The Factions of Raqqa Province

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Much has been noted of the presence of the Islamic State in Raqqa province, where the group controls all major urban localities (Raqqa city, Tabqa, Ma’adan, and Tel Abyad), as well as the Kurdish militias just west of Tel Abyad, from which town they were expelled back in August 2013 on account of cooperation between the Islamic State, Ahrar ash-Sham and other local rebels who have since been subdued by the Islamic State. What then of other groups? Broadly, we can distinguish two kinds: pro-regime forces, and a small rebel insurgency fighting against the Islamic State. They are detailed below. Note that I exclude Jabhat al-Nusra as a separate group here because the history of the group’s presence has been sufficiently well documented before.


National Defense Force (NDF)- Raqqa

NDF Raqqa Emblem

The NDF is officially a ‘counter-insurgency’ force trained with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp and Hezbollah to deal with the problem of lack of regime manpower in the regular armed forces as opposed to the wider insurgency. The NDF has become a meaningful force in the regime’s arsenal but it is not of the same nature everywhere in Syria. Out in Raqqa province, where the regime presence has been reduced to little more than isolated military bases, the NDF is more of a banner for underground remnant loyalists operating covertly in the province (in so far as it is a meaningful entity within Raqqa province itself), though NDF Raqqa has also claimed under its banner operations on the Raqqa-Salamiya/Raqqa-Athariya roads stretching into the Hama countryside to the southwest.


Mundhar Sharif al-Mousa and Fadi Sheikhan, identified with NDF Raqqa and said to have been killed in an ambush on the Athariya road.
Funeral for the two men.

A photo said to have been taken “with the lens of the NDF lions in eastern Raqqa countryside: photo of the Shari’a court in al-Karama.” This would seem to corroborate the idea of NDF Raqqa as a banner for the regime loyalist underground.

Pro-regime graffiti in Raqqa in February 2014: “National Defense to liberate Raqqa.”

NDF Raqqa’s other main function has been reporting the latest news on the clashes between the Islamic State and regime forces in the Division 17 military base area. Division 17 has been the subject of some contention on the question of the relationship between the Islamic State and the regime. Some critics argue that the Islamic State has not (at least until now) attacked Division 17 or that any signs of fighting were merely for show rather like the naval battles on the Tiber of the days of the early Principate.

Neither of these assertions stands up to scrutiny, though it is certainly fair to argue that the Islamic State did not devote as much manpower and resources to taking the base as it is doing now on account of infighting with other rebels elsewhere in Syria. In any case, the clashes that did take place were meaningful and happened on multiple occasions, corroborated by reporting on all sides (Islamic State provincial news feeds, Raqqa pro-regime news networks, and local activists like Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi; cf. video footage shared by non-Islamic State sources), resulting in casualties.

Qasi Fu’ad Azzam, a Druze soldier killed in clashes in the Division 17 area with the Islamic State on 16 March 2014.

Abu Aamer al-Ansari, an Islamic State fighter killed in Division 17 clashes. Death announced in March.

Non-Islamic State source on “violent clashes” in March 2014 between the regime and the Islamic State in Division 17 area, such that they could be heard from Raqqa city.

The most recent fighting, as I noted above, has been more intense, as reporting from both sides makes clear.

Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Iraqi poses with heads of decapitated regime soldiers from Division 17 base.

Ahmad Ali Ibrahim, killed in the latest Islamic State assault on Division 17.

Brigadier General Hasham al-Sha’arani, a Druze army officer killed in the latest round of Division 17 clashes. Cf. List of those wounded subsequently taken to Latakia hospital.

Muhannad Sari’ Suleiman, originally from Jobat Burghal (Latakia province), killed in Division 17 clashes.

Majid Ahmad al-Hassan, originally from the Alawite quarter of Zahara’ in Homs, also killed in the Division 17 clashes.

Suleiman Ibrahim, originally from Tartous area, killed in Division 17 clashes.

Saraya Ansar al-Jaysh al-Arabi al-Suri

Statement by Saraya Ansar al-Jaysh al-Arabi al-Suri in Raqqa.

This purported group- translating to “Brigades of Supporters of the Syrian Arab Army”- is like the NDF Raqqa a banner for underground regime loyalists in Raqqa. In fact, the group’s Facebook page now simply uses the NDF Raqqa banner, indicating no real difference between these banners. The video statement above is merely of interest for echoing of regime rhetoric talking points, decrying the overrunning of Raqqa by foreign fighters from the Islamic State (not exactly divorced from reality, though), affirming that “Islam” has nothing to do with the Islamic State’s actions, that true jihad comes in the path of liberating Palestine, and attacking the “petro-dollar” sheikhs of the Gulf. The statement recalls one issued by underground loyalists in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Raqqa city, in which there was a vow to wage “true jihad” in the fight against the rebels who had taken over the city.



Liwa Thuwar Raqqa

Emblem of Liwa Thuwar Raqqa

Liwa Thuwar Raqqa- translating to “The Revolutionaries of Raqqa Brigade”- is an FSA-banner group in origin that became affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra- as did many other similar rebel groups following Jabhat al-Nusra’s announcement of its “return” to Raqqa city in September 2013- in a bid last year to protect itself from the growing influence of the Islamic State in Raqqa. Led by one “Abu Eisa,” the group, according to Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi, became independent from Jabhat al-Nusra at the beginning of this year with the outbreak of infighting between the Islamic State and other rebels within Raqqa city. However, it should be noted that only much later this year (April) did Jabhat al-Nusra issue an official statement on the separation of Liwa Thuwar Raqqa:

“More than 6 months ago Liwa Thuwar Raqqa joined us in the city of Raqqa, and they had shown their readiness to submit to Shari’a sessions and discipline with precepts approved by Jabhat al-Nusra.

But there was deficiency on the part of both sides in the implementation of this agreement. From the side of Jabhat al-Nusra: the deficiency was in the holding of Shari’a sessions as regards quantity and manner.

From the side of Liwa Thuwar Raqqa: the deficiency was in the lack of embrace of the precepts approved by Jabhat al-Nusra. And after the attacks of the group of the state [Islamic State] on the factions waging jihad and the beginning of the infighting, the Liwa withdrew from Raqqa to some of the neighboring areas, and the organizational link was cut off from that day. Thus, Jabhat al-Nusra announces the dissolution of any organizational connection between us and Liwa Thuwar Raqqa…16 April 2014.”

This issue regarding Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and its relationship with Jabhat al-Nusra has some implications and lessons. The first of these is that integration into Jabhat al-Nusra is no light matter: on the contrary, assimilation of the ideology is expected in the end, and all the more so now with the establishment of the Islamic Emirate project.

Second, there is a degree of spin in the Jabhat al-Nusra statement here: Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and other FSA-banner origin battalions that pledged allegiance in a bid to protect themselves from the Islamic State. In January, a statement emerged purportedly in Jabhat al-Nusra’s name declaring operations against the Islamic State in Raqqa.

This statement was then disavowed by Jabhat al-Nusra’s central leadership; it had emerged from a Facebook page calling itself kamātu l-Raqqa, which featured local rebels who had joined Jabhat al-Nusra following the ‘return’ to Raqqa city. In this context we should deem Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and allies of similar disposition as likely responsible for the psy-ops statement in Jabhat al-Nusra’s name.

One should also note that the Jabhat al-Nusra’s statement partly came in response to a narrative promoted by Islamic State supporters that because Liwa Thuwar Raqqa has been coordinating with the Kurdish YPG (in the form of the Jabhat al-Akrad front group) in the remnant northern Raqqa countryside insurgency against the Islamic State (primarily west of Tel Abyad), therefore Jabhat al-Nusra was supposedly in an alliance with the “PKK apostates” and therefore guilty of apostasy itself.

This parallels the Islamic State supporters’ narrative indicting Jabhat al-Nusra as apostates (and note, in practice this takfir approach was adopted on the ground) on account of alleged coordination with the SMC in Deir az-Zor province. To date, while there have indeed been local ceasefires between Jabhat al-Nusra and the YPG, nothing suggests a vindication of the pro-Islamic State claims of an actual military alliance.

As of now, Liwa Thuwar Raqqa continues to exist but has been unable to score any significant victories against the Islamic State, only capturing some small villages west of Tel Abyad of no great importance and liable to change hands. The group appointed a new official spokesman in June but there are little signs of meaningful progress.

Four al-Jazrawis (foreign fighters from the Arabian Peninsula, normally Saudi Arabia) of the Islamic State killed by Liwa Thuwar Raqqa in May 2014.

Abu Dhiyab, a Liwa Thuwar Raqqa commander killed by the Islamic State. Note the banner behind him echoes the Islamic State’s “Banner of Tawhid” (more recently in the group’s messaging, the “Banner of Khilafa”). Since the flag’s symbols of the first half of the shahada followed by the Prophet’s seal are not automatically associated with the Islamic State, some of the group’s rivals have taken up the banner in an attempt to ‘reclaim’ it from the Islamic State. A similar example in Raqqa province was the independent Liwa Owais al-Qarni that was based in Tabqa and refused to fight the Islamic State, thus reducing itself to subordination to the latter. Following an apparent prison break of regime-aligned prisoners in March, the Islamic State forcibly disbanded Liwa Owais al-Qarni.

Corollary to the above: a Northern Storm fighter (now deceased) and an activist who was detained by the Islamic State in Azaz last year hold up a ‘banner of Tawheed’ with “Northern Storm Brigade” inscribed on it. Some of the Azaz Facebook activist pages had this banner too (minus the Northern Storm inscription). Though I had been skeptical at the time of the idea that featuring such a banner did not mean not supporting the Islamic State, this image made me rethink what was at play. Presently, Northern Storm identifies with the Islamic Front, despite tensions with Liwa al-Tawheed over the Bab al-Salama border area and even as many ex-members remain with the Islamic State.

Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah

Emblem of Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah.

This group, translating to “Jihad in the Path of God Brigade” is an FSA-banner formation that works closely with Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, though unlike Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, it explicitly acknowledges the opposition-in-exile government and the Hay’at al-Arkan (SMC), at least according to a recent interview with the group’s official spokesman. The evidence for the close alliance and ground coordination is as follows: firstly, the group has issued a joint statement with Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, and secondly, areas of operation coincide. Though both groups primarily operate in Raqqa province countryside, they have also clashed with the Islamic State in the rural hinterlands of eastern Aleppo province, such as in the Manbij area.

This also includes coordination with the wider Euphrates Islamic Liberation Front I have mentioned previously- a coalition now severely decimated by the conflict with the Islamic State- and an assortment of other minor FSA-banner underground insurgent groups operating against the Islamic State in eastern Aleppo province.

An example of one of the underground FSA-banner insurgent groups in eastern Aleppo area working with Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah: “Group of Battalions Jarabulus and its Countryside.” The presence of the Turkish flag is noteworthy, as many of the supporters of these groups coordinating media activities and arranging for financial support are currently in Turkey. Further, Ankara, in fear of an Islamic State attack on its own territory, is likely supporting these groups in the hope of rolling back the Islamic State. At the beginning of July, this group, Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, Liwa al-Jihad and others appealed to the opposition-in-exile and Hay’at al-Arkan for reinforcements.

What kind of underground insurgent attacks take place? Besides armed clashes and mortar strikes, there are also IED bombings. Very rare inside the Islamic State’s urban centers in Raqqa province, they occur occasionally in the hinterlands. There is too little to demonstrate that these attacks are significantly damaging the Islamic State administrative and security apparatus in Raqqa province.

Purported leader of Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah (Abu Wael) with some members in Ayn Issa countryside, Raqqa province.

Ahrar ash-Sham [defunct]

I mention Ahrar ash-Sham for the sake of completeness, despite the fact that it is defunct in Raqqa province. For example, though media reports last autumn gave the impression that Raqqa city had become solely controlled by the Islamic State, the fact is that there were still Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham in the city, the latter of which had been a major participant in the original fall of the urban center in March 2013.

It would be fair though to liken Raqqa city by autumn 2013 to a triumvirate, in which the Islamic State was the strongest actor and ever growing in power. Ahrar ash-Sham was also present in other Raqqa province localities, most notably controlling the Tel Abyad border gates until being expelled by the Islamic State in January 2014.

A key strategic error- in my view- on the part of Ahrar ash-Sham as regards its relations with the Islamic State in Raqqa province was its willingness to work with the Islamic State or stand aside as other actors viewed as real or potential rivals were fought or expelled by the Islamic State: namely, the Kurdish militias and Ahfad al-Rasul respectively.

The latter was expelled from Raqqa city in August by the Islamic State, while Ahrar ash-Sham did nothing. Kurdish militias suffered some heavy losses on account of coordination between Ahrar ash-Sham and the Islamic State, most notably being expelled from Tel Abyad city in August 2013 as I mentioned in the preface. Indeed, Ahrar ash-Sham issued multiple statements on coordination with other factions in Raqqa province against Kurdish forces, all of which had followed on from wider infighting that broke out after the YPG had expelled the Islamic State from Ras al-Ayn. Thus, other rebel groups had essentially thrown in their lot with the Islamic State.

One final point of interest as regards the former Ahrar ash-Sham presence in Raqqa is the group’s da’wah outreach activities, which, like the Islamic State, encompassed local children. Note the two images below for comparison.

Ahrar ash-Sham Raqqa da’wah outreach: October 2013.

Islamic State advertising a slide for children: May 2014.

Though parts of the slides are obscured in both images, the two look uncannily similar. It is certainly possible that the Islamic State seized the slide and other outreach assets for children from Ahrar ash-Sham following the latter’s expulsion from Raqqa city in January 2014. In any event, like the Islamic State, Ahrar ash-Sham da’wah outreach in Raqqa also involved Qur’an learning and memorization circles.


Raqqa province as a whole offers a fairly bleak picture for those who might hope for the Islamic State’s rivals in the province to pose a real challenge to the group’s monopoly on control, foremost because the Islamic State’s rivals lack manpower to carry out sustainable offensives, which would be so even if the regime and rebels in the province decided to partner up (highly unlikely, of course). Regime forces south of Tabqa had tried to exploit an opening in May while the Islamic State was dealing with localized gains by Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and other rebels in the northern countryside, but little ultimately materialized of it. Short of an outside actor carrying out an actual ground military intervention (perhaps by Turkey as the most viable actor?), one can only hope for dissension within the Islamic State’s ranks and collapse from internecine strife both now and the foreseeable future.


Comments (68)

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51. Passerby said:

I can help with that Alan, all the people surrounding the Hebrews worshipped Moloch, and fried their children to death in metal frying pans as a human sacrifice. And the Torah/Talmud/Jewish Bible talk about it a lot.

Not nice they were dealing with. If they had showed mercy, they wouldn’t have survived.

Not likely many Pals have genetics going back that far, none have the culture/religion, but if they do, it’s nothing to be proud of.

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August 1st, 2014, 12:22 pm


52. ALAN said:

The Blood of Palestine is on the Hands of the Bribe-Takers

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August 1st, 2014, 1:15 pm


53. ALAN said:

/The game is about to change/
“Sickles” – whisper in my peace-lover holiest homeland 🙂

Obama – the man of calamity: Stop spending billions on wars you’ll never win. Instead bring your troops & money home to people who deserve it. You are on a fast track to hell with Kerry.

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August 1st, 2014, 4:47 pm


54. Ghufran said:

1 Aug 2014: Nick Clegg: ( the guardian) In Gaza, neither side’s weapons will break the other’s resolve. Only a political approach can bring lasting peace
It is not clear whether Hamas or another Palestinian faction killed 2 Israeli soldiers and kidnapped, or took the body, of a third, it is also a matter for debate if Hamas political leadership has full control over Qassam brigades.
Israel was conducting a military operation in Gaza when the soldiers were ambushed which also raises questions about what type of a cease fire Israel wants.
Israel killed over 300 palesinian children ( more than 100 per week)and bombed schools, hospitals, schools, UN centers and mosques. The most likely outcome of this war is more blood shed without Israel achieving its objectives unless the goal was destroying whatever is left of Gaza. One of the IDF killers bragged on social media that he killed 13 Palestinian children’s.
The IDF is the Jewish version of Isis

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August 2nd, 2014, 12:08 am


55. Badr said:

“Ghufran” recently wrote:

I am convinced that the army, and Special Forces in particular, is far more diverse than what some internet boneheads and “analysts” are saying.

So “Ghufran”, please tell me what you make of Landis saying:

. . . what happened in Syria, when we saw the Syrian Army unravel at the base during the first year of the Sunni uprising. The Syrian military was quickly rebuilt along sectarian and regional lines to make it much stronger and more loyal . . .

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August 2nd, 2014, 2:10 am


56. Juergen said:

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August 2nd, 2014, 2:45 am


58. ALAN said:

Obama disillusioned:
Every major U.S. policy in the region is at a dead-end
Kenneth Pollack (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution); Paul Pillar (Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University); Amin Tarzi (Director of Middle East Studies, Marine Corps University); and Chas Freeman (Chair, Projects International, Inc.). Thomas Mattair, executive director of the Middle East Policy
Professor Joshua Landis:
Why you are missing there?

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August 2nd, 2014, 7:53 am


59. ghufran said:

The two statements are not contradictory, we knew for years that alawites are overrepresented in the army and security forces for reasons explained many times here, this war made things worse but the statement that everybody who fought and everybody who died in the Syrian army was an alawite is not true especially in certain units, I hope that more people wake up to the fact that this is not simply a sunni-shia war despite the strong sectarian nature of many of the moving pieces in the wider conflict.
when most people see the wars in the regions through sectarian lenses that will signal that Israel and the terrorists have won. ISIS and the IDF are on the same page even if they are not using the same pen, we should always remember that, the Syrian war will end when Syrians realize who is the real enemy.

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August 2nd, 2014, 5:06 pm


60. Observer said:

It is very simple Ghufran. It is nearly 100% Alawite fighting or obliging others to fight. I know from conscripts that were threatened with death if they even looked like they wanted to defect.

Also, how come the 400 000 standing army cannot take back territory as close as Daraya or Jobar and had to starve people in Homs to get some access? How come there has not been a single call for a single reservist to return to active duty as the regime pretends that it is facing a world wide war against it?

Hogwash this is a sectarian regime to the very core and all those that stand with it will share its fate.

Now if you hear the speech of Bibi it sounds very much like the speech of Bashar or of Nuslira. We are in to the end of times and for victory and for this and for that.

Let us see, if one considers that perhaps a fourth of the Palestinians killed are militants that makes it to about 350 or so and so far 50 or so Israeli soldiers are killed. To end Hamas it will require probably another 6 months of war. Let us see how many Israelis are willing to die for the follies of Bibi and his right wing nuts.

Bibi and Bashar and Abdallah II and Abdallah alone and Ahmad and Hasan and Sissi and Boutaflika and the list goes on have not grasped that the people will not be afraid anymore and that they will die standing rather than continue to live like slaves.

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August 2nd, 2014, 6:06 pm


61. Observer said:

Here is an Israeli blogger calling for genocide of the Palestinians

Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.
The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.
Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.
Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.
Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.
I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

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August 2nd, 2014, 6:24 pm


62. Ghufran said:

Here is a story from a recent trip I made to Syria:
I talked to a community leader ( Sunni) who knew my family for decades and realized like many Syrians that militarization of what was supposed a political struggle mostly helped the regime and hurt most Syrians. His view after 3 years of blood shed that this war needs to end at any cost. The man admitted to me that his preference , again like many Syrians, was to see the ruling mafia go and be replaced with a new regime, but after seeing what foreign jihadists did he concluded that Syrian rebels have no support unless they join nusra or Isis, he believes that these two terrorist groups will hurt Sunnis a lot more than alawites.
The man is watched by almukhabarat but he seemed confident that he is left free because of his stature and the regime’s effort to keep mouayia’s hair with people like him.
His final statement was: we are tired,we want this to end regardless of who wins as long as the winners are syrians who undertand that we as syrians need to live together.
I understood that as a willingness of the people he represents to accept a transitional period where alawites receive accommodations that assure them that they do not become the victims of a witch hunt led by sectarian groups that want Syria to become another Afghanistan. When I asked him whether he thinks Syria should be divided he said:
We are here, they are here, my niece and my nephew are married to alawites, we are going nowhere and they are here to stay.
A note about the “sectarian nature ” of the regime :
All Arab regimes can be accused of sectarianism, this is the result of centuries of oppression and dictatorship, the new thawrajiyyeh are more sectarian than the regimes they are trying to topple, this chronic disease can not be treated with a quick radical surgery, the patient will die even if the surgery was a technical success. Reforming governments take decades and can not be done with violence.

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August 2nd, 2014, 8:24 pm



Landis calling the revolution the “Sunni Uprising” places him as one of the accomplices in the “islamization” of the revolution of dignity.

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August 3rd, 2014, 8:36 am


64. Observer said:

Well well, it seems that the very notion and idea of a national identity has completely disappeared as “all Arab regime are sectarian”. It seems to me that there was never any notion of true Arab, Syrian, Lebanese, etc…. national identity. There was only a sect based identity.

So, there will be an IS just as there is a JS. The CS or Christian state namely Lebanon will not see the day. That state is finished.

Some have been saying that the FSA will join the regime in fighting against the IS. I believe it is going to be the other way around. The regime and the sects are going to beg for the FSA to protect them from the IS as they gave a glimpse of what will happen when they took Division 17.

Go watch the videos and pictures of the Division 17 take over. This is a nicer version of what is to come.

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August 3rd, 2014, 9:14 am


65. Tara said:

Israel is not sustainable the way it is murdering Palestinians

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August 3rd, 2014, 11:46 am


66. ALAN said:

thank you Tara for your post /Israel is not sustainable the way it is murdering Palestinians/

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August 3rd, 2014, 12:23 pm


67. Tara said:

You welcome Alan!

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August 3rd, 2014, 12:26 pm


68. Austin Michael Bodetti said:

No one seems able to challenge the Islamic State in ar-Raqqa.

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August 5th, 2014, 10:42 am


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