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Die Zeit: the Jihadists themselves shoot

Martin Gehlen

In the coming days the conflicting parties in Syria «will meet each other on neutral territory: this week in the Kazakh Astana (…). And the next meeting in Geneva, which will be held under the auspices of the UN and the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura,» writes political columnist for the German newspaper Die Zeit Martin Gehlen. The agenda of the Geneva talks are much wider than those that take place in Kazakhstan: it will affect the future distribution of power in Syria.

«But to expect any compromise solution should not be, even despite the fact that the opponents of Assad, who will come to Geneva, after his defeat in Aleppo was greatly weakened, — the author continues. — Moreover, they are being pressured from all sides». In particular, regional allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have changed their policies and reduced the supply of weapons. And inside the camp of the rebels began the conflict for power, not only between the jihadists and moderate rebels, but between extremists.

Tension has been brewing for a long time — and a conference in Astana and Geneva show. Thus, the radicals strongly oppose cease-fire and accused the representatives of the rebels of treason. Also only in the beginning of this week during clashes between the two jihadist groups — the «Jund al-Aqsa» and «Tahrir al-sham» — killed 69 militants. One of the groups ideologically close to the terrorist organization «Islamic state» and the other «al-Qaeda». Its leaders vowed revenge, and «uproot» branch of ISIS.

Under fire, as stated below, was and fighters of the «Free Syrian army». Dozens of them were captured and were forced to give up their warehouses extremists wishing to establish in the North of Syria in the country. As a result of local population imposed a fairly rigid version of Islam, and activists-Democrats persecuted and intimidated.

In the end, the growing number of religious fanatics «grist to the mill of the Syrian state propaganda, which for several years call all opponents terrorists,» concludes the author. «The authorities want to psychologically adjust people so that they believe that Idlib is nothing short of a new Syrian Kandahar,» he wrote in the newspaper Al Hayat, the Syrian journalist Ibrahim Hamidi, Recalling that prior to 2001, the Afghan Kandahar was the center of the radical Taliban, in Syria’s Idlib province is the opposition, where there are tens of thousands of refugees and rebels from Aleppo, Hama and HOMS.

A member of the American analytical center Atlantic Council, Faysal Itani sure that «thus opponents of the regime and the extremists for one size fits all and the problem down to a common denominator. And when that happens, Damascus will strike with full force, and no one in the international arena will not be able to protest against it.»

Die Zeit: the Jihadists themselves shoot 17.02.2017

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