Where’d They Go?!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 16 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Quickly, many began to wonder; where’d all the Daeshi fighters go! People over the social media have been asking questions.

Where are their bodies? Where are the prisoners?

Media, both Arab and foreign, as well as officials, spoke about there being dozens of thousands of ISIS fighters, where’d they all go?

Where are they now? They couldn’t have just evaporated!

Typically, these questions are rooted in in conspiracy theory, which isn’t strange to the general and public narrative.

More so among the Arab intellectual communities, always going on about everything being a mystery or some foreign conspiracy to push forward some scheme.

When the role of a certain entity is over, plugs are pulls, the curtains are pulled, and just like that, overnight, thousands of Daeshi fighters disappear!

In truth, however, uncovering the fates of the terrorists in Mosul, for instance, isn’t exactly a brain twister!

The terrorist group announced, months ago, that there have been over 1,200 suicide attacks, carried out in Mosul alone, with plenty of video evidence to support the claim.

US jets and artillery have killed dozens of the group’s militants going against the Iraqi forces in the old city, in Mosul.

Put together, the organisation has lost thousands of their fighters, dozens of them arrested, those who stood the battles out, while others withdrew to other ISIS controlled areas.

Many have retreated to the Raqqa and Deir Al Zour regions in Syria as well.

Why weren’t the confessions of those arrested by in the battles aired and published? They were.

There are Iraqi and Arab countries who conducted interviews with ISIS leaders and field commanders who were arrested.

Suddenly, those who question ISIS’s reality forget the hundreds of Jordanians who left the Kingdom to join the fight there, and met their fates.

Many of them joined ISIS (Daesh in Arabic) and Nusra.

I personally have a list of dozens of Jordanian youths who were killed in suicide attacks or during confrontations.

Those are not aliens, but people we knew. People who were once amongst as.

Similarly, there are thousands of Iraqis, Syrians, Arabs, and foreigners who travelled all the way to Iraq and Syria, to join these groups.

The point is not to discuss this particular aspect, here, of the ISIS question, but to address this overwhelming mentality of conspiracy!

Of course there are conspiracies and ill-willed schemes; what’d you think?

Such is the world of politics, and history is full of it!

However, the greatest of these schemes we have threaded ourselves, against ourselves!

All those militias, the Popular Mobilisation Forces, ISIS, Nusra, the Houthis, among others, are merely Arab citizens who joined in to partake in these armed disputes.

The funny thing about all this is that it brings us back to when ISIS, or Daesh, resurged in 2014, and spread.

Politicians and intellectuals went over and over about it all being a conspiracy.

Iraqi leaders and officials said it is a foreign invasion. So did the Syrians.

Eventually, ISIS turned out to be everything they said it out to be, except it was not so foreign after all.

Daesh was an invasion from the inside.

If anything, this trend of highly organised violent extremist movement is only the product of out failures.

It is a product of dictatorship, proxy-disputes, counter-revolutions, and resistance to democratic change.

Even should ISIS “disappear” as some would have it, the enablers of its resurgence stand, so far, due to our inability to face ourselves with the truth!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.