WHO IS WHO
The fighting in Syria began in March 2011. At the same time, a sharp division of the country into supporters and opponents of Bashar al-Assad began. Every day there were reports of desertion of high-ranking military officials and officials, including generals and ministers. Some of them, who are richer, fled with their families to Europe. The rest joined refugee camps and opposition groups in the territory of neighboring Turkey, where the Syrian Free Army (FSA) soon appeared, with the aim of overthrowing the Assad regime by armed means. At the same time, numerous terrorist groups began to operate on the territory of Syria itself.
These events were not a fact of the Arab Spring. Unlike other countries, in Syria, the Islamists are not the middle class and young people, but the main driving forces. The struggle was not for democratization, but under the slogan of the transfer of power to the Sunni majority. And immediately, not only the Alawites, to whom Bashar Asad belongs, came under attack, but also Christians and Druzes.
By the middle of 2012, the desertion stopped. And it turned out that most of the army remained loyal to the oath.
Moreover, at least 19 million of 23 million people in the country support the “bloody dictator”. And instead of the Syrian Free Army, faceless "opposition" appeared in the reports of Western news agencies. But she is not at all faceless. This is about 30 Islamist groups plus Palestinians from Hamas, who betrayed their patrons from Iran and Syria, repurchased by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The slogans of this opposition are jihad and the creation of a Sunni caliphate. A striking force - jihadist militants and mercenaries from around the world.
In December, 2012, the representative of the UN Human Rights Commission in the Middle East, Hisam Abu Said, said that only 5% of Syrians are active in the armed Syrian opposition, all the rest are mercenaries from different countries. Perhaps he exaggerates.
Arab journalist Raed Jaber, who recently returned from Jordan, described the situation to a HBO correspondent. In Syria, he said, the Syrians mostly fight. First, as part of the SSA, the core of which consists of military personnel who have turned weapon against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Secondly, local volunteer militia members, who are also members of the SSA, but need weapons, ammunition and training. In addition, the Syrians, intending to create an Islamic state, are part of the Jehab Al Nusrah group. But this grouping is not a single whole, nothing is known about the existence of its leadership. Apparently, various “brigades” of Islamists simply associate themselves with it.
The Syrian Jehab al-Nusra does not advertise its activities and always, when there are such requests, comes to the aid of the Syrian Free Army. These people are ready to die, always fighting to the end. As a rule, their participation is decisive when the SSA attacks or defends an important object. All the rest of the Jehab en-Nusra brigades, the Muslim Brotherhood detachments and other Islamist brigades are almost entirely composed of foreign mercenaries and jihadi volunteers. They are not only fighting, but also robbing Syrian cities, cleaning out entire blocks of apartments and shops. The loot is exported to Turkey and other neighboring countries, where it is sold.
The number of mercenaries is difficult to estimate. Rotation is constantly happening in their ranks. Having won a few months and received relying bribes, many return home. Or to calmer places where there is less risk of death. There are still jihadists who go to war with the blessing of the imams. They often fight for free, but, having gained some experience, they return home - this is a personnel reserve awaiting a signal for a performance at home. For the most part, for this purpose, “madrasah students” from the territory of the former USSR are sent to hot spots.
Bolant Esinoglu, deputy secretary of the Labor Party of Turkey, reported on the website of Ulusal Bakish that the CIA recruited about 6 thousands of Arab, Afghan and Turkish mercenaries for the war in Syria.
To prepare the contingent of mercenaries in Turkey, a "Center for a Democratic Civil Society in Syria" was created. Most of those who receive training at this center are members of the Muslim Brotherhood or Dzhebhat al-Nusra organizations. Each person can fill in more than one application form - not only for himself, but also for his friends. At the same time, the Turkish government financially rewards those who submit filled questionnaires around 60. Financial support for the center is provided by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Money also comes from France, the United States and Germany.
In May, 2013, the Yemeni Al-Jumhur newspaper, reported that large-scale recruitment campaigns were held in the south of the country. They are then sent to Syria for terrorist activities in the ranks of Dzhebhat An-Nusra and other armed groups. Recruitment is carried out under the patronage of the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Mercenaries are sent through Turkey to Syria. Each recruited person receives 2 thousand Qatari Pounds per month. The number of Yemenis fighting in Syria is estimated at 5 thousand.
The newspaper An-Nasr, published in Algeria, reported that in the Algerian city of Annaba there is a group of eight people - people from Tunisia. They write down young men who want to go to Syria under the slogan "jihad." This group works in coordination with the international network, whose office is located in Tunisia.
Tunisia, with the actual assistance of the authorities, was covered by a network of recruiting points. Monthly 1000 – 1200 Tunisians go to training camps in Libya, from where they are shipped to Syria.
The Suriya al-En news agency reports that the number of Saudi militants infiltrating Syria exceeds 500 people.
SUNITS AGAINST SHIITS
Extensive hostilities unfolded in Syria in the summer of 2011. And immediately began to receive information about participation in the battles of foreigners. In November, 2011, the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan, published a list of 142 militants from 18 countries killed in Homs, Aleppo and Dayrez Zura. Including 47 Saudis, 27 Libyans, 10 Tunisians, 9 Egyptians, 6 Qatari citizens, 5 Lebanese, 11 Afghans, 5 Turks, 3 Chechens from the Russian Federation, 1 Chadians and 1 - Azerbaijan.
Since then, such lists are regularly published and transmitted to the UN. They contain only those whose name and citizenship are established by personal documents. West ignores these lists. But it creates its own. Experts from the Washington Institute for Middle Eastern Policy and the Flashpoint Global Partners consulting center established as a result of a joint study that 280 foreign fighters, including 17 Russian citizens, were killed in Syria over the past year. The researchers relied solely on social networks, where there are only advanced users, and not simple Arab guys.
In the summer of 2012, Iraqi Sunnis began to flow en masse to Syria with the blessing of Al-Qaeda to fight on the side of the opposition. In response, Iraqi Shiites also began sending volunteers to fight for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in a few months. As a rule, they flew planes through Tehran. Another land route, under the pretext of pilgrimage, Shiites are transported to Damascus, where they are armed and trained. Iraqi Shiites believe that the war in Syria between the Sunni majority and the Alawi pro-government minority is a war for the future of Shiites.
For the same reason, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah participates in joint operations with the Syrian army in the area of the border with Lebanon. The Shiites are convinced, and rightly so, that after the victory of the Sunnis in Syria, their complete “mopping up” will follow in Lebanon.
Militants from Europe are divided into two types. These are young people of extremely radical Islamist views. And the idealists who come to fight either for freedom, or for democracy, trying to become heroes. Among them there are even minor teenagers. Most of them quickly lose their desire to participate in the war, but returning from Syria is much more difficult than getting into it. In Syria, they are seized of documents, money, mobile phones, that is, everything that can allow them to leave the country.
According to available information, on the side of the anti-government forces in Syria, Belgian volunteers, including minors, are fighting over 200 in Syria. Until 20, citizens of the kingdom died in this war. They actually receive combat training right in the course of hostilities, acting as cannon fodder.
King's College in London conducted a survey throughout the year, founding that, before 600, people from 14 European countries, including the UK, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Germany, took part in the conflict. In this case, the calculations are very vague. So, according to college estimates, the largest group of foreigners came from the UK. According to rough estimates - from 28 to 134 people. Also, the "significant contingent" of warring came from Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland, from where a total of about 200 fighters came from. Although only the Belgians estimate precisely in 200 people the presence of their fellow citizens in Syria. According to Professor Peter Neumann of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at London's Royal College, from 30 to 92, the fighters probably arrived in Syria from France. Among other countries supplying “jihad fighters” are Albania, Finland and Kosovo.
In May, 2013 in the north-west of Syria in a shootout killed US citizen 33-year-old Nicole Mansfield, who converted to Islam several years ago. Relatives identified her from the photo. In America, Mansfield has a daughter. Along with her died a British citizen. When they had the flag "Jehab en Nusri."
JIHAD BRIDES AND KIDS MILITARS
Citizens of the CIS are fighting in Syria, a few dozen people from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. As well as Russian citizens from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the republics of the North Caucasus. For example, a former prisoner of Guantanamo, Ayrat Vakhitov, actively recruited local residents for the Wahhabis, and then went with them to Syria. From Ukraine went to fight a few dozen Crimean Tatars.
A disgusting phenomenon was the so-called jihadist marriage. In Tunisia, 13 reported the disappearance of underage girls who went to Syria to meet the sexual needs of the fighters who are fighting against the Assad army. A certain citizen of the country divorced one of his own wives and sent her for a month to Syria to practice sex jihad.
Jihadist marriage is only a few hours, so that a woman can satisfy as many militants as possible. In December 2012, the Saudi imam Mohammed al-Arifi issued a special fatwa. He lamented that the heroes of jihad for two years have been forced to suffer without women. And allowed the Syrian militants to enter into a temporary marriage, which frankly called the "marriage of intercourse."
A real war crime should be the use of children by the militants to conduct combat operations. With the capture of cities by brigades "Dzhebhat an-Nusra" announced the mobilization of the entire male population. Therefore, men are trying to leave these territories. But in Aleppo, in areas controlled by Islamist militants, it was prescribed to send children who have reached 10 age to jihad. In December last year, a video appeared on the Internet, as a boy who had not even reached 10 for years, under the guidance of the militants, chops off the prisoner's head. Militants do not hesitate to post videos of torture and murder, even cannibal rituals, when they devour the organs of a newly killed victim.
Now, when the Syrian army triumphs, freeing the city outside the city, the decision of the West to arm the opposition will lead to a new influx of mercenaries. After all, high-speed guns and anti-tank missiles will necessarily require the participation of foreign advisers and specialists. It is unlikely that the case will be limited only to training and instruction. Recall that in Libya, the opposition was able to win only thanks to the so-called Qatari special forces, which consisted entirely of retired British paratroopers. Or temporarily retired.