Armed Syrian opposition. Implacable. Part of 1
As practice has shown, even the majority of readers of the Military Review, not to mention the broad masses of the people, are rather poorly oriented in the situation in Syria, torn apart by the bloody civil war, and do not clearly understand who is fighting with whom and for what. Usually, all the groups opposing the Syrian government forces are characterized as some kind of amorphous "Islamists", "bearded men" and nothing more.
In fact, the situation there is extremely difficult, and such a simplification only worsens the objective perception of reality and understanding of the combat situation. And in order to fill this gap, we will try to consider both the diverse armed groups of jihadists opposing official Damascus, and the forces acting on the side of the legitimate government of Syria.
Let us begin our analysis with the groups of the armed opposition, which according to the international classification are classified as “irreconcilable” and are described in most official documents as “international associations of transnational jihadists”.
The most intransigent and the most radical side in this war, according to many experts, is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Al-Doulat al-Islami fil Iraq va al-Sham, condemned as a terrorist group and banned in the Russian Federation and in 26 other countries). Yes, yes, the very "IG", it is ISIS, DAISH, etc. By the way, we note that the accepted transcription of ISIS is somewhat incorrect, since This group has never been called that (“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”), and this error arose because of the wrong translation - the Arabic word “Sham” in the Russian-language media was for some reason not translated as “Syria”, but in the expanded sense - as "Levant". Therefore, in Russian, it is more correct to call this grouping ISIS. And at the same time, we note that the name of this group in English, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), is quite accurate.
Their flag is known from the early medieval historical sources, the banner that was adopted in the Arab caliphate during the reign of the Abbasid dynasty (the so-called "Paradise at-Tawhid" - the "Banner of Monotheism"), and supposedly, according to jihadists, rising to the flag of the founder of the Islamic religion Muhammad.
This banner consists of a black cloth with a white circle in the center (supposedly “the symbol of the seal of Muhammad”), where three words are usually inscribed (from above below) “Allah the Prophet - Muhammad”. At the top of the panel is written part of the official "Shahdy" (the main phrase of any version of Islamic dogma) - "La illaha illa Allah ..." ("There is no god, except Allah ..."). At the bottom of the banner of supporters of "IG" is often written the name of a specific unit or additional ultra-radical Islamist slogans.
And that is why, relying on the symbols of early, “pure” Islam, ultra-radical caliphatists from the very beginning began using this flag to impart historical legitimacy to their movement and at the same time as an attribute showing their direct relationship, no more and no less, not only with the Abbasid Caliphate. but supposedly even with the founder of Islam, Mohammed.
Despite the fact that the armed forces of various countries declared the defeat of the “IS” both in Iraq and in Syria, this organization of ultra-radical caliphatists still controls quite significant areas. The jihadist formations that make up this grouping are currently present not only in the north or west of Syria, but their local small units remain even in the southern areas of this state, in particular, they are fighting in the province of Deraa.
Of course, from the vast territories under the control of "IG" at the time of the greatest prosperity of this quasi-state formation, at the present time there are only small fragments left. However, even in the southern regions of Syria, there are small armed groups controlled by this self-proclaimed radical quasi-caliphate, which provided and are putting up the most bitter resistance to the advancing government forces.
The absolute cruelty and literally categorical fearlessness of many units of the ultra-radical Caliphate, based on the fanaticism and passionarity of the participants in these illegal armed groups, became well known during the long years of wars in Iraq and Syria. This led to the fact that in some cases, government troops and local militia, especially at the early stage of armed confrontation, barely seeing the flag of these jihadists in front of the attacking militant groups, sometimes lost morale and often retreated under the first blows of jihad mobiles ...
We can say with all certainty that if it were not for the intervention of Russia, then in the Middle East instead of Syria and Iraq there would be a caliphate of ultra-radical jihadists with laws copying the early medieval foundations of the founder of their religion, Mohammed, in all their horror. A kind of "bible" of the Caliphists, which contains the quintessence of the worldview of this ultra-Islamist movement, is the book "Kitab al-Tawhid" ("Book of Monotheism"). Its author, the radical Salafi theologian Mohammed al-Wahhab at-Tamimi (1703-1792), lived in the XVIII century (he found the beginning of the First French Revolution and the defeat of the Russian-Austrian army under the command of AV Suvorov a huge Ottoman army on the Rymnik ) and became not only one of the founders of the Wahhabi movement, but also played a key role in the formation of the state of Saudi Arabia.
In Arabic, English and other international languages, this book, which became the desktop “Mao's quote book” among the majority of IG supporters, was published many times in Egypt and Saudi Arabia; according to the available information, on the territory of Russia its translations into Russian, made and published in Turkey, as well as in the states of Central Asia, met. Most surprisingly, in the Russian Federation at the beginning of 2000's, the Badr publishing house (so named after one of the first battles of the Ansar army under Muhammad) for several years actually carried out a legal edition of this encyclopedia of radical Salafism. This continued until, in 2004, this book (along with almost all the products of this publishing house) was not included in the list of extremist literature and was not banned for distribution in the territory of the Russian Federation and in many CIS countries.
We will tell about the history of the creation and development of the Al-Daulatu al-Islamiyya group, about its military successes and defeats in the second part of our review, devoted to the consideration of this organization of radical caliphatists.
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