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Understanding Syria 2016

The World’s Single Enemy in Syria

It is fascinating what the passage of time reveals. How it irons out obscurity, how it highlights friend from foe and how it spills out true intents. How the civil movement in Syria, demanding the removal of tyranny on par the ‘free’ nations of the world provoked a united, wild front of both cold-war imperialists, Eastern and Western, along with the world’s worst ragtag cults. It only takes removing the blindfold of empty rhetoric to see a bleak situation, one of mass extermination, championed by a quietly appeased US, an openly barbarous Russia, pulling the strings of a dirty rag, one corner attached to Iranian, Iraqi, Lebanese Afghani and Pakistani militias, another to the Kurdish PKK and its derivatives and the last to a withered regime, behind a shrewd smokescreen called ‘ISIS’.

It took the deaths of more than a quarter of a million Syrians and the displacement of around 10 million Syrians, with countless maimed, imprisoned and missing, to draw out the new international value-system. This system is just a collection of synthetic, melodramatic set of wartime principles, illusionary ‘Human Rights’, discriminatory ‘Democracy’ and selective ‘Tolerance’ and ‘Liberty’. Nothing of the frantic Russian intervention to save their boiled spuds in Damascus is not surprising. Nor is all that resulted from the massacres of thousands of Syrian civilians.[1] Nor, indeed, is the despicable, massive destruction to residential areas, homes, mosques, markets such as that on the centre of Ariha in Idleb which destroyed medical facilities and killed 49 civilians and. Even its use of cluster munitions and unguided bombs in populated areas comes as no surprise. Nor the deliberate targeting of civilians, or the destruction of ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb mosque in central Jisr al-Shughour, Idleb on the 1st of October.[2]

Nothing at all surprising. Russia exterminated 1.5 million civilians in Afghanistan (almost 10% of the population) by the end of 1987, stagnating Afghanistan’s population growth during the war.[3] In the two separation wars (1994-2009) they massacred up to 200,000 Chechens.[4] Its track record of displacing indigenous populations is ongoing. More than 91,000 Syrian refugees were registered by Germany in January 2016 alone,[5] in a ‘surprising’ correlation to the increase in the viciousness of airstrikes, rather than activity from rebel groups on the ground.

But, if there was any remaining obscurity surrounding the ‘sides in the conflict’, depicted by the BBC as something utterly confusing, this has been completely cleared.[6] The US-led coalition’s reaction to Russia’s escalated involvement completes the Syrian picture vividly, without remaining doubt.

The New, Old Reality in Syria

Phillip Hammond, the UK’s Defence Secretary recently stated:

“Rescue workers are no longer marking their vehicles because they believe they are being targeted deliberately. They also told me hospitals around Aleppo and Idlib have had Red Cross symbols removed because they are becoming a target for the Russians.” [7]

Such has been reiterated by countless officials and rights groups. Western powers, however, have struggled to outline who exactly they support. Let us take this point piece-meal. There is no doubt that the 60-nation, US led coalition embarked on its military campaign, at least as alleged, to face “what has become one of the world’s most acute and best-funded terrorist threats” – ISIS.[8] With such evident determination, one should assume that those effective in realising this aim, such as Islamic rebel groups, at their forefront Nusra Front and Ahraar al Shaam would not be targeted by the coalition. It might even be the case that they should have been supported. Both faction’s principal leaders have repeatedly asserted that their fight is within Syria, solely against the regime and its supporters, not globally, with “no intention to target the West” or minorities.[9] [10] Although they aspire to a Muslim governed Syria. For now, let us name this an aspiration to ‘an Islamist future for the country’.

Despite Al Nusra Front, Ahraar al Shaam, Jaysh al Islam and similar ‘Islamist’ rebel groups vowing continuous military and ideological confrontation with ISIS,[11] and their effectiveness against the Syrian regime, the US coalition has obliterated swathes of their capabilities including their headquarters.[12] [13] Some will argue that its affiliation, even if largely symbolic, to ‘Al Qaeda‘ or outright denial, in the case of Ahraar al Shaam, justifies this policy, regardless of the groups’ individually espoused views and well-known actions on the ground. But arguing this pushes the western coalition into another quandary in light of its outright refusal to classify the derivatives of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK), the PYD and the YPG as terrorist organisations. This is because the PYD admits that it is at least ideologically in harmony with the PKK, a terrorist organisation according to the US and Turkey. With this, it considers Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned in Turkey for terrorism against the state, its “visionary leader, theorist and philosopher from whom the two parties take inspiration for their political and organizational projects.”[14] This is much like the case with Al Nusra Front considering Ayman al-Zawahiri its spiritual leader.

The PYD has been acquitted by the US from the accusation of ‘terrorism’. Essentially, the unlawful use of force or violence against civilians or governments “in furtherance of political or social objectives” does not apply to it,[15] because it is “the only effective force against IS on the ground in Syria”.[16] Al Nusra Front, Ahrar al Shaam, and other groups, all Syrian in their disposition, clearer in their objectives and proven as anti-ISIS and anti-regime were not lent the same benefit. Even if the US, with its military fleet already in the Middle-East, wants to ‘hit two birds with one stone’ by dealing  a blow to ISIS and anti-ISIS Islamic, rebel “terrorist” groups in unison, why did it not target Hizbollah or the Palestinian Liberation Front, both on its terrorist bloc?[17] Both of the latter are present in Syria, supportive of the regime and are rivals of its intimate ally, Israel.

Interestingly, Russian forces, along with the US have also shown profound interest in supporting Kurdish forces. Recently, more than 30 Russian airstrikes “against the remnants of the rebel force at Menagh, allow[ed] Kurds to take full control overnight.”[18] The aforementioned, and the adamant joint Russian and US-coalition support of the Kurds, proves that, contrary to anti-imperialist beliefs, the US does not adopt one side in a neo-cold war. They are snugly charmed by their Russian counterparts doing the anti-rebel dirty work on their behalf.

In short, the US will not necessarily classify as ‘terrorists’ those that fit the bill. More often than not, ‘terrorists’ are only political factions with Islamic leanings or aspirations. Or more specifically, much of the world’s only worthwhile enemy culminates in embracers of Orthodox Sunni Islām, who aspire towards a successful Islamic model in Syria, in place of the despotic regime and who, at a point, came close to achieving this. Thus, ISIS, being the biggest threat to this end is, at worst, bolstered by international powers (if the conspiracy is true),[19] and, at best, the recipient of just 10% of the coalition’s destructive bombing campaign, and with all this, it receives nothing but rhetorical condemnation from the US.[20]

No Rebel Group is Moderate ‘Enough’

The world’s line for what is ‘moderate’ Islām has shifted more than the gears on a lorry. Maybe the only effective difference for the US between ‘moderate’ factions, that it meekly supports with hand grenades and small-arms ammunition,[21] and ‘less moderate’ factions is around Syria’s prospective future. Either it becomes a nation run by Muslims according to Islamic principles, as even so-called ‘moderate’ factions are fighting in the name of Islām, or Islām runs a nation, clearly not necessarily exclusive.

Actually the US’ ‘train and equip’ programme, focused on supporting rebel factions, failed catastrophically. This was due to its objectives entirely contravening the expectations of the desperate ‘moderate’ opposition who, for a moment, were duped into believing the US supported the ouster of the Assad regime. The munitions, however, were stumped with prohibitive conditions; that ISIS be the sole enemy, and that the regime, the cause of ISIS and its main objective be avoided. To add insult to injury, the backed rebels were expected to turn their guns upon their revolutionary comrades like Jabhat al Nusra and Ahraar al Shaam. Naturally they refused,[22] and this ambitious 15,000 man project was rendered into something laughable, with as few as four or five US-backed fighters remaining.[23]

It comes as no surprise then that the only ‘opposition’ faction the US continues to supports is one that embraces no common cause with the so-called ‘Islamist’ or ‘moderate’ Muslim opposition. It strives to its own nationalistic objectives: the formation of an independent, secular Kurdish state, even if they need to ally with the devil to achieve this.[24] Nothing other than this is considered moderate enough by the US’ prohibitive standards. This may explain why the armed opposition groups that represented at Geneva were necessarily Islamic in direction.[25] Phillip Hammond, tongue-tied by this quagmire of a situation went on to admit:

“There are two kinds of Islamists; there are those that say this is the word of Allāh and it cannot be debated and discussed, and there are those that say they have an Islamist future for the country.”7

Now we are speaking the same language Mr. Minister. Will you then finally accept the Syrian people’s choice of an Islamic future for the country?

For this reason, in what is now conclusively apparent, the most imperative aim of the US-led coalition is that none of the rebel movements gain ground in Syria, adopting the Russian line that, “there is no moderate armed opposition to support”.[26] As a matter of fact, for the coalition, it is better if they are annihilated altogether, but in an inconspicuous way, whilst waving the opposition’s banner and feigning their support for that ‘political transition’ and ‘regime change’ that is now an area of dispute.[27] What better than for this colossal miscalculation to be cleaned up by the Russian Kremlin through carpet-bombing all of Aleppo, and guising all non-regime controlled territory under the ISIS smokescreen once and for all?

What next?

These are severely testing times for our families in Syria and for the course of the Islamic revolution. Recent losses in the northern-suburbs of Aleppo as result of Russia’s hysterical blitz, not through the dwindling ‘Syrian Army’ or its foreign mercenaries, has broken the sieges of Nubl and al Zahra. Now, the only route between the suburbs of Aleppo and the city the revolutionaries have left is al Castello, indicating the next battle will take place here. If the savage regime and Iranian militias encircle rebel-held Aleppo, ISIS erodes the revolution from the East, the Kurds gnaw at statehood from the Northwest, and the regime and its militias come from the south under an intense Russian and US barrage from above, 300,000 civilians face an incalculably dire fate.13

When we speak of victory as Muslims, we are settled by innumerable reassurances when we surrender our capability to Allāh, as He alone provides victory. It is when we forsake our dependence on means, and entirely spill our hearts to Allāh that He will make His religion and His slaves triumphant. It is therefore His favour upon us that we have recognised the world’s abandonment, or the collective conspiracy against the believers of Syria. Maybe through this we realise true dependence, Tawakul, on Allāh.

Saying this, we should not be in monochromatic opposition to military intervention, if it spurs from Muslim countries who want to save the revolution and the Sunni presence in Syria. Allāh instructs us:

“But if they ask you for help in respect of the Deen, it is your duty to help them.”[28]

Parts of the Muslim world are finally returning to their senses and realising the scale of the sweeping threat, through the formation of a 34-nation military Islamic Coalition, comprising of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria and Malaysia amongst other Muslim countries.[29] Despite some questions around its stated objectives, it hosts an array of commendable governments and trustworthy politicians. Whilst the Muslim world ascertains whether this declaration is positive or not, its recent intentions to deploy ground troops ‘against ISIS’ in Syria has strangely exacerbated Iranian authorities,[30] and their Russian counterparts alike.[31] Iran and Russia, rumoured ‘sworn enemies of ISIS’ and supposed benefactors of such a deployment, clearly knows something of this Islamic Force that we do not. Either way, means are only effectual through the Will of Allāh and our hope for victory is entirely in Him, ‘azza wa jal.

The Prophet sala Allahu ‘alayh wasalam said:

“Indeed Allah has promised me to look after Sham (ancient Syria) and its people.”[32]

More will the passage of time reveal and until then, may Allah help us help our suffering families in Syria through every means within our capability. Amin.

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/20/russian-airstrikes-in-syria-have-killed-more-than-1000-civilians

[2] According to the Amnesty International briefing published in December https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/12/syria-russias-shameful-failure-to-acknowledge-civilian-killings/

[3] http://www.nonel.pu.ru/erdferkel/khalidi.pdf

[4] Political Developments in Contemporary Russia By Ian Jeffries

[5] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d708662a-ce7f-11e5-92a1-c5e23ef99c77.html

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34462867

[7] http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/15/russia-accused-of-breaching-norms-of-war-by-targeting-civilians-in-syria

[8] http://www.france24.com/en/20141203-kerry-coalition-islamic-state-brussels-nato-iraq

[9] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/nusra-front-golani-assad-syria-hezbollah-isil-150528044857528.html

[10] http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=57201

[11] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/nusra-leader-conflict-isil-syria-150604021024858.html

[12] http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/middle-east/article24781180.html

[13] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/06/us-strikes-ahrar-al-sham-syria_n_6113772.html

[14] https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentary/565108-the-pkk-assad-regime-story-harmony-discord-and-ocalan

[15] US Code of Federal Regulations

[16] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35541003

[17] http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm

[18] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35547441

[19] http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-terror-group/5402881

[20] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/07/russia-airstrikes-syria-not-targetting-isis

[21] https://www.rt.com/usa/318596-us-syria-rebels-pentagon/

[22] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/trained-syrian-fighters-refusing-fight-150807114420346.html

[23] http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/16/us-military-syrian-isis-fighters

[24] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35541003

[25] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35364114

[26] http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russia-no-moderate-rebels-syria-546790757

[27] http://www.globalresearch.ca/white-house-schizophrenia-kerry-assad-can-stay-obama-assad-must-go/5497123

[28] Al-Qur’ān, 8:72

[29] http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/14/middleeast/islamic-coalition-isis-saudi-arabia/

[30] http://www.aljazeera.net/news/arabic/2016/2/10/

[31] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/syria-russian-pm-warns-world-war-troops-160212074839609.html

[32] Reported Abū Dāwūd and Ibn Hibbān on the authority of Ibn Hawālah

About Ahmed Hammuda

Ahmed Hammuda is a regular contributor at Islam21c. His interests lie in Qur'anic Tafsir and the field of Middle East Affairs and how they reflect on Muslims living in the West. He is an Electrical Engineer by trade and has been involved in various Da'wah activities over the course of his education and working life. He has transferred the same analytical approach required in engineering into a careful and measured approach in his views and positions.


  1. O Muslims – For decades the suits have been pretending to talk peace re Palestine, yet all we see is more oppression and more Israeli state terrorism. These days we see the freedom loving Palestinian youth in Intifada 2.1 taking a bullet to expose the Nazi concentration camp/ Occupation. Do you really think that the suits talking peace about Syria is going to deliver anything other than more death and destruction. The godless systems are inherently promoters of unjust systems. They are warmongers and preside over injustice (Palestine, usury based systems, global warming) hence the term Dar-ul-Harb (Realm of War) has been coined aptly for such godless systems. The Paris conference saw the world come together to testify that the extremist godless capitalism and communist ideologies are failed ideologies, having brought the world to the brink….. “When it is said to them (disbelievers) – ‘Don’t perpetrate fasaad (anarchy/ chaos/ tumult/ oppression) throughout the earth’, they say ‘We are only promoting peace’. Indeed it is they who are perpetrating fasaad, yet they don’t fathom it.’ Quran(2:11-12)

  2. O Muslims – The pacifist approach of the last 300 years has not worked. As long as you don’t arm yourselves, then some criminal with low morals will always come along to invade, bomb and terrorise your lands, women & children. There is no such thing as international law. It always was a system devised by criminals to help fill their pockets/ indulge their vanities at the expense of innocents. The good news is that the dark age that the world has seen for the last 300 years can be brought to a close, and civilisation can be established…. Islam is the solution. May the faith be with you!!

  3. Can someone tell me why do we as muslims suck up to the west? From muslims who live in western countries to muslims who live in Palestine, Saudi Arabia etc. We all want America to realize how muslims are being oppressed, or we want them to be our best buddies…. Understand this the west does NOT CARE about muslims or Islam, and they will never be our friends, or pleased with us until we leave Islam and follow their lifestyle….(the Quran says clearly….:و لن ترضي عنك اليهود و لا النصاري حتي تتبع ملتهم ….so instead of trying to get the west on our side, let us boycott their lifestyle and get Allah Ta’ala on our side…. He’ll deal with them…

  4. Great article.
    Our killed are in Janna (paradise) and theirs in Hell.

  5. Great article mA it’s an encyclopaedia of important references!

  6. Wow, mindless propaganda

    • Very good article and we’ll needed explanation. May Allah help the people of Shaam. Keep these informative and spot on articles coming.
      Let the trolls who attack all articles take heed, Islam is the fastest growing religion on the planet for a reason.

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