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Autumn in Syria: soldier of fortune Oleg Valetsky puts everything in its place
Material posted: Valetskiy OlegPublication date: 15-11-2015


The situation today is very serious: millions of refugees both in Syria itself and in many neighboring and not countries. But if the refugees departed from the "tyrant" Bashar al-Assad, began a "hot" topic in mass media, such as refugees, hiding from the terror of the armed "opposition" in the territories controlled by the army, government forces, the objects of such intense media attention and various human rights organizations are not. In this case, only one Latakia are now hundreds of thousands of these fugitives. Syria's economy is in deep crisis: in local currency 320 Lira for one dollar, the average salary is 20-30 thousand pounds.

It has already killed tens of thousands of people, and the army lost half of the personnel. War is everywhere and not only between supporters of the President and various opposition factions, but also between the groups themselves. The so-called Free Syrian army ("al-Jaish as-Suri al-hurr") is actually created by the secret services of Turkey in refugee camps in their territories, and a large impact on the situation on the ground has not, relying more on the strength of the "Front support of the population of greater Syria" ("Jabha al-nusra Li-AHL al-sham") or simply "al-Nusra".

The latter controls areas in Syria only due to the presence of outputs at the border with foreign States. The main pillar of "An-Nusra" in Syria, which is based in the provinces of Idlib and in Northern Latakia with the control points in the cities of the Taman Latani, Hagihon, Idlib, Ariege, By Neman, Jisr al-Shuhur, supplied with weapons, ammunition and personnel from the camps on the border with Turkey. And the town of Salma, which is 40 kilometers away from Latakia, is generally retained by the group is actually from Turkish territory, where, at the moment of capture of the settlement is air cover of the Turkish long-range SAM "Patriot" (made in USA).

Fighting in Aleppo in 2013 are conducted in the interests of Turkey, seeking to take over this border town. Only thanks to such support, the opposition managed to capture half of the city and a roundabout of the village. Also the Turkish territory was carried out the seizure of villages in the border of the Primorsky region 25 kilometers from Latakia. In the areas of Deira and Quneitra under the control of "al-Nusra" in the areas held by it by obtaining military aid from the border of the area of the territories of Jordan and the Israeli-controlled Golan heights.

However, "An-Nusra" is in a hostile relationship with the second key force in the region — the "Islamic state of greater Syria and Iraq" ("al-Dawla al-Islamiya Fi-Bilad Al-sham WA-l-Iraq"), now known as "Islamic State of Iraq and ash-sham". The reasons for this conflict is primarily ideological.


With the outbreak of war in Syria emerged in Iraq, an armed Salafi movement underwent further ideological transformation. On the website of the Middle East Institute published article, Russian scholar, doctor of philosophical Sciences, the member of Public chamber of Russia Alexander Ignatenko "al-kaimovskii ulama". In it he mentions the work of the teacher of Osama bin Laden, "Imam Shahid" Abdullah Azzam (1941-1989.), including his book "Under the shadow of Surah At-tawbah". These works were partly replace the Qur'an the movement of the Salafis. Although the Azzam (agronomist by profession) was a disciple of Sayyid Qutb, his religious authority was not so great during life, and the dominance of the teachings provided by the fact that his supporters were successful on the battlefield.

Here he writes Ignatenko on the writings of Azzam: "... the most Important of his work is a pamphlet of two dozen pages of "Defense of Muslim lands as

main religious duty of every Muslim". The brochure is published many times in paper and electronic form. Including in English translation.

...The main idea understandable to any Mujahideen with no education, is that the duty of every Muslim is to wage Jihad for the liberation of "Muslim lands". Interesting that list, which leads the Azzam. "Land of Muslims" in the view of Azzam is – Bukhara (as Azzam calls Central Asia), Palestine, Aden (as Azzam calls Yemen), Andalusia (Spain), Eritrea, Bulgaria, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia, Burma, the Caucasus (as Azzam calls the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia), Uganda, Chad, Zanzibar, Indonesia, Nigeria — the land that, according to Abdullah Azzam, was the land of Muslims, but not anymore (the list can be found also in another work of Azzam – BASA IR al-Nasr — Portents of victory).

In this listing there is one thing not immediately evident: if we can explain the presence in this list of Palestine, Bulgaria and Lebanon, the surprising presence of countries such as Yemen, Indonesia etc. Here is the "bomb" that will explode the Arab world, would plunge him into the incessant Islamic-Islamic (which is important, not the usual age-old Sunni-Shia and Sunni-Sunni) civil war, which now is in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Libya and the list goes on — everywhere where is al kaidovtsy, acting under different names. The apotheosis of this war of mutual destruction – fighting, running currently (2014) in Syria between the two "al-Cuidame" — "Dzhabhat EN-nusra" and "Islamic state of Iraq and ash-sham".

"Bomb" is the use of Salafi categories of "apostasy" and "hypocrisy" against Muslims, at that time, the Afghan who fought against the Arab expeditionary force under the banner of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Accusing a Muslim of "apostasy" and "hypocrisy" makes his "blood" (life) "allowed" from the point of view of Sharia, i.e., allows and encourages killing him, but a duty of every Muslim is to wage Jihad against "apostates" and "hypocrites."
Since the inception of the first armed opposition group Free Syrian Army (al-Jaish as-Suri al-hurr) of the armies of the Sunni Arab tribes, Arab deserters from the Syrian Army and foreign volunteers, some of its units were controlled by the Syrian "Muslim brotherhood".

Even the year before Ignatenko, describing in the article "Cooperation and competition "al-Qaeda" in Syria. 2013" the war in Syria, noticed the existence of two "al-Qaeda" — one old, whose backbone was a "Front support of the population of greater Syria" ("Jabha al-nusra Li-AHL al-sham") or, more simply, "An-Nusra", and the new face of the organization "Islamic state of greater Syria and Iraq" ("al-Dawla al-Islamiya Fi-Bilad Al-sham WA-l-Iraq"), now known as ISIS.

The latest came to light largely thanks to the Jordanian of Palestinian origin, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi — led group "Monotheism and Jihad" ("Al-Tawhid WA-l-Jihad"), was transformed into "al-Qaeda in the Country of two Great Rivers" ("al-Qaeda Fi-Bilad ar-Rafidayn"). Zarqawi, who was killed June 7, 2006 in Iraq, introduced in a wide practice of cutting off the heads of individual Nahr – as slaughtered sheep, making it a religious act as a ritual violence against all infidels.

Skilled people in the bloody war waged by "al-Qaeda in the Country of two Great Rivers" as against "coalition forces" under American command, and against the government of Iraq and various Shiite militias and formed the basis of the IG.

The members of ISIS, putting in Eastern Syria large areas with oil fields, centered in the city of Raqqa, then launched an offensive in Iraq, where the local Arab Sunni tribes felt betrayed by the government of Iraq, which was in the hands of the Iraqi Shiites. The impending ten years, American military advisers, the Iraqi army had virtually collapsed, and in the hands of ISIS got huge stockpiles of weapons and ammunition.

After the successful capture of the so-called "Sunni triangle" (Ramada, Baqubah and Fallujah) IG forces came close to the Abu Gharib represents, in fact, a suburb of Baghdad.

The fall of Baghdad in such circumstances was a matter of time, only briefly delayed entering the armed forces of Iran, launched an offensive on ISIS in cooperation with Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga.

Obviously, the US did everything to prevent the fall of Baghdad, and it is obvious that beginning in 2013-2014, the collision of the IG and "Al Nusra" when the militants even upload photos of their heads cut off militants "An-Nusra" was largely due to the efforts of US intelligence. Since the "al-Nusra" were part of "al-Qaeda", the clashes between the two old and new it trends spread to other countries, in particular Libya and Afghanistan.

Therefore, the war waged between the two organizations in Syria, is not a clash between two gangs, the consequence of a deep ideological divide, based on the fact that the IG is fully committed to the ideology of Azzam and his disciples of Osama bin Laden and al-Zarqawi, whose opinion, de facto, they put over all of Islamic theology including Quran, whereas the front "an-Nusra" continues to maintain the old traditions of Salafism 80-90-ies.


In Islam, success on the battlefield is traditionally the last argument in theological disputes, and the success of ISIS in Iraq, as a successful offensive against the army of Syria, near Palmyra, is largely due to the popularity of factions in the armed opposition.
The opposition itself is a rather chaotic collection of various armed groups, and therefore the command of the Syrian Free army and the leadership of "al-Nusra" it's hard to keep a particular group from a transition in the ranks of the IG, the more that organization is all right with money, thanks to financial support from the outside, and the sale of oil. In addition, the proclamation of the leader of the IG Abu Bakr al-Husaini al-Quraish al-Baghdadi Caliphate is a religious act, which is in principle mandatory for all faithful Muslims of the world.

This fact poses a great threat to Bashar al-Assad, because ISIS, as the experience of the capture of the city of raqqa, where the local Sunni tribes have voluntarily pledged allegiance to him, has a great ability to win the sympathy of the local population than other forces of the armed opposition.

Currently, even on the part of the territory, which formally remains under the control of Assad's army (according to various estimates, is from one third to one half of the territory of Syria), many villages in parts of the Sunni Arab tribes are beyond the control of the army, keeping only the city. Besides, some of them Sunni population supports the actions of the armed opposition, and there are cases when opposition fighters in the cities organize attacks against the government forces.


In the army the President the majority are Shia, the alawites, which in the thirty millionth Syria is approximately 12%. It is true that the alawites have high morale and are set up to defend his co-religionist Assad, although the war years and the scrapping of the economy could not influence them. However, the actions of armed "Salafi" of the opposition, the polls to exterminate the alawites, and Christians, promote unity. Because of this, smoothed out the internal contradictions of the alawites, including tribal and intergeneric. However, from among the alawites before the war to obtain a separate religious group murshudov, not as actively supporting the actions of the army, but much influence it has.

Muslims — "Druze" mostly support Assad, despite a split among Lebanese Druze into two opposing camps. A definite minus for the combat capability of the army of Syria is that the other "minorities" in Syria, such as Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria's population, and Shiites of other areas (3%), do not represent a significant percentage in the army. If the Orthodox fully support Assad, the Christians — "Maronite" traditionally associated with "Maronite" of Lebanon, which Hafez al-Assad, and Bashar al-Assad were enemies. Catholics and Protestants tend to leave Syria.

As for the Sunni personnel, the Syrian army they are either old officers or soldiers of different forces, which there is no turning back, but they constitute a minor part. The Palestinian refugees since the beginning of the "Arab spring" supported the actions of the opposition, and they set up organizations such as Islamic Jihad. Thus the Sunni community of Syria, component of more than half of its population, practically in one way or another came under the direct control of the state, with the exception of the coastal regions of Tartus and Latakia, and Damascus area.


Actually the Syrian army from defeat saves the active military support of Iran, who introduced in the territory of the Syrian special forces "Quds" (Niroye Quds) of the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps, as well as attracted to the fighting in Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah (Hizb Allah, "Party of Allah"), which was stripped from the militants, the border with Lebanon.
Iran is sending Assad a large stockpile of weapons and ammunition, and funding is largely the actions of the army of Syria, at the moment is a key ally of this country, and at the front there is already a coalition of the armed forces of Syria and Iran as Kurdish units "Peshmerga". The fighting in Syria, in fact, represent a United front with the fighting in Iraq. And potentially it is possible that fighting in Turkey's Kurdistan workers ' party in Yemen will eventually theatres of the same war.

However, it is worth considering that the IG has great potential to attract new forces and resources, and quite possible scenario of a surprise attack in Iraq since the capture of Baghdad and the movement South to the Holy Shiite cities of Najaf, and kerbal. Such an attack would weaken the Iranian military assistance to Syria and may cause the fall of Aleppo and the transition region of Hama under the control of the IG.


Of course, at the moment the Syrian army has superiority over his opponent quite scattered, primarily in the armored and artillery. However, armed opposition groups have a significant number of anti-tank weapons (e.g. RPG-7 (USSR), M-79 (SFRY), bezotkatki SPG-9 (USSR), ptrk Malyutka (USSR) and "TOW"(US)), artillery (e.g. guns M46 (USSR)), armored vehicles (tanks T-55 (USSR), T-72 (USSR) and BMP-1 (Soviet Union)) and man-portable systems. In some areas, particularly in the province of Idlib, after the start of the October offensive of the Syrian army observed the reconciliation of previously warring factions of ISIS, "An-Nusra", "Fatah" and "Islamic Jihad", which led to the failure of the offensive to the Syrians Latmani and heavy losses in their ranks (500 dead).

The Russian military intervention in the war in Syria has led to the famous turning point in the fighting, but only because of Russian air strikes on the armed opposition. With all the increasing opposition from the US, the UK and Turkey to the actions of the Russian HQs can lead to direct air battles between the air force these States and the forces of Russia, which can not affect her ability to attack ground targets.

However, at the moment, more important role is a diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation, so the attempt to "negotiate" with the United States by the Minsk agreements and the redirection of the Russian efforts against ISIS has failed.

In this case, Russian military intervention could not depend on the goals of the Assad regime, and he was more important to air strikes on the positions of the "An-Nusra", holding key positions at the centre and in the North of Syria, rather than bombing ISIS, which controls mainly the East of Syria, to attack the government army simply can not.

However, in the case of breaking the resistance, "al-Nusra" in Idlib, and Northern Latakia, and Aleppo unlock, it may be a situation, when Bashar Assad would still be able to securely connect the coastal region of Tartous and Lattakia with Damascus and keep Syria as a single state, albeit on a smaller scale.


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