In Syria, US allies Kurds took Racca after large-scale bombing of the American city aviation. Before that, a pro-American coalition captured Mosul in Iraq. How did the fall of these cities affect the position of the Islamic State (banned in Russia)? What happens in Iraqi Kurdistan and Kirkuk after a referendum on independence? What strategy are the Americans trying to implement in the region?
The proposed article, which deals with these issues, was written on the basis of materials by the expert IBI Y. Shcheglovina.
Riyadh will help
Raqqah was released from IG 19 October. On the same day, negotiations on the restoration of the city were held on its ruins. The special representative of the US President in the international coalition for the struggle against the IG, B. McGurk, and the Saudi Gulf Minister for Persian Gulf Affairs, T. Al-Sabhan, participated in them.
Experts' opinions about the future of the “Caliphate” vary between comparisons with Africa (Sudan, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Somalia) and Southeast Asia (Myanmar, the Philippines).
Information about the use of IS militants in favor of the United States confirms the BBC's message about the negotiations of General D. Glynn on the release of the remaining jihadists there from Raqqah. According to the agreement concluded on October 10 by the Kurdish coalition, about a thousand igilovtsy left Rakka. October 12 buses delivered them to the Syrian-Iraqi border zone, where the Assad army fights with the “Caliphate”. Foreign militants, mostly from the CIS countries who had previously refused to leave the city, also agreed to the evacuation.
In this regard, D. Trump may report on the fulfillment of election promises about the defeat of the IG. The White House owner promised to take Mosul and Raqqah during the first hundred days of the presidency, but failed to do so within the specified period. The offensive of Syrian government troops on the bridgehead east of the Euphrates and in Deir ez-Zor forced the United States to accelerate the capture of Raqqah, not paying attention to the consequences: the city was destroyed by carpet bombing, as the Americans and its allies could not agree with the local Sunni elite on the surrender and withdrawal of the militants This issue is not resolved.
Some jihadists relocated to Deir ez-Zor, but a garrison remained in Rakka, which the city refused to hand over to the VTS. Local tribes are not satisfied with the transition of the Sunni city and oil fields under the control of the Kurds from the VTS. The establishment of Kurdish supervision over the Al-Omar field is fraught with conflict in the short term. In this situation is different from taking Mosul or Tikrit. There, the Sunnis in the Iraqi army agreed on the terms of surrender and the definition of limits for further coexistence with local co-religionists.
In the US, the situation is understood. Hence attempts to mitigate its humanitarian intervention at the expense of Saudi Arabia. Americans themselves are not going to invest in the restoration of Raqqi. At the heart of their policy is the organization of such operations for the money of the Allies. In Afghanistan, they are trying to do this at the expense of India, in Syria - the Saudis. The Raqqa problem is part of the tribal loyalty program in the territory east of the Euphrates. The United States in this case offers Riyadh to establish contacts with local Sunnis for their money.
The destruction of Raqqi proves that the United States is preparing to establish an acceptable regime for itself in the northern regions of Syria. To achieve this, and the fronde of the local Sunnis attempts to dialogue with Damascus or the offensive of government forces to the Iraqi border, they intend to conclude a compromise with local tribes. Hence the attempt to attract KSA to bribe the tribal elite and as an alternative to the Iraqi Sunnis as a center of influence, coupled with the release from prison of local natives. But the Kurds are spoiling everything. Sunnis do not accept them on their territory. Riyadh can give money, but not military force. Saudi-controlled units in Idlib are unable to expand into Deir Ez-Zor: they have lost many fighters, and there is a struggle with pro-Turkish groups and the Turkish army ahead.
Talk about the mass introduction of supporters of the banned in Russia "Dzhebhat an-Nusra" (now "Tahrir ash-Sham) is not worth it, although the landings for planting in Dir al-Zora model" Dzhebhat al-Nusra "are real. Americans should take Kurds to places of permanent deployment. The alternative is the local Sunnis under the flags of “Dzhebhat al-Nusra”, fighting on Saudi Arabian money. This is the US plan to "de-escalate" the conflict in Syria with the attempt of its "Afghanization" by the Islamist factor. Turkey and Qatar do not like it. IG detachments from Raqqah who went to Deir ez-Zor or to the Turkish-controlled zone between Afrin and Jarablus will also prevent KSA and the USA. But Riyadh is ready to mark the presence in Deir ez-Zor, drawing off the forces of the Turks from Idlib.
Vilayety, Vilayety ...
The capture of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor is the end of the Sunni military resistance in Syria in the IG format, although it does not mean that it stops there. “Caliphate” is viable only in the presence of a number of factors. The main thing is to control the territories in which this organization can form government bodies, create a tax system and a power apparatus, which is a guarantee of security for local Sunnis. The essence of this is to provide them with the optimal model of socio-economic autonomy and state organization based on sharia in its original form as opposed to the half-secular monarchies and pseudo-republics existing in the Arab world, whose regimes are corrupt and unable to provide young people with a system of working social elevators.
The main difference between the IG and Al-Qaida is that from the very beginning it was striving for a self-sufficient financing system due to the formation of a quasi-state with the establishment of control over the main sources of income: oil and water resources, irrigation facilities, land and river routes. Al-Qaida has always lived on financial trenches from the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, more precisely, from KSA. When the transfers dried up due to the fact that the interest of Riyadh to a particular point of impact disappeared, the influence of the group disappeared.
If Sunni resistance is driven underground, it will be called differently and based on different principles, but it will not disappear until they create a new model for embedding Sunnis in the state and economic governance of Iraq and Syria. On this basis (as well as on sponsors), the IG is different from Al-Qaida. Its supporters have never sought to establish state structures and control vast territories in a sustainable manner with their own system of taxation and management. Al-Qaida is a supranational jihadist entity used to strengthen Saudi influence in the Muslim world. IG is a purely nationalist entity that uses, but does not practice, the ideology of building a world caliphate to recruit foreign manpower, without which it cannot exist over large spaces. From 60 to 70 percent of the personnel of the IG and "Dzhebhat an-Nusra" is "foreign infantry." All “wilayets” in other territories and in other countries, be it Nigeria or the Philippines, are only an attempt by Sunni and ethnic elites of other countries to copy and apply this experience for their own nationalistic purposes. Filipinos Iraqi leaders of the IG denied the right to be called "wilayet" because of their small number, but they continue to use the name.
The same is true of the “wilayets” in Nigeria, Somalia. The IG projects in Afghanistan and Sinai stand apart. They were created and funded by Qatar to destabilize the situation in these countries. In Egypt, Qatar’s goal is to sway the regime of the military, who removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power, who in Doha consider it a universal tool for spreading Qatari influence in the Muslim world. The destabilization of Sinai is also important for the confrontation between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in connection with competition with the Qatar-Turkey ligament in Libya, Africa as a whole and in the Middle East. In Afghanistan, through supporters of the IG, Doha proves that attempts by Washington, Islamabad and Kabul to distance it from the Afghan settlement are erroneous. After the fiasco of the experiment with the formation of IS in Syria and Iraq, this idea will begin to fade, which we will see after renaming and splitting the “vilayets” of the IS.
The authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan (IC) are ready to freeze the results of the independence referendum and begin a dialogue with Baghdad. On this, as the TV channel "Rudau", said in a popular statement, the government of IC. The day before, the autonomy parliament voted to postpone the election to the legislature for eight months. Earlier, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Islamic Union of Kurdistan spoke in favor of extending the mandate of the current parliament. The highest independent electoral commission of the autonomy announced a postponement of voting due to the absence of candidates. The terms of the deal between Erbil and Baghdad by the Kurds are fulfilled.
In this case, it is necessary to speak not about the “betrayal” of the PUK, but about the deal between him and the KDP on the transfer of Kirkuk under the control of Baghdad. According to it, the Peshmerga detachments surrendered their positions to the Iraqi armed forces and departed from the province. The fact that Iran made a decision on October 25 to open a checkpoint on the border with the IC, testifies: the incident has been settled, although the stripping of the province of Kirkuk with Shiite militia and Iraqi special forces continues. They established control over the Suan and Tak-Tak oil fields and reached the southern bank of the Maliy Zab river.
Iraqi forces are moving to the border between Sulaimaniya and Kirkuk in the Shamshamala area. In Ninawa, Shiite troops move to the Shangal mountain range, which is located south of the border “triangle” between Syria, Iraq and Turkey. In this case, the advancement of the Iraqi troops is the preparation for the final cleansing of the supporters of the IS, the opening of the checkpoint on the border of Syria and Iraq. Most likely, it will go synchronously with the Syrian and Iraqi directions by the forces of the Syrian army and Shiite formations, whose growing role is causing concern in the United States. Attempts to influence on this issue in Iraq by US Secretary of State R. Tillerson led to irritation of Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister H. Al-Abadi paid a visit to KSA, Jordan and Egypt, and also held talks in Ankara with Turkish President R. T. Erdogan. Experts connect his tour not only with an explanation of the situation during the sweep of Kirkuk, but also with an attempt to enlist the support of the leading Sunni states on the eve of the start of the parliamentary campaign, which is due to end with the May 2018 election. A visit to Sunni countries is called upon to play a calming role due to Tehran’s growing influence in Iraq and its importance in concluding a secret deal between Erbil and Baghdad on the issue of cleaning up Kirkuk and building relations between them not only in exporting Kurdish oil through Iraq’s National Petroleum Company (NOC) in exchange for the financial tranches of Baghdad, but also in the rejection of autonomy of new attempts to play a state separation card. Iran guaranteed the absence of negative consequences, including from detachments of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is important for Ankara. According to the agreements, the PKK detachments moved from Sinjar to the mountain regions of the IC. They were replaced by Yezidi Kurds, officially included in the Khazb al-Shaabi detachments, which Tehran suits. Moreover, in the episode with the “independence of Iraqi Kurdistan”, M. Barzani, who retained the post of president of the Kurdish autonomy, Tehran, who strengthened influence in Iraq, won the most, also in the revitalization of the Shiite-controlled formations in Kirkuk and on the Iraqi-Syrian border, also Prime Abadi, who, after establishing control over Kirkuk and strengthening working relations with Iran, secured himself a victory in the parliamentary elections in 2018.
People from doha
Egyptian police, after receiving information about those who were hiding near the Cairo-El Wahat El Bahariya highway (Giza province, about 150 kilometers south-west of Cairo), militants who planned terrorist attacks left for their detention, but were ambushed. One of its main organizers, according to the media, was H. Ashmaoui (Abu Omar al-Muhajir). He served in the special forces of the Egyptian army "Al-Saik" ("Lightning"), but was fired in 2009 for radical views. He was engaged in business, fell under the influence of takfiristov and formed in Cairo an IG cell - "Ansar Beit al-Mukkadas", she is "Vilayet Sinai". Then he hid in the area of the Libyan city of Derna, where he organized an IG training camp, and later withdrew from him and allegedly founded the Libyan wing of the organization Al-Murabitun.
ARE media claim that Ashmawi was involved in the failed assassination attempt against former Interior Minister M. Ibrahim and the murder of Egyptian Attorney General H. Barakat, who was sentenced to death penalty in ARE. In fact, these attacks were carried out by professional bombers, many of which were tested in Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya. Now they work only on request. In this regard, let us draw attention to the fact that Ansar Beit Al-Mukkadas operates only on the Sinai Peninsula, and in the cities of Egypt, there are other groups. They are coordinated, but the name “Vilayet Sinai” is used only in relation to Sinai.
In reality, Al-Murabitun was created by the Algerian terrorist M. Belmukhtar, who was killed two years ago in Derna during a conflict with the Libyan Islamists because of the division of profits for custom-made terrorist attacks and the kidnapping of hostages. The organization is associated with al-Qaeda. At the heart of these attacks (in Amiens, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire) are disputes of “economic entities”, ethnic contradictions, the struggle of local elites.
Among current News from the Libyan-Egyptian border - suppressing an attempt by the Air Force Air Force to attempt to bring eight trucks into the country weapons. All of this in aggregate — a well-prepared attack on a special forces convoy and the transfer of weapons from Libya to Egyptian border areas — shows that the Qatari (they, not Al Qaeda, whose positions in Libya are very weak, sponsor Ashmaui) took a course on the opening of the "second front" against the Egyptian security forces. Derna, a traditional Islamic enclave in Libya, was chosen as a springboard for this. It was people from this city who made up the main contingent of Libyans who fought against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the time of M. Gaddafi.
There has been a turning point in Sinai due to the cooperation agreements reached by Cairo with Hamas, which has long been supported by Ansar Beit al-Mukkadas. This undermines the combat potential of the Islamists and requires the adoption of urgent measures not only to inflict a distracting blow according to the classical tactical scheme of the IG, but also to slow down the advancement of Field Marshal X. Haftar to Tripoli. After taking his troops key to organizing the smuggling and illegal migration flows of Africans to Europe, the city of Sabratha in Libya, this option became real, especially given that Hoftar, clearly at the direction of the sponsors (Cairo and Abu Dhabi), curtailed participation in negotiations under the auspices UN to overcome the internal crisis.
If we take into account the urgent rearmament of the detachments of H. Haftar with the help of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, including the transfer to Libya of agricultural aircraft converted to combat missions at the E. Prince’s Blackwaters company in Bulgaria, this option is most obvious. Everything testifies to the fact that the plans of these countries are forcibly expanding the zone of influence in Libya. To prevent this or to divert the main forces of Haftar from the intra-Libyan directions to sweep Derna is the main goal of the Doha maneuvers, operating through the militants controlled by it near the border with Egypt.
Note that the activation of Qatar in this region demanded serious financial injections. Islamists from Derna currently work exclusively for money. This is also characteristic of all other areas of terrorist activity of the groups supported by Qatar, be it North Africa or Afghanistan (Doha distanced itself from the IG in Syria and Iraq given the apparent exhaustion of the project after the recent strategic defeats). However, financing and control over logistic flows is the basis of any military-terrorist activity, including pro-Turkish or pro-Saud groups and groups, pro-Iranian militias and movements or structures supported by Pakistan in India and Kashmir and Afghanistan.
As for Russia, taking into account the situation in Syria, relations with Egypt, presence in Libya in the zone of control of Haftar Russian sappers, as well as the importance for maintaining the stability of the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, maintaining control of the situation in Afghanistan, monitoring the activity of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. no less important than the actions of the United States and its NATO allies there ...