The “ISILization” of Iraq and Syria!

تم نشره في Wed 11 June / Jun 2014. 12:20 PM - آخر تعديل في Wed 11 June / Jun 2014. 12:21 PM

By Mohammed Abu Rumman

The top headline in the London-based Al Hayat Newspaper yesterday was "half of Iraq is under the banner of ISIL" (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant); the organization’s militants managed to take over al-Mosul’s airport and large parts of the city, after operations in Samarra, and other battles that have been ongoing for a year with the army of al-Maliki in Anbar and Fallujah.

The Iraqi army has incurred heavy losses during the last months, and often fell an easy prey to ISIL, which now controls large tracts in Iraq and Syria, and is transforming from into a de facto state, in the words of my friend and distinguished researcher Hassan Abu Hannieh.

Ironically, ISIL does not only have political and military capacity, but even its media has become superior to major news agencies and satellite channels, and is competing production houses in terms of quality of films and technical competence produced for the operations multi carried out in various areas in Iraq; such as the series of films "Saleel al-Sawarem" (3 parts by now), which transmits actual scenes of the killing of the leaders of the Iraqi army and al-Sahawat, assassination by cars, and films of the planning and takeover of government buildings it.

Bottom line is that ISIL returned today to Iraq, stronger even than its previous golden age when it was under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, before being eroded because of al-Sahwat and the Sunni community’s rejection of it. The organization reaps today the sectarian hostility towards Sunnis that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki planted, and his insistence on the marginalization and exclusion of Sunnis from the new political system.

Between 2008 and 2010, the Sunni political elite succeeded in persuading the Sunni community not to join al-Qaeda, and work for integration into the new political system, and to participate with Shiite forces in its construction.

Back then, al-Qaeda receded and the majority of the militants dropped their arms, including the Islamists, such as the Islamic Army, the Revolution Brigades, and others, and headed toward political action.

The idea of al-Sahawat emerged to curtail al-Qaeda and expel it from Sunni areas. However, the US’s false promises, and al-Maliki’s accumulated policies and his insistence on the destruction of those Sunni political elite, and then his bloody military campaign carried out against the uprising in the Anbar area led to counter-migration towards ISIL.

Back to square one of bloody sectarian conflict. Which cannot be countered by the army of al-Maliki with what it gets from global support, nor any army, even if the Americans return to Iraq; Sunni incubator have grown again and were formed in Iraq, in parallel with the spread of ISIL and its influence within the Sunni community in Syria, in spite of its clash with its sister Jabhat al-Nusra, which represents al-Qaeda there, and  the Islamic Front; ISIL today controls large swathes of Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa, and northeastern Syria.

Those who are still wondering about ISIL, they are, a nutshell, an organization that exceeded al-Qaeda itself, and represents an extension of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his radical approach; it focuses on the establishment of a pure Islamic state, gives priority to sectarian conflict, and expands on the Takfir (Islamic excommunication) of its opponents, even the Islamists. We are talking about a new generation that is more aggressive and violent than what you know!

The most dangerous thing is that the political vacuum is great in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon — and the state of frustration and despair, fear, and threatened identity is growing among Sunnis in these areas — will lead them to follow this organization, which is the main reason that explains its rise and expansion in the recent months!



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.