Category: Syria

Washington relying on Moscow to curb Iran’s influence

Al-Hayat – 11th August – Raghida Dergham

For a multitude of national and regional reasons, the Kurdish national aspirations clash with Iranian, Turkish and Arab obstacles. Disputes and clashes are increasing between conflicting projects and the noise of oratory about division in Iraq and sharing in Syria. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has begun building a wall on the Turkish-Iranian border to prevent Kurdish activists from infiltrating Turkey, and has promised another wall on the border with Iraq, similar to the Syrian border wall. Masoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, explained that he considers it impossible to reconsider the organisation of referendum on the region’s independence, and pledged that he would not allow the Popular Mobilisation Forces, who are supported by Iran, to enter Kurdistan. Barzani spoke about the Iranian project, and said that “the Iranian authorities have openly declared their success in opening a Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut route”. He refused to hold the Kurds responsible for the division of Iraq, noting that “it is a sectarian war, and the [divided Iraqi] state has no sovereignty”.

Regardless of whether the Kurdish independence referendum officially instated the division of Iraq, that division had already come thanks to the war of George W. Bush in Iraq, pro-Tehran former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and the sectarian Popular Mobilisation Forces, an Iraqi force after the model of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. It was striking this week that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani was the first in nearly a quarter-century to withdraw the defence portfolio from the leader of the Revolutionary Guard, instead assigning it to an officer in the regular army. However, this move remains mostly symbolic as long as Iran retains its armed militias and units in Arab lands, given that all of these are under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its extremist, expansionist plans. Henry Kissinger this week warned that Iran’s control over the lands which have been liberated from ISIS could lead to the establishment of a “radical Iranian empire,” resulting in a “territorial belt stretching from Tehran to Beirut”. Trump’s administration is unclear on whether it intends to submit to a radical Iranian imperial belt, or if it would expose it and prevent its establishment in the field. Until now, it appears that the Trump administration has charged Russia with the issue of Iran and its militias in Syria. What is remarkable is the increase in Russian leaks to writers and researchers in Russian intellectual institutions, to produce the idea that Moscow is striving for a political solution in Syria and that its efforts are being hindered by Iran who want to continue the war. Is this a message, or a distribution of roles, or serious disagreements or differences in Russian-Iranian priorities, or is it a result of serious US pressure as a condition of the hoped-for deal between Moscow and Washington?

Expert in Islamic and international affairs Kirill Semonov has written an essay, “Iran hindering Russian solution in Syria”, for the site “Rageopolitica”, which was published by Al-Hayat last Wednesday. That was accompanied by another article by Anton Mardasov, the head of the Department of Middle Eastern Conflicts at the Institute for Innovative Development, on the same topic, entitled “Tehran is for continuation of the war, Russia is for a political solution”. Generally, the publication of Russian articles with this perspective means either that this is the Russian political mentality, or that this is what the Syrian leadership wish to market for its own political and strategic goals.

The connotation of what Semonov wrote is interesting, as he speaks of Iran’s strengthening of the “Shi’ite Corridor” (between Iran and the Mediterranean, across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon) and “the movement of the conflict in Syria to confrontation on a new level”. “Moscow, which is committed to a peaceful compromise in the Syrian conflict, does not want Syria to be gradually transformed into a Shi’ite Iranian colony at the hands of the Ayatollahs, given that the sectarian-ethnic conflict is one of the elements on which Islamist extremist propaganda is based… In public circles, there are obvious indicators of a discrepancy between Russia and Iran.” He noted that Tehran did not call for the meetings which were held in Amman and Cairo, “but the Iranians are capable of thwarting these agreements, and of ratifying separate agreements in Syria, as they did in March with the truce. The blame will fall on Russia, the largest player, and it will be taken that they did not influence their allies in the best manner.” Semonov said that Tehran “wants to continue the fighting”.

What is particularly notable is that the Russian expert in Idlib himself called on “Russia and Turkey to hasten an agreement on measures to support the moderate opposition in its struggle against extremists in Idlib, before Tehran and Damascus begin to attack Idlib under the pretext that extremist positions are being reinforced”. He concluded saying “Iran sees that the solution requires overcoming the armed opposition and wants Russia to support it in this endeavour. However, Moscow desires a peaceful political resolution”.

As for Anton Mardasov, he opens his article stating “Tehran is striving to drag Moscow towards a new round of civil war”. He pointed to the proximity of Russian and Iranian goals at the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria, “but the gap between the two countries has gradually started to widen as Russia seeks to negotiate a stable ceasefire with the armed Syrian opposition”. Mardasov spoke of the Russian-Iranian rivalry east of Aleppo, where Moscow hopes to “spread security and stability”, as he says, while “Tehran has begun to consolidate its power and expand the ranks of loyal militias”. The opening of Iranian religious centres in Aleppo “is fueling the conflict on the basis of ethnicity and religion”.

These messages, perhaps, are directed at Washington, to impress Russian difficulties in containing Iran’s ambitions, and to force Trump’s administration to recognise the high cost if Russia decided to sever its ground alliance with Iran, and the price in the Crimea, where Moscow insists that Washington recognise that it has recovered Russian territory. Moscow differs from Tehran in how the Russians approach their messages, since the Iranian plan in Syria is very different from the Russian. Moscow is not prepared to dispense with its strategic relationship with Tehran unless it is fully sure that the Iranian plan will plunge it into the quagmire of civil war in Syria, nor is it prepared for a Russian-American deal.

Washington is relying on Russia to curb the Iranian hegemony in Syria, either since it trusts that Moscow is able to do so, if it desires, or because it sees that the problem is a Russian problem, and not an American one. The most important thing currently for the Trump administration is the longed-for crush of ISIS and its like, in partnership with anyone, and then some, for every recent incident. The Syrian regime forces’ recovery of Deir az-Zour and its surrender of the Syria-Iraq border to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard raised no American objections. The impression given is that Washington pretended not to notice, and tacitly approved of it. Deir az-Zour is an important region for the corridor connecting Tehran and the Mediterranean, and even now, Washington has not implemented any actual steps to oppose the establishment of a “Persian Crescent” which it and Israel claim to oppose.

Confidence in the US is low for all those who cooperate with it, and all sides are prepared for the possibility that the US will dispense with them once American goals are achieved – such is the American reputation. The mainly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces believe that its interests require a focus on preserving Kurdish territories through mutual understandings with Damascus and Moscow. A deal with Bashar al-Assad is certain to rely on American promises, which may fluctuate with the relationship with Turkey.

Thus the Syrian Democratic Forces aspire to a deal in which they hand over Raqqa to regime forces in exchange for a promise by al-Assad for an autonomous Kurdish administration in Syrian Kurdish territories. The Kurds question the American pledges and complain that America’s priority with the Kurds will be within the remit of the relations with NATO member Turkey, which Washington may need to control Iranian expansion in the Middle East, and to determine the fate of Idlib, as some claim.

Russia fears that Tehran and Damascus will exploit the situation in Idlib with an armed attack, resulting in a new alliance between the moderate opposition and the extremists. The Russian idea is to charge the moderate opposition with eliminating the extremist opposition, as they want to block any Iranian efforts or regime adventures in Idlib. Turkey has a number of links to the fate of Idlib, as it is accused of offering safe harbour to extremists therein. Russia is currently attempting to coordinate with Turkey, giving the impression of a dispute with Iran, but these are merely temporary transitional partnerships on the Syrian battlefields.

So far, despite Russia’s acknowledgement of differences with Iranian plans, there have been no signs of any qualitative shift in the Iranian-Russian alliance towards a strategic break. As long as Washington gets along with any alliance in Syria under the banner of fighting terrorism – a label mainly adopted by Damascus – Russia will take the lead on managing developments, determining whether rapprochement with Turkey or divergence from Iranian plans in Syria are in its interest, developments which determine the fate of the Syrian opposition as a whole. Thus the Kurds and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces turn are inclining toward Russia. However, in the end Iran is not a transient issue in the fate of Syria, and its cross-border plans need Syrian territory. The execution of these plans will not be stopped without a Russian-American-Israeli resolution, which remains to be adopted.


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

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Army: 266 Syrians detained at Shalateen while attempting illegal immigration across the border

Spokesman for the Armed Forces, Tamir al-Rifa’i, said in a statement published Tuesday that border guards in the southern military district had detained 266 Syrians who were attempting to illegally migrate across the border in the region of Shalateen.

Attempts by Egyptians and foreigners to illegally migrate via Egypt’s borders and coastline have increased recently, due to political persecution and rising unemployment levels in the Middle East.

The spokesman also stated in a post published on the official Facebook page that border guards in the second field army had destroyed 12 tunnels along the border in northern Sinai.

The armed forces, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior have launched a security campaign across northern Sinai, aimed at arresting militants and destroying the tunnels which are used to target members of the army and the police.


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article can be found here.

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa, Al-Wasat (Libya), 27 November 2014

Infographic: ISIS fighters proliferate in North Africa

The influence of ISIS is gradually expanding from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa to extremist groups which have taken North Africa as their headquarters.

Red: Areas of ISIS influence (estimate)

  1. Egypt: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – formed in 2011, it is made up of 2,000 fighters; after announcing it joined ISIS in November, it is now known as Wilayat Sina’ (Sinai Province)
  2. Eastern Libya: Extremists in the coastal city of Derna – population 80,000 – announced their alliance with and allegiance to ISIS and the establishment of Wilayat Barqa (Cyrenaica Proince) in October
  3. Tripoli: Since August, the Libyan capital has fallen under the control of the Libya Dawn extremist militia, designated as a terrorist organisation; Mitiga International Airport is used as the centre for thousands of fighters from Europe and Africa seeking to join the fighters in Syria
  4. Tunisia: Birthplace of the Arab Spring, source of the largest number of foreign fighters joining ISIS and al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, estimated at about 3,000 fighters; the cause is believed to be their resentment with the political process in Tunisia
  5. Algeria: Extremist group Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria allied itself with ISIS in September after breaking off from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
  6. Morocco: The terrorist organisation affiliated with al-Qaeda calling itself Salafiyya Jihadiyya may have influenced the recent announcement of loyalty to ISIS by Moroccan fighters in Syria

Translated by Kevin Moore.

In Damascus / في دمسق

Inspired by this hauntingly beautiful video by Waref Abu Quba, I’ve taken it upon myself to translate the full poem by the brilliant Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish.

Enjoy!


In Damascus
The doves fly
Behind the silk fence
Two by two.

في دمشق :
تطير الحمامات
خلف سياج الحرير
اثنتين اثنتين

In Damascus
I see my entire language
On a grain of wheat, written by a woman’s needle
Revised by the Mesopotamian partridge.

في دمشق :
أرى لغتي كلها على حبة القمح مكتوبة
بإبرة أنثى
ينقحها حجلُ الرافدين

In Damascus
The names of Arabian horses have been embroidered in gold threads
Since the age of Jahiliyyah
Until judgement day or beyond.

في دمشق :
تطرز أسماء خيل العرب
من الجاهلية حتى القيامة أو بعدها
بخيوط الذهب

In Damascus
The sky walks on the ancient streets
Barefoot, barefoot
So what need does the poet have for inspiration, metre and rhyme?

في دمشق :
تسير السماء على الطرقات القديمة
حافية حافية
فما حاجة الشعراء إلى الوحي والوزن والقافية ؟

In Damascus
The stranger sleeps in his shadow
Standing like a minaret in the bed of eternity
Not longing for anyone or any place.

في دمشق :
ينام الغريب على ظله واقفا
مثل مئذنة في سرير الابد
لا يحن إلى بلدٍ أو أحد

In Damascus
The present tense continues its Umayyad works
And we walk toward our tomorrow, confident of the sun in our past
We and eternity are the residents of this land.

في دمشق :
يواصل فعل المضارع أشغاله الأموية
نمشي الى غدنا واثقين من الشمس في أمسنا
نحن و الأبدية سكان هذ البلد

Umayyad Mosque - Damascus

In Damascus
Dialogues  between the violin and the oud revolve around
Existentialism and the endings
Whoever kills her passing lover, attains the Lote Tree of heaven.

في دمشق :
تدور الحوارات بين الكمنجة و العود
حول سؤال الوجود وحول النهايات
من قتلت عاشقا مارقا فلها سدرة المنتهى

In Damascus
Yousef tears apart his ribs with a flute for no reason other than that his heart was not with him.

في دمشق :
يقطع يوسف بالناي أضلعه لا لشيء سوى أنه لم يجد قلبه معه

In Damascus
Speech returns to its origins – water
Poetry is not poetry, and prose is not prose
And you say I will not leave you
So take me to you and take me with you.

في دمشق :
يعود الكلام الى أصله الماء
لا الشعر شعر ولا النثر نثر
وانتِ تقولين : لن أدعك
فخذني إليك وخذني معك

In Damascus
A gazelle sleeps beside a woman in a bed of dew
And takes off her dress to cover Barada with it.

في دمشق :
ينام غزال الى جانب امرأة في سرير الندى
فتخلع فستانها وتغطى به بردى

In Damascus
A bird picks at what remains of wheat in my hand
And leaves me a single grain to show me my tomorrow, tomorrow.

في دمشق :
تنقر عصفورة ما تركت من القمح فوق يدي
وتترك لي حبة لتريني غدا غدي

In Damascus
The jasmine flirts with me and does not stray
Following in my path
So the garden becomes jealous and does not approach the blood of night in my moon.

في دمشق :
تداعبني الياسمينة : لا تبتعد
وامشِ في أثري
فتغار الحديقة من دم الليل في قمري

Barada River - Damascus

In Damascus
I spend the evening in lighthearted conversation with my trivial dream and laugh at the almond blossom
Be realistic, so that I may blossom again around the water of her name
Be realistic, so that I may pass through her dream.

في دمشق :
أسامر حلمي الخفيف على زهر اللوز يضحك
كن واقعيا لأزهر ثانية حول ماء اسمها
وكن واقعيا لأعبر في حلمها

In Damascus
I introduce myself to her
Here under two almond eyes we fly together as twins
And postpone our shared past.

في دمشق :
أعرف نفسي على نفسها
ههنا , تحت عينين لوزيتين نطير معا توأمين
ونرجئ ماضينا المشترك

In Damascus
Speech softens and I hear the sound of blood in the flashes of marble
Wrest me away from my son, the female prisoner says to me
Or turn to stone with me.

في دمشق :
يرق الكلام فأسمع صوت دمٍ في عروق الرخام
اختطفني من ابني تقول السجينة لي
أو تحجر معي

In Damascus
I count my ribs and return my heart to its amble
Perhaps the one that admitted me to her shadow killed me
And I did not notice.

في دمشق :
أعد ضلوعي وأرجع قلبي إلى خببه
لعل التي ادخلتني إلى ظلها قتلتني
ولم انتبه

In Damascus
The stranger returns her howdah to the caravan
I will not return to my tent, I will not hang my guitar
After this evening on the family fig tree.

في دمشق :
تعيد الغريبة هودجها إلى القافلة
لن أعود إلى خيمتي uولن أعلق جيتارتي
بعد هذا المساء على تينة العائلة

In Damascus
Poems are translucent
Neither silver nor gold
They are what they echo says in order to echo.

في دمشق :
تشف القصائد
لا هي حسية ولا هي ذهنية
إنها ما يقول الصدى للصدى

Damascus
In Damascus
The cloud dries up in the afternoon, then digs a well
For the summer of lovers at the foot of Mount Qasioun
And the flute completes its habits
Longing for the present
And cries in vain.

في دمشق :
تجف السحابة عصرا فتحفر بئرا
لصيف المحبين في سفح قاسيون
والناي يكمل عاداته
في الحنين إلى ما هو الآن فيه
ويبكي سدى

In Damascus
I write in a woman’s journal
All that is in you of Narcissus desires you
And no fence around you protects you from your night’s excess appeal.

في دمشق :
أدون في دفتر امرأة
كل ما فيكِ من نرجسٍ يشتهيكِ
ولا سور حولكِ يحميكِ من ليل فتنتك الزائدة

In Damascus
I see how the Damascus night diminishes
Slowly, slowly
And how our goddesses increase, one by one.

في دمشق :
أرى كيف ينقص ليل دمشق رويدا رويدا
وكيف تزيد الهاتنا واحدة

In Damascus
The traveler sings silently to himself and I return from Syria
Neither dead, nor alive
But as clouds easing the butterfly’s burden
From my fugitive soul.

في دمشق :
يغني المسافر في سره ولا أعود من الشام حيا ولا ميتا
بل سحابا يخفف عبء الفراشة
عن روحي الشاردة

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Nabil Naim: Perpetrators of Sinai incident came from Syria and Iraq, Tahrir News (Egypt), 24 October 2014

Nabil NaimNabil Naim, founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, confirmed that the terrorist attack in Sinai today reflects a high-level of training and could only be carried out by elements that have previously participated in wars.

During a telephone interview with journalist Eman Hirsi for the “90 Minutes” programme, Naim explained that the perpetrators of the incident could have come from Syria and Iraq.

Naim indicated that there were main indications proving that the perpetrators trained militarily to undertake such an operation, and not in normal training camps, especially their targeting of paramedics after carrying out the initial operation.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

ISIS issues several new resolutions regarding education and women going out in public, Raqqa is being slaughtered silently (Syria), 19 October 2014

  1. Women are not permitted to go out except while wearing dira’ (an extra dress, similar to a shield, on top of the niqab and Islamic dress).
  2. Private courses are not permitted except in institutes. There is a 500 lira fine (instead of the previous 50 liras) for those in contravention.
  3. Any teacher instructing female students in a private course will face the death penalty.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original post available on Facebook.

Islamic Front decides not to fight ISIS in north Aleppo, Aksalser (Syria), 5 October 2014

Islamic Front decides not to fight ISIS in north AleppoThe Islamic Front, one of the biggest armed opposition factions against the regime, has taken the decision to not fight the terrorist group “ISIS” in northern areas of the Aleppo governorate.

On Sunday, Abu Mustafa – a foreign relations officer in the Islamic Front – said “ISIS has opportunistically occupied the areas liberated by Syrian oppositions forces and for this reason, on 25 August we began attacks against the organisation under the name Battle of Nahrwan al-Shamm,” according to the Anadolu News Agency.

Abu Mustafa explained that the Islamic Front continued its fight against the organisation, but without any direct clashes with it due to the intensity of attacks by international coalition forces led by the United States, as well as attacks by the Syrian regime. He indicated that the coalition forces targeted positions of the Islamic Front and that they took the decision to not fight ISIS because of the regime forces’ intensification, along with attacks by Hezbollah in the Aleppo countryside.

Abut Mustafa said that the Islamic Front’s fighting against ISIS will continue lightly until the organisation accepts a ceasefire indicating that its forces will will protect their positions and remain on high alert, guarding the territory it controls.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Four ISIS collaborators arrested in Egypt, Ennahar Online (Egypt), 5 October 2014

Four ISIS collaborators arrested in EgyptThe Middle East News Agency (Egyptian state media outlet) reported today that Egyptian police arrested four people recruiting youths to fight with ISIS in Syria. It added that the police arrested them in the coastal Port Said governorate, and that they admitted to being part of an eight-person cell and that the other four were in Syria. The general prosecutor decided to imprison the four arrested pending further investigations. ISIS has attracted the interest of Egyptians over social networking sites. Egyptian security forces estimate that there are 8000 Egyptians fighting abroad.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

“Jund al-Khilafah”…ISIS begins to spread into the Maghreb, El Badil (Egypt), 4 October 2014

The Middle East region has recently witnessed a number of drastic changes related to extremist terrorist groups. Last week, an organisation called “Jund al-Khilafah” (Soldiers of the Caliphate) emerged in Algeria and carried out the execution of a French hostage after announcing their allegiance to “Daesh” (the Arabic equivalent to the acronym ISIS). This event raised fears about the spread of this organisation in North Africa, especially since other groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS have appeared recently in the Maghreb.

“Jund al-Khilfah”…ISIS begins to spread into the MaghrebA number of experts have spoken about the dangers of these organisations and the growth of their influence in the region. Ambassador Sayyid Abu Zayd, assistant to the former Foreign Minister, said that the organisation known as Jund al-Khilafah, which recently appeared in Algeria, its not far from the organisations that claim to raise the banner of religion and use it as a cover to carry out their crimes. He stressed that Islam is not a part of these organisations, which analyse it as they please and forbid what they want.

Abu Zayd explained to El Badil that the emergence of groups pledging allegiance to ISIS in Algeria is not surprising, for in every Middle Eastern and African country, these armed groups rely on provoking the feelings of youths by luring them and convincing them that they are following the true belief in order for them to join them in carrying out terrorist attacks and bombings without thinking, with the aim of achieving specific goals, whether political or spreading chaos and instability in the region. He stressed that there are children in these groups who have been trained at the hands of terrorists from a young age to carry out major attacks and bombings in the region.

The former diplomat stressed that the Egyptian view is correct, in that the world is confronting international terrorism, not represented only in certain organisations like ISIS, but rather we are confronting terrorism that threatens the entire world and will sooner or later reach the borders of countries that are fighting it, and from there regional and international areas.

Abu Zayd added that the emergence of videos showing the execution of European hostages by ISIS is meant to terrorise citizens of countries participating in the regional coalition so that pressure can be placed on governments to distance themselves from participation, as well as maintain fear for the safety of other imprisoned citizens. However, the opposite has happened, the tables have been turned, and the cautious states are participating and gathering together to carry out attacks and pre-emptive strikes on this organisation, fearful of the spread and threat of their interests.

For his part, Ambassador Raouf Sa’ad, former Egyptian ambassador to Russia and assistant to the former Foreign Minister, said that the multiplicity of terrorist organisations in the region and some of them pledging allegiance of ISIS demonstrations has a positive and a negative side. He stressed that the negative side is a result of the fluid condition and chaos which have prevailed in the Arab world. This atmosphere was ideal for extremist groups, and we see a new wave of non-traditional terrorism.

Raouf Sa’ad added that the danger in this case is that we cans see that the nature of groups that join these terrorism groups are not the traditional groups that joined them previously, like the poor and the like. Instead they are from the middle-class, distinguished by their social participation in social networking. Additionally, these organisations finance themselves by controlling oil fields and resource-rich areas. Subsequently there are highly trained and well-financed terrorist organisations.

In the same context Ambassador Rakha Ahmed Hassan, former assistant to the Foreign Minister, said that the emergence of other organisations in the region like Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria is not surprising. By looking at the origins of all of these terrorist organisations, including ISIS in Iraq, we notice that they were a branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq but for reasons related to political or ideological differences an organisation rebels against us with a new name, but under one set of principles and with one approach represented in al-Qaeda’s takfiri ideology. Rakha stressed that regional changes effects the naming of these organisations.

Rakha added that what is important is not the names, so much as our recognising the goals that they hope to achieve, and the heinous crimes they commit on a daily basis against civilians and non-combatants. He stressed that in every country, particularly in the Middle East region, you will find a group that supports this radical ideology, citing the so-called “Beit al-Maqdis” group in Egypt, “Ansar al-Shari’a” in Libya, “Jabhat al-Nusra” in Lebanon and Syria. He stressed that these groups were established under the noses of the American administration in order to spread chaos and instability in the region.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

Dismantled terrorist cell adopted the name “Supporters of the Islamic State in Morocco,” Menara (Morocco), 29 September 2014”

Islamic State militantsOngoing research into a dismantled terrorist cell revealed that its members had named themselves ‘Anṣār ad-Dawla al-Islāmiyya fīl-Maghrib al-Aqṣa’ (Supporters of the Islamic State in Morocco).

Research into the dismantled group, which it was active in Nador and Melilla to attract and recruit Moroccan militants with the intent of strengthening ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Iraq, indicated that its members had given themselves the name Supporters of the Islamic State in Morocco.

A statement from the Interior Ministry on Sunday explained that elements of this cell had “recently resolved to join the ranks of ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria, after making contact with Moroccan jihadists who are part of this terrorist organization and have vowed to return to the kingdom to undertake the same brutal and barbaric actions that they are perpetrating against Iraqi and Syrian soldiers, and anyone who stands in their way.”

However, in the wake of intensified airstrikes by coalition forces in parts of Iraq and Syria and the accompanying security restrictions on volunteers for jihad in this region, the statement adds, members of this cell decided to “join the so-called ‘Jund al-Khilafa’ (Soldiers of the Caliphate) in Algeria, which recently announced its allegiance to ‘Islamic State’ after taking responsibility for the execution of French hostage Hervé Gourdel in response to France’s decision to join the aforementioned coalition.”

The same source indicated that research shows that the members of this cell “intended to transport the experience of ‘Islamic State’ by spreading an atmosphere of terror and panic inside the kingdom, as apparent through their circulation of terrible images of the corpses of Iraqi and Syrian soldiers distributed by militants of this terrorist organization.”

The source confirmed that the suspects will be brought to justice immediately after the ongoing investigation, overseen by the competent public prosecutor.


Translated by Kevin Moore.

Access original article here.