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    Oh Syria the victory is coming (OP)




    shiekh muhammad al arifi

    Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Allah made everyone different thats what makes them special,so no matter what ppl say just remember you're SPECIAL!!
    "You are with the one you love"
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

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    Salaam

    Another update.

    Former captive Iraqi doctor tells of dissent and despair within Islamic State's ranks

    Some foreign fighters regretted joining IS when they witnessed the reality of the group's rule, but were stuck, says physician who treated them


    Mohamed, an Iraqi orthopaedic surgeon forced to work in Mosul hospitals under the Islamic State group, said he saw firsthand cases of foreign fighters who regretted joining IS but felt unable to leave.

    “The foreigners who changed their minds after they arrived couldn’t leave. They couldn’t go back because they had no passport and IS had ordered that any IS fighter who escaped and ran away, especially from battles, must be killed,” Mohamed told Middle East Eye.

    Accounts of regret from former IS members themselves - fleeing the last pocket of territory that IS still occupies in Syria and now seeking clemency and repatriation to their home countries - are often treated with suspicion.

    Mohamed, however, confirmed that IS members were often unable to leave and would face severe penalties for trying to do so.

    Upon arrival in the so-called IS "caliphate", male foreign fighters surrendered their passports, were often given new Arabic names - the surname usually reflecting their home country - and were issued with IS ID cards. The only IS passport available was a "Passport to Paradise" - a one-way ticket to heaven - its design loosely based on standard-issue earthly passports.

    “When foreign IS fighters arrived here, they brought their principles, they took a different name and IS sent them to fight. But it was actually like a rat trap and IS was the cheese.

    "They gave the impression in their videos and propaganda that they were a force for good - helping patients and giving money to the poor - but, when the foreigners arrived, they saw this was not the case,” said Mohamed.

    Some foreign fighters quickly became disenchanted.

    “The Western IS fighters wanted to come here and they thought they’d be fighting bad people but after they’d arrived, they realised those people they were supposed to fight were not actually bad people but just ordinary Iraqis,” he said.

    “One Western IS fighter, I don’t know his nationality, was given orders to blow himself up in a nearby village. He went to do the bombing and saw all the people were at mosque, praying at prayer time. He didn’t bomb them but came back and said, ‘They’re not Kuffar [infidels], they’re Muslim,’ and he had a very big fight with IS about it. Local people said he was a good Muslim and not really IS at all,” said Mohamed.

    “[Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi loved foreign IS much more than Iraqi IS because they were stronger believers and were more committed and true to the IS cause than the Iraqis. Locals here often only joined for money or to have power and carry a weapon.”

    Foreign fighters and would-be IS brides were essential to the self-proclaimed "caliphate" and were largely recruited online or through widespread dissemination of IS propaganda. English language, music videos of nasheed - vocal-only religious chanting without instruments - such as "For the Sake of Allah", targeted young men, and many Arabic language propaganda videos were subtitled in English.

    “IS had doctors from all over the world,” said Mohamed, listing nationalities - Pakistani, British, Indian, Australian, Syrian and Russian - adding that these foreign doctors were only for treating members of IS and would rarely see civilian patients.

    “There was a British IS doctor here for six months. He was British-born but of Algerian descent and very religious. He’d had a long journey to get here and most of his radicalisation was over the internet, which is how IS talked to people all over the word and converted them,” said Dr Mohamed.

    He said the British doctor was called Abu Muslim, adding that foreign IS members always concealed their true names and identities.

    “These foreigners were indoctrinated by IS ideologies because IS had very good, strong and effective press and propaganda. They were excellent liars and made a lot of press and propaganda with pictures and videos about happiness under IS, glamourising IS, showing how great IS was and how it stood up to the EU and US,” said Mohamed.

    “I last saw the Algerian-Briton in mid-2016. We didn’t talk much, as he was never friendly or talkative, but I felt he was afraid of IS and had become very uncomfortable with the situation. I really felt he didn’t accept what IS was doing, or even what he himself did.”

    An Iraqi Special Forces medic who worked in Mosul and dealt with injured IS fighters captured in battle suggested around ten percent of foreign fighters regretted joining IS, especially more recent converts to Islam or those who had been brainwashed with IS’s extreme ideologies.

    “They came to Mosul to help, as IS had called them to do but, when they arrived, they saw the reality of IS was quite different, but they couldn’t leave because they didn’t have their passports anymore, just rubbish IS ID cards, some of which they appeared to have made themselves,” said the medic.

    He added that other foreign IS fighters were so completely brainwashed they were “beyond help,” including very young children rescued during fighting, who scolded Iraqi medics for smoking, telling them it was haram [forbidden].

    It wasn’t only Western foreign fighters who, having pledged allegiance to IS, became troubled when they saw the realty of the group. Members from neighbouring countries also expressed doubts.

    “One Syrian IS came here with severe migraines and, after talking to him, I understood these headaches were brought on because he was thinking too much, thinking all the time, ’Am I on the right path or am I on the wrong path? How do I know if what I’m doing is right or wrong?’” said Mohamed.

    He said he gave the fighter a vague diagnosis of psychological problems, so the man would not get in trouble with his IS superiors who, apparently deciding the Syrian was crazy and a liability, kicked him out.

    Disillusion and dissension

    IS fighters seized Mosul in June 2014. By 2015, there was serious dissatisfaction and dissension within IS ranks which sharply increased from late 2015, said Mohamed.

    “People saw things were being done in the wrong manner and started to realise IS were liars and then a lot of problems started inside IS,” he said. “We saw a lot of disagreement between IS themselves.”

    This was confirmed in a September 2018 interview on Iraqi TV with imprisoned former IS commander Issam al-Zobai (whose IS name was Abu Abd al-Haq al-Iraqi), who admitted that disagreements could be so fierce they left some commanders injured or imprisoned. The appointment of foreign IS commanders over locals was also deeply contentious.

    “They started to blame themselves or each other and became unhappy. They even started to fight each other, or to try and escape,” said Mohamed.

    Leaving was particularly difficult for IS foreign fighters, whose appearance and inability to speak Iraqi dialects made them stand out.

    Their escape could only be facilitated by paying large sums - reportedly up to $10,000 per person - to smugglers. With IS members also working as smugglers, there was an additional risk that a smuggler might be an IS spy.

    Mohamed saw only a handful of cases where foreign fighters gave indications of regretting their decision to join IS. Others, locals said, contributed to the increasing reign of terror the group inflicted upon Mosul residents.

    Mosul resident Ahmed said that after the first three months of IS rule, which he described as “very good and secure”, large numbers of foreign fighters and their wives started arriving in the city, coinciding with the time when IS became stricter and started meting out harsh punishments and public executions.

    “I saw a Russian IS member inside Souk Halib and he had a child with him, maybe 10 years old, who also looked Russian and he gave the boy a gun and told him to shoot people,” he said.

    “That happened here, if you did something wrong, they got their own sons to carry out the punishments.”

    The foreign IS wives, which some locals described as “beautiful” with tall slender physiques and light-coloured eyes, also became feared.

    “The IS wives were scary, to be honest. They carried guns under their abayas but I never saw any of them fighting, they were just in the Hisbah (morality police),” said Mosul resident Hassan.

    “They had a biting machine, made of metal, and if women were caught not wearing a full-face veil, they would be punished by the female Hisbah. This was mainly happening inside Mosul, in the city centre. We stopped going out because we were scared.”

    'From decent person to killer'

    The harsh reality of IS also dashed the hopes of many locals that the group’s self-proclaimed "caliphate" might have offered a viable solution to the sectarianism which blighted Iraq following the US-led 2003 invasion.

    “Social and sectarian problems were rife in Mosul before IS and people were angry about bad governance. IS presented itself as a solution to these problems and Mosul accepted this,” Mohamed said.

    “But then IS changed its face, from Islamic to criminal, from helper to purveyor of cruelty, from decent person to killer. With each passing day, people started to question this behaviour and started to reject IS.”

    IS members started covering their faces with balaclavas after around a year, he said, because they had become so widely hated and knew they would become “wanted” people in the future.

    Zobai, the imprisoned former IS commander, admitted in the TV interview that the increasing oppression and injustice IS inflicted on civilians was one of the main reasons IS lost both territory and local support.

    He said one of Baghdadi’s biggest mistakes in the Mosul battle was to forcefully keep 64,000 families of IS members and supporters, as well as thousands more ordinary civilians, in the city as human shields.

    “We expected that they would be evacuated, and were surprised that the roads were blocked by the Caliphate's office, and nobody was allowed to leave Mosul,” he said.

    "Nobody was allowed to leave, whether it was a family of an IS commander or just any Muslim family. It was a battle for life or death.”

    Such mistakes, he said, had led to IS losing virtually all its support base in Iraq, destroying the concept of a successful "caliphate", and reducing IS to a position of insurgency.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/f...c-states-ranks

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  4. #462
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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Situation is going from bad to worse in Idlib.

    As ISIS fight nears end, violence flares on other Syrian front

    BEIRUT — While the final battle to retake the Islamic State group’s last pocket of territory rages in eastern Syria, violence is escalating in the country’s northwest, pitting al-Qaida-linked militants against Syrian government forces.

    The alarming violence in the Idlib region threatens to unravel a truce reached between Turkey and Russia last year that averted a bloody assault by the government to retake the province, the last major rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria. The escalation raises fears once more of a major assault by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Idlib has been in the hands of opposition forces for years, even as Assad’s military has succeeded in retaking other rebel enclaves one after the other. The province is now home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced from other former opposition territory. Earlier this year, al-Qaida-linked militants took over the province, squeezing out most other factions after clashes with Turkey-backed opposition fighters.

    Since then, government forces have intensified airstrikes and bombardment of Idlib towns. Since mid-February, some 100,000 people have been displaced, largely by government bombardment, and have fled to villages deeper in rebel-held territory, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. The group said that around 140 people, including 69 civilians, have been killed.

    The mounting violence points to how Syria’s nearly 8-year-long civil war still has the capability to burst once more into major bloodshed. The focus of the US and other countries has been on defeating the Islamic State group, which once held eastern and northern Syria, and Assad’s conflict with his opponents has quieted in recent months after government victories and the truce. But the root of that conflict remains.

    The militants, from an al-Qaida-linked group called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, Arabic for the Levant Liberation Committee, have also stepped up their attacks — in retaliation, they say, for the government bombardment.

    In the early hours of a cold morning earlier this month, militants attacked several Syrian army positions and checkpoints on the edge of Idlib in the village of Masasneh, killing nearly two dozen soldiers — one of the most serious attacks on government forces since the truce reached in September. The attack triggered hours of fighting and bombardment that killed and wounded dozens of insurgents.

    The Syrian Foreign Ministry warned afterward that the military was in “full readiness” to deal with repeated violations of the truce.

    Russia, which backs Assad, and Turkey, which supports opposition factions, put together the truce in September. They agreed to establish a 15-20 kilometers deep demilitarized zone in Idlib in which they said militants will not have a presence. The deal also offered the Syrian government and Russia one of their main demands — opening two key highways that pass through Idlib and link northern Syria with Damascus and other cities. But neither provision was implementing despite a deadline for opening the roads by the end of 2018.

    Still, the truce has been vital to keeping a degree of calm and preventing an all-out battle for Idlib that could be extremely bloody and drag in Russia and Turkey.

    The US deputy ambassador at the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, last month expressed American concern over the increase in government airstrikes and other violence in Idlib.

    “Terrorism cannot be used as a pretext for targeting civilians,” he said in a reference to al-Qaida-linked group’s control of the area. “Any major military operation in Idlib would be a reckless escalation of the conflict and would result in a humanitarian catastrophe far beyond what we’ve witnessed.”

    The main immediate aim of the government operations appears to be to eventually force open the key highways crossing though Idlib — the M5 that links southern and northern Syria and the M4 that links the coastal city of Latakia with the northern city of Aleppo, said Akram al-Ahmad, a Turkey-based Syrian opposition activist who heads a monitoring group called the Syrian Press Center.

    The towns most targeted by government bombardment have been Khan Sheikhoun, Saraqeb and Maaret al-Numan, which control the M5 highway.

    An HTS military commander known as Abu Khaled al-Shami released a video statement Wednesday expressing pride for killing government soldiers and vowing more attacks.

    “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham will retaliate forcefully if regime forces try to advance toward liberated areas,” he said.

    The leaders of Russia and Turkey held another summit in mid-February after which both leaders said there will be no offensive by Syrian government forces on Idlib and promised to work together to prevent the province from becoming a “stronghold of terrorists.”

    On Friday, Turkey’s defense minister said Turkey and Russia will begin patrols in the demilitarized zone in Idlib — though violence continued over the weekend despite some patrols.

    Turkey has struggled to rein in HTS.

    According to al-Ahmad and Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Observatory, there appears to be a split within HTS. On one side is its leader Abu Mohammed al-Golani, who has gotten closer to Turkey, and on the other is an Egyptian religious figure in the group known as Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri, who represents hard-liners in HTS opposing Turkey’s role. Al-Masri defected from the group in February along with other hard-liners.

    Another militant group in Idlib, Horas al-Din, is also resisting the Turkish mediation. The group, made up mostly of non-Syrian al-Qaida-linked fighters, rejected the demilitarized zone, calling it a “great conspiracy.”

    The Syrian government has repeatedly vowed that its forces will eventually retake the whole country.

    The government “is determined more than ever to regain control of its land and liberate from terrorism and illegitimate foreign presence,” said the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari.

    http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/12032019













    Last edited by Junon; 1 Week Ago at 08:53 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update





    Another update from Idlib.

    Blurb

    After a long period of relative calm, Russia has resumed airstrikes on civilians in Idlib province. Many are wondering why. OGN explains that disagreements in trade between Turkey and Russia in relation to the Syrian M5 Highway, which runs through Free Syria, may be the reason.







    Trumps changed his mind about troop withdrawals.

    Last edited by Junon; 4 Days Ago at 10:43 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Salaam

    Another update. ISILs last redoubt is about to fall.













    'Suffocating smell of death' as SDF attacks last ISIL pocket

    Amid fierce fighting, ISIL fighters remain squeezed in a few hundred metres in besieged Baghouz village, SDF says.


    Asmar al-Bahr says he saw scores of bodies strewn across ISIL's last encampment in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz and stockpiles of weapons.

    However, it was the "suffocating smell of death" that he worries he may never forget.

    Bahr is a photographer with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed group fighting ISIL in Baghouz. He says he went to the village on Tuesday, hours after fierce fighting the night before.

    "I talked to several Daesh fighters," he told Al Jazeera on the phone, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.

    "There were Russians, Swedish, Germans [and others]," Bahr said on Thursday. "Many of them told me that they never surrendered and will come back for the heads of the infidels; some of them said they regretted joining Daesh but just couldn't leave easily so they stayed."

    On February 9, the SDF began an operation to wipe out the remnants of ISIL from Baghouz in Deir Az Zor province, the group's final holdout on the Syria-Iraq border.

    Since then, ISIL has been said to be near to defeat at any moment, any day, any hour. The operation undertaken this week has pushed ISIL fighters to the tiniest part of the sliver of territory it has been holding on to, SDF says.

    'Hiding in caves'

    According to maps posted on Twitter by SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali, the remaining ISIL fighters and their family members are squeezed in a few hundred metres along a stretch of the Euphrates River.

    However, Bali urged caution against a premature declaration. "SDF is in control of Daesh encampment area in Baghouz," he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

    "This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight against Daesh. Clashes are continuing as a group of ISIS terrorists who are confined into a tiny area still fight back."

    A day later, US President Donald Trump appeared ready to declare for the second time victory over ISIL - the first being in December last year.

    Those left, he said on Wednesday, would be "gone by tonight".

    Ahmad Sultan Abu Araj, deputy commander of Jaish al-Thwar, the Arab contingent with the Kurdish-dominated SDF, said on Thursday that Trump's comments came too early.

    "The US president has said the same thing before and no liberation was announced," Abu Araj said. In the commander's estimation, there were still obstacles to cross and sometime before victory was announced.

    "The declaration would be by the end of March or the beginning of April, if nothing unexpected happened, after we make sure that Daesh is completely over," Abu Araj said.

    "Still Daesh fighters may be hiding in the caves at the Euphrates bank east of Baghouz and near the camp. Those caves might be linked to the desert of Iraq or Deir Az Zor via tunnels, we don't know. We are about 500-1,000 metres away from them."

    Remaining cautious

    Asmar, the photographer, argued that "there will be no announcement" for Baghouz's "liberation" before "the full transfer of weapons and before SDF clears the area".

    "There are lots of trucks in Baghouz to clear the dead bodies," he said.

    Since the operation began, at least 60,000 people, mostly women and children, have left Baghouz and are now in the al-Hol camp in Hasakah in northeastern Syria.

    The SDF has said its operation was slowed down to avoid harming women and children.

    According to interviews of SDF leaders previously reported on Al Jazeera, the delay has also been a result of negotiations between SDF and ISIL over the release of hostages - Westerners, Kurds and Arabs.

    But they have largely seemed to fail.

    Ahmad Sultan Abu Araj, the SDF's Arab commander, said that there was no confirmed information about the hostages.

    "We haven't had any information about the hostages, but if they were still alive then they would be used to apply pressure in the future. We still don't know where they are. Maybe they are being held by ISIS leaders in the desert, or maybe they are dead," Abu Araj said.

    Thousands of ISIL fighters have been detained in makeshift prisons by the SDF. Those remaining in Baghouz are believed to be die-hard ISIL fighters, along with family members unwilling to surrender.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middl...160510019.html
    Last edited by Junon; 1 Day Ago at 09:29 PM.

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    Re: Oh Syria the victory is coming

    Last edited by Junon; 2 Hours Ago at 12:18 AM.


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