An ISIS Controlled Damascus?
- Russia, Iran and Syria are fighting against ISIS and al-Nusra. On the other side, for years the CIA, Islamist Turkey and Islamist Saudi Arabia are running weapons to Islamist rebels. The result may be an ISIS controlled Syria.
By Riyadh Mohammed
(The Fiscal Times) - For more than four years, the Assad regime in Syria has resisted its people's cry to be freed from dictatorship.
During the last several weeks, the Assad regime has shown signs of vulnerability punctuated by a weakened relationship with Iran. Iranian advisers who had supported Assad for years are now consumed with supporting the Iraqi government in its war against ISIS and the Houthis in Yemen in their war against a Saudi-led coalition of Arab nations. Iran's economy has been damaged severely after a decade of international sanctions and Iran cannot support the Syrian regime financially forever.
Hezbollah, the best trained force fighting for the regime, has lost about a thousand of its best fighters in Syria, the very fighters desperately needed to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda in Lebanon.
For these reasons, Syrian government forces have suffered a series of defeats over the last weeks. The Assad regime now controls no more than 35 percent of the country, leaving the rest to ISIS, the Kurds and the other rebel groups like al-Nusra front. Allepo, Syria's largest city is almost surrounded completely by the rebels. The Syrian Kurds have increased the territories they control in the north to include most of the border areas with Turkey. Assad is also the de facto mayor of Damascus and the coastal areas. If this trend continues, which is likely to happen, the Syrian regime will probably fall by the end of this year. The two competing forces to occupy Damascus are ISIS and al-Nusra front.
|And the U.S. wants to overthrow the Baath Party that opposes Islamists.|
If either of these two terrorist organizations capture Damascus, the world will witness an unprecedented chain reaction. It would be the first time that al-Qaeda or ISIS controlled a national capital. “ISIS's strategic target is to control one of the historical capitals of the Islamic caliphates: Damascus, Baghdad or Samarra. These cities are very symbolic for its followers,” says Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on ISIS and the author of the book, The World of ISIS.
A possible scenario for the aftermath of the fall of Damascus is the infighting between these two terror groups. If that happens or a new civil war breaks out, the region and the world would be spared an imminent and great danger. But if that infighting doesn’t take place, the world needs to prepare for continued genocides and years of terrorist acts across the continents.
The Assads, who have ruled Syria since 1970, are Alawaites — a version of Shiite Islam and a faith that serves 12 percent of the Syrian people. With Russia's diplomatic aid and arms, Iran's economic and military advice, Lebanese Hezbollah and other Shiite Iraqi and Afghan fighters and the use of chemical weapons against its own people, the Assad regime has prevailed. Until now.
After the fall of the Assad regime, the Syrian people's different ethnic and sectarian components would cause the society to fray further. “Imagine that you wake up one day to find out that the ruling party in Damascus is no longer the Arab Baath Socialist Party; it is al-Nusra front.... Imagine you wake up to hear that another caliph has appeared somewhere else.... I say to those who complain about what is going on in our region: you haven't seen anything yet. Civil wars don't end suddenly, unless there is a victory that left many massacred,” says Harith Hasan, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University who is researching ethnic violence and identity in the Middle East.
While Syria's Sunnis were the driving force of the Syrian rebels, the other 40 percent of the Syrian people supported the regime. They include Alawite, Christians, Druze, Kurds and others. There is no doubt that the Alawites will suffer the revenge of those whom they suppressed for a half century. “There is a very large revenge between the Sunnis and the Alawite after what the Alawite have done to the Sunnis, which includes killing, torture, displacement and raping of women....We think that Alawite is a sect that has left the religion of Allah and Islam,” said Abu Mohammed al-Julani, the leader of al-Nusra front in a rare TV interview. He added that Christians are supporting the regime.Read More . . . .