebel leaders both abroad and within
Syria as well as
regional and western officials detailed ’s role in the Syrian
conflict, a source of mounting controversy. Qatar
The small state with a gargantuan appetite is the biggest donor to the political opposition, providing generous refugee packages to defectors (one estimate puts it at $50,000 a year for a defector and his family) and has provided vast amounts of humanitarian support.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks arms transfers, Qatar has sent the most weapons deliveries to Syria, with more than 70 military cargo flights into neighbouring Turkey between April 2012 and March this year.
Qatar’s support for Islamist groups in the Arab world, which puts it at odds with its peers in the Gulf states, has fuelled rivalry with
. Hamad bin Khalifa
al-Thani, Saudi Arabia Qatar’s ruling
emir, “wants to be the Arab world’s Islamist (Gamal) Abdelnasser”, said an Arab
politician, referring to Egypt’s fiery late president and devoted pan-Arab leader.
A supply route across
Jordan’s border to
has opened up in recent months. The Jordanian government, which is terrified of
jihadis getting the upper hand in its neighbour, has been reluctantly allowing
Saudi deliveries. Syria
The west’s reluctance to intervene more forcefully in
has all but left Bashar al-Assad’s opponents reliant for support on Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and Turkey
though since late last year, the United Arab
Emirates and have joined the rebels’
backers as junior partners. Jordan
Το 2011 ο ISIS βρήκε την ευκαιρία με την εξέγερση στην Συρία να έρθει σε συνεννόηση με τον Μπασάρ αλ Άσαντ, και να χτυπήσουν μαζί τους εξεγερμένους. Η Al-Qaeda της Συρίας (Νούσρα) και η Al-Qaeda του Ιράκ ήρθαν σε σύγκρουση, και η Al-Qaeda του Πακιστάν είπε να είναι αυτόνομη η Nusra, με αποτέλεσμα να συγκρουστούν ο ISIS και η Al-Qaeda. Το αποτέλεσμα ήταν η Nusra και ο ISIS να συγκρουστούν στην Συρία αρκετές φορές. Οι Άραβες δεν βοήθησαν τους Αμερικανούς εναντίον του ISIS. Ο al-Sadr πολεμάει τον ISIS και πολεμούσε και τους Αμερικανούς μετά το 2003.
“The Islamic State”, Μάρτιος 2016
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After rapid expansion through Iraq in much of 2014, the Islamic State seemed to run up against its limits as it pushed up against majority Kurdish and Shia Arab regions, where it faced greater resistance from Iraqi forces and local populations, along with U.S.-led air strikes. Its militants have failed to advance on
Baghdad or the Kurdish capital, Erbil.
The group became an al-Qaeda franchise by 2004, but has since broken with bin Laden’s organization and become its rival. The split reflects strategic and ideological differences. Al-Qaeda focused on attacking the United States and its Western allies, whom it held responsible for bolstering Arab regimes it considered apostate, like those in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, rather than capturing territory and establishing a state. Bin Laden also envisaged the establishment of a caliphate—but for him, it was a goal for future generations.
In 2005, bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri castigated AQI’s Zarqawi for indiscriminately attacking civilians, particularly Shias. Zawahiri believed that such violence would alienate Sunnis from their project. That was indeed the case, as many Sunnis allied with the government during the Awakening movement.
A more thorough rupture came after the start of
uprising. Zawahiri, who succeeded bin Laden as al-Qaeda’s chief, privately
ruled that the emergent Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, remain
independent, and Baghdadi’s organization restricted to Syria , a move Baghdadi publicly rebuffed. Since
then, the two groups have at times fought one another on the Syrian battlefield Iraq
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U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has assembled a coalition of some sixty countries to “degrade and ultimately defeat” the Islamic State, but has privately expressed frustration that many of these countries, particularly Sunni Arab states distracted by a Saudi-led conflict against Houthi rebels in Yemen, have contributed littlemore than rhetorical support. As of late February 2016, the coalition has carried out more than ten thousand air strikes, three-quarters of them by
U.S. forces, in Iraq
the Pentagon said.. Syria
Iraq, the United
States has deployed more than three thousand uniformed
personnel and armed the Kurdistan Regional
Government's paramilitary, the peshmerga. Meanwhile, Shia militias known as
Popular Mobilization Forces have done much of the fighting on the ground,
making up for the hollowed-out Iraqi army. Those backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps played a critical role in ’s March 2015 push to oust
Islamic State forces from Tikrit. Another militia involved in the fight against
the Islamic State is loyal to the nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi
Army battled U.S.-led forces early in the occupation. Iraq
The Obama administration insisted that Maliki step down and be replaced by a less polarizing politician as a condition of military assistance. His successor, Haider al-Abadi, assumed office in September 2014, pledging to practice more inclusive politics and bring Shia militias aligned with Iraqi security forces under the state’s control. But rights groups allege that these militias have evicted, disappeared, and killed residents of Sunni and mixed neighborhoods in the wake of operations to root out Islamic State militants. Acknowledging these abuses, Sadr temporarily froze his militia.
Reuters: Η Ρωσία δεν χτυπάει τον
ISIS αλλά άλλους συμμάχους των ΗΠΑ, ή την al Nusra.
strikes don't target Islamic State: Reuters analysis”, Οκτώβριος 2015 Syria
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Almost 80 percent of
Russia's declared targets in
Syria have been in areas not
held by Islamic State, a Reuters analysis of Russian Defence Ministry data
shows, undermining 's
assertions that its aim is to defeat the group. Moscow
The majority of strikes, according to the analysis, have instead been in areas held by other groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which include al Qaeda offshoots but also fighters backed by Washington and its allies.
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"If you look at the map, you can easily understand that they are not fighting Islamic State but other opposition groups," said Alexander Golts, a Moscow-based defense columnist and deputy editor of online newspaper Yezhednevny Zhurnal.
The data supports assertions from Washington and its NATO allies that Russia's intervention in Syria, its biggest military deployment abroad since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is designed to prop up Assad, who flew to Moscow on Tuesday to thank Putin for his support.
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Russian officials have rejected the accusations and repeatedly stressed that they are targeting Islamic State, alongside other groups they classify as Islamist terrorists. They say
and the West are fighting a common enemy. Moscow
However, the pattern of the strikes in
suggests a different picture. Syria
"The main goal of these air strikes is supporting ground offensives by the Syrian army," Golts said.
“More than 90%' of Russian airstrikes in
have not targeted Isis, US says”
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A large majority of
Russia’s military strikes in Syria have not been aimed at theIslamic
State group or jihadists tied to al-Qaida, and have instead
targeted the moderate Syrian opposition, the State Department said on
“Greater than 90% of the strikes that we’ve seen them take to date have not been against Isil or al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists,” said spokesman John Kirby.
Bloomberg: Η Ρωσία δεν χτυπάει τον
ISIS γιατί θέλει να
βλέπει η διεθνής κοινότητα τον Άσαντ ως μετριοπαθή. Οι αντάρτες που χτυπάει η
Ρωσία είναι αυτοί που πολεμούν τον ISIS.
“Putin's Target Is Not Islamic State”, Σεπτέμβριος 2015
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Anybody who hoped Russian President Vladimir Putin would have the key to defeating Islamic State or bringing peace to
just got their answer: The first airstrikes in ’s air campaign in that
benighted country didn’t target the terrorist group at all. Russia
Instead, Putin followed President Bashar al-Assad’s playbook. The Syrian leader's forces have rarely taken on Islamic State unless forced to do so. Indeed, Assad has seen the fanatical Islamist force as a useful ally in persuading the international community that
war consists of a choice between him and barbarians, with nothing in between.
As Putin put it in his speech to the United Nations General
Assembly this week, Assad is “valiantly fighting terrorism face-to-face.” Syria
No, he is not. To create the binary choice Assad seeks, and to eliminate any opposition that the U.S. and Europe might consider acceptable, Syria’s president has directed his fire power against rebel groups other than Islamic State, making him an ally of opportunity for the terrorist organization. By contrast, the groups that Assad attacks, and which
struck on Wednesday, do routinely fight Islamic State. Russia
“Putin not likely to target Islamic State soon, says Obama”, Δεκέμβριος 2015
US president Barack Obama told a press conference in Paris that he does not expect his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to begin targeting Islamic State (ISIS) soon, but hopes the Vienna negotiations led by secretary of stateJohn Kerry and the Russian foreign minister Serguei Lavrov will transform the war in Syria.
Wall Street Journal: Για πρώτη φορά η Ρωσία άρχισε να χτυπάει τον
“Russia Launches Airstrikes Against Islamic State’s Syrian Stronghold”, Νοέμβριος 2015
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U.S. defense officials said Tuesday that Russia had begun an aggressive air campaign against sites in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s stronghold in Syria, following
Moscow’s acknowledgment of evidence confirming a bomb downed a Russian airliner
last month. Egypt
The Russians used sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers to target Islamic State in Raqqa, according to a senior defense official.
The airstrikes represent the first significant effort by
to target Islamic State after announcing over the summer that it would fight
the extremist group when it entered the fray in . Syria
Yahoo: Όταν ο Άσαντ επανακατέλαβε την Παλμύρα είχε ενημερώσει τον
ISIS να πάρει τον βαρύ
οπλισμό του και να φύγει
“Assad reportedly struck an ominous deal with ISIS to recapture
”, Μάιος 2016 Palmyra
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Forces loyal to
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad flash victory
signs and carry a Syrian national flag on the edge of the historic city of Palmyra in . Homs
New documents obtained by Sky News revealed that the Syrian government's recapture of the ancient city of
from Islamic State militants was apparently part of a pre-arranged
deal that allowed ISIS to remove its
heavy weaponry from the city before withdrawing.
New documents obtained by Sky News revealed that the Syrian government's recapture of the ancient city of
Sky News reported that the documents came from a Free Syrian Army group comprised of ISIS defectors originally from Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital in
"Withdraw all heavy artillery and anti-aircraft machine guns from in and around
Palmyra to Raqqa province," read one document that
was dated just before the Syrian Arab Army recaptured at the end of March. Palmyra
Stuart Ramsay, Sky News' chief correspondent, said he asked one of the defectors if ISIS was coordinating its movements directly with forces loyal to Assad — and even with Russia, which backed the assault on Palmyra with heavy airstrikes.
"Of course," the
ISIS defector told Ramsay.
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The Wall Street Journal reported last month on files uncovered during a raid on the home of Abu Sayyaf, the Islamic State "oil minister" who was killed by US Special Forces at his compound in
Deir Ezzour province last May. The files revealed deals the Assad
regime supposedly made with Sayyaf that, at one point, contributed up to
72% of Syria ISIS' profits from natural
Abu Sayyaf's division had successfully negotiated agreements with the Assad regime to allow Islamic State trucks and pipelines to move from regime-controlled fields through territory controlled by the group, which is also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. The division helped the jihadists bring in roughly $40 million a month in oil sales alone, according to documents seen by The Journal.
The natural-gas fields surrounding
were a particularly important source of revenue for the jihadists. They
turned the gas into fuel which they then sold to Assad,according to Matthew Reed,
the vice president of Foreign Reports Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based
consulting firm focused on oil and politics in the Palmyra Middle
U.S. finds focusing fight on Syrian
rebels, not Islamic State Russia
Top of Form”, Φεβρουάριος 2016
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Russian forces are not attacking the Islamic State in Syria unless its terrorist army is battling troops of PresidentBashar Assad, the
military said Wednesday. U.S.
The assessment from Operation Inherent Resolve directly contradicts claims by the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has repeatedly claimed its warplanes are unleashing strikes on the Islamic State, including its headquarters in Raqqa in central Syria, along with strikes on anti-Assad rebel groups backed by the West.
Army Col. Seven Warren, the top
military spokesman in ,
said 90 percent of Russian airstrikes are directed at rebel groups opposed
to Mr. Assad, a longtime Russian ally. The Assad
regime has been charged with indiscriminately killing civilians with chemical
weapons and, more recently, with unguided “barrel bombs.” Baghdad
Under criticism for its selective targeting practices, the Russians a month ago released a video of what it said was an airstrike on an Islamic State oil truck. But Col. Warren said there have been few if any such sorties since then.
“Ten percent, I think at the most, would be against ISIL targets,” he said.
Ο επικεφαλής των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στο Τουρκικό κοινοβούλιο (μέλος του AKP) δήλωσε ότι οι ΗΠΑ κάνουν γενοκτονία στο Ιράκ και τους παρομοίασε με τον Χίτλερ
to Hitler”, Νοέμβριος 2004 U.S.
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The head of
Turkey's parliamentary human rights group has
accused Washington of genocide in Iraq and behaving worse than Adolf Hitler, in
remarks that underscore the depth of Turkish opposition to policy in the region. U.S.
Embassy rejected the comments and said they were potentially damaging to
Turkish-U.S. relations. U.S.
"The occupation has turned into barbarism," the Friday edition of newspaper Yeni Safak quoted Mehmet Elkatmis, head of parliament's human rights commission, as saying. "The
administration is committing genocide ... in . Iraq
"Never in human history have such genocide and cruelty been witnessed. Such a genocide was never seen in the time of the pharaohs nor of Hitler nor of [Benito] Mussolini,"
World War II-era fascist leader, Elkatmis said. Italy
"This occupation has entirely imperialist aims," he was quoted as saying.
Elkatmis does not speak for Turkey's government but is a prominent member of the ruling Justice and Development Party, a center-right group with Islamist roots.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul played down Elkatmis' comments but defended Turks' right to speak freely.
Washington Institute: Ο πόλεμος στο Ιράκ το 2003 μετά την εκλογή του AKP στην Τουρκία τον Νοέμβριο του 2002 ήταν η μεγαλύτερη κρίση ΗΠΑ-Τουρκίας, με την Τουρκία να ευθυγραμμίζεται με την Ευρώπη. Το PKK είχε κάνει ανακωχή το 1999 όταν οι Τούρκοι έπιασαν τον Οτσαλάν, αλλά τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2003 είπε ότι διακόπτει την ανακωχή. Οι σημαντικές βάσεις του PKK είναι στο Βόρειο Ιράκ στα σύνορα με την Τουρκία. Οι Αμερικανοί έπιασαν στις 4 Ιουλίου 2003 μαζί με τους Κούρδους Τούρκους στρατιώτες αιχμαλώτους στο Βόρειο Ιράκ, και τους φόρεσαν κουκούλες, κάτι που γίνεται όταν οι αιχμάλωτοι είναι μέλη της Al-Qaeda.
Turkey after the Iraq
Ally?”, 2003 U.S.
A year ago, it would have been difficult to question
status as a staunch
ally. Much has changed. The U.S.
war was the biggest test for the U.S.-Turkey relationship since the end of the
Cold War. It followed the election of a new Turkish government in November
2002, led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), a party rooted in Iraq 's
Islamist Welfare Party. When the AKP came to power there were many questions
about whether the victory marked a fundamental shift in Turkish politics. Today
political structure is changing. Significant new reforms have been implemented.
Turkish citizens have gained a significant increase in rights and liberties,
and the military's role in Turkish society has been reconfigured. Turkey
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When I look at the factors underlying
unwillingness to open up a northern front in March 2003, I come to a
pessimistic conclusion, because some of those factors still loom large. There
has first of all been a move to align Turkish foreign policy with that of the
European Union (EU), including Turkey Turkey's
policy. That would mean there must be UN authorization before Iraq can send any peacekeepers. Turkey
Ankara's perspective, another of Turkey's concerns -- that Iraq remain united -- was not adequately
addressed before the war, and that partly undermined 's ability to commit itself
fully in prewar planning. The Kurdish issue remains a factor but with a new
twist: the Turkey Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). We
have not heard much about the PKK for the last three years. It declared a
ceasefire in 1999 after its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured. With the
entered a period of peace and quiet, and the PKK fell off the radar screen. Now
it is back, with the September 2003 renunciation of its ceasefire. There has
been a limited amount of PKK-led violence and terrorism since, though not on
the previous scale. Still, now that the organization has renounced its
ceasefire, it is a concern in the Turkish mind. Turkey
The PKK figures in the debate over
because the organization's main base is in the northern part of that country,
along the Turkish border. Iraq Northern Iraq has
had weak central authority since the end of the 1991 Gulf War. The PKK uses its
bases there to launch attacks into . When the organization was
under ceasefire, its 4,000 to 5,000 militants in northern Turkey did not attract much
attention. But now that the ceasefire has been renounced, many in Iraq Ankara believe that the PKK is 's most pressing security
These sentiments reached a peak when
forces, with the help of Kurdish peshmerga fighters, captured Turkey's special forces in Sulaymaniya on July
4, 2003, and covered their heads with hoods -- the kind of treatment usually
reserved for members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in . It was ironic that
NATO Supreme Commander Gen. James Jones, who was sent to resolve this unfortunate
predicament, used the occasion to make a sounding as to whether Afghanistan Turkey could contribute forces in . Iraq
Washington Post: Ο Ντόναλντ Τραμ αναρωτιέται γιατί δεν αφήνουν οι ΗΠΑ την Ρωσία να χτυπήσει τον ISIS, αλλά ξεχνάει ότι η Ρωσία δεν χτυπάει τον ISIS, αλλά τους μετριοπαθείς Σουνίτες, ώστε να υπάρχει μόνο η Al Qaeda και ο ISIS ως εναλλακτική στον Assad.
“Why we shouldn’t let
fight the Islamic State”, Οκτώβριος 2015 Russia
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Donald Trump says: “Let [
get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?” It
is a fair question. What harm could come from letting Russian President Vladimir
Putin take on this fight for us in ? Syria
The answer is: plenty.
is not fighting the Islamic State. According to the Institute for the Study of
War, the Russian strikes have been mainly in areas controlled
by other Sunni groups that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sees as a threat,
including rebel groups trained by and aligned with the Russia . That is because United States ’s
strategic goal is not to destroy the Islamic State, but to prop up the
Iran-backed Assad regime — and to force the West to back him as well. By
destroying the moderate opposition, the world will be left with a choice
between Assad and the Islamic State. President Obama does not seem to
understand this. Last week, he naivelydeclared that Russia should not be targeting the
U.S.-backed rebels because we need a moderate opposition to have a transition
from Assad’s rule. That is precisely why Putin is targeting them. Russia
intervention will actually strengthen the Islamic State. By eliminating
moderate opposition, Russia
is driving all Sunni groups into the arms of the Islamic State and the
al-Qaeda-backed Jabhat al-Nusra — making them the only game in town for the
majority of the population opposed to Assad, even if they do not share the
terrorists’ radical ideology. This will radicalize the conflict and make Russia
into an even greater magnet for jihadists. That helps Assad, who needs the
Islamic State threat to justify his regime’s continued existence as a bulwark
against them. Syria
Al-Monitor: Η Τουρκία αναγνώρισε την al Nusra ως τρομοκρατική οργάνωση, και ήρθε στην γραμμή των ΗΠΑ. Η Τουρκία είχε ενοχληθεί όταν οι ΗΠΑ αναγνώρισαν την al Nusra ως τρομοκρατική οργάνωση το 2012, γιατί την θεωρούσαν την πιο αποτελεσματική ομάδα εναντίον του Άσαντ, και υπήρχαν και φήμες ότι η Τουρκία χρησιμοποιούσε την Al Nusra εναντίον των Κούρδων στην Συρία. Όταν όμως και τα Ηνωμένα Έθνη έβαλαν την al Nusral στην μαύρη λίστα η Τουρκία αναγκάστηκε να συμμορφωθεί. Ο Νταβούτογλου είχε πει από τον Αύγουστο του 2013 ότι η al Nusra είναι ακραία οργάνωση, αλλά χρειάτηκε να περάσουν 9 μήνες για να την αναγνωρίσει η Τουρκία ως τρομοκρατική οργάνωση. Γιατί η Τουρκία αποφάσισε τώρα να αναγνωρίσει την Nusra τρομοκρατική οργάνωση? Επειδή έχει πάρει απόφαση ότι δεν θα γίνει νατοική επέμβαση στην Συρία, καθώς και ότι το ΝΑΤΟ δίνει έμφαση σητν καταπολέμηση της τρομοκρατίας στην Συρία, και όχι στην απομάκρυνση του Άσαντ. Έτσι, ενώ η Τουρκία έβλεπε αρχικά αυτές τις οργανώσεις ως χρήσιμες, άρχισε να καταλαβαίνει ότι λειτουργούσαν εναντίον της. Επίσης, η Σουνιτική συμμαχία της Συρίας, ανάμεσα στην Τουρκία, την Σαουδικική Αραβία, το Κατάρ και την Αίγυπτο κατέρρευσε, και οι χώρες αυτές δεν μπορούν να συνεργαστούν μεταξύ τους.
“Why is Jabhat al-Nusra no longer useful to
?”, Ιούνιος 2014 Turkey
Reluctantly perhaps, given the time it took it to do so,
on June 3 finally designated
al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization. The decision was
seen as further proof of Turkey’s failed Syria policy, which
has left the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan little choice
but to fall in line with the United States with regard to radical groups
fighting in that country. Turkey
5η , 6η , 7η, 8η Παράγραφος
It is no secret among diplomats in
that this group was initially considered by Erdogan and Foreign
Minster Ahmet Davutoglu as the
most effective force against the Assad regime that they wanted to see
Ankara was reportedly annoyed when the
declared the group a terrorist organization in December 2012, arguing that this
was a “hasty” decision, given the headway the group was making against the
Syrian army. United States
There was also speculation that
Ankara was using Jabhat
al-Nusra against Kurdish groups in Syria aligned
with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), to
prevent them from controlling regions adjoining the Turkish border abandoned by
Jabhat al-Nusra’s self-declared jihadist ambitions and the brutal tactics it employed against its enemies, however, moved the UN to also blacklist it in May 2013, increasing pressure on
to distance itself from the group. Ankara
11η, 12η, 13η , 14η, 15η , 16η, 17η , 18η, 19η, 20η , 21η, 22η, 23η Παράγραφος
Responding to a parliamentary question by a deputy from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in August 2013, Davutoglu was more direct. He referred to Jabhat al-Nusra as a group that supported extremism and which is on the
the UN’s list of terrorist organizations. US
Despite such indirect acknowledgements of Jabhat al-Nusra’s status as a terrorist group, it took nine months for
to finally designate it as a terrorist organization by a government decree published
in the Official Gazette. Ankara
The question arises as to why the Erdogan government decided to blacklist Jabhat al-Nusra now, after having resisted doing so for so long. The simple answer seems to be that its
policy is in tatters, after all the horses it bet on lost one by one. Syria
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has proved to have staying power, and his latest election gambit shows that he will remain in place for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, it has become apparent that there will be no direct Western-led military intervention against the Syrian regime, which continues to get major backing from
Russia and . Iran
The Erdogan government has no choice at this point but to also accept that as far as the United States and Europe are concerned, the emphasis in Syria has shifted from toppling Assad to combating the al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups in that country.
Looked at in retrospect, these groups have posed the most important obstacle to
’s policy of pushing
for international military action against Assad. They have also prevented the
Syrian opposition from being armed with the necessary weapons to fight the
Syrian army. Ankara
United States and some Western countries, like ,
were not averse at first to arming the Syrian opposition with sophisticated
weapons. These countries even appeared willing to start a bombing campaign
against Assad’s forces after chemical weapons were used in that country. France
They pulled back, however, not only because it could not be established conclusively who used the chemical weapons, but also because of the fear that jihadist groups could fill the political vacuum left by the Assad regime if it were to be ousted by a military intervention.
The idea of providing the Syrian opposition with heavy and sophisticated weapons was also overridden by fears that these could fall into the hands of radicals and be turned against the West in the future.
Put in a nutshell, the groups that the Erdogan government may have once seen as providing an advantage against Assad turned out in the end to be serious liabilities for Turkey’s ill-fated, and in hindsight ill-considered, Syrian policy. This liability increased after Syria-related terrorist attacks started to take place in
The main attack of this sort, which concentrated Turkish minds and turned the public even more against the government’s Syria policy, was the Reyhanli twin car bombing on May 11, 2013, which left at least 50 dead. Although the government was quick to blame Assad loyalists, the opposition in
still insists that it was
jihadist groups that carried out the attack. Turkey
Meanwhile, the so-called “Sunni Axis” against
comprising Turkey, Egypt, Saudi
Arabia and , fell apart without having
influenced the course of events against Assad. Today, members of this “axis”
not only bear grudges against each other, but are also deeply suspicious of
each other’s intentions, for a variety of reasons. Qatar
This has limited Ankara’s options further, and forced it not only to coordinate its Syria policy more closely with Washington, but to also remain open to fresh regional overtures from Iran, which appears the winner today, given developments in Syria and the crumbling of the “Sunni Axis.”
“Obama: I don't expect Putin to do a '180' to help fight Islamic State”, Δεκέμβριος 2015
1η, 2η Παράγραφος
President Obama expressed fresh doubts Tuesday about Russia’s willingness to turn away from a military campaign in Syria focused on “propping up” President Bashar Assad and instead joining efforts to battle Islamic State, saying that he doesn’t expect a “180 turn” in the near future.
“I don't think we should be under any illusions that somehow
starts hitting only ISIL
targets,” Obama said, using his administration’s preferred term for Islamic
State. “That's not happening now. It was never happening. It's not going to be
happening in the next several weeks.” Russia
CNN: Μακροπρόθεσμα η al Nusra πιο επικίνδυνη για τις ΗΠΑ από τον
ISIS. Η al-Nusra δεν έχει κάνει
προς το παρόν επιθέσεις στην Δύση. Η al Nusra δεν θέλει να
συμμετάσχει στις διαπραγματεύσεις με τον Άσαντ και θέλει να χαλάσει τις
διαπραγματεύσεις. Η al Nusra εμφανίστηκε το 2011 και ήταν από τους καλύτερους μαχητές
εναντίον του Άσαντ. Η Αλ Κάιντα δεν έχει τις δυνατότητες που έχει ο Άσαντ. Η al Nusra έχει επιλέξει προς
το παρόν να μην κάνει επιθέσεις στην Δύση για να μην δέχεται επιθέσεις από την
Δύση στην Συρία.
Syria's al-Nusra 'more dangerous' than ISIS”, Ιανουάριος 2016
1η , 2η, 3η , 4η Παράγραφος
Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, is a greater threat to the
United States in the long term than is ISIS,
making the '
current single-minded focus on the latter group misguided, a new report is
charging. United States
Al-Nusra is "much more dangerous to the
than the ISIS model in the long run,"
according to the authors of a report labeling both groups
"existential" threats. The report was released last week by the
Institute for the Study of War and American Enterprise Institute.
The report criticizes the administration's ISIS-centric strategy, saying, "Any strategy that leaves Jabhat al-Nusra in place will fail to secure the American homeland."
However, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, Gen. Mark Milley, in a speech Wednesday said that only
Russia constituted a
potential "existential" threat due to its possession of a large
nuclear arsenal capable of striking the U.S.
7η , 8η, 9η Παράγραφος
Though for now al-Nusra hasn't undertaken attacks in the West like
has, Kagan said it's just as potent.
ISIS is flashier ... both represent an existential
threat, both wish to attack the homeland, both seek the mobilization of Muslim
communities against the West," she said.
In fact, Kagan warned that al Qaeda's Syrian branch represented a longer-term and more intractable threat than
ISIS and that
targeting al-Nusra would be more difficult than targeting the other group, both
of which take advantage of the chaos of the Syrian civil war to expand their
Al-Nusra, like ISIS, won't be participating in the talks, but the report argues that al-Nusra is "a spoiler that will almost certainly cause the current strategy in
to fail." Syria
14η, 15η , 16η Παράγραφος
Al-Nusra emerged in late 2011 during the early days of the Syrian civil war and was initially largely made up of battle-hardened Syrians who had traveled to
Iraq to fight troops during the American
engagement there. U.S.
It has emerged as one of the most effective groups fighting the Syrian regime and currently controls swaths of northwestern
The group holds "coercive power" over several opposition groups,
serving as a sort of "kingmaker," Heras said. Syria
Al-Nusra does "not have the same capacity as
its greatest usefulness is as a base of operations" to other elements of
al Qaeda that may seek to strike Western targets," Heras said.
19η, 20η Παράγραφος
Kagan said she believes al-Nusra has made a tactical decision not to attack the West for the time being.
"Right now, al-Nusra has decided not to overtly host attack cells because the al Qaeda leadership's priority is preserving success in Syria and avoiding being targeted by the U.S.," she said.
“What's the difference between
ISIS, al-Nusra and the
Khorasan Group?”, Σεπτέμβριος 2014
27η , 28η Παράγραφος
Like ISIS, al-Nusra Front is trying to establish an Islamic state -- though primarily in
It's been a formidable force against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. But even though it has helped the Syrian opposition by taking out regime fighters, it has also hurt the moderate opposition by making world leaders hesitant to help rebels.
Turkish Minute: Ο Ερντογάν είπε ότι εκτός από τους Κούρδους της Συρίας τον
ISIS πολεμάει και η al Nusra. Γιατί λοιπόν
οι δυτικοί λένε την al Nusra τρομοκρατική οργάνωση και όχι τους Κούρδους της Συρίας? Δεν
πρέπει είπε να γίνεται διαχωρισμός σε καλούς και κακούς τρομοκράτες.
“Erdoğan to EU: Al-Nusra also fighting
ISIS, why are you
calling it terrorist?”, Ιούνιος 2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the European Union (EU) for not designating the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as “terrorist,” and said “So al-Nusra [Front] is also fighting Daesh [Islamic State of
Iraq and Syria
( ISIS)], then why do you call it a terrorist
Ο ISIS ξεκίνησε ως μία θυγατρική της Al-Qaeda αλλά τον Μάρτιο του 2014 η Al-Qaeda είπε ότι δεν έχει καμία σχέση με την οργάνωση και οι δύο τρομοκρατικές οργανώσεις ξεκίνησαν να πολεμούν μεταξύ τους. Οι δύο οργανώσεις θα συνεχίσουν να συγκρούονται για επιρροή. Η Al Qaeda έχει επιρροή στις αγροτικές περιοχές στον φτωχό πληθυσμό που έχει υψηλό θρησκευτικό συναίσθημα. Αυτοί οι άνθρωποι βλέπουν τον ISIS ως ένα απομεινάριο του ρεπουμπλικανικού στρατού του Σαντάμ. Γι’αυτό και ο ISIS έχει δυσκολία να βρει υποστηρικτές έξω από τις ζώνες των μαχών. Ο ISIS κατάφερε να έχει και κάποια περιορισμένη επιρροή στις αποσταθεροποιημένες Λιβύη και Αφτανιστάν, αλλά στην Σαουδική Αραβία, το Κατάρ, τα Ηνωμένα Αραβικά Εμιράτα το Κουβέιτ, ακόμη και το Σουδάν, η επιρροή του είναι πολύ μικρή. Η Al Qaeda έχει λιγότερα αλλά πιο σταθερά έσοδα από τον ISIS. Η Al Qaeda έχει άλλη τακτική από τον ISIS. Ο ISIS επιβάλλεται άγρια ενώ η Al Qaeda προσπαθεί να πάρει τον κόσμο με το μέρος της.
“Behind the Syrian War, Al-Qaeda and
ISIS Fight for Control
of Jihadi Movement”, Απρίλιος 2016
2η , 3η , 4η Παράγραφος
The Islamic State in
Iraq and Syria (ISIS) started as a more extreme offshoot
of al-Qaeda, but al-Qaeda’s central command officially announced in March 2014
that ISIS has no relationship with the
leadership of al-Qaeda. The two groups also began fighting around that time,
with conflicts taking place both on the ground and ideologically.
In their fight for legitimacy over the jihadi movement, the groups will continue to fight each other, fight for control of
experts warn that these rival extremists could soon turn their attention to
launching attacks on the West in attempts to display their capabilities. Syria
The two men behind this fight are Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS; and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, and according to author and terrorism researcher Jere Van Dyk, while
ISIS is putting on an
aggressive show, al-Qaeda still commands more influence.
6η, 7η , 8η Παράγραφος
Van Dyk recently finished researching his upcoming books on the links of al-Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Middle East and
While traveling through the region, he found “al-Qaeda has a lot of influence
in the rural areas and among the very poor,” and “among the deeply religious
The perceptions of
ISIS were much different, however. He said ISIS is seen as a “flash in the pan.” They view its
leader as just a remnant of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard—and when compared
to al-Zawahiri, they see al-Baghdadi as having “no intellectual standing” and
no moral authority.
This view is part of the reason why ISIS is having trouble spreading beyond the conflict zones in
Iraq and . Outside of that, it
has only managed to find some influence in the destabilized environment in
Syria Libya, and in
where it was able to lure some former members of the Taliban with money. Afghanistan
Elsewhere, the situation is much different. Whether it’s the jihadi networks in
Saudi Arabia, Yemen,
Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait,
the United Arab Emirates, or
even Sudan— ISIS
has had little luck shaking the foundations laid by al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, brings in less cash, but its black market income is more stable. With al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, alone, Van Dyk said he was told by a high-level source in
that the extremists had $35 million at their disposal, which they had
gained mainly through kidnappings in North Africa.
Al-Qaeda also has a much different approach than
ISIS. He said
that while ISIS uses harsh violence for social
control—something that has damaged its influence among many local
populations—the approach al-Qaeda uses “is more about working by, with, and
through local populations.”
If Assad falls and free elections are held in
Al-Nusra Front will likely be “elevated to the political class.” Since they
actively fought against Assad, they will likely not be seen as “bad guys” in
the broad society, and instead will be seen as “patriots and heroes.” Kan
New Republic: Το Κατάρ από την μία πλευρά φιλοξενεί τις μεγαλύτερες αμερικανικές βάσεις στον Κόλπο, και από την άλλη χρηματοδοτεί τρομοκρατικές οργανώσεις που χτυπάνε τις ΗΠΑ. Το Κατάρ στηρίζει την Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα εδώ και δεκαετίες. Το Κατάρ χρησιμοποιεί την Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα εναντίον της Σαουδικής Αραβίας. Το Κατάρ χρηαμτοδοτεί την Αλ Κάιντα στην Συρία. Οι ΗΠΑ έχουν επιβάλλει σε πολλούς Καταριανούς κυρώσεις για χρηματοδότηση τρομοκρατικών οργανώσεων. Το Κατάρ υποστήριξε και τον προκάτοχο του Ισλαμικού Κράτους. Το Κατάρ χρηματοδοτούσε και το δίκτυο του Zarkawi στο Ιράκ.
Qatar Is a Ally. They Also Knowingly Abet
Terrorism. What's Going On?”, Οκτώβριος 2014 U.S.
In a televised interview on September 25, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour confronted the emir of
about allegations that his country is not a true ally of the . United States Doha
hosts America’s largest
military base in the Middle East, and at the
same time allows private fundraising for American adversaries Al Qaeda and
ISIS. Qatar has also been a
big source of funding in recent years for U.S.-designated terrorist group
Hamas, a spinoff of ’s
Muslim Brotherhood. The 34-four-year-old emir replied to Amanpour: “I'm not in
a camp against another camp. … I have my own way of thinking.” Egypt
4η , 5η , 6η , 7η Παράγραφος
The second objective has been to preserve the security of the ruling family and state. Qatar juts out into the Persian Gulf from Saudi Arabia, its much larger, more powerful, and sometimes hostile neighbor, with whom it shares its only land border. Iran, with whom Doha shares the world’s largest gas field, is a short distance across Gulf waters. Another large and challenging state in the neighborhood,
is across the Gulf to the north. Hosting a major Iraq U.S.
military base since 2003 has provided existential security for .
Courting Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood to Salafi groups has served as a
power amplifier for the country, especially vis-à-vis Qatar . Saudi Arabia
Qatar supported Muslim Brotherhood organizations in countries across the region during the Arab uprisings in 2011, believing they represented the wave of the future. From
perspective, being at the front end of this trend would showcase the country’s
supposedly progressive leadership. Qatar
Backing the Brotherhood represented a continuation of a strategy that was already in place. Doha had hosted Egyptian and, later, Syrian Brotherhood members for decades, including the maverick Egyptian cleric Yusuf al Qaradawi who has lived in
since the 1960s. Qatar
had also provided Brotherhood personalities an important means for
disseminating their views via the state-funded media channel, Al Jazeera, since
the mid-1990s. Qatar
14η , 15η , 16η Παράγραφος
According to the U.S. Treasury, a number of terrorist financiers have been operating in
. Qatari citizen Abd al Rahman
al Nuaymi has served as an interlocutor between Qatari donors and leaders of Al
Qaeda in Qatar
(AQI, later renamed ISIS). Nuaymi reportedly oversaw the transfer of two
million dollars per month to AQI for a period of time. Nuaymi is also one of
several of Qatar-based, Al Qaeda financiers sanctioned by Treasury in recent
years. According to some reporting, Iraq U.S.
officials believe the largest share of private donations supporting ISIS and Al
Qaeda–linked groups now comes from Qatar
rather than . Saudi Arabia
There has been support among the royal family for radical Islamist groups, including
ISIS’s predecessor network and Al Qaeda. According to The New York Times,
one royal family member, Abdul Karim al Thani, operated a safe house for Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, who eventually established and led AQI, when he was traveling
between Iraq and
in the early 2000s. Abdul Karim also provided Qatari passports and more than
one million dollars to finance Zarqawi’s network. Another royal family member,
Shaykh Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, who held top ministerial posts over a
period of two decades through mid-2013, sheltered on his farm other al-Qaeda
members including Khalid Shaykh Mohammad, and welcomed Osama bin Laden there
twice, according to a Congressional Research Service report. Khalid Shaykh
Mohammad eventually became the mastermind behind September 11. Afghanistan
There has been support among the royal family for radical Islamist groups, including
ISIS’s predecessor network and Al Qaeda. According to The New York Times,
one royal family member, Abdul Karim al Thani, operated a safe house for Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, who eventually established and led AQI, when he was traveling
between Iraq and
in the early 2000s. Abdul Karim also provided Qatari passports and more than
one million dollars to finance Zarqawi’s network. Another royal family member,
Shaykh Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, who held top ministerial posts over a
period of two decades through mid-2013, sheltered on his farm other al-Qaeda
members including Khalid Shaykh Mohammad, and welcomed Osama bin Laden there
twice, according to a Congressional Research Service report. Khalid Shaykh
Mohammad eventually became the mastermind behind September 11. Afghanistan
New York Times: Ένα μέλος της Βασιλικής οικογένειας του Κατάρ χρηματοδοτούσε τον Zarqawi.
“Intelligence Break Led
to Tie Envoy Killing to Iraqi Qaeda Cell”, 2003 U.S.
11η έως 18η Παράγραφος
Mr. Powell said that after Mr. Zarqawi fought against the Soviets, he returned to
Afghanistan at the
bin Laden's influence in 2000 and ran a training camp. His leg injury during
the allied military campaign in 2001 may have been serious enough for
amputation by the time he reached peak of Mr. . Baghdad
An expert in poisons and chemical weapons, Mr. Zarqawi is believed to have been providing training to the extremist group Ansar al-Islam. The group is based in northeastern
Iraq in territory that is neither under the
control of the Baghdad regime nor the main
Kurdish groups that have divided up most of northern . Iraq
Soon after Mr. Zarqawi arrived, Mr. Powell said, "nearly two dozen extremists converged on
established a base of operations there." Baghdad
He continued, "These Al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they are now operating freely in the capital for more than eight months."
Coalition officials said that no group could operate in this manner without deep engagement with
ubiquitous intelligence services. Iraq
Mr. Powell withheld some critical details today, like the discovery by the intelligence agencies that a member of the royal family in Qatar, an important ally providing air bases and a command headquarters for the American military, operated a safe house for Mr. Zarqawi when he transited the country going in and out of Afghanistan.
The Qatari royal family member was Abdul Karim al-Thani, the coalition official said. The official added that Mr. al-Thani provided Qatari passports and more than $1 million in a special bank account to finance the network.
Mr. al-Thani, who has no government position, is, according to officials in the gulf, a deeply religious member of the royal family who has provided charitable support for militant causes for years and has denied knowing that his contributions went toward terrorist operations.
Private support from prominent Qataris to Al Qaeda is a sensitive issue that is said to infuriate George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence. After the Sept. 11 attacks, another senior Qaeda operative, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who may have been the principal planner of the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was said by Saudi intelligence officials to have spent two weeks in late 2001 hiding in Qatar, with the help of prominent patrons, after he escaped from Kuwait.
Qatar providing the United
States military with its most significant air operations
center for action against Iraq,
the Pentagon has cautioned against a strong diplomatic response from , American and
coalition officials say. Washington
Gatestone: Το Κατάρ έχει χρηματοδοτήσει πολλές τρομοκρατικές οργανώσεις και είχε συμμετοχή και στις επιθέσεις των Αμερικανικών πρεσβειών στην Κένυα και την Τανζανία. Οι χώρες του ΝΑΤΟ έχουν επιβάλλει πολλές φορές κυρώσεις σε Καταριανούς. Οι Καταριανοί έκαναν επενδύσεις 20 δις στην Αγγλία, και η Αγγλία ανέλαβε να τους βοηθήσει στην διοργάνωση του Μουντιάλ του 2022.
and Terror”, Νοέμβριος 2014 Qatar
In other spheres,
Qatar is the single largest donor to the
Brookings Institution, a major
think tank. Payments included $14.8 million after the former U.S. Ambassador to
U.S. Israel, Martin Indyk,blamed Israel for the
failure of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; and it has
given money to many universities in the U.S.
and Europe. Qatar also hosts eight international university
campuses near Doha ( Virginia
Commonwealth, Weill Cornell,
Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, HEC Paris,
and finances the RAND Policy Trust. It owns expensive properties in Calgary London, the
Football Club, and dabbles in other areas worldwide. Barcelona
Nowhere is this tendency clearer than in
support for international networks of terrorist organizations. While Qatar U.S. planes bomb outposts of ISIS from their Qatar airbase, is reputed to be sending money to ISIS, Hamas, Libyan
jihadists, and others. Of course, the Qataris deny this. Standing
beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 27, Qatar Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani declared
that, "What is happening in Iraq
and Syria is extremism and
such organizations are partly financed from abroad, but has never supported and will
never support terrorist organizations". Qatar
16η, 17η , 18η Παράγραφος
The fundamentalist anti-Semitic Islamic preacher, Shaykh Yusuf 'Abd Allah al-Qaradawi, regarded by many as the leading scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been living in Qatar on and off since the 1960s, while preaching a fundamentalist and often pro-terrorist message there through his website, Islam Online, and his Shari'a and Life television show on Al Jazeera. The Qatari government has never sought to rein him in.
Qatar's major international charity, the
Charitable Society (now simply
Charity) has acted as a financier and agency for terrorist outfits in several
countries. It has funded al-Qaeda in Qatar Chechnya,
Mali and elsewhere, was a
key player in the 1998 bombings of
U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,
and funded Syria's Ahfad al-Rasul Brigade.
Qatar has also financed terrorists in
northern Mali operations, including Ansar Dine, alleged to be linked to
al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [North Africa]; and it retains contacts with
(and no doubt still funds) al-Qaeda.
According to David Blair and Richard Spencer, writing for
Telegraph, four branches of the Qatari government handle relations with armed
groups in Syria and .
These are the Foreign and Defense Ministries, the Intelligence Agency, and the
personal office [al-Diwan al-Amiri], of the Emir, who, as we have seen, flatly
denies financing terrorism. The Amiri Diwan, as in Libya , appears in the lists of
government ministries and offices. Of
does nothing directly. It prefers to use middlemen and to permit private
individuals to do the work for it. Large sums are passed to middlemen in Qatar Turkey (itself no stranger to support for
terrorism), and this money is used for the purchase of weapons from other
countries (notably ).
The weapons are then transferred to rebel groups in Croatia . It has also been claimed
that money owed to British companies operating in Syria has been siphoned off to Islamic State.
This may require some ingenious application of the dark arts of bookkeeping,
but it does provide another means of evading condemnation of the state. Qatar
21η, 22η, 23η, 24η, 25η , 26η Παράγραφος
Private fundraisers who coordinate donations from individual or corporate donors in
Qatar are never detained or subjected to
restrictions in ,
a privilege that means the transfer of considerable sums to al-Qaeda, Islamic
State, Hamas, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Syrian Islamist groups. Qatar
U.S. Treasury has given details of terrorist
financiers operating in .
The best known is 'Abd al-Rahman al-Nu'aymi, an academic and businessman who is
a key link between Qatari donors and al-Qaeda in Qatar , the predecessor of today's
Islamic State. At one time, Nu'aymi transferred $2 million per month to the
organization. He has also sent around $576,000 to Abu Khalid al-Suri,
al-Qaeda's Syrian representative, and $250,000 to the Somali jihadist group,
Treasury Department has sanctioned Nu'aymi and other Qatari financiers in
recent years. U.S. U.S. officials
reckon that Qatar has now
as the source of the largest private donations to Islamic State and other
al-Qaeda affiliates. The Qatari government has taken no steps to detain or punish
al-Nu'aymi or anyone else, even though Islamist politics are, in theory,
illegal in Saudi Arabia . Qatar
British Prime Minister David Cameron was warned by many people, before his meeting with the Emir of Qatar, that he had to tackle the issue of Qatar's funding of terrorism. The two men met on October 29. Here is part of the official government news briefing on the meeting:
On international affairs, they discussed the role both countries are playing in the coalition to tackle ISIL, and the importance of all countries working to tackle extremism and support to terrorist organisations. The Prime Minister welcomed the recent legislation passed in
to prevent terrorist funding and looked forward to the swift implementation of
these new measures. They also agreed that both countries should do more to
share information on groups of concern. Qatar
Need one add that among the matters discussed by these world leaders was
Qatar's recent £20 billion investment in the ,
and Cameron's offer of British expertise in construction to assist the Emirate
in building the 2022 World Cup events? Money talks, and in supine Western
countries just coming out of a major recession, it talks very loudly. Al-Thani
walked away from his meeting with Cameron covered in glory for his country's
supposed work to defeat Islamist terrorism worldwide. U.K.
Ο Σαντάμ Χουσέιν είχε οργανώσει την εξέγερση της Μουσουλμανικής Αδελφότητας στην Συρία το 1982, η οποία κατέληξε στην σφαγή στην Hama. (Προφανώς ήταν τα αντίποινα της υποστήριξης του Hafez Assad στο Ιράν στον πόλεμο Ιράν-Ιράκ).
“Islamist uprising in
4, 5 Παράγραφος
Following the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in 1976, a number of prominent Syrian officers and government servants, as well as "professional men, doctors, teachers," were assassinated. Most of the victims were Alawis, "which suggested that the assassins had targeted the community" but "no one could be sure who was behind" the killings. The Muslim Brotherhood which had disdain for the Alawites and considered them non-Muslims was most likely responsible for the terror.
It was speculated that the government of Saddam Hussein in
provided logistical and
military support to the Brotherhood. Iraq
Ο αξιωματικός των μυστικών υπηρεσιών του Σαντάμ που εντάχθηκε στην Al-Qaeda μετά την ανατροπή του Σαντάμ, και στην συνέχεια εξελίχθηκε σε ένα από τα κορυφαία στελέχη του ISIS.
Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, better known by the nom de guerre Haji Bakr, was a senior leader of the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), heading its Military Council and leading its operations in Syria, prior to his killing by Syrian rebels in January 2014. Previously a Colonel in the Iraqi Intelligence Service, papers found after his death indicated that al-Khlifawi played a key role in devising the plans ISIL used to conquer and administer territory in Syria and Iraq.
Αν ο Ερντογάν και ο Νταβούτογλου δεν υποστήριζαν τόσο ακραίες οργανώσεις το ΝΑΤΟ θα τους έδινε περισσότερα όπλα
“Most Turks Do Not Support Erdogan's
Policy”, Ιούνιος 2013 Syria
The United States, as well as Britain and France — which have been keen to arm the secular opposition — also remain concerned that any sophisticated weaponry sent to Syria might fall into the hands of jihadists there and be turned against the West in the future. Much to
annoyance, its initial support for radical Islamist groups like Jabhat
al-Nusra has thus, in effect, turned into a handicap for the Erdogan
government, because the fear that sophisticated weapons might go to the
jihadists is limiting Western support to the opposition. If Davutoglu had not
been so keen in his support of these groups, and instead had concentrated on
the secular and democratic elements in the opposition, he might have made more
headway in convincing the West to help the opposition in a meaningful manner. Ankara
President Obama has, after all, to consider the opposition by the American public to getting involved militarily in
. NBC reported on June 17
that a “whopping 70% of Americans” said in a Syria Pew
poll that they opposed the United States
and its allies sending arms to anti-government forces in . Syria
“Senior Western official: Links between
and ISIS are now 'undeniable”, Ιούλιος 2015
NATO member Turkey has long been accused by experts, Kurds, and even Joe Biden of enabling ISIS by turning a blind eye to the vast smuggling networks of weapons and fighters during the ongoing Syrian war.
“Assad regime cooperating with Islamic State in
”, Μάιος 2016 Syria
“IS Files Reveal Assad's Deals With Militants”, Μάιος 2016
Islamic State and the Assad regime in
have been colluding with each other in deals on the battleground, Sky News can
Ένας από τους λόγους που ο Άσαντ υποστηρίζει τον IS, παρόλο που είναι εχθροί, είναι για να είναι απασχολημένοι οι Αμερικανοί, που υποστηρίζουν τους αντάρτες.
“Why Assad may be helping Islamic State’s offensive”, Ιούνιος 2015
6η, 7η, 8η, 9η Παράγραφος
There are two main reasons. The first is the region’s importance to the rebel forces. Aleppo’s northern countryside is considered to be one of the largest rebel strongholds with access to Turkey, as well as the rebels' only gateway to the city of
On Feb. 17, the regime tried hard to isolate the northern countryside from the rest of the areas that are under rebel control to blockade the city of
by attacking the
towns of Hardatneen, Retyan and al-Mallah. But, regime forces were met with stiff resistance by
the rebels, who considered the battle to be a matter of life and death. As a
result, 300 regime troops were killed, according to statements made to
Al-Monitor by the former military commander of al-Jabha al-Shamiya (Shamiya
Front), Lt. Col. Abu Bakr. Aleppo
IS’ advance in Aleppo’s northern countryside is sure to weaken the rebels there; as a result, the regime will achieve, with minimal losses, its goal of besieging the rebels in Aleppo city, as the only supply route to it is the Castello road.
The second reason for the recent strikes against rebel areas is that the Assad regime faces two main foes in Syria: IS, against which the United States is leading an international coalition, and rebels backed by a variety of regional powers, most notably Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In that context, it is only logical that the regime would prefer eliminating an enemy that receives backing, weapons and funds from regional sources, and leave the task of weakening its primary enemy, IS, to the international coalition. Consequently, the regime’s presumed elimination of Syrian rebels would force the international community and the factions that back those rebels into allying themselves with Assad to finish off IS.
Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence over anti-Assad revolt”, Μάιος 2012 Syria
1η, 2η, 3η Παράγραφος
After three decades of persecution that virtually eradicated its presence, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has resurrected itself to become the dominant group in the fragmented opposition movement pursuing a 14-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Exiled Brotherhood members and their supporters hold the biggest number of seats in the Syrian National Council, the main opposition umbrella group. They control its relief committee, which distributes aid and money to Syrians participating in the revolt. The Brotherhood is also moving on its own to send funding and weapons to the rebels, who continued to skirmish Saturday with Syrian troops despite a month-old U.N.-brokered cease-fire.
The revival marks an extraordinary comeback for an organization that was almost annihilated after the last revolt in
which ended in the killing by government forces of as many as 25,000 people in
the city of
in 1982. Only those who managed to flee abroad survived the purge. Hama
Brotherhood leaders say they have been reaching out to Syria’s neighbors, including Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon — as well as to U.S. and European diplomats — to reassure them that they have no intention of dominating a future Syrian political system or establishing any form of Islamist government.
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Of far greater concern to the United States and other Western countries are recent indications that extremists are seeking to muscle their way into the revolt, said Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East policy. The double suicide bombing in
Damascus last week, in which 55
people died in circumstances reminiscent of the worst of the violence in Iraq, bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda attack,
deepening suspicions that militants have been relocating from Iraq to . Syria
On Saturday, a group calling itself the al-Nusra Front asserted responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on a jihadist Web site.
The Brotherhood is eager to distance itself from the jihadists, whose radical vision of an Islamic caliphate spanning the globe bears no resemblance to its philosophy.
As the Brotherhood starts distributing weapons inside the country, using donations from individual members and from Persian Gulf states including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it is going to great lengths to ensure that they don’t fall into the hands of extremists, Drobi said.
“We have on the ground our networks, and we make sure they don’t distribute arms to those who are not within the streamline of the revolution,” Drobi said.
Other leaders also stress the moderation of the group’s policies, even by comparison with the original Brotherhood movement in
, to which the Syrian branch
is very loosely affiliated. Egypt
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood would support NATO intervention to help the opposition topple Assad, and it has published a manifesto outlining its vision of a future democratic state that makes no mention of Islam and enshrines individual liberties, said Mohammed Farouk Tayfour, who is the movement’s deputy leader, vice president of the Syrian National Council and head of the council’s relief committee, making him perhaps the most powerful figure in the opposition.
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Syria’s long history of secularism and its substantial minority population also make it unlikely the Brotherhood would ever achieve the kind of dominance it appears to have won in Egypt or Tunisia, analysts and activists say. Drobi predicted that the Brotherhood would win 25 percent of the vote if democratic elections were to be held.
Even that could be optimistic, experts say. A third of
’s population belongs to
religious or ethnic minorities, among them Christians, Alawites, Shiites and
Kurds, who share concerns about the potential rise of Sunni Islamism. Syria
It is in large part a measure of the dysfunction of the rest of the opposition that the Brotherhood has managed to assert itself as the only group with a national reach, at a time when most of the uprising’s internal leadership is atomized around local committees that don’t coordinate, said Yezid Sayigh of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.
26, 27 Παράγραφος
The Muslim Brothers have resources, and they get help from
Arabia and the gulf states,”
said Mousab al-Hamadi, an activist in
with the secular Local Coordination Committees. “They have a long history
behind them, whereas other groups like us are newly born.” Hama
“From the point of view of religion, most Syrians don’t accept political Islam,” he added. “But the people here are still Muslim, and they are still conservative, so I think the Muslim Brotherhood will become the biggest political power in
after the departure of the Assad regime. And I will be the biggest loser.” Syria
Wikipedia: Η Τουρκία δεν επέτρεψε στους Αμερικανούς να χρησιμοποιήσουν τις βάσεις της, και ο Υπουργός Εξωτερικών της Τουρκίας δήλωσε ότι η Τουρκία θα εξετάσει τα έγγραφα της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας για να ερευνήσει αν υπάρχει κάποιο δικαίωμα της Τουρκίας στις πετρελαιοπηγές του Βορείου Ιράκ (Μοσύλη και Κιρκούκ).
“Governmental positions on the Iraq War prior to the 2003 invasion of
Iraq : ” Turkey
Turkey originally showed reservations, fearing that a power vacuum after Saddam's defeat might have given rise to a Kurdish state  On 1 March 2003 the Turkish parliament failed narrowly to approve a government motion to permit the deployment in Turkey for six months of 62,000 US troops, 255 jet aircraft, and 65 helicopters.
In December 2002,
Turkey moved approximately 15,000 soldiers to
its border with . The Turkish General Staff stated
that this move was in light of recent developments and did not indicate an
attack was imminent. In January 2003, the Turkish foreign minister, Yasar Yakis, said he was examining documents from
the time of the Ottoman Empire in
order to determine whether Turkey had a claim to the oil fields around the
northern Iraqi cities of Mosul and Kirkuk. Iraq
In late January 2003,
Turkey invited at
least five other regional countries to a "'last-chance' meeting to avert a
US-led war against .
The group urged neighboring Iraq Iraq
to continue cooperating with the UN inspections, and publicly stated that
"military strikes on Iraq
might further destabilize theMiddle East region".
In the end,
Turkey did not grant access to its land and
harbours as asked for by U.S.
officials because the Grand
National Assembly of Turkeyvoted against this proposal. Nonetheless, was named by the Bush
Administration as a part of the "Coalition of the Willing." Turkey
Isis came to be”, Αύγουστος 2014
3η , 4η , 5η , 6η, 7η Παράγραφος
Isis is the product of a genocide that continued unabated
as the world stood back and watched. It is the illegitimate child born of pure
hate and pure fear – the result of 200,000 murdered Syrians and of millions
more displaced and divorced from their hopes and dreams. Isis's
rise is also a reminder of how Bashar al-Assad's Machiavellian embrace of
al-Qaida would come back to haunt him.
Facing Assad's army and intelligence services, Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iraq's Shia Islamist militias and their grand patron, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Syria's initially peaceful protesters quickly became disenchanted, disillusioned and disenfranchised – and then radicalised and violently militant.
The Shia Islamist axis used chemical weapons, artillery and barrel bombs to preserve its crescent of influence. Syria's Sunni Arab revolutionaries in turn sought international assistance, and when the world refused, they embraced a pact with the devil, al-Qaida.
With its fiercely loyal army of transnational jihadis, al-Qaida once again gained a foothold in the heart of the
Middle East. Fuelled by the
hate and fear engendered by images of dismembered children or women suffering
from the effects of chemical weapons, disaffected youth from around the world
rushed to Syria, fuelling an ever more violent race to the
Next door in
an emboldened Nouri al-Maliki waged his own sectarian campaign to consolidate
power, betraying promises to his political partners to share it around. Within
days of being welcomed at the White House and praised by Barack Obama for his
leadership, Maliki returned to Iraq
to mastermindthe arrest of his principal Sunni rival,
vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi. Baghdad
Iran and armed with US-made Humvees, M-16s, and
M1A1 tanks, Maliki's forces closed in on Hashimi, only to see him flee to Kurdistan. Dozens of his guards were imprisoned on
terrorism charges. At least one of them died under interrogation.
Facing mass unrest,
Iraq's Sunni Arab provincial councils voted for
semi-autonomous rule like that of the neighbouring Kurdistan
region. Maliki blocked the implementation of a referendum through bureaucratic
ploys, in contravention of 's
Despite pleas from the highest levels in
Maliki's government did virtually nothing to halt the Iranian Revolutionary
Guards' flights to resupply the Assad regime with thousands of tons of military
hardware and ammunition. Meanwhile, a Shia Islamist ally of Maliki privately
conceded to me last year that senior officials in the Iraqi government were
turning a blind eye – or even actively supporting – the dispatch of thousands of Iraqi Shia fighters to
participate in the spiralling Shia-Sunni holy war in Syria. Washington
14η , 15η , 16η , 17η Παράγραφος
Ironically, al-Qaida's wholesale introduction into
came at the hands of Assad's
regime. From 2005 until the end of the American occupation of Iraq,
Assad's military intelligence services and their Iranian backers sought to
defeat the Iraq US forces by
training, financing and arming al-Qaida operatives inside and dispatching them across
the border to foment chaos and destruction. Syria
General David Petraeus and other senior American officials warned Assad that he was igniting a fire that would eventually burn his house down, but Damascus did nothing to stop the flow of fighters, culminating in a crippling blow to Maliki's government the day Iraq's foreign and finance ministries were bombed. Maliki publicly condemned his future ally in
for the attack. Damascus
Syria's unravelling spilled into ,
and vice versa. Powerful regional tribes such as the Shammar and Anezah, faced
with countless dead and persecuted members in both countries, banded together
with former Iraqi and Syrian military officers, embracing Iraq Isis
jihadis as their frontline shock troops. Cash poured in from sympathetic donors
around the region.
Iraq's four Sunni Arab provinces fell within days, entire Iraqi army divisions evaporated, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of advanced American military equipment was seized by Isis and its allies. Fuelled by what was increasingly a regional Sunni-Shia proxy war,
had become incubators for transnational jihad and religious hate. Syria
approach to ISIL: the hidden benefit of evil” Russia
1η , 2η Παράγραφος
Many Western observers relate ISIL (Islamic State of
and the Levant) with the resurrection of
medieval barbarians. But it could actually be more usefully compared with
revolutionary movements of the past, notably the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in .
ISIL shares with the Bolsheviks the peculiar “internationalism” that implies it
could absorb people regardless of ethnicity, race or place of origin.
Paradoxically, this aspect of ISIL has had positive implications for Russia . Russia
It has served to stimulate the disintegration of
homegrown Islamists’ resistance with many members moving to the Middle East, reducing the internal threat. Moreover, it
has provided Moscow with the opportunity to
engage in the Middle East where – despite the
Kremlin’s proclamations – its interests are only indirectly related to the
fight against ISIL.
Al Jazeera: Ο Μεντβέντεβ απείλησε ότι αν μπούνε οι Τούρκοι και οι Άραβες στην Συρία θα γίνει παγκόσμιος πόλεμος. Οι Σαουδάραβες και τα ΗΑΕ ζήτησαν να βοηθήσουν εναντίον του ISIS
Russian PM warns of world war if troops sent in”, Φεβρουάριος 2016 Syria
2η , 3η , 4η , 5η Παράγραφος
Medvedev was quoted as saying in an interview published late on Thursday by the German newspaper Handelsblatt that "a ground operation draws everyone taking part in it into a war".
When asked about a recent proposal from
to send ground troops into ,
the Russian prime minister answered that "the Americans and our Arab
partners must consider whether or not they want a permanent war". Syria
Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow, said Medvedev's comments were an explicit warning to the United States and its regional allies, including
. Saudi Arabia
"He basically told them to back off on sending troops because if they did, this might result in some sort of interminable or even a world war," Challands said.
7η, 8η Παράγραφος
US defence chief Ashton Carter, meanwhile, welcomed a commitment from
Arabia to expand its role with ground troops in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
At a gathering of more than two dozen defence ministers at NATO headquarters, Carter said on Friday that the
United Arab Emirates,
a key ally, agreed to send special forces soldiers to to assist in the development
of local Sunni Arab fighters focused on recapturing Raqqa, ISIL's de facto
The Atlantic: Τους τελευταίους μήνες ο
ISIS έχασε περιοχές που δεν του επιτρέπουν να πουλάει
πετρέλαιο στην Τουρκία.
ISIS and the ‘Loser Effect’”, Απρίλιος 2016
And then Islamic State’s Icarus flight suddenly stalled. By one estimate, since January 2015, ISIS has lost 22 percent of its territory, including the cities of Tikrit and Ramadi in
as well as strategic areas of northern , which has limited the
group’s capacity to sell oil across the Turkish border. In recent months, Syria ISIS has largely been playing defense: It hasn’t launched a major offensive since last
summer. It has been hit by the death of key commanders
and an uptick in defections. U.S.
officials claim that ISIS’s
ranks are at their lowest level since 2014.
Η γέννηση του ISI (Islamic State of Iraq) το 2006 και η γέννηση του ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) το 2013.
“BIRTH OF THE
In Saddam's days the Armed Forces, made up almost exclusively of Sunnis, counted roughly 500 thousand men in their ranks. Additionally, Baath party supporters in Ministries and other public structures were in the millions. Bremer's directives landed a few million Iraqi families on the sidewalk and – this is the dangerous part – forced many to join the ranks of the opposition while the ones with military know-how tried to find a military solution to the social conflict. These are the premises for the birth of the warfare against the new Shiite leadership in
9η , 10η Παράγραφος
Zarqawi's terrorist experience ended on June 7, 2006, when a
airplane targeted his refuge in Baquba, north of . Together with him died his fourth
wife and some of his lieutenants. The killing of Abu Musab al Zarqawi would
not, however, remove the founding element of the Jihadist rebellion: the
resentment of the Sunni, who were by then united under a Salafite flag against
the Shiite administration in Baghdad .
This is why in 2006 the ISI (Islamic State in Baghdad ) was born. Only later, in
April 2013, will the final “S” be added; the “S” that stands for Iraq Syria or “Sham”: . Damascus
The ISI was initially headed by Abu Omar al Baghdadi, aka Hamid Dawud Mohamed Khalil al Zawi. His vice was an Egyptian national, Abu Ayyub al Masri, who also went by a pseudonym, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. The ISI was not made up of Zarqawi's group alone, it had absorbed several smaller factions, such as the “Council of the Shura of the Mujaheddin” and the “Jund al Sahaba” (The army of the companions of the Prophet). Abu Bakr al Baghdadi became a member of the ISI in virtue of his militancy in the Coordination Committee of the Council of the Shura of the Mujaheddin and thanks to the people he had met in
Al Baghdadi's strengths were an in-depth knowledge of the Islamic doctrine,
which he had studied in a doctorate at the Islamic University of Baghdad, and a
strong background in Jihadist theory, which was the fruit of his mingling with
the Muslim Brothers and of his reading the works of the “bad teachers” of the
holy war: Abu Mohammed al Maqdisi, Sayyid Qubt, Abu Mohammed al Mufti al Aali. Camp Bucca
On April 18, 2010, a joint US-Iraqi operation in the region of Anbar put an end to the lives and times of the leaders of the ISI, Abu Omar and Abu Ayyub. It is then that Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who went by the name of Abu Dua, took over. Not everyone was agreeable with his promotion, but then again, he did descend from the tribe of Quraish, just like the Prophet.
Όταν οι ΗΠΑ ανέτρεψαν τον Σαντάμ 250 χιλιάδες Σουνίτες στρατιώτες και αξιωματικοί αποστρατεύτηκαν. Όσο οι ΗΠΑ είχαν στρατό δεν υπήρχε ISIS στο Ιράκ. Όταν ο Ομπάμα, όπως ήθελε και ο al-Maliki, απέσυρε τα στρατεύματα τότε δημιουργήθηκε ο ISIS του Ιράκ.
“DID GEORGE W. BUSH CREATE
ISIS?”, Μάιος 2015
1, 2 Παράγραφος
The exchange started like this: at the end of Jeb Bush’s town-hall meeting in
Nevada, on Wednesday, a college student named
Ivy Ziedrich stood up and said that she had heard Bush blame the growth
of isis on President Obama, in particular on his decision to withdraw
American troops from
in 2011. The origins of Iraq isis, Ziedrich
said, lay in the decision by Bush’s brother, in 2003, to disband the Iraqi Army
following the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s government.
“It was when thirty thousand individuals who were part of the Iraqi military were forced out—they had no employment, they had no income, and they were left with access to all of the same arms and weapons.… Your brother created
Jeb replied by repeating his earlier criticism of President Obama: that
had been stable until American
troops had departed. “When we left Iraq , security had been arranged,”
Bush said. The removal of American troops had created a security vacuum
that Iraq isis exploited. “The result was
the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled.”
Here is what happened: In 2003, the
military, on orders of President Bush, invaded , and nineteen days later threw
out Saddam’s government. A few days after that, President Bush or someone in
his Administration decreed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army. This decision
didn’t throw “thirty thousand individuals” out of a job, as Ziedrich said—the
number was closer to ten times that. Overnight, at least two hundred and fifty
thousand Iraqi men—armed, angry, and with military training—were suddenly
humiliated and out of work. Iraq
7η, 8η , 9η Παράγραφος
This was probably the single most catastrophic decision of the American venture in
In a stroke, the Administration helped enable the creation of the Iraqi
insurgency. Bush Administration officials involved in the decision—like Paul
Bremer and Walter Slocombe—argued that they were effectively ratifying the
reality that the Iraqi Army had already disintegrated. Iraq
This was manifestly not true. I talked to American military commanders who told me that leaders of entire Iraqi divisions (a division has roughly ten thousand troops) had come to them for instructions and expressed a willingness to coöperate. In fact, many American commanders argued vehemently at the time that the Iraqi military should be kept intact—that disbanding it would turn too many angry young men against the
But the Bush White House went ahead. United States
Many of those suddenly unemployed Iraqi soldiers took up arms against the
. We’ll never know for
sure how many Iraqis would have stayed in the Iraqi Army—and stayed
peaceful—had it remained intact. But the evidence is overwhelming that former
Iraqi soldiers formed the foundation of the insurgency. United States
11η , 12η , 13η Παράγραφος
During the course of the war, Al Qaeda in
grew to be the most powerful wing of the insurgency, as well as the most
violent and the most psychotic. They drove truck bombs into mosques and
weddings and beheaded their prisoners. But, by the time the last American
soldiers had departed, in 2011, the Islamic State of Iraq, as it was then
calling itself, was in a state of near-total defeat. The combination of the
Iraqi-led “awakening,” along with persistent American pressure, had decimated
the group and pushed them into a handful of enclaves. Iraq
Indeed, by 2011 the situation in
former Governor Bush said—was relatively stable. “Relatively” is the key word
here. Iraq was still a violent place, but nowhere near as violent as it had
been. The Iraqi government was being run by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a
fervent Al Qaeda foe and ostensible American ally. Iraq
But, as the last Americans left
came the great uprising in
that pitted the country’s vast Sunni majority against the ruthless regime of
Bashar al-Assad. Syria
quickly dissolved into anarchy. Desperate and seeing an opportunity, Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Syria Iraq,
dispatched a handful of soldiers to , where, in a matter of
months, they had gathered an army of followers and had begun attacking the
Assad regime. Suddenly, Baghdadi’s group—which had been staggering toward the
grave only months before—was regaining strength. In 2013, the I.S.I. became the
Islamic State of Syria Iraq in . Syria isis was born.
15η, 16η , 17η , 18η Παράγραφος
In this sense, Ziedrich is right again, at least notionally: some of the men fighting in
isis were put out of work by the American occupiers
in 2003. Still, it’s not clear—and it will never be clear—how many of these
Iraqis might have remained peaceful had the Americans kept the Iraqi Army
intact. One of the Iraqis closest to Baghdadi was Ibrahim Izzat al-Douri, a
senior official in Saddam’s government until 2003. (Douri was reported killed
last month—it’s still not clear if he was or not.) It’s hard to imagine that
Douri—or any other hardcore member of Saddam’s Baath Party—would have ever
willingly taken part in an American occupation, whether he had a job or not.
So, in this sense, Ziedrich is overstating the case. While it’s true that
George W. Bush took actions that helped enable the creation of the Iraqi
insurgency, and that some leaders of the insurgency formed isis, it’s not
true that he “created” isis. And there’s
a good argument to be made that an insurgency would have formed following the
even if President Bush had kept the Iraqi Army together. He just helped to make
the insurgency bigger. Iraq
But let’s get to Governor Bush’s assertion—that
went down the tubes because of President Obama’s decision to pull out all
American forces, and that Obama could easily have left behind a residual force
that would have kept the peace. Iraq
I took up this issue last year in a Profile of Maliki, the Iraqi leader we left in place. Maliki didn’t really want any Americans to stay in
, and Obama didn’t, either.
But—and this is a crucial point—it seems possible that, if Obama had pushed
Maliki harder, the United States could have retained a small force of soldiers
there in noncombat roles. More than a few Americans and Iraqis told me this.
They blame Obama for not trying harder. “You just had this policy vacuum and
this apathy,” Michael Barbero, the commander of American forces in Iraq
in 2011, told me, describing the Obama White House. Iraq
So, on this, Governor Bush isn’t entirely accurate, but makes a good point: the Obama Administration might have been able to keep some forces in
if it had really tried. Iraq
This much is clear: after 2011, with no Americans on the ground, Maliki was free to indulge his worst sectarian impulses, and he rapidly and ruthlessly repressed Iraq’s Sunni minority, imprisoning thousands of young men on no charges, thereby radicalizing the Sunnis who weren’t in prison. When, in June, 2014, isis came rolling in, anything seemed better than Maliki to many of
The story of the conflict”, Μάρτιος 2016 Syria
1η, 2η, 3η Παράγραφος
Pro-democracy protests erupted in March 2011 in the southern city of
after the arrest and torture of some
teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. After security
forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing several,
more took to the streets. Deraa
The unrest triggered nationwide protests demanding President Assad's resignation. The government's use of force to crush the dissent merely hardened the protesters' resolve. By July 2011, hundreds of thousands were taking to the streets across the country.
Opposition supporters eventually began to take up arms, first to defend themselves and later to expel security forces from their local areas.
rebels routed by fighters linked to al-Qaeda”, Νοέμβριος 2014 Syria
2η, 3η Παράγραφος
Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.
Other moderate fighters were on the run, headed for the Turkish border as the extremists closed in, heralding a significant defeat for the rebel forces
counting on as a bulwark against the Islamic State. Washington
6η , 7η Παράγραφος
Jabhat al-Nusra has long been regarded by Syrians as less radical than the breakaway Islamic State faction, and it had participated alongside moderate rebels in battles against the Islamic State earlier this year. But it is also on the
U.S. list of terrorist organizations and is the
only group in
that has formally declared its allegiance to the mainstream al-Qaeda
A Jabhat al-Nusra base was one of the first targets hit when the
States launched its air war in in September, and activists
said the tensions fueled by that attack had contributed to the success of the
group’s push against the moderate rebels. Syria
11η , 12η Παράγραφος
Among the groups whose bases were overrun in the assault was Harakat Hazm, the biggest recipient of
assistance offered under a small-scale, covert CIA program launched this year,
including the first deliveries of U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles. The group’s
headquarters outside the U.S. was seized
by Jabhat al-Nusra overnight Saturday, after rebel fighters there surrendered
their weapons and fled without a fight, according to residents in the area. village
of Khan Subbul
Hussam Omar, a spokesman for Harakat Hazm, refused to confirm whether American weaponry had been captured by the al-Qaeda affiliate because, he said, negotiations with Jabhat al-Nusra are underway.
Independent: Η Τουρκία και η Σαουδική Αραβία υποστηρίζουν την al Nusra εναντίον του
ISIS. Ο Ερντογάν είχε προβλήματα με τον
προηγούμενο Βασιλιά λόγω της Μουσουλμανικής Αδελφότητας, αλλά με τον Salman συνεννοήθηκαν να υποστηρίξουν μαζί την al Nusra. Οι Τούρκοι
και οι Άραβες έχουν παράπονα από τους Αμερικανούς γιατί δεν πιέζουν πια για την
απομάκρυνση του Άσαντ. Ο Σαουδάραβας Βασιλιάς διέκοψε συζήτηση που είχε με τον
Ομπάμα. Ο Σαουδάραβας Βασιλιάς Salman δέχτηκε την
συμμετοχή της Μουσουλμανικής Αδελφότητας στην αντιπολίτευση της Συρίας
προκειμένου να τα βρει με την Τουρκία. Όταν η Σαουδική Αραβία και η Τουρκία
άρχισαν να υποστηρίζουν την Nusra και άλλες ακραίες οργανώσεις σε βάρος πιο μετριοπαθών ομάδων
οι ΗΠΑ έκοψαν την χρηματοδότηση τους στις μετριοπαθείς ομάδες. Κάποιοι
Ισλαμιστές διαμαρτύρονται ότι οι Αμερικανοί βομβαρδίζουν τον ISIS αλλά όχι τον Άσαντ και άρα πρέπει να οργανωθούν και να το
Turkey and Saudi
Arabia alarm the West by backing Islamist extremists the
Americans had bombed in ”,
Μάιος 2015 Syria
1η, 2η , 3η Παράγραφος
The two countries are focusing their backing for the Syrian rebels on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra, an extremist rival to Isis which shares many of its aspirations for a fundamentalist caliphate.
The decision by the two leading allies of the West to back a group in which al-Nusra plays a leading role has alarmed Western governments and is at odds with the US, which is firmly opposed to arming and funding jihadist extremists in Syria’s long-running civil war.
6η , 7η , 8η , 9η Παράγραφος
Relations had been fraught between the Turkish president and the late King Abdullah, primarily because of
support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Saudi monarchy considers a
threat. But Mr Erdogan stressed to Saudi officials that the lack of Western
action in Turkey ,
especially the failure to impose a “no-fly zone”, meant that regional powers
now needed to come together and take the lead to help the opposition. Syria
The Army of Conquest – which also numbers the extremist groups Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa among its seven members – has a command centre in Idlib, northern
. Turkish officials admit
giving logistical and intelligence support to the command headquarters.
Although they deny giving direct help to al-Nusra, they acknowledge that the
group would be beneficiaries. Syria
They also acknowledge links with Ahrar al-Sham, which is held to be extremist by the
US, but has fought against Isis, as has al-Nusra
in some parts of .
Turkish officials claim that bolstering Ahrar al-Sham will weaken the influence
of al-Nusra. Syria
Material support – arms and money – have been coming from the Saudis, say rebels and officials, with the Turks facilitating its passage. The border villages of Guvecci, Kuyubasi, Hacipasa, Besaslan, Kusakli and Bukulmez are the favoured routes, according to rebel sources.
11η , 12η Παράγραφος
There have been complaints from the Saudis that the US, needing the support of Shia Iran against Isis in Iraq, and hopeful of an accord over Iran’s nuclear programme, is becoming less interested in the removal of Tehran’s client regime in Damascus.
Further evidence of dissatisfaction over the US approach among Sunni states came yesterday with the news that King Salman has withdrawn from a summit with Barack Obama at the White House on the Iran nuclear talks this week: he will be represented instead by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Of the six heads of
States invited, only the emirs of Qatar
are now due to attend. Kuwait
17η , 18η , 19η Παράγραφος
A key sign of rapprochement between
has been over the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis welcomed the coup against
Mohamed Morsi’s government in Saudi Arabia Egypt,
but the group has been staunchly supported by since Mr Erdogan came to
power. Now, say diplomats and officials, Turkey has accepted a
continued role for the Brotherhood in the Syrian opposition. Saudi Arabia
Rebel fighters in
Syria claim that after Western-sponsored groups
lost ground to al-Nusra last year,
began to cut off funding for most of the supposedly moderate groups. Harakat
al-Hazm, originally the most favoured of these, had its cash funding halved;
the rebel Farouq Brigade had all funds cut off. Washington
Abdulatif al-Sabbagh, an officer with Ahrar al-Sham, said: “The Americans backed people who said they were revolutionaries, but these people were corrupt and incompetent... Jaish al-Fatah is successful is because we all fight together. But we are all against Daesh [Isis] just as we are against Bashar. The Americans are bombing Daesh but doing nothing against the regime, that’s why we have got together to fight them.”
“ISIS leaders remain in close contact with
– Lavrov”, Μάιος 2016 Ankara
2η , 3η Παράγραφος
The leaders of Islamic State maintain a constant liaison with the Turkish government, working out a new approach to the war in
as the Russian Air Force cuts
off traditional smuggling routes, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Syria
The airstrikes of the Russian Air Force in
have severely disrupted “traditional smuggling routes,” so the Turks
are discussing in all seriousness creation of “IS-free zones” in . Syria
Turkey to propose cooperation with Russia on fighting ISIS”,
1η, 2η, 3η , 4η Παράγραφος
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan last week expressed regret over last year's shooting down of a Russian warplane, with the loss of the pilot.
Moscow, which had broken off virtually all economic ties and banned tourists from visiting Turkish resorts, pledged in return to help rebuild relations.
In an interview with Turkish state television on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had appeared to suggest
Ankara could open up
Incirlik to Russia, a move
that could raise concern among Turkey's
NATO partners already using the base, including the . United States
“Into the Quagmire:
Frustrated Syria Policy”, Δεκέμβριος 2012 Turkey
Η Εξέλιξη της Al Nusra
“Al-Nusra Front : Split with ISIL 2013”
By January 2013, Nusra was a formidable force with strong popular support in
Syria, and it continued to grow in
strength during the following months. On 8 April 2013, the leader of the then Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,
released a recorded audio message on the Internet, in which he announced that
Jabhat al-Nusra was part of his network, and that he was merging Jabhat al-Nusra
with ISI into one group, "Islamic State
of Iraq and al-Sham" (ISIL ), under his command. Al-Baghdadi also said that Abu Mohammad al-Julani had
been dispatched by the ISI to Syria to meet with pre-existing cells in the
country and that the ISI had provided Jabhat al-Nusra with the plans and
strategy needed for the Syrian Civil War, and had been funding their
The next day al-Julani rejected the merger and affirmed the group's allegiance to al-Qaeda and its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Julani was quoted as saying, "We inform you that neither the al-Nusra command nor its consultative council, nor its general manager were aware of this announcement. It reached them via the media and if the speech is authentic, we were not consulted." Nusra then split, with some members, particularly foreign fighters, followed Baghdadi’s edict and joined ISIL, while others stayed loyal to Golani or left to join other Islamist brigades.
In May 2013, Reuters reported that al-Baghdadi had travelled from
Iraq to 's Aleppo Governorate province
and begun recruiting members of al-Nusra. Sometime in May 2013, al-Julani was
reportedly injured by an airstrike conducted by the Syrian government. In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that
it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri,
addressed to both Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Mohammad al-Julani, in which he
ruled against the merger of the two organisations and appointed an emissary to
oversee relations between them and put an end to tensions. Later in the month, an audio message
from al-Baghdadi was released in which he rejected al-Zawahiri's ruling and
declared that the merger of the two organisations into the Islamic State of Syria Iraq and the Levant
was going ahead. This sequence of events caused much confusion and division
amongst members of al-Nusra.
In November 2013, Al-Zawahiri ordered the disbandment of ISIL and said al-Nusra should be considered the (only) al-Qaeda branch in Syria,and bestowed the title "Tanzim Qa'edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham" ("the Qae'dat Al-Jihad organization in the Levant") on them, officially integrating Nusra into al-Qaeda’s global network.
Some units of al-Nusra began taking part in clashes against the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant
in late 2013.
In February 2014, after efforts to end the dispute between ISIL and Nusra had failed, al-Qaeda formally dissociated itself from its onetime affiliate ISIL, leaving Jabhat al-Nusra the sole representative of al-Qaeda in
. In the same month, al-Julani threatened
to go to war with ISIL over their suspected role in the killing of senior Ahrar ash-Sham commander Abu Khaled al-Souri.
Al-Julani gave ISIL five days to submit evidence that they were innocent of the
attack to three imprisoned Jihadist clerics, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Abu Qatada al-Falastini, and Suleiman al-Alwan. On 16 April 2014, ISIL killed
al-Nusra's Idlib chief
Abu Mohammad al-Ansari together with his family, the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights reported. In May 2014, open fighting broke out
between ISIL and al-Nusra in Deir ez-Zor Governorate,
leaving hundreds dead on both sides. Syria
By July 2014, al-Nusra had largely been expelled from Deir ez-Zor Governorate. Also in July, an audio recording attributed to al-Julani appeared online, in which he said that al-Nusra planned to establish an Islamic emirate in the areas of
where they had a presence. A statement issued on 12 July 2014 by al-Nusra's
media channel affirmed the authenticity of the recording, but stated that they
had not yet declared the establishment of an emirate. Syria
In June 2015, al-Julani stated in regards to ISIL: "There is no solution between us and them in the meantime, or in the foreseeable future [...] We hope they repent to God and return to their senses ... if not, then there is nothing but fighting between us."
On 12 February 2015, SITE Intelligence Group cited rumours that Nusra leader al-Julani had plans to disassociate from al-Qaeda.
On 4 March, "sources within and close to al-Nusra" reportedly had said to Reuters that in the past months Qatar and other Gulf states had talked with Nusra leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani and encouraged him to abandon al-Qaeda, promising funding to Nusra once that break-up was carried out. An official close to the Qatari government had confirmed to Reuters that
wanted Nusra to become purely Syrian and disconnect from al-Qaeda, after which would
start to support Nusra with money and supplies. Muzamjer al-Sham, reportedly a
‘prominent jihadi close to Nusra’ had said that Nusra would soon merge with Jaish
al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar and other small jihadi brigades and disengage from al-Qaeda,
but that not all Nusra emirs had yet agreed to that. Qatar
On 9 March 2015, in a statement issued on Twitter, al-Nusra denied "completely all reports of a meeting with Qatari" and reports of a break-up with al-Qaeda. Expert Thomas Pierret at the
University of Edinburgh assumed that was trying to force the hand
of Al-Nusra with this "leak" about a split, and said a break with
Al-Qaeda was very unlikely. French expert on jihadism Romain Caillet agreed:
"The overwhelming majority of Al-Nusra members want to stay in al-Qaeda,
particularly foreign fighters who represent at least one-third of the
But Abu Maria al-Qahtani, the commander of al-Nusra in Deir ez-Zor province, still strongly advocated a split with al-Qaeda. Muhamed Nabih Osman, leading a charitable organisation for former Assad prisoners, said to website The Daily Beast on 4 May 2015: "I think it will happen soon. You have to understand that al-Nusra consists of two very different parts and that one part, mostly local fighters, are not interested in global jihad".
On 7 May 2015, a Turkish official said that
were bolstering Ahrar al-Sham at
Nusra's expense, hoping that al-Sham's rise puts pressure on Nusra to renounce
its ties to al-Qaeda and open itself to outside help. Saudi Arabia
A "well-connected Syrian Islamist" cited in May 2015 by The Huffington Post said: "There are now two main currents... the conservatives are keen on keeping ties to Al-Qaeda and the others are more inclined towards the new Syria-focused approach". Another "Islamist official from Damascus" is cited: "Nusra's disengagement from al Qaeda would be good for the revolution, but Jabhat al-Nusra will always be in dire need of al Qaeda's name to keep its foreign fighters away from IS. Most Jabhat foreign fighters will never accept to fight and die for what looks like an Islamic national project."
In late July 2016, through various sources, the Middle East Eye claimed that an organizational split from al-Qaeda is "imminent", with the proposal reportedly been approved by AQ leaders and proposed a new name called "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham", or the "Conquest of the Levant Front". However, the sources claim that the move will not affect al-Nusra al-Qaeda ideology and its plan to commit attacks on the West.
At least one Arab government has accused Qatar of helping al-Nusra.According to the Al-Ahram Weekly, "The Saudis and Qataris are to provide funding for 40 per cent of the [Army of Conquest] coalition’s needs". JaN has been cited as an example of groups in the Syrian Civil War that Saudi Arabia has supported that are "most in line with Wahhabi beliefs". The
Government has been sending weapons to rebels in since at least late 2013, and perhaps as early as 2012,during the beginning phases of the conflict.
These weapons have been reportedly falling into hands of extremists, such as
al-Nusra and ISIL. Syria
al-Nusra has also been materially supported by multiple foreign fighters. Most of these fighters are from Europe and the Middle East, as pipelines to
from those locations are
better established and navigable. However, as of November 2013, there
were also 6 publicly disclosed cases of American citizens and permanent
residents who joined or attempted to join al-Nusrah in 2013 alone. Syria
The Independent reported that Saudi Arabia and Turkey "are focusing their backing for the Syrian rebels on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra."
The Pentagon confirmed in September 2015 that a small group of US-trained New Syrian Forces rebels gave six pickup trucks and a portion of their ammunition to al-Nusra Front in exchange for safe passage.
The Emir of
Qatar publicly admitted, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour,
that he doesn’t always see eye to eye with American terrorist designations:
"I know that in
and some countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. ... But
there are differences. There are differences that some countries and some people
that any group which comes from Islamic background are terrorists. And we don't
accept that." It has been suggested that one of the
designated groups that the Emir spoke of in this interview at CNN was the
Al-Nusra Front. 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. Al Nusra has, thus far, kidnapped a
diverse group of people from nationalities that span the globe. They have been
involved in kidnapping people from America Turkey,
Fiji, Lebanon, Syria,
among others. In each occasion, Italy
engages in a substantial financial agreement with Al Nusra in exchange for
hostages. CATF suggests that the Qatar U.S.
turns a blind eye to ’s
funding of Al Nusra because Al Nusra is one of the only groups that poses a
plausible threat to both ISIS and Assad. 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, Qatar Aleppo, and . Its combat proficiency and
relatively greater access to materiel and funding have led other opposition
groups to tolerate its participation in military operations across the country." Damascus
According to The Fiscal Times,
has great influence over the
group that goes beyond ransom payments. In many cases, Qatar acts as a
political mediator between Al Nusra and other countries like Lebanon: "A prisoner swap between the
Lebanese government and al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, Al-Nusra Front in early
December showed how powerful the group has become on the ground. The deal
released 16 Lebanese soldiers and police officers who were captured during a
joint ISIS-al-Nusra operation along with 29 civilians, some of whom are known
terrorists." Indeed, Qatar Qatar’s
mediation between Al Nusra and Lebanon
ultimately guaranteed al-Nusra freedom of movement inside what was once a safe
haven in Lebanon’s Hamid
valley, bordering Syria,
giving Al Nusra access to the Lebanese town of . Arsal
But one Diplomat goes so far as to suggest that, beyond the scope of mediation and paying ransom, "They [
are partly responsible for Jabhat al-Nusra having money and weapons and
everything they need." The diplomat even goes on to say that while Qatar
hasn’t directly funded ISIS, it is responsible for the fact that ISIS gained Al
Nusra weapons as members of Al Nusra are known to defect to ISIS. Qatar