“The ISIS – Suquor al-Sham Truce: Is It Real and Can It Last?” By Daniel Abdallah

The ISIS – Suquor al-Sham Truce: Is It Real and Can It Last?
By Daniel Abdallah – twitter: @Daniel_Abdullah
for Syria Comment, Feb 6, 2014

version4_أحمد عيسى قائد صقور الشام-1

Abu Issa or Ahmed Issa ash-Shaikh, the leader of Suqour ash-Sham (Syrian Falcons) who became the putative leader of the Islamic Front when it was formed in Nov. 2013

Yesterday, a statement was circulated on Twitter and Facebook claiming that a truce had been established between Suqour ash-Sham (SS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).[1] According to the statement, it appears that the truce had been mediated by Liwa’ Dawoud.[2] Below is my translation of the statement:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Allah the Highest says: ‘The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers’ [Quran 49:10].

From this divine instruction, and as the beginning of a wider process of reconciliation, we – the Suqour ash-Sham Brigades and its prince Abu Issa ash-Shaikh and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria and its prince Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – agree to immediately put an end to the ongoing fighting between ourselves.

Neither party will attack the other in any way. Also, after this agreement, neither party will assist any third party in the Levant – that fight for Allah – in any way.[3]

Should any dispute between the two signatories arise, a Sharia court – established by both parties – shall arbitrate in the matter.

Allah is the determiner of success.

Although the statement was being circulated by accounts sympathetic to ISIS, and indeed some were making claims that SS factions in the Badiya (Homs desert), as a result of the agreement, were leaving their positions there against ISIS, not only did official SS accounts not mention it, they were verbally attacking ISIS. For example, the last three tweets, by then, of Abu Issa ash-Shaikh, SS leader, were describing ISIS as Khawarij and referring to them with their Arabic acronym داعش (Daesh) – which they find offensive.[4] These reasons led to a lively debate on twitter regarding the authenticity, and even the possibility, of the statement.[5]

Later in the day, an official SS spokesperson appeared on Orient TV to clarify the matter.[6] He stated that the situation was ‘nebulous’ – to use his expression – because the SS leadership was still unable to contact its local commanders who had supposedly signed the agreement. With that in mind, according to him, the truce was not approved by the SS top brass. Asked by the presenter what their official position regarding ISIS was, he said it was ‘no secret’, and that such a deal cannot take place ‘under any circumstances’. ISIS had gone too far, they had killed one of SS’ top military commanders.[7]

Although the SS spokesperson’s story is plausible, it does not explain how ISIS and Liwa’ Dawoud were able to contact their local commanders to obtain a copy of the statement and release it. Presumably, all factions are using the same infrastructure for their communication needs. SS was also once part of the Free Syrian Army which received communication equipment and other forms of non-lethal aid from the West.

A few hours after the interview was broadcasted, a video was released depicting an armed convoy moving through a desert road. It was claimed it represented SS’ retreat from its positions against ISIS in the Homs desert (the Badiya).[8] The video also showed an anti-aircraft gun firing at what was said to be a regime plane, which does not appear in the video.

As if to make matters worse for the SS spokesperson’s story, the head of the general staff of the SS Brigades released a statement confirming the reconciliation.[9] Below is my transcription of his statement followed by an English translation:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

قال سبحانه وتعالى: “إنّما المؤمنون إخوة فأصلحوا بين أخويكم”

أنا العبد الفقير: راشد طقّو، قائد لواء سيوف الحق، ورئيس أركان ألوية صقور الشام. تمّ تفويضي من قبل مجلس شورى ألوية صقور الشام بالتفاوض من أجل الصلح بين ألوية صقور الشام والدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام. والحمد لله وفقنا الله عز وجل بأن توصلنا لإتفاق شامل في كلّ أنحاء سوريا لحقن الدماء ووقف الإقتتال بيننا وبين إخواننا في الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام.

وقد نص الاتفقاق على وقف الاقتتال في جميع أنحاء سوريا. وعدم مؤازرة أي فصيل يقاتل الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام والاحتكام لشرع الله في حال وقوع أي خلاف بمحكمة مشتركة تشكّل لفض النزاع بقاض من الدولة الإسلامية وقاض من ألوية صقور الشام. وننوّه بأن إخواننا في الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام قد التزموا بجميع بنود الاتفاق الذي توصلنا إليه. والله ولي التوفيق.

6 ربيع الثاني

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Allah, May He Be Glorified and Exalted, says: ‘The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers’ [Quran 49:10].

I am the humble servant to Allah, Rashed Tuggo, commander of the Suyouf al-Haqq Brigade, and head of the General Staff of the Suqour ash-Sham Brigades [SS]. I was commissioned by the Shura Council of the SS to negotiate a reconciliation between the SS and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria [ISIS]. Thanks be to Allah. The Almighty and Exalted has allowed us success and we have been able to reach a comprehensive agreement that is valid all over Syria to stop the spilling of blood and end the fighting between us and our brothers in the ISIS.

The agreement stated the cessation of fighting [between SS and the ISIS] all over Syria; providing no assistance to any faction that fights the ISIS; and, in case of a future dispute, setting up an Islamic court that rules by Allah’s Sharia with a judge from the ISIS and a judge from SS to resolve the case. We would like to stress that our brothers in the ISIS have abided by all the clauses of the agreement we have jointly reached.

Allah is the determiner of success.

6th Rabi’ ath-Thani [Lunar Islamic Calindar. Corresponds to 6th February].

This statement represents not only the view of Tuggo, but also of the majority – we may assume – of SS’ Shura Council. SS’ spokesperson’s contention that no SS officials had spoken on the matter has, then, become invalid. Those views are at odds with those of SS’ leader – Abu Issa ash-Shaik, who has been quite public about his animosity to the ISIS. In one of his tweets, for example, he says: ‘I will cleanse the Levant from you – you sons of Saba’’.[10] It would, perhaps, be premature to say there is dissent in the ranks of the SS Brigades, but the last word on this matter has not been said.

 

[3] The original text is ambiguous. The intention appears to be that neither party will assist a third party in attacking the other signatory to the agreement. That, however, is not explicitly stated. Assistance to a third party, in the text, is left unrestricted by any conditions, which is impractical to say the least. The SS, for example, are part of the Islamic Front, and they are, as such, expected to assist the other factions in it.

[4] See https://twitter.com/aleesa71 . The Khawarij are an archaic Islamic school famous for its extremism and the willingness of its members to declare other Muslims unbelievers and to fight them. It has been used to describe ISIS by its enemies. Unsurprisingly, they also find the term pejorative.

[10] https://twitter.com/aleesa71/statuses/424192564141760512  Ibn Saba’ is a 7th C Jew who is blamed in Islamic history for starting a revolt against the third Caliph. Whether he was a real person or a fictional character remains a matter of debate.

 

Comments (23)


1. Syrialover said:

Russia keeps the laughs coming:

There’s this:

“Russian media claims human rights submerged in Saudi Arabia by anti-terrorism law” – http://voiceofrussia.com/us/2014_02_04/Human-rights-in-Saudi-Arabia-submerged-under-new-anti-terrorism-laws-4347/

Not only do we have Russia’s sordid and ugly domestic human rights violations (especially against those they decide might be terrorists), the Russians can’t resist putting visitors to Sochi through torture as well:

(warning this story is very funny): http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/02/04/journalists-at-sochi-are-live-tweeting-their-hilarious-and-gross-hotel-experiences/

This is Putin’s grand personal effort to showcase “his Russia” to the world.

Excerpts from BBC story:

“Sochi is his [Putin’s] pet project: to show Russia as a great world power, and himself as a great leader.

“The estimated bill for venues and accompanying infrastructure is an estimated $50bn: Sochi has been described as the most expensive Olympics ever.

“As for the list of scandals making headlines in the West, it is almost as long as the ski slopes of Sochi.

“The Russian Olympics is already a scandal,” says Liliya Shevtsova, a senior associate at the Moscow Carnegie Centre.

“It is the embodiment of corruption, inefficiency, irrationality, extreme vanity and megalomania. It is a waste of money in a country that cannot afford a decent life for ordinary people. It reminds me of Mussolini and Ceausescu. They also built glamorous projects that are now monuments to absurdity.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26062757

And stray dogs! Don’t forget the stray dogs, many dangerous, that are overrunning Sochi.

Everyone is wondering if Putin can’t control dogs in Sochi how competent can he be at controlling terrorists?

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February 6th, 2014, 3:17 pm

 

2. Syrialover said:

Poor Putin.

To take international pressure off his human rights record prior to Sochi, Putin released two members of young women singing group Pussy Riot from prison. They had been locked up for two years for singing songs disrespectful to him, and were serving much longer sentences.

But look what’s happened! They have rushed to New York to publicise Russia’s terrible human rights record.

These energetic and engaging young women are charming the world, taking news space away from Putin’s propaganda efforts with Sochi.

And worse, they are making clear they are going to return to Russia to keep up their anti-Putin campaign (no doubt more than ever the heroines of the western world media and human rights organizations).

To quote the title of a Pussy Riot song, “Putin wet his pants”.

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February 6th, 2014, 5:25 pm

 

3. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Putin is a disaster for the future of russian population. Many corrupt mafious state officials became the owners of the new capitalism companies in that beautiful country. Private sector is in the hands of a handful of Putin´s mafia corrupt members. They stole these properties.

Now they are respected in many places they visit because they have lots of money but at the end they are hated because they stole all they have. And everybody will know that.

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February 6th, 2014, 6:01 pm

 

4. Tara said:

To all criminal readers,

Aleppo prison has been liberated. Inshallah from one victory to another all the way to Dahya.

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February 6th, 2014, 10:23 pm

 
 

6. apple_mini said:

So the rebels assaulted the Aleppo prison and released a bunch of who-knows-who-they-are prisoners. That is enough to get the opposition high.

From yesterday’s AP news: Syria’s Assad making gains, Kerry admits

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-39-assad-making-gains-kerry-admits-195320775.html;_ylt=AwrBEiLNdvRSlEwA8VDQtDMD

Kerry then was trying very hard to play it down, saying the gain was not enough to win completely. Also Kerry has tried to defend US policy on Syria is not failing.

I guess we just have to brush off those frantic opposition member and their associate/puppetmasters’ claims altogether.

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February 7th, 2014, 1:14 am

 

7. Alan said:

Russian goalscorer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiSULMvsz7Y&feature=share&list=RDJiSULMvsz7Y
Russian Spetsnaz Devastates USA Special ops

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February 7th, 2014, 3:07 am

 

8. Sami said:

Apple,

Shou ya3ni khilsit?

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February 7th, 2014, 8:13 am

 

9. Observer said:

Aleppo prison then Tadmor then Mezzeh then Sednayah then more of them will be liberated and the depravity will continue to be exposed day in and day out.

Yes Sami it is over. It was over when the wall of fear was broken and the repression showed the population that the regime needed to be uprooted fully.

I wonder how many children were in that prison.

Hardly a massacre is now gracing us with hardly a defeat for the regime.

Well the regime is making gains but still cannot guarantee the roads between Latakia and Aleppo or through the Qalamoun

Cement blocks are being deployed in Dahye today.

I guess I will not do my shopping there anymore.

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February 7th, 2014, 8:22 am

 

10. Alan said:

Obama to visit Saudi Arabia in March!!!!!

Did you know that in Saudi Arabia only beheaded 78 people last year and 8 so far in the month of January of 2014.

Saudi Royal family behind ISIL crimes in Syria (Video)
http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2014/02/saudi-royal-family-behind-isil-crimes-syria-report/

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February 7th, 2014, 8:22 am

 
 

12. Hopeful said:

This is pure insanity. Anyone still defending this murderous regime should be ashamed of his/her humanity. Absolutely horrific and maddening.

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February 7th, 2014, 10:02 am

 

13. Tara said:

Apple,

A defeatist attitude?

Expect more.

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February 7th, 2014, 11:17 am

 

14. Alan said:

Sport is a consul of peace
Well done United States by sending a the largest number (230) consuls of peace to Sochi
We wish them to win and achieve records
good fellows

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February 7th, 2014, 2:39 pm

 

15. Juergen said:

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February 7th, 2014, 3:25 pm

 
 

17. Juergen said:

Fine Arts under Assad: Shameful, but what can you expect from this Mafia regime:

Fourth Year Damascus University Students Asked to Give Syrian Army the Boot on Exams

Fourth-year students at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus were astonished by an exam question that told them to draw a picture called “Military Boots” which would amount to 50% of the total exam grade. Activists published a copy of the exam paper on Facebook which reads: “Draw a picture of a soldier from our brothers in the Syrian Arab Army in the status of throwing a hand grenade. Make the soldier bare-chested, attired only in trousers and military boots.” The second question, worth 30% of the exam grade, said: “Draw one of your hands while caressing one of your toes. Draw it from the perspective of your own eyes, not that of another observer. The foot must be bare, as if you’re sitting in your home reassured by the presence of the Syrian Arab Army who protects your back and makes you feel safe.” Students were annoyed and insulted by these exam questions saying they were ridiculous and set a precedent for a new low in the history of the university.

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February 8th, 2014, 2:54 am

 
 

19. Alan said:

TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET

TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT

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February 8th, 2014, 8:38 am

 

20. Observer said:

Another Spetnatz story from Sochi

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/in-sochi-hotel-complaints-fall-into-chasm-between-global-spectacle-and-under-served-population/2014/02/07/2c98299c-9019-11e3-b227-12a45d109e03_story.html

Go take a hike after you read this as it will make you fume with outrage at the depravity of Putin.

But wait we have him standing for “law and order”

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February 8th, 2014, 9:37 am

 

21. Alan said:

Obama to visit Saudi Arabia in March!!!!!
Saudis’ Phony Anti-Terror Stunt
http://larouchepac.com/node/29765

Under tremendous pressure from the exposure of the Saudi Royals’ support and involvement in international terrorism, and in anticipation of Barack Obama’s visit to Riyadh in early March, the Saudi government is launching a major anti-terror public relations campaign. It began with television shows and, later, newspaper articles, denouncing the Saudi clerics who lure young Saudis to jihad in Syria and Iraq, and it ended last week with a royal decree by King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz banning all propaganda (issuing fatwas for Jihad), fundraising, and participation in terrorist or military actions abroad. Those who commit such violations would be sentenced to prison for up to 20 years. Saudi armed forced members who commit such acts would get a harsher sentence (up to 35 years imprisonment).,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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February 8th, 2014, 10:18 am

 

22. Juergen said:

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February 8th, 2014, 10:25 am

 

23. Alan said:

TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET

https://www.facebook.com/StephenLendman/posts/474196182686659

TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT

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February 8th, 2014, 10:32 am

 

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