The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham Expands Into Rural Northern Syria

In the previous post, Aymenn al-Tamimi discussed developments in the relationship between two primary al-Qa’ida affiliates operating in Syria: Jabhat al-Nusra, and the ISIS. Through his analysis he concluded that in some areas the distinction between Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is blurry, while in other areas the two seem to visibly operate as distinctly separate groups. He also believes that though a “grand ideological clash” between the two groups is not impossible, it is premature to point to one at present. Now, in part two, Aymenn delves into the growth of ISIS power in specific communities and discusses the plausibility of predicted FSA – ISIS confrontation.

 

The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham Expands Into Rural Northern Syria

Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimiby Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi for Syria Comment


Introduction

In a post for Jihadology a few weeks back, I identified how the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) was playing an important role in the fighting on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo and in the surrounding countryside. Since that time, it has become apparent that the group has been seeking to expand outwards and to consolidate control over outlying towns in both the Aleppo and Idlib regions, particularly those of strategic importance along or near the border with Turkey.

Azaz

This initiative has already served to foster division. For example, in the town of Azaz, which is in close proximity to the Turkish border, a protest ocurred on July 1 against ISIS’ entry into the town and its attempt to establish headquarters there. Yet on July 5, Azaz saw a counter-rally in favor of ISIS featuring a slogan common for such demonstrations—‘Labbayka ya Allah’ (‘I am at your service, God’)—accompanied by conspicuous numbers of ISIS flags.

It should be noted that this pattern of division—between those members of Syrian society who support ISIS vs. those who do not—is also observed in the city of Aleppo itself, where ISIS supporters have generally held separate rallies from those of other demonstrators. (I have found one notable exception: a rally on June 4 for the then-besieged city of Qusayr in the area of al-Firdus, featuring both ISIS and Free Syrian Army [FSA] flags).

Resentment over the ISIS presence in Azaz grows. One notable outlet for this disapproving sentiment is a youth activist Facebook page called ‘The Youth of Aleppo—Azaz’ which posted the following status: ‘We ask the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham to establish their state from Iraq [meaning ‘in Iraq’?] since the system of prostitution [there] has not yet fallen.’

The group has also circulated an alleged statement from a local council in the town of Tel Abyaḍ in Raqqah Governorate claiming that the ISIS has confiscated internationally-donated generators intended to provide drinking water for the residents of the town.

On the other hand, ISIS is attempting some outreach to the locals of Azaz, offering Qur’an and Sunnah recitation competitions—among other religious activities—for the population during Ramaḍān.

Jarabulus

As for other towns, here is a photo of the ISIS headquarters in the northern border town of Jarabulus. The banner reads: ‘The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham: Province of Aleppo. Emirate of Jarabulus.’

ISIS headquarters, Jarabulus, Syria

Another photo shows the flag of ISIS flying over Jarabulus:

ISIS flag flies over Jarabulus, Syria

One activist page on Facebook called ‘Jabhat al-Nusra does not represent me’ claims the following to give context to the first photo: ‘Photo from Jarabulus following the seizure of it by al-Qa’ida after battles with the FSA. It is said that ISIS then killed scores of civilians, among them children, during al-Qa’ida’s attempt to occupy the town.’

In a similar vein, on June 15, the Arabic news outlet al-Waie News claimed to cite a local source in Jarabulus on clashes between ISIS and a rebel battalion known as the ‘Family of Jādir,’ which uses the FSA flag.

The source claimed that the clashes started after a member of ISIS was wounded during a round of celebratory gunfire that followed a concord reached between the two groups, giving rise to a renewed violent battle between ISIS and the Family of Jādir for fifteen hours, resulting in ISIS’ seizure of the town, as well as the killing of one ISIS fighter and several from the Family of Jādir.

On 13 June, the leader of the Family of Jādir—Yusuf al-Jādir—released video testimony in which he claimed that ISIS launched an attack on the home of Ahmad al-Jādir and then began shooting at dozens of innocent civilians, resulting in the deaths of several children: among them, Mahmoud Kerkaz, Sheikho Shawish, Ibrahim al-Ahmad, and a young Kurdish girl. He continues by documenting other alleged acts of ISIS aggression in the town.

It thus appears that ISIS seized control of Jarabulus by force. One thing that is important to note from the opposing testimony is the issue of naming. The source for al-Waie News from Jarabulus merely sees ISIS as a new name for Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) in the town, and Yusuf al-Jādir likewise deems the two names interchangeable.

Thus, even if my formulation for the city of Aleppo itself—that ISIS and JN are two separate entities—applies here, the perception of at least some residents of the town nevertheless differs. As in Raqqah, the two may well be interchangeable in Jarabulus.

The concept of interchangeability could make sense here in light of the fact that JN has had an active presence in the northern Turkish border areas in the past (cf. clashes with Farouq Battalions in April on the border in Raqqah Governorate). Certainly, Jarabulus has been known for a JN presence in the past: here is a video of a JN-led rally in Jarabulus from December 14, 2012, featuring the chant of ‘We are Anṣar Allah.’

In this context, one should also note a revealing report from the Damascus Bureau, which actually visited Jarabulus. The reporter, Youssef Shaikho, explains that Jabhat al-Nusra in Jarabulus supported the announcement of ISIS, and most of its fighters in the town are native Syrians, providing a notable exception to the media narrative of ISIS as a group solely composed of foreign fighters.

Further blurring the lines of group-alignment and public sentiment, not all those who, like al-Jādir, use the FSA flag in Jarabulus are necessarily opposed to ISIS’ ideological vision. For example, here is a Facebook activist page from Jarabulus that uses the FSA flag. Yet it has put up a status that laments the loss of the Khilafa (Caliphate) and denounces the UN and its decision-making as a mere front for occupation.

In any event, ISIS is now said to be operating an active Shari’a court in Jarabulus, which has allegedly executed three young men recently on charges of rape and murder. ISIS is also accused of detaining the son of a prominent martyr from the Family of Jādir known as Abu Furāt.

In terms of the reasons behind the Jādir-ISIS clashes, one should be cautious about presenting them as a simple ideological battle. It rather seems to have been a power struggle for control of an important border area. The Kurdish PYD, as the Damascus Bureau notes, also has a small activist presence in Jarabulus, yet it has been left untouched and tolerated by ISIS.

At the same time, ISIS is trying to counter the allegations put out about its conduct in Jarabulus by emphasizing local support in the town for the group, including children.

al-Bab

Another town in rural Aleppo where ISIS is establishing its presence is al-Bab. On July 5, the outlet Saḍa ash-Sham al-Islami put up a set of photos of a meeting for Dawah  held by the ISIS in al-Bab. [Da’wa means “invitation” and often refers to proselytism—the inviting of others to join Islam. In this case, it refers to outreach to Muslims to strengthen their faith.]

Da'wah meeting in al-Bab

In contrast to what appears to have been a more aggressive approach in Jarabulus, ISIS seems to be engaging in an active outreach effort to the population of al-Bab. Thus, the local outlet al-Bab Press reported that ISIS is running school bus services for children who have seen their education disrupted for many months by Assad regime bomb attacks. A local FB page in al-Bab also gave an account last month from an ISIS fighter of clashes between ISIS and Assad regime soldiers aided by Hezbollah fighters in the wider Aleppo area.

Manbij

The town of Manbij offers a case contrasting with that of al-Bab. Recently, Manbij has seen a protest rally against ISIS. The demonstration was sparked by two grievances against ISIS: first, ISIS is accused by some local activists of destroying works of art in Manbij, and second, of kidnapping a local sheikh. Protests continued into Friday of last week, on which day ISIS had been holding a daw’ah meeting in Manbij featuring a number of locals in support of the group, as per the photo below.

ISIS holds dawah meeting in Manbij, Syria

Prior to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s announcement of the formation of ISIS in early April, Manbij had been known for an active JN presence in alliance with Ahrar ash-Sham, who together took on the Farouq Battalions in violent clashes in the town at the beginning of the month, resulting in the expulsion of the Farouq Battalions from Manbij.

The clashes began after Ahrar ash-Sham had arrested a certain Abu Khaldun, a friend of the leader of the Farouq Battalions in Manbij. Ahrar ash-Sham and its allies justified the arrest on the grounds that this man had been one of the leading criminal figures in Manbij and had to be put on trial by the Shari’a committee in Aleppo, while emphasizing that there was no fundamental conflict between them and those under the banner of the FSA.

Following the defeat of the Farouq Battalions, Ahrar ash-Sham held a victory rally in Manbij on 6 April with dozens of supporters and allies, featuring the al-Qa’ida flag and a banner reading ‘The Ummah wants an Islamic Khilafa.’ The person who uploaded the video described it as being held in celebration of the expulsion of ‘gangs of thieves’- a common charge leveled against the Farouq Battalions in the north, which unlike the Ikhwaan-aligned Homs division lack ties to any major Islamist groups.

On a side note, the rally itself should illustrate that those who posit a strict dichotomy between supposedly ‘nationalist’ Salafists in Ahrar ash-Sham as opposed to transnational jihadists are mistaken. This rally in Manbij and Ahrar ash-Sham’s statement on JN’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qa’ida show that concepts of the transnational ummah that supersedes “artificial borders” and the nation-state of Syria are often blurred in Ahrar ash-Sham’s ideological thought.

Of course, one also must not generalize in the opposite direction and portray all of Ahrar ash-Sham as bent on an international Khilafa. Yet whenever non-Islamists protest against groups like ISIS, as a rule Ahrar ash-Sham can be expected to side with the latter (cf. the case of Raqqah which I documented last month).

In the context of Manbij, therefore, one should not be surprised about a blurring of distinction between Ahrar ash-Sham’s support base and what is now known as the ISIS presence. Indeed, it is also apparent that there is another virtual mirror front of ISIS active in Manbij: namely, Ansar al-Khilafa, which is composed of a mix of native Syrians and foreign fighters, though exact proportions are unclear.

Ansar al-Khilafa is most prominent in rural Aleppo and Latakia. In the April rally led by Ahrar ash-Sham, it is likely that there were Ansar al-Khilafa supporters among the crowd. Here is a recent mural put up in Manbij in support of the group:

Ansar al-Khilafa mural in Manbij, Syria

ad-Dana

The final case we come to on the subject of ISIS’ expansion is that of ad-Dana in Idlib, near the border with Turkey. Here, a protest rally is said to have taken place against ISIS (though no video footage of it has emerged so far), sparking violent clashes. Yet it is the only case where we have a mainstream media outlet allowing ISIS to give its full side of the story thanks to an al-Jazeera English report (H/T: @khalidelmousoui) from the town. In the report, ISIS fighters claimed that those denouncing their presence were actually agents of the Assad regime.

However, it appears that this testimony is contradicted in an account given by pro-ISIS activists in Idlib, who denounced the clashes as ‘the work of some of the apostates of the Free Army.’ Meanwhile, a pro-ISIS Twitter user complained at the time of the clashes that the ‘malicious Free Army’ was besieging ISIS and expressed concerns about the beginnings of a ‘Sahwa’ movement against ISIS.

As of now, the al-Jazeera report says that ISIS is the only remaining armed group in the town. This is corroborated by local Idlib activist testimony that there are now no armed clashes in the town and reconciliation initiatives are underway. At the same time, claims that ISIS executed dozens of supporters of those identifying under the banner of the FSA—stemming chiefly from an ad-Dana rebel leader’s testimony were denied.

That said, both the rebel leader whose testimony is given by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the al-Jazeera report corroborate each other on the ISIS fighters as being from outside Syria.

Now in control of the town, ISIS is running a school for the children, and the ISIS presence as reported by al-Jazeera is corroborated by a video that has now emerged of ISIS fighters manning the entrance into ad-Dana.

Conclusion

In short, these various cases illustrate ISIS’ growing power in the north of Syria. ISIS is clearly not a force to be dismissed as marginal without any real support on the ground, even as its presence is undoubtedly sparking backlash in many areas. Above all, these recent developments as regards ISIS’ expansion vindicate to an extent my prediction in March in a guest post for Syria Comment about the emergence and establishment of jihadist strongholds in the north and east of Syria.

In terms of the future, one needs to be skeptical of the narrative being put out by Supreme Military Command (SMC) supporters of a looming, grand-scale FSA effort to take on ISIS in the north of Syria in a fundamental clash of ideologies. Resentment at the ideological level is more to be expected from civilian protestors rather than armed rebels.

One should particularly note my distinction here between SMC supporters and those in general who go by the banner of the FSA. While SMC supporters would like to portray all of those under the banner of FSA as opposed to ISIS, the evidence speaks otherwise, exemplified in this recent statement by an FSA military council in Aleppo denying rumors of clashes between their ‘brothers’ in ISIS and JN.

SMC supporters are likely the source of at least some of the allegations against ISIS, including the recent claim that ISIS is planning to declare a wider northern state after Ramaḍān: plausible in light of ISIS’ expansion in northern Syria but as of now uncorroborated in pro-ISIS circles.

Other rumors likely originating from pro-SMC sources include an alleged statement by JN distancing itself from ISIS (not released through JN’s official channel al-Manārah al-Bayḍā, so therefore suspect) and claims that ISIS killed Abu Furāt of Jarabulus, when his funeral actually took place a few months before ISIS was announced.

In particular, the reports attempting to portray JN in open conflict with ISIS are building on a narrative stemming from a Reuters piece in which JN was portrayed as a group of native Syrians disillusioned with the machinations of the foreign fighters of ISIS, hinting at the possibility of JN teaming up with other rebels to take on ISIS.

The motivation for spreading rumors about ISIS is quite apparent: namely, the SMC’s bid to secure Western arms, which will then be supposedly used to take on what Western nations like the UK perceive to be the number-one threat emanating from Syria.

In any case, the current PR war between SMC supporters and ISIS supporters will continue. Feeling the pressure, the latter have recently announced the formation of a new forum intended to counter purported media disinformation about the group. Thus can the exchange of claims and counter-claims be expected to intensify. Ascertaining the full truth short of getting on the ground will remain elusive.

 

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University. His website is http://www.aymennjawad.org. Follow on Twitter at @ajaltamimi

Comments (491)


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251. don said:

See if you can tell apart the dead Chechens from the dead North Africans in this video

WARNING – Graphic

Syria Special Forces Unit Scores in Der Ezzor – YouTube

http://trutube.tv/video/4011/Syria-Special-Forces-Unit-Scores-in-Der-Ezzor-YouTube-

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July 21st, 2013, 1:01 am

 

252. Ziad said:

UZAIR8 #245

I don’t pray taraweeh any more, but I still remember the feeling of inner peace when I used to. I still see it in the eyes of my grand parents when they pray.
To me what matters for humans is to be good. Some people need religion to be good. I respect people who are good because of their religion.

While there are bad atheists, most atheists are good without the need of religion. Becoming atheist widens your scope of being ethical. You start rationalizing about being virtuous. You transcend your religious community, race, and nation. You begin to care not only about all humans, but also about animals and the environment.

Actually Islam requests from you to care about all human being, animals and the environment, but Islam has been in crisis for a very long time, and Muslims are busy partitioning humanity into Sunni/Shia, believers/cuffars, dar al Islam/dar al harb. Being good has become to mean being good within your own community, and the other has become the enemy that must be fought through Jihad.

In my view, the worst of all human beings are those who are convinced that they are pleasing their God by committing the most horrible of atrocities. I read about those every day and ache, but I agonize most about the good religious people who remain silent about them.

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July 21st, 2013, 1:10 am

 

253. Ghufran said:

Abbas al-Nouri gives a good interview to LA Times, here is some of what he said:
BEIRUT — Abbas al Nouri pauses as a particularly loud car roars past the cafe on the main thoroughfare. The overly solicitous waitress lingers, a hint of recognition in her eyes.
At the table, the conversation inevitably focuses on Al Nouri’s native Syria.
“The father who cannot listen to his children is a failure, and this is something that destroys the family,” Al Nouri says, the metaphor describing the war pitting armed rebels against the government of President Bashar Assad.
“This revolution happened so that people could express themselves,” he continues, choosing words carefully between drags on his cigarette. “This regime, which is military in nature, did not have the culture to digest the idea that some people have an opinion.”

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July 21st, 2013, 1:24 am

 

254. Ziad said:

المؤامرة على سورية تفاصيل خطة بندر بن سلطان لـ تدمير سوريا

التفاصيل خطة محكمة قال إن بندر بن سلطان وضعها بالتعاون مع السفير الأمريكي السابق في لبنان جيفري فيلتمان للإطاحة بنظام الحكم في سوريا، وتحويل سوريا إلى العصر الحجري، على حد تعبير الموقع .

الخطة المطولة والمفصلة، التي وضعها بندر بن سلطان، وصديقه فيلتمان، عام 2008 بتمويل وصل إلى 2 مليار دولار، تتألف من بنود كثيرة، وتفاصيل دقيقة، تتقاطع وبشكل كبير مع ما شهدته درعا من اضطرابات خلال الفترة الماضية .

وبحسب فيلكا فإن الخطة تعتمد استراتيجياً على استغلال رغبة الناس المشروعة في الحرية والكرامة والتخلص من الفساد وتحويل رغبات الناس الى ثورة على النظام عبر إقناع الناس أن طريق الإصلاح من داخل النظام مغلق وان الحل هو ثورة شاملة، واستخدام كلمات براقة ومحببة للناس، وترمز الى ما لا يختلف عليه اثنان، فالكل يحب الحرية ويكره الظلم ويحب العدل ويكره الفساد ويحب الكرامة ويكره الذل.

أما تكتيكياً، فقد قسمت الخطة سوريا إلى ثلاثة مناطق مدن كبرى ومدن صغرى وقرى ، وإنشاء خمسة أنواع من الشبكات :

– شبكة الوقود: من شباب متعلم وعاطل عن العمل ثم ربطهم بطريقة غير مركزية.

– شبكة البلطجية من خارجين عن القانون وأصحاب جرائم كبيرة من المناطق النائية، ويفضل غير السوريين.

– شبكة الطائفيين العرقيين من شباب محدود التعليم، من كل طائفة أو عرقية مع أو ضد الرئيس تحت سن 22 سنة.

-شبكة الإعلاميين من قادة مؤسسات المجتمع المدني الممولة أوروبياً وليس أمريكياً.

– شبكة رأس المال من التجار وأصحاب الشركات والبنوك والمراكز التجارية في دمشق وحلب وحمص فقط.

وعن طريقة استخدام الشبكات، والربط بينها، تقول الخطة :

يتم استغلال طموح الشباب في الشبكة الأولى شبكة الوقود عبر عبارات جذابة مثل:

– يجب أن يكون لك صوت

– التغيير لا يمكن تحققه إلا بالقوة

– أنت الذي بيدك مستقبلك

– صمتك هو السبب ، وهكذا …

https://www.facebook.com/notes/bashar-al-asad/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A4%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%86-%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%84%D9%80-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7/10150169711448854

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July 21st, 2013, 1:51 am

 

255. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

smarty zouzou

Has Ali Farzat made anymore direct anti-Bashar cartoons since he is in exile?

Such low taste gloating is expected!… such lower sinking further to this level of callous repulsive distasteful comments?.

However, the answer to your distasteful question is YES . Ali Ferzat has been doing a lot despite of your thugs breaking his hand, because as you have just demonstrated they are barbarians, low class, who hate art and fear artists. He also detests the owner of the site that uses his name to make himself appealing to people while he is in fact nothing more than a cheap bootlicker like most of regime propagandists on this blog.

Ali Ferzat is alive and kicking and his work is even more damning to bootlickers and to d-p athad.

So now that you have shown yourself belonging to a class of people who detest real art, and favor the low class screeches of Ali- deek and the cheaply painted portraits of the d-p and its dead family, along with the fat nus-lira, much like kind of paintings one may find in athma’s bedroom next to her spike studded shoes.

oops, I forgot..

Here is one

May be this one also

You are in this one

Granted Ali is still working under pain, and his pen-strokes are a little lighter nowadays as his hands have not yet regained their dexterity after the criminal incident you sound so proud of, but he still is able to greet d-p athad and its hyenas, exactly as his friends have imagined. It is after all the greeting low class, low taste, and criminal repulsive minds; Ali so fund of exposing, deserve. Congrats, you may just have earned a greeting from Ali Ferzat. Not many get that honor.

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July 21st, 2013, 2:28 am

 

256. SANDRO LOEWE said:

DON

This is not a place to vommit all you want to. This is a place to share or discuss ideas. I check SC and I see 70 % of posts are yours.

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July 21st, 2013, 2:31 am

 

257. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

SANDRO
DONANN does not change its habits of being an intrusive, inconsiderate cut-n-paste conveyor of pseudo press raw-sewage.

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July 21st, 2013, 2:36 am

 

258. annie said:

Syria deeply

Monday: Car Bomb Strikes Damascus; Air Raids in Idlib; 5,000 Children Killed in War, UN Says

Tuesday: Rebels Reinforce Damascus Suburbs; Syrian Reconciliation Team Killed in Homs; UK Gives Rebels Chemical Weapon Protection

Wednesday: UN Says Syrian Refugee Crisis “Worst Since Rwanda”; Islamists Fight Kurdish Forces; Pro-Assad Voice Assassinated in Beirut

Thursday: Kurds Battle Islamist Groups on Turkey-Syria Border; Britain Steps Back from Arming Rebels; Syrian Air Raids Hit Lebanon

Friday: Foreign Jihadis Target Syria’s Christians; UN Says a Generation of Children Will “Grow up Illiterate”; “US Considers Use of Force”

http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8b78e9a34ff7443ec1e8c62c6&id=c24681b2bd&e=2a2d671819

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July 21st, 2013, 3:23 am

 

259. Alan said:

Do you nominated the Taliban in order to control the north of Syria?
Do you nominated al-Qaeda to govern the north and east of Syria?
Players with fire!
you will catch defeat
And this sweeping evil will be moved to your territory !

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July 21st, 2013, 3:40 am

 

260. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

zouzouz barfed:

Abdeldeki is a political cartoonist who has been openly opposed to the government since he came back to Syria in 2009 and has been actively supporting the rebellion.

He can be an artist but in a country facing a civil war, he also an agitator.

There a very famous Lebanese singer who joined the Salafists in Lebanon and is now condemned to death.

Being an artist does not give immunity in times of war.

Abdelki is one of Syria’s most renowned artists and not only a “political cartoonist”. Your ignorance of Syria and Syrian real art continues to expose the nus-lira, aoun, and other non-syrian interferes in the affairs of Syria, and it also speaks loudly of the fascist motivation and character of those thugs standing behind your statements and of the deranged mental state of those cheering you around this.

What you barfed is fascism shown in one of its ugliest faces. I don’t think you sank further, for you have always been at the bottom of the unethical, immoral pit of fascism.

Of course, people of this mind-set shriek so loud when a thug is murdered by its own spouse, when they think they can blame it on those seeking to get rid of fascists and fascism.

I will leave honest, freedom seeking readers with this snippet of a critics’ view of some of Abedlki’s work. It is not for the fascists who support the regime and its terrorist appendages in lebanon and sources of murder and thuggery in iran and russia, for they will understand non of it, especially the last few words on how tyranny assassinated the beauty of our lives.

في أعماله الغرافيكية اللاحقة، على اختلاف تقنياتها، سواء كانت في الحفر على الحجر، أو الزنك، أو النحاس، أو الحبر الصيني على الورق، وبشكلٍ خاص في (مجموعة الخيول 1973 -1980، انتقل عبدلكي إلى مرحلة جديدة برزت خلالها قوة امتلاكه لأدواته سواء لجهة قوة الخط الذي يحدّد ملامح اللوحة، أو الشغل على الظلال وتدرج الأبيض والأسود.. أو قوة التكوينات، والقدرة على التأليف التي تمنح لوحته دلالات متعددّة، تتيح إمكانية قراءتها على مستويات مختلفة، فإذا كان الحصان -كما هو شائع- رمزاً للحرية والجموح، والانطلاق في فضاء فسيح، فقد كانت بعض أعمال مجموعة (الخيول) تعطي هذه الدلالة، كالحصان المكبّل الذي يشرئب رأسه في مساحة العتمة، وفي لوحة أخرى نرى كبوة حصان رأسه غارقاً في العتمة، يكافح بكل قوته لكي ينهض نحو الضوء، لكن عبدلكي لم يقف عند هذه الدلالة الرمزية الشائعة للحصان، بل عمل من خلال تحوير الشكل (شكل الحصان) إلى إعطاء دلالات أخرى مضادة له، وهنا تبرز قدرته الإبداعية على التأليف، وتحوير المضامين بتحوير الأشكال، فرسَمَ الحصان الرمادي المضاد كرمز للوحشية، والعنف، والقسوة، وتطورت هذه المرحلة بإدخاله عناصر جديدة راحت تكتنز بها لوحته التي باتت مليئة بالرموز المركبة: الإنسانية والحيوانية والأسطورية، بالإضافة إلى مفردات حميمية من حياتنا اليومية التي اغتال القمع جمالياتها.

بقلم محمد منيف عن الناقد علي الكردي

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July 21st, 2013, 3:44 am

 
 

262. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

For those with soul, not the fascists tyranny apologists, here is one of the horses series paintings by Youssef Abdelki.

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July 21st, 2013, 4:11 am

 

263. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

An short compilation of words taken from the mouths of the fascist supporters of d-p athad showing the way these threats to humanity think.

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July 21st, 2013, 4:15 am

 

264. FADI AYAT said:

Gen. Adnan Dewob of Air Intelligence Department of village blkosh Homs countryside was killed yesterday

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July 21st, 2013, 4:25 am

 

265. Mina said:

i wonder when are the Gulf states planning to have something that starts to resemble a democracy… maybe in the 25th century?

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23381448

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July 21st, 2013, 4:52 am

 

266. EA WorldView | A Window On The World said:

[…] does a range of material posted on Thursday by the blog Syria Comment. The YouTube videos and Facebook entries defy easy, simplistic conclusions of “the ISIS is in […]

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July 21st, 2013, 4:56 am

 

267. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Who poked distraction faction?

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July 21st, 2013, 5:03 am

 

268. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Alan @ 259
does you was have been had? catch were you has nominated!

OK, don’t panic..

Syria

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July 21st, 2013, 6:48 am

 

269. zoo said:

UK U-turn on arming the rebels because of ‘bad guys’
Syria’s Assad is stronger now, says David Cameron

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/21/syria-assad-david-cameron

Prime minister says Britain will not be supplying arms to Syrian rebels despite pressing for lifting of EU arms embargo

David Cameron has admitted the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has strengthened his position in recent months as he warned that the country faced a “depressing trajectory”.

In an interview on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, the UK prime minister also gave his clearest indication to date that Britain will not be supplying arms to the Syrian rebels despite pressing for the lifting of the EU arms embargo.

Cameron insisted he was still committed to helping the Syrian opposition but admitted its numbers included “a lot of bad guys”. He also acknowledged that Assad had strengthened his position.

The prime minister said: “I think he may be stronger than he was a few months ago, but I’d still describe the situation as a stalemate. And yes, you do have problems with part of the opposition that is extreme, that we should have nothing to do with.”

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July 21st, 2013, 7:32 am

 

270. zoo said:

#255 Thyrian Hamsther

The latest (?) Ali Farzat’s cartoons are quite funny. I hope he’ll explore the Al Nusra characters some day, they can be very funny too.
Thanks for sharing them with us.

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July 21st, 2013, 7:35 am

 

271. zoo said:

Thyrian Hamster

The artist (Abdelki) engages himself in politics

http://enawafeth.alarabiya.net/content/artist-engages-himself-politics

He began as a cartoonist in 1966, with drawings published in children’s books and magazines, before moving on to fine art.

Abdelki is today considered one of the most famous Arab sculptors, as well as one of the most prominent graphic artists. Many of his studies regarding Arab caricatures have also been published and acclaimed

Since his early childhood, Abdelki’s life has been overshadowed by a series of misfortunes that have been aggravated by his political leanings.

Youssef Abdelki: By virtue of affiliation to the Syrian Communist Party, my father was arrested 12 times in the 40s and 50s.

Such a distressing upbringing left Abdelki with only one alternative in a wretched life devoid of choices.

Youssef Abdelki: I engaged myself in politics to swim with the tide.

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July 21st, 2013, 8:04 am

 

272. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

zouzou
Abdelki’s own words are beyond the grasp of fascists. So don’t try any more, your brain could burst.

Al-Nusra characters are not funny. They hate fun. After-all, fun is the enemy of righteousness in their eyes. They are pretty much like fascists and terrorist nus-lira followers in their despising culture, finesse, art, and anything that can lift the human conditions . I am sure you can easily relate to that. But like fascists and demented heirs, they make a good subject for brilliant cartoonists like Ferzat.

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July 21st, 2013, 8:22 am

 

273. majedkhaldoun said:

FM of Egypt said he will re evaluate egypt policy toward Syria
Egypt in chaos,there is no stability yet and it is not expected to stabilize for the next six months, a new constitution will be redrawn it may not be approved by Egyptians,
So I am not worried about Egypt new policy toward Syria, the new FM needs to mature.

Cameron said Assad made some gains recently , but he said also that there is stalemate in Syria, Zoo did not mention that.

The sessionists Kurds are not peaceful anymore, they are violent,most likely they will pull back ,they are opportunistic people.

Iraq is flaring,and there seem to be some division among Shiaa leadership, between Arab Shia and Barbarian Shiaa

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July 21st, 2013, 8:46 am

 

274. mjabali said:

The Nusra freaks had been a great source for comedy online for a while. I saw some facebook pages one for a fictional Abu Qutada where he puts his two cents into many issues. Always funny.

Today I just saw a video in which the people of al-Dana came out to ask for the leader of the foreign Islamists leave their town.

The featured article above (SC) speaks of al-Dana, and today’s anti foreign jihadists demo is worthy to investigate to see what led to it.

In the demo: the people were calling for some Abu Usama to leave al-Dana? What did he do?

The foreign Jihadists: Nusra or Iraq and al-Sham Islamic State are generating hatred fast as obvious.

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July 21st, 2013, 8:48 am

 

275. majedkhaldoun said:

While the dollar has dropped in Syria from 330 to 191 the prices has not dropped indicating the Dollar will resume its climb back

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July 21st, 2013, 9:07 am

 

276. zoo said:

Are Kurds finally building their own nation?

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-321462-turkeys-border-with-syria-kurds-security-and-stability.html

The Kurds are in a historic process of nation-building. Any analysis should recognize this fact, though it is not clear how this process will end up. The current political and administrative map is no longer capable of keeping the Kurds (in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran) satisfied. Therefore, one inevitable fact in the Middle East is that the Kurds will increase their political autonomy.

The Turkish-Syrian border is becoming a mess where various groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda are present. Ankara cannot secure this border alone, for simple reasons: It is an 800-kilometer border, the basic security of which requires millions of dollars and considerable manpower. The current regional dynamics make securing that impossible. Therefore, the only alternative is to make an effective alliance with other actors beyond the border. In other words, Ankara is to pick up friends among the fighting groups in Syria for its own security.

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July 21st, 2013, 9:10 am

 

277. zoo said:

Thyrian Hamster

“Al-Nusra characters are not funny. They hate fun.”

Brilliant!

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July 21st, 2013, 9:16 am

 

278. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

MJABALI

Excellent word, “freaks”. Right on spot.

You will not see real coverage of any anti-nusra and anti داعش events on SC. It does not fit the editorial “west pee in your pants” policy of the owner and side-kicks.

Investigations like the ones you are asking for are happening everywhere, and actions, civil as well as military, against the foreign thugs are taking place every where. Not by the regime of course, for it also does not fit its plans. You just have to tune to the right channel.

Syrian will cleans the country from foreign jihadists, be it nus-lira and iranian fanatics thugs jeehadies , or afghani, chechen, egyptians or tunisians. It will be done by real Syrians.

As for electronic media, you will always have non-syrian troll here and there protecting aoun, nus-lira, athad, or for that matter any demented fascist, be it a person or an organization.

You are absolutely right, while they are not fun, they make an absolutely as cartoonish as it can get.

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July 21st, 2013, 9:25 am

 

279. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

zouzou
no one asked for your worthless opinion.

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July 21st, 2013, 9:27 am

 

280. omen said:

can somebody translate? i thought he was a regimist.

170. SimoHurtta said: Omen and others supporting his/hers Syria (Iran, Egypt etc) “view” are all time accusing those who do the support so much the rebel movement on personal levels and speculating with their motives and backgrounds.

no, i’m not trying to insult. i really don’t know.

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July 21st, 2013, 9:33 am

 

281. zoo said:

Thyrian Hamsther

Nor any one has asked yours, but you can’t resist dropping your smelly and slimy h-p any where you are.
You probably have missed elementary potty training.

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July 21st, 2013, 9:39 am

 

282. omen said:

273. mjabali said: The Nusra freaks…

‏Paradoxy13: ISIS has been infiltrated by the Syrian regime – An interview with Abu Musab al-Suri – Syrian National Media Centre


survajver : regime probably has agents in every corner of rebel movement. jihadi or non-jihadi.

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July 21st, 2013, 9:46 am

 

283. revenire said:

Omen you remind me of the guy who gets into a car accident and goes to check Twitter to see if it really happened.

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July 21st, 2013, 10:09 am

 

284. omen said:

anybody think this format clunky?

a new platform might invite more commenters. just a thought.

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July 21st, 2013, 10:18 am

 

285. SANDRO LOEWE said:

273. majedkhaldoun

Did the Syrian Pound really get 300 per USD? Do you know how to know the daily exchange rate? Is now 200 ?

TO BRAIN WASHED ASSAD BELIEVERS

From the first days of the peacefull revolution we informed here and in many other places that weapons were massively transfered and sold from Lebanon to Syria towns by HA dealers. The plan was to let the peacefull movement become a violent one. Of course syrian citizens did not become violent by their own. They demonstrated and got bulleted while the whole world did nothing to help. Then they bought weapons from lebanese HA dealers and then Assad converted this conflit into a civil war were Assad Army had superiority.

Assad decided from day 1 that this conflict would be decided by force since he is unable to diallogue with anyone. This is why he armed whole Syria.

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July 21st, 2013, 10:27 am

 

286. don said:

Sandro, you don’t seem to have a problem vomiting all you want to in this place!

256. SANDRO LOEWE said:
DON, This is not a place to vommit all you want to.

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July 21st, 2013, 10:31 am

 

287. Alan said:

266. SYRIAN HAMSTER
Had you been has have do?
OK, keep your distance!

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July 21st, 2013, 10:35 am

 

288. don said:

The name is DON, HAMSTERANN.

257. SYRIAN HAMSTER said: DONANN

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July 21st, 2013, 10:40 am

 

289. don said:

Russian Region Says Militants Flocking to Syria

The leader of a restive province in Russia’s Caucasus Mountains says local Islamic militants are fighting alongside rebels in Syria and could further destabilize their home region when they return.

Ramazan Abdulatipov, the acting president of the province of Dagestan, said in remarks posted on his website Sunday that the “export of extremists” should be prevented by making it hard for militants to leave Russia.

“These people go there and they will come back tomorrow with the backing of international extremist and terrorist organizations,” Abdulatipov said during a meeting with local officials Friday.

Andrei Konin, the head of the regional branch of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main KGB successor agency, told the meeting that about 200 residents of Dagestan are currently in Syria, and some of them are fighting alongside rebels.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russian-region-militants-flocking-syria-19726404

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July 21st, 2013, 10:46 am

 

290. SANDRO LOEWE said:

284. don

Lol it seems truth really hurts. Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

Believe me your regime is criminal and assassin. You cannot do anything to deny it or avoid it. It is now worldly known. They are total criminals bombing full Damascus quarters full of innocent people and destroying full cities all around Syria. They are criminals against humanity and for me their followers are dirty criminals or brain washed clons at best.

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July 21st, 2013, 10:54 am

 

291. Mina said:

“S” H
It’s precisely because you consider anything on the bigger picture as a distraction that you have failed “your” revolution (comfortably sitting on your chair).

The demonstrations in Syria were launched at the worst time: when the different secular and islamist currents who made the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions to happen had not yet been able to find a common platform for a way forward, and that the Gulf took this opportunity to turn the cameras to Libya and Syria as a real distraction enabling them to launch on the ground a real counter revolution with the help of some MB currents (not all).
Remember the Syrian MBs press conference in Turkey, broadcasted live by aldjazzara?

I still wait for the enthousiasts here to explain me their “vision” of how the MB fans and the Atassi FB fans are supposed to govern together and get the country rid of international djihadist phalanges.

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July 21st, 2013, 11:04 am

 

292. SANDRO LOEWE said:

DON

This Revolution began as a peacefull one. With thousands of peacefull demonstrations all around Syria unifying a general demand for more freedom, rights, economic justice and end to corruption.

When Assad began bulleting the street for long weeks finally some sectors of the opposition took arms, other left the violent confrontation and other died under torture and in prison.

Can you deny any of these facts? Please tafadhal…

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July 21st, 2013, 11:06 am

 

293. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Just imagine after 10 years when Assad is still in power. Syria has become a chiite country and creates the Union of Wilayat al Fakih with Lebanon, Iran and Irak.

How will humanity look back in shame to what no one did in Syria to help the syrian populations and their fair demands during the syrian spring 2011…

We have thousands of videos and pictures as well as testimonies certifying all massacres commited by the state apparatus and shabbihas. How will the world look at itself when Assad is still in power fuxxxxing its own citizens ?

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July 21st, 2013, 11:15 am

 

294. Alan said:

Web site Sham FM published the text of the decree issued by the so-called “Sharia court” Islamist terrorist groups in Aleppo 11.07.2013.
Here is the literal translation: “Any citizen whose guilt of being a vile Alawite sect is proved, be subject to a sentence of Sharia (will be killed by cutting the throat), and its funds and property to be confiscated in favor of the members of jihad.

Women sentenced become slaves and can be used jihadists as this – halal.
God is with us!

July 11, 2013

2 Ramadan 1434. ”

Original photo attached.
http://anna-news.info/node/12058

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July 21st, 2013, 11:20 am

 
 

296. SANDRO LOEWE said:

292. Alan

The owner of SHAM FM is an alawite from the coast. As every owner of any FM station in Syria…. all are alawites. All informations are under control of the young alawites.

…. This is the laic democracy of the charming sadistic Assad

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July 21st, 2013, 11:33 am

 

297. Ziad said:

حتى اليوم،
تم إلغاء اشتراكي بعدة صفحات إخبارية، من بينها “الخبر تي في” و”شام اف ام”،

نتيجة إصرارهما على شرعنة الإرهابيين الخونة بتسميتهم “معارضة”، والاستمرار بالقول “مسلحي المعاضة” وما شابه..
دفاعا عن حق الشعب السوري أن يكون معارضة، دفاعا عن حقه بحقيقة أن هؤلاء ليسوا “معارضة” بل إرهابيين خونة،

دفاعا عن حقيقة أن الدفاع عن استخدام صفة معارضة للإرهابيين الخونة ليس إلا نفاقا،

أستمر بانسحابي من الصفحات التي تصر على الاستمرار بهذا النهج، وإلغاء الصداقة مع من يروج لهذا الادعاء،

وأدعو كل من يحترم حق الشعب السوري بالمعارضة المطابق لحقه بالموالاة، أن يفعل المثل.

Bassam AlKAdi

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July 21st, 2013, 11:35 am

 

298. revenire said:

There is nothing peaceful about shooting policemen and soldiers.

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July 21st, 2013, 11:41 am

 

299. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

MINA
Go lecture someone else on failing revolutions and on bigger pictures. Ever noticed that the bigger picture you keep preaching about is identical to the bigger picture preached by zawahiri and every single nut-case fanatic be it islamist, communist, nationalist or simple worn out bankrupt leftist. It is always “West-Gulf-Israel” global conspiracy and each one of you keeps shouting that the other is part of that conspiracy. In reality, both of you are the worst plague ever to hit the region and rob it of a chance to join civilization. You both thrive on an induced state of irrational enertia, and are no different except for the name of thuggery you support.

You can’t and will never accept your own part of the failure. As pan-arab nationalists, you screwed up the Palestinians a million times, as leftists, you brought the region the type of republican dictatorships that only used secularism as toilet tissue and still insist on using that wonderful tapestry after you have soiled it to wipe out everyone else’s nose. Your policies and distance from your societies are a major part of the fundamentalist backlash that will reverberate for decades to come. And as intellectuals, you failed miserably in bringing the light of modernity to your countries and were mere midgets intellectually when compared to the real pioneers elsewhere. The results of your handy work are all out there to see. Tunisia, a place you were so proud of its secular system turned out a breading ground for the worst of the followers of takfiri groups, so was Algeria and it continues to be, Egypt, kept moving from one failure to another, and now you got your hands on a new assad in the making, hope you enjoy the ride. Syria, you kept boasting of its unique fabric, and it turned out to be a fabric torn by the moth that never existed before you showed up on the scene and which you brought for the ride in the dictators’ torture tool box, which you have tolerated for decades. Worst, you hooted for a regime of the worst type, just because its leaders barfed the word Palestine, and supported a terrorist organization that differed in no way from those you keep having nightmares about.

So you, MINA are the last one to talk about failure, and what do you care if the Syrian revolution failed, you have been a counter-revolution ideologue from Day one.

And now, the entire region pays for your pretentious fraudulent rationalism. Every-time one of you starts blabbering about conspiracy, i realize, you were history’s conspiracy against lazy people. Well people are no longer lazy and they are trying to get rid of you and your arrogance. It is costly, but it will happen.

DONANN, zouzou, and ALAN
Ba-hum-bug.

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July 21st, 2013, 11:55 am

 

300. zoo said:

Growing panic for the Turks over the eventual Kurdish autonomy at their border. They naively called for it by letting their Islamists friends in Syria. Time to pay the bill.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/nationalist-leader-urges-military-force-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=51143&NewsCatID=338

“Without a doubt, the events taking place in the north of Syria are a great risk for Turkey,” Bahçeli said. “The skeleton of a second autonomous region has been formed after Iraq’s north, its door has been opened. God forbid, but if it goes on like this, Turkey will take the third place,” he added. Bahçeli was remarkably hard on Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu regarding his remarks on Syria. “How will the Foreign Minister, who has said nothing that will concern Turkey could take place in Syria, explain the current situation?” Bahçeli asked. “For how long will someone who lacks foresight, horizon and is so shallow be allowed at the head of Turkish Foreign Affairs?” he continued, while deeming Davutoğlu’s remarks on the issue “obscure.” “Foreign Policy in Turkey has collapsed,” he said.

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July 21st, 2013, 11:58 am

 

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