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The war in Syria and Iraq

This text is an attempt to reader consider are the causes and the relationship of the two conflicts that have unfolded in the Middle East runs for the fifth year of the war in Syria, exacerbated in 2014, the war in neighboring Iraq, as well as the establishment of a common denominator of these conflicts – banned in the Russian terrorist organization “Islamic state.”

Fighter FSA feeds the cat in Aleppo (photo Muzaffar Salman)

The idea to make an explanation of the civil war in Syria, the phenomenon of “Islamic state” (hereinafter – Daishev) came to me in the summer, but to start working on the collection and processing of the information was only after the text of the US elections . However, interest in these conflicts arose many months before, and the first time this issue has been raised by the author in the February text about the war.

Why drag to explain more and Iraq? Despite the isolation of the conflict in Iraq and its manifestations linked to the war in Syria, so that the analysis can not be without their make relatively complete picture. In addition, the experience of Iraq already contains tips to resolve conflicts in both countries, therefore, to reject it would be wrong.

In addition, Syria and Iraq are many similarities: in both countries live mainly Arabs, there are large communities of Kurds, the two countries were under the control of the pan-Arab party “Baas” (which is split on the Iraqi and Syrian branches in 1966) – Iraqi branch It lost its position in the country since the fall of Saddam’s regime, while in Syria it is still the ruling.

Because of important differences: religious majority in Syria are Muslims of theSunni-wing (74% of the population), while in Iraq the Shiites slightly more than the Sunnis (51% vs. 42%, according to data Pew Research Center from 2011). In Syria, the government of the country and the army is in the hands of a minority – the Shiite sect Alawites, while the predominantly Shiite government in Iraq is no less than half of the population.

But before we continue, I beg you as much as possible to ignore the involvement of Russia in the conflict in order to preserve the maximum possible degree of objectivity and therefore the depth of understanding.

One of the most difficult issues in the writing of the text was to determine the initial terms of reference. After careful consideration of the judges was taken under the authority of the coalition invasion in Iraq in 2003, because everything that happened later, one way or another connected with the fall of Saddam’s regime and the party “Baath” in Iraq. Prior to this event the play is rather global role, allowing only do most of the abstract conclusions about their role in fueling the Iraqi and Syrian conflict.

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein: Causes and Consequences

In March 2003, started the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces. It comes at no additional UN sanctions, but the operation is carried out on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution number 1441.

The main reason for the invasion called – communication Hussein’s regime against international terrorism, as well as the production of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. This direct evidence for the actual production of such weapons as a result will not be found.

Despite the gross performance of the operation and it is not the most exemplary diplomatic training for the region was still correct to remove Hussein, rather than vice versa. Moreover, many experts, including Christopher Hitchens, considered a major miscalculation of US policy towards Iraq leaving Hussein in power after the”Gulf War” in 1991, given the “track record” of the ruler, who:

  • He attacked a sovereign state;
  • violated 16 resolutions of the UN Security Council;
  • He carried out the genocide of the Kurdish people;
  • He sponsored and harbored international terrorists.

Is Iraq safer? The question is immensely complicated, but it can be answered by simulating a hypothetical situation in which the displacement of the Iraqi dictator has not happened.

First of all, the first time in a decade in the relative safety of the Kurds will live.Before the events of 2003 the Kurdish population seriously restricts the rights and even systematically destroyed – this led to riots and the final aid in the overthrow of the Kurdish coalition Hussein. Kurdistan regains autonomy (this time functioning), which will include governorates (provinces) of Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

Many critics of the US invasion of Iraq is cited as an example the symbol “infamy of American imperialism” – the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. But until March 2003 this place was much more terrible. Saddam Hussein’s regime was a classic example of the dictatorial repressive rule, which is a threat both to its own citizens and to the neighboring countries (especially Kuwait, the occupation of which in 1991 resulted in the “Gulf War”).

Accordingly, leaving Saddam Hussein in power would be likely to continued oppression of the Kurdish population and other citizens of Iraq, unwanted baasistkoy system harboring terrorists to destabilize the situation in the region, economic stagnation (until the overthrow of Hussein’s Iraq for more than 10 years was under the influence of sanctions ) that almost certainly would lead Iraq to civil war until 2011. The experience of post-Saddam Iraq is also hard to call unambiguously positive, but it has its advantages, especially in regard to the country’s economic growth.

Iraq from 2003 to 2007. ↑

Operation coalition to overthrow the regime ends May 1, 2003. By the time the regular army has been defeated in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein is embarking on the run and will be found only after another six months.

The armed forces of the coalition continue to proceed to the most difficult task – ensuring security in the country, which is experiencing a transitional stage. At the same time, and begin to show two major miscalculation coalition strategy to reduce the number of troops and lustration party “Baath”.

Gen. Eric Shinseki (Eric Shinseki), who served as commander of the US Army, states that to maintain order in the country will need a number of contingent of several hundred thousand people, but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (Donald Rumsfeld) strongly disagrees.

In all likelihood, the judgment minister and his advisers is based on the fact that at the beginning of the invasion of US troops in the ranks, there were about 192 thousand people, but most of them were involved in the fighting. The US leadership at the moment still do not see much of a difference between a war with the regular army and the preservation of order in the country with a growing guerrilla activity. During that Rumsfeld and his team criticized other generals like John Abizaid (John Abizaid), which three years later told Congress that Shinseki was right.

Coalition Forces Commander General Tommy Franks (Tommy Franks) states that in September 2003 the country will not exceed 30 thousand American soldiers, while about 100 thousand people give instructions to prepare to return home.

After basic operation decisions rests on the shoulders of the occupation (Civil) administration headed by Paul Bremer (Paul Bremer). On the first day of work, he manages to start at odds with the military, as well as to issue an order that triggers the expulsion of “Baas” of all institutions. A week later, he publishes the second order: completely dissolve the former Iraqi army and security services.

This leads to the first serious attack in three days, and the subsequent series of explosions in August will mark the beginning of the guerrilla war. The plans for the withdrawal of most of the forces are canceled, and Bremer give time until June 2004 to hand over power to the Iraqis in the country.

Iraqi police section of the pipeline was blown up near the city of Karbala, February 23, 2004 (photo by Faleh Kheiber / Reuters)

Yesterday officers and soldiers of the Iraqi army resumed the war with a coalition of guerrilla svezheorganizovannyh. Their main area of ​​activity is related to the so-called “Sunni triangle”, where before the invasion was for the majority Sunni country, and settled retired military.

The situation is exacerbated by 31 March 2004, when Fallujah killed four Americans working under contract with the private military company Blackwater.President Bush ordered the city to send the Marines. However, after a series of fierce battles troops give a new command – to surround the city.

New problems arise with the emergence of the Shia “Mahdi Army” under the command of Sheikh Muqtada al-Sadr, has risen in the same month of the uprising in Najaf. The course of events, in view of preparations for the transfer of power to the Iraqis and the organization of elections, the coalition forces by June truce. In early August, an attempt to detain al-Sadr clash renews for another three weeks, until between the Shiites and the transitional authorities have not reached a compromise.

In October 2004 the group “Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad” (Arab. “Monotheism and Jihad”) swears allegiance to “Al-Qaeda” (in the Russian Federation is recognized as a terrorist organization’s activities in the country is forbidden). Her head Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was already well-known international terrorist, and the group was behind the attacks in the first post-Saddam Iraq, including the bombing of the embassy in Jordan and was led by the UN mission in 2003. Changed its name to “Organization of Jihad Base in Mesopotamia”, the group becomes a branch of the “Al-Qaeda” in Iraq (hereinafter – ACI), on which in a few years will be formed organization Daishev.

The next month, after that the American soldiers begin to sweep of Fallujah, where the headquarters of AKI. After two weeks of the hardest battle, during which they confronted about 4 thousands of Sunni insurgents, the coalition wins.

American soldiers carried out an operation in Fallujah, 22 November 2004 (photo by Scott Peterson)

In the short term, the return of Fallujah under the control of the coalition becomes unconditional victory, but in the long term – a terrible miscalculation: fleeing from the Sunnis on the principle of “word of mouth” spread evidence of terror prevailed in the devastated city.

As a result, when in January 2005 the country held the first parliamentary elections, about 90% of Sunnis boycotted them. It only strengthens the divisions in the country, undermining the legitimacy of the new government.

Sunni guerrillas continue to remind myself periodic undermining AmericanHumvee, and the end of 2005 appears half-mythical figure of Juba sniper, soldier, “the Islamic Army in Iraq,” to kill American soldiers. Partisan folklore quickly making Juba a symbol of resistance, and its romanticized image.

In January 2006, AQI, together with seven other Sunni organizations creates an umbrella “Mujahideen Shura Council” and the following month the militants provoke a new outbreak of violence in order to sow even greater chaos in the country. Undermining of a Shiite mosque in Samarra immediately leads to response, and soon the Shiite and Sunni militants are starting to turn into a civil war guerrilla.

Realizing that the Iraqi government can not cope, the United States begin to look for a decisive leader who is able to transform the Iraqi government in the working mechanism. The choice falls to the Washington Nouri al-Maliki, who in spring 2006 becomes Prime Minister of the country. In June, al-Zarqawi is killed and becomes the new leader of AQI Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Soon the “consultative assembly” takes the role of the dominant political force in Anbar Governorate and in October its member organizations announced their merger under the name of “Islamic state in Iraq” (IGI).

If the main organization under the control of Osama bin Laden has focused on the preparation of terrorist attacks around the world, using a small local cell, the Iraqi branch elects a strategy of “home” action: under the new brand Masri wards are preparing a new wave of terror that engulf Iraq in November.

Iraq from 2007 to 2011. ↑

With a sharp aggravation of the situation George Bush announces the beginning of 2007, on the surge of US troops in Iraq, which are sent to another 30 thousand soldiers. However, he appoints a new commander of coalition forces in Iraq – General David Petraeus (David Petraeus), in 2004-2005, supervised the preparation of the Iraqi security forces.

Arriving in Iraq, Petraeus has taken a number of decisions to de-escalate the conflict. He collected before become spread over large army bases by city, begins to actively intervene in the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, as well as to restore control over parts of the country, before the de-facto controlled by any coalition forces nor the government of Maliki.

Around the same time, the Bush administration begin to notice that the Iraqi authorities have only exacerbated the problem. The Sunni populated regions cease to provide basic services in the army dismisses Sunni commanders. Taken together, the aim of policy in Baghdad could be called consolidation is Shiite power in the country, but Bush will ignore the opinion of Petraeus and his advisers, while maintaining support for the Maliki government.

Before Petraeus is more important task – to try to deprive the “Al Qaeda” to support the Sunnis. His first step is to attempt to translate “payroll” of the Sunni guerrillas, many of whom opposed AKI More summer 2006. Sunnis, many of whom were killed before US soldiers, 400 million dollars and the promise to be represented in the Iraqi government. On the basis of the group of Sunni tribes opposed to two years AKI, formed the organization “Sons of Iraq”, consisting of 100 thousand fighters.

Initially controversial idea Petraeus works: the level of violence decreased by 90% from that of previous years, and Iraq finally there is hope for a peaceful life.

Private First Class Bradley Crabtree on joint patrols with Iraqi soldiers and policemen in Ramadi, February 4, 2007 (photo by James J. Lee / Times Staff)

In September 2007, near the Iraqi town of Sinjar US commandos capture object “Al-Qaeda”, containing documents and files with a huge amount of information on the work of the organization. These records allow us to establish that about 90% of foreign fighters (the majority of them – the citizens of Saudi Arabia and Libya) come to Iraq through Syria, while Syrian intelligence specifically interferes with “Al Qaeda” to get a refill.

In December 2008, George W. Bush sent to Iraq. At this point, the next president is already elected and was preparing to take office less than a month: Barack Obama wants to end the war as quickly as possible, and the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq has been one of the cornerstones of his election campaign.Bush, worried that all his efforts come to naught, with Maliki signed an agreement under which US troops would remain in Iraq until 2011.

The Iraqi journalist Muntazar al Zaidi throws a shoe at US President at his joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister in Baghdad, December 14, 2008

Signed a contract with Iraq does not give the possibility of Obama to withdraw troops until 2011, but the freshly baked President seeks to quickly put an end to the Iraq issue. General Petraeus urges not to name specific dates withdrawal of troops in public speeches, fearing that such a move would undermine all attempts to normalize the situation. The message of this kind would give the extremists understand that they only have to wait until a certain moment, when you can come out of hiding. But Obama ignores the advice, declaring in one of his first speeches that the troops would be withdrawn by the end of 2011.

In Iraq, the changing and the US ambassador, oznamenuya States to change its policy in the region – they no longer want to participate in the development of the Iraqi political system and bear the responsibility for it. Nouri al-Maliki, left without political oversight, strengthen the consolidation of his power. Phenomena such as the expulsion of the Sunnis from the army, which the Bush warned his advisers, becoming much larger scale.

In April 2010, during a joint US-Iraqi raid in Tikrit killed the leader of “al-Qaeda” in Iraq, al-Masri and his “right hand”, Saddam’s former military Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. Many consider “Islamic state in Iraq” beheaded, but a month later, the leaders of “al-Qaeda” called the new head of its Iraqi branch. He becomes a native Samarra named Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Al-Badri, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This man knows very little: in the beginning of the guerrilla war, he apparently commanded a small detachment of 50-100 people, and in February 2004 he was arrested as an internee. In 2005 he was transferred to Camp Bucca prison, where he spent four years, and after was transferred to the Iraqi authorities.

By December 2011, in Iraq there are still 50,000 US soldiers. Pentagon asks Obama to leave at least half of that number, but the president is adamant. After a heated debate, he agrees to a contingent of soldiers in 5000, but it still needs to conclude a new agreement with Iraq. In negotiations with the Maliki Obama requires legal immunity for US troops, and eventually the parties do not reach an agreement. December 14, 2011 Barack Obama delivers a speech on the occasion of the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, saying the success of the operation, and after four days the last American soldier leaves the country. Thus concludes the nearly nine-year American presence in Iraq, which cost US 4 thousands of lives and nearly $ 2 trillion.

The last American troops traveling along the Iraqi border in the direction of Kuwait, 18 December 2011 (photo by Cecilio Ricardo / US Air Force)

The desire to get rid of the responsibility and the Iraq-related concerns led the White House to commit one of the biggest mistakes of its policy in the Middle East. The next day, after the withdrawal of al-Maliki, “clears the mask”, ordering the arrest of his principal at the time political opponent – Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni. Hashemi to flee to the north of the country where it first Ukroyut Kurds, and then he would find refuge in Turkey. He is accused of organizing death squads in absentia and sentenced to death. Hashimi also continue to deny the charges, claiming politically motivated case.

The country is entering a period known as Western analysts “of the Iraqi crisis.”To detain political opponents and other influential Sunni. Maliki removes the last competent commanders, Sunnis, appointed to their positions loyal to him. Then he switches his attention to the “Sons of Iraq.” The Government of Iraq quicklyantagonize this group, depriving it of funding and some representatives of delays or destroys. In Sunni cities begin protests, which are dispersed by force. But instead of consolidating the power of action Maliki starting to lead the country for another split.

The Arab Spring and the “overture” to the civil war in Syria ↑

In December 2010, begins the Arab Spring. In most countries in North Africa and the Middle East protests erupt that will lead to a revolution in the three countries, small changes in the lives of more stable countries, the civil war in Libya and, of course, will be the first spark flared up in further conflict in Syria.

Very often (especially in RuNet) version found that all the events of the Arab Spring, and in particular, the beginning of the protests in Syria – Washington cunning plan. Of course, the United States have their share of responsibility for the regional crisis, but seriously talk about a deliberate escalation of the protest movements in the Middle East and North Africa, US Department of State would be a big mistake. First of all, you must consider some important points:

  • protests grew into a serious clash with the excessive use of violence by the authorities a specific country;
  • the effects of the Arab Spring in each country were almost completely unpredictable and unmanageable;
  • Arab Spring affected the friendly against the United States of the country;
  • United States not only did not receive benefits in the context of both global and regional policy, but also suffered notable losses. Particularly heavy damage was inflicted the US State Department, when in September 2012 in Benghazi killed several members of the US diplomatic corps in Libya, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Other popular conspiracy theories associated specifically with Syria, built around a hypothetical gas Qatar or Iran, which could take place on Syrian territory.However, these versions turn out to be unfounded, as the conflict with considerations of economic expediency and logic at all. In Russian the most clear and objective analysis of these theories took place in Forbes published the articleMichael Krutikhin.

At the heart of the phenomenon of the Arab Spring were many factors, first of all, internal political and economic stagnation in these countries, as well as the foodcrisis. Another important reason – is demographics: according to UN statistics, the population in the Arab countries has doubled in relation to that of 1975, which was much faster than the increase in the number of jobs. In Egypt alone, more than two thirds of the population at that time not yet reached the age of 30 (the so-called “youth hill”). Together, these factors have made ​​an explosive mixture, and the Arab spring became a matter of time.

Egyptians protesting against the backdrop of burning barricades in Cairo, January 28, 2011 (photo Goran Tomasevic / Reuters)

By the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali stayed in power 23 years, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt – 30 years, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – 42 years. On Syria, the situation situation was somewhat confusing. In 2000, as a result of non-alternative elections he became president a relatively young and intelligent Bashar al-Assad, son of Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria for 30 years. To power it was prepared over six years, so the transition went smoothly enough: in addition to the “old guard” Hafez in government circles were already faithful primarily Bashar people that minimize the risk of a coup from within. The public and the international community saw him as a potential reformer, but in the early years of his rule, life in the country does not change.

However, Syrian society is gradually growing demand for change. In 2005, Assad has promised reforms, but in the end under the banner of reform, he simply made a number of reshuffles in the government and the army. Replacing part of the people who worked and served under his father, young and loyal to him personally functionaries Bashar only consolidated his power, muffled protests for another six years.

It is interesting that some members of the international community will continue to be called Assad a reformer even after the start of the protests in Syria. For example, Hillary Clinton in March 2011 (still being then as Secretary of State of the USA) will speak about Assad as follows: “Now in Syria, another leader(Clinton compares Bashar and his father Hafez, suppressed in 1982 uprisingbanned in the Russian organization” Brothers Moslems “, during which the killing according to various estimates from 20 thousand to 80 thousand people – ) … Many members of Congress from both parties, who visited Syria in recent months believe that he – a reformer.” However, a few days later, she added, “I speak not of his person or entity administration, and only cites the opinion of other people.”

The impetus to the beginning of the Arab Spring becomes an act of self-immolation in the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi Sidi Bouzid. Driven to despair fruiterer, failing to get justice from the authorities, on 17 December 2010 at 11:30 local time drenches himself with gasoline in front of City Hall and sets fire. History Mohammed instantly scatters across the country begin mass protests. After 18 days Bouazizi dies in the hospital, and another 10 days the president of Tunisia will be forced to retire.

Arab Spring in Syria begins quite sluggish, and protests are increasing gradually.Slows the development of the situation and the fact that the country still in 2007 was blocked by a plurality of news sources and social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The starting point of the events in Syria can be considered a resident of the protest al-Hasaka Hassan Ali Akleha who committed self-immolation of January 26, 2011. However, this does not cause significant protests and events, andintelligence and power then the doubts that follow in any way serious developments.

“If you do not see the need for reform before what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, for the reform is too late”, – said Assad January 31, during an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “Syria is stable. Why is that? Because you have to meet the expectations of the people. This is a key question. When there is a difference … you have a vacuum that creates a shock. ”

The first action in social networks, such as scheduled for February 4. “Day of Anger” is not carried out, and the same power as a symbolic gesture cancelblocking Facebook in the country (previously the Syrians went into the social network through a proxy).

Aggravation begins March 6, when the city of Dar 15 pupils aged between 10 and 15 years were arrested for graffiti with the words “People eager to drop the regime” -the slogan of the Arab Spring, which they have seen in reports from Egypt and Tunisia.

On March 18, after Friday prayers, several thousand residents take to the streets for the release of teenagers. A cousin of the president, Brigadier General Atef Najeeb, head of the local branch of the political police, according to rumors in the city that goeth responsible head of the family to which they belong arrested the boys that they no longer have children.

When the violent dispersal by police killed at least four people, while the number of injured hundreds. According to witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, he is as follows: Power service used water cannons and tear gas, but did not achieve success in breaking up, then opened fire with live ammunition.

March 19 funeral of the dead come about 10 thousand people, demanding to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths, as well as an end to corruption and to repeal the existing 1963 state of emergency. The next day, the president sent a delegation to negotiate with the protesters, but the common language it can not be found – after a new attempt to forcibly disperse thousands of people protesting near the main mosque in the city (based as it is considered an associate of Mohammed Caliph Omar I), attacking the separation of the Youth Movement Party “Baath”, the office of the company one of the cousins ​​of Bashar Assad and burned the courthouse.

Police have burnt by protesters outside the court in Dar, March 21, 2011 (photo by Hussein Malla / AP)

20 Children March released. As recorded in the report Human Rights Watch and the documentary film BBC, during the arrest they were tortured. Soon almost all the inhabitants of the 100-thousandth * city received the information with details of the treatment of children of the first-second hand.

* Note: excluding the suburbs, with the last one and a half times more. For comparison, the population of about 100 thousand people have Shchukino Moscow region, near Moscow Domodedovo, Moscow Region and Academic Pushkin in St. Petersburg, as well as Ukrainian Slavyansk, 150 thousand – the Moscow region Konkovo, Admiralty District and Oktyabrsky district of Minsk.

Residents go to support the Dar Damascus, Homs, Latakia and other cities. By 25 March in Dar protesting for about a hundred thousand people, the expense of tens of dead and wounded – by the hundreds. Four days later resigns Prime Minister Mohammed Naji al-Otari, who was in office for about eight years.

The situation continues to deteriorate: the crowd burned the office of the party “Baath” in Latakia, and the police in response to respond even tougher. Begin to change and slogans until April when protesters demanded democratic reforms to strengthen the fight against corruption and canceling almost half a century of emergency, but now people are demanding Assad’s departure.

The Syrian president has made ​​inconsistent steps, trying to extinguish the different pockets of discontent. For example, in the north-east of the country at the beginning of the protests were about 300,000 Kurds who did not have Syrian citizenship. The Syrian authorities and the Kurds before the start of the protests have been very strained – in addition to the infringement of civil rights, the Kurds had experienced the deportation ban elements of their own culture and otherdeprivations. It should also be noted, and unfolding events in 2004 in the city of Qamishli, where a football match with the local team fans arrived Arabs from Dayr az-Zaur. Their provocation and an insult to the Kurdish leaders demonstration portrait of Saddam Hussein angered Kurds, which eventually led to the uprising, the suppression of which killed 30 Kurds. On 12 March 2011 (after exactly seven years after the tragic events) Kurds have joined the protests.

To reduce the protests in the north-east of the country on April 7 Assad gives two-thirds of the Kurds citizenship. But the effect of this action is insignificant and ignore the Kurds “sop”, continuing to take to the streets.

The next few days the world’s attention focused on the city of Homs, where the protesters opened fire on members of the organization “Shabiha” (a group of pro-government militias) and the security forces. April 22 protests held in two dozen cities, and on the protesters opened fire again. This becomes the bloodiest day in the first half of 2011, and the ongoing events in Syria are beginning more and more to resemble a civil war.

The civil war in Syria to lift the Islamists

April 25, 2011 in Dar fit two armored divisions and one division of special forces of the Syrian Arab Army (hereinafter – CAA). Starts 11-day siege of the city, in which are killed about 200 civilians and 81 deserter, arrested several hundred people.

On May 5, the CAA moves away from the city, continuing to block the main supply channels, and the regime will go to the siege of other cities: May 6, deposited Homs (siege would go about three years), May 7 – coastal Baniyas and 8 May – located next to Dar a small town tafas . This is followed by short-term (not more than a week) Talkalah siege of cities, Al-Rastan and Tel-Bissau. By the end of the month the number of victims from more than 1,000 protesters. Organization Human Rights Watch sounds alarm, classifying actions loyal to the regime forces of killings and torture of protesters as crimes against humanity, and in early June, Britain, France, Germany and Portugal propose to the Security Council condemn the actions of the Syrian president (although the first draft resolution will be considered only after five months).

Many in the army do not like tough reaction of the president, and under the pretext of failure to use violence against the civilian ranks en masse leave the CAA as the ordinary soldiers and officers. A small group of the latter in June 2011 a decision on the establishment of the organization to shift the regime of Bashar al-Assad – svezheorganizovannaya Free Syrian Army (Free Syrian Army, hereinafter – FSA *) to quickly pick up supporters, and after the unification of a couple of months with a similar organization of free officers movement will be one of the main forces of the opposition.

Feature FSA (which is divided further and many Islamic associations) – in this decentralized structure. From the outset, the FSA is rather common label for dozens of different “divisions”, “gangs” and “armies” (these terms are conditional value does not reflect the actual number of groups, exactly as a “battalion” in the conflict in the east of Ukraine) Command that coordinates the activities in the regions and with the course of the conflict, this fragmentation will only worsen.

* Note: the choice of English abbreviations associated only with the desire to avoid confusion between visually similar SAA and SAA

It should be noted an extremely important point overlooked by almost everyone who talks about Syria and, in particular, about moderation and excesses of certain forces within the opposition.

It is necessary to clearly separate the political forces and military groups: sometimes they really are identical (although the conflict in the framework of the only example of this may be the only Daishev), but most often it is not so.

Speaking of the regime and his loyal forces now are the political forces of the government of Syria, Iran, Russia (recently), and to a lesser extent the leadership of the Lebanese extremist organization Hezbollah, which is entered in the registers of the terrorist organizations in the US, Israel and some European countries. The structure of military forces in addition to the CAA consists of several volunteer and other paramilitary groups, which contains the current list near the end of the text.

For the Kurds, for example, tend to separate the military organizations of the political forces. Thus, the People’s Protection Units YPG’s and women’s team YPJ (hereinafter – YPG / J) up initially armed wing of the Kurdish party “Democratic Union» (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat). And when the last forces and the Kurdish National Council will be created in 2012, the provisional government of Syria Kurdistan (Rozhavy), the main political force, which is subject to YPG / J, will be the Kurdish Supreme Committee.

The hardest thing to maintain this understanding in the analysis of the opposition forces. In the early years of the war the international community does not share the rebels, attributing all to fight against the Assad forces to one side, excepting only the Kurds. This division is complicated in the second stage of the war (in 2013) when Daishev separate from the “Al-Qaeda”, while the opposition is split into a secular wing radical (banned in Russia, “Al-Nusra Front” and others.) And intermediate (more this cm. below). But it turns out to be more confusing when it comes to the political forces of the opposition.

Protesting residents of Chair-Nebel, November 11, 2011 (photo by Reuters)

The first political force of the opposition Syrian National Council becomes.Introduced in August 2011, SNS plays the role of political “showcase” for the majority of the opposition (including supported by Turkey and Qatar, “the Muslim Brotherhood”). The main purpose of the SNA becomes an attempt to establish a dialogue between the commanders of the FSA and local political organizations inside Syria on the one hand and the international community on the other. But with the passage of time the failure of these attempts, and the isolation of the SNA local political forces inside Syria will lead to the creation in November 2012, the other structure – the Syrian National Coalition. SNK will be meta-education, which will be presented as the SNA, and a number of other forces, including the Kurdish National Council (since 2013).

At this point, within the FSA is already a split, and some men will go to either al-Nusra, or become an independent Islamist groups. From a military point of view it would mean weakening, but politically – recovery. As a result, the CPC will quickly become regarded as most countries either legitimate or only legitimate representative of the Syrian people, being thus the player, which will require the United States, European countries and the League of Arab States (which even give the regime a place in the organization of representatives of the CPC). In March 2013 the CPC will create a transitional government.

But the Syrians the CPC will remain the same foreign policy “showcase” that has a minimal impact on the processes that continue to evolve in the country. This vacuum is filled for the most part scattered local forces (over 120 of which natively supports SNA) with the support of FSA.

As to the latter – this is technically characterized by military force and political aspects of minor (but they boil down to a domestic administrative matters, as well as the right to appoint the Minister of Defence in the CPC).

Therefore FSA should not be confused with operational facilities that will emerge further from representing themselves only regional military and tactical alliances.The format of the operational rooms excludes political cooperation and maintains complete independence of their constituent groups, while entering the FSA groups combined and the overall political objective, delegating part of their “sovereignty” of the leadership of FSA.

Politically, the opposition primary task is to overthrow the Assad regime. There are exceptions, such as created in September 2011, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, whose members advocate for non-violent change through dialogue. But despite the fact that NKKDP then even recognize FSA, the rest of the opposition said that the puppet organization (the more so NKKDP based in Damascus, which is controlled by the Assad regime).

In the first phase of the war in Syria, there are three parties: the regime, the opposition and the Kurds.

Thus, if the clashes between the opposition and the regime begins long before the rest of the world would call the conflict in Syria’s civil war, the Kurds will not take any action until July 2012, while maintaining neutrality.

All summer and fall of 2011 the opposition forces led skirmishes with the CAA, accumulating in large cities, and the nature of their action resembles a guerrilla war. By October, Turkey decides to support the FSA, allowing them to place the command center on its territory.


Permanent Representative Li Baodong of China veto a draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria S / 2011/612, October 5, 2011 (photo by AP)

In the same month, the European countries endure to the first UN resolution on Syria condemning the Assad regime for the actions that led to the death at the time of nearly 3 thousand people.

This proposal (and a number of subsequent) is blocked by Russia and China. At that time, many experts suggest that behind this concern of possible repetition in Syria, “the Libyan scenario” adversely affect the economic interests of those countries: the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime turned for the Russian armslosses only on current contracts in the $ 4 billion US, While damage to Chinese companies totaled about 18 billion US dollars.

The civil war of 2011 in Libya claimed on the initial estimated transitional government to 30 thousand lives, but after a year of investigations will be set much lower figures – about 4,700 dead and about 2,100 missing people. The conflict in Syria at the beginning of 2015 will carry over 220 thousand lives (according to the UN).

An explanation should come down to a few years will be more complex: a natural escalation of the conflict in Syria “binds” the United States and Western countries as well as before Afghanistan and Iraq. This factor will allow Russia to implement, including “return” of the Crimea (it does not mean that this particular scenario was taken into account in 2011), and China – begin to establish control over the South China Sea.

By December 2011, Russia offers its own version of the resolution blames the conflict in equal measure both the Assad regime and the forces opposing it, as representatives of the country promised to block any decision, implying the need for care of Bashar Assad resign.

Realizing that through the UN Security Council not solve the problem, the United States, Europe, Turkey and the Arab League are combined diplomatic efforts to confront the regime of Bashar al-Assad. In February 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama initiated the establishment of the diplomatic group “Friends of Syria”, which for the first time going to the end of the same month in Tunisia.Almost immediately, the “Friends of Syria” decided to support the FSA, which further assistance will be provided both through the Syrian National Coalition, as well as directly. UN and Arab League appointed former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, special envoy of his, which is being developed with the responsible first peace plan (also known as “the Annan Plan on Syria”).


Consequences of shelling by government forces in Homs, April 20, 2012 (photo by AP)

Meanwhile, the conflict in Syria is becoming more ambitious – fights break out in the area of Homs, Idlib and Damascus. The escalation continues until April 12, when parties to the conflict agree to a cease-fire on the Annan plan. But the truce is shaky, and in May the plan fails. Fatty point puts the massacre in Houla, a suburb of Homs, during which the militants “Shabiha” killed 108 civilians, including 34 women and 49 children. After that, FSA declares renewal of defensive action, Assad vows to crush his opponents, and June 12, 2012 the representatives of the United Nations for the first time called what is happening in Syria’s civil war.

In July 2012 the country adopted a new anti-terrorism law that outlaw the provision of medical assistance to the rebels, and the CAA starts to arrange raids on hospitals.


Such measures will cause a wholesale exodus of health workers out of the country (for example, in Aleppo, in July 2013 there will be about 6000 doctors, and by early 2015, the first will be no more than 250), which is why a country with one of the most advanced health systems in the Arab the world would be virtually defenseless against seasonal outbreaks and exacerbations of chronic diseases among the population. According to some estimates, the lack of timely and professional assistance in terms of armed actions will lead to at least 200 thousand deaths (as of early 2015).

In the same month, are included in the conflict and Kurds. After many attempts at political forces Rojava come to a consensus about the role of the Kurdish conflict.In an attempt to take control of the territory, where the Kurdish population, July 22, 2012 they make the regime an ultimatum. Assad decides to give local government areas under Kurdish, relegating the troops needed to quell pockets of resistance and Rozhava maintain a relatively neutral until May 2013, adhering to the defensive strategy.


Two main battle mode in July, is set in the outskirts of Damascus and Aleppo.After more than two weeks of fighting, the regime wins a temporary victory for the capital, while the battle for control of Aleppo, the largest city of the country, continues to this day.


Rebel mourns friend killed in a collision with the CAA for Aleppo, August 4, 2012 (photo Goran Tomasevic / Reuters)

However, the fall of the CAA lost a number of cities, including the State Duma (the largest suburb of Damascus), and located on a strategically important the M5 Maarrat al-Nu’man (in Idlib governorate). The initiative is at the FSA, and the opposition is preparing to launch an offensive in November 2012. But by that time already in its ranks has been a serious split.

The civil war in Syria to September 30, 2015 ↑

The second phase of the war is related to so-called “hijacking” the revolution Islamists. But such a formulation of the below-described events is very inaccurate, and the emergence of Islamist groups among the opposition is a one of the most complex and little-known events of the conflict.

Syrian Islamist roots is to look first in the policy regime. In the second year of the war are beginning to bear fruit Assad’s actions to destabilize the opposition made ​​them at the beginning of the conflict. The first such action was the release in the end of March 2011 several prisoners (according to various estimates – from 70 to 260 people), most of which (according to the sources BBC and The WashingtonPost) were Islamists. It should be noted that the release of political prisoners was one of the key demands of protesters, but it was about the detained protesters.Perhaps the calculation of the regime was to create conditions to discredit the opposition, but at the moment the effect of these actions had no effect.

After a couple of months, Assad decided on a risky step, declaring a general amnesty.

From prison Sayednaya were released among other Islamists and authoritative.Among the released were Zahran Alush (which in the same year created “Jaish al-Islam”), the founders of the group “Ahrar al-Sham,” Ahmed Abu Issa (one of the founders of the team, “Falcons Levant”, which in March 2015 will be absorbed “Al-Ahrar Shamom”) and many others.

A curious fact: from 2003 to 2008 in Syria, some of the prisoners were sent to prison Sayednaya military training camps, where prisoners were moved on to Iraq, in order to feed the country reaching a guerrilla war on the side of “al-Qaeda”. Of those who later returned to Syria, are often sent back to prison, and the other remained at large under the supervision of the regime, and thirdly redirected to Lebanon. The practice seems to have been abandoned after a riot in the prison.


Prison Sayednaya, satellite image, 2008 (Digital Glove / Google Earth)

In August 2011, the head of the Iraqi branch of the “Al-Qaeda,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent to Syria one of his best men for the organization of a regional wing. Abu Mohammed al-Dzhulani with a small force crossed the border to tackle the recruitment of former prisoners Sayednaya prison and start a set of ordinary soldiers. The emergence of the group was announced in January 2012, and al-Dzhulani headed “Front of assistance to the people of Sham”, which became known as “Al-Nusra Dzhabhat” (or “Al-Nusra Front”). Initially, “Al-Nusra Front” was part of the FSA, exactly like other Islamist groups. But soon the centralization of the organization and its stable funding began to attract a group of others, not only Islamists but also secular opposition. Bad example, as you might guess, was contagious: the part of the insurgents began to side with “Al-Nusra” or designate their “team” as the Islamic order in the first place, the best material security, and revolution was nominally (but not actually) lose its secular character.

A small digression. Speaking of Islamist organizations in Syria, it is necessary to divide them into groups based on their relations with the moderate opposition in the political and military sense, as well as radical groups themselves.

The first category – the most moderate Islamists included as of the date in the “Islamic Front” (IF), namely “a brigade al-Tawhid” (aka “Liwa al-Tawhid”), “Ahrar al-Sham”, “Ansar Al-Sham “and” Jaish al-Islam. ”

For this and other categories of Islamists about the same unwillingness to work with the Syrian National Council and the Syrian National Coalition, but quite another matter – relations with the FSA. For the Islamists the first category the FSA is definitely a friendly formation. This organization “Islamic Front” are relativesymbiotic relationship with “Dzhabhat al-Nusra,” while “Ahrar al-Sham” (the largest of organizations IF) both included with the “Al-Nusra” in the military coalition “Jaish Al-Fatah “(” Army of the conquest “). Also, Islamists of this and other categories are in hostile relations with the Kurds (except for the teams, “Ahrar al-Sham” and other brigades IF within the area of Aleppo and included in the operational room “Front of the Levant”, which was signed in February 2015,an agreement on cooperation with YPG).


Train militants organization “Ahrar al-Sham” camp near Damascus, November 28, 2013 (photo Diaa al-Din / Reuters)

The second category includes the friendly against the FSA and the “Islamic Front” group having at least strained relations with “Al-Nusra.” The basic formation of this category – “Syrian Turkmen team.” Co-sponsored by Turkey, the organization is a key tool to expand their influence in the region, Ankara, placing the main purpose of its activities to gain representation in the Turkmen authorities postasadovskoy Syria.

The third category – “Al-Nusra Front” and other radical Islamists, including the “Islamic Party of Turkestan” (consisting of Chinese Uighurs) and the brigade “Ghurab ash-Sham.” These organizations are based on the ideas of radicalSalafist jihadism, using typical branches of “Al Qaeda” terrorist tactics such as suicide bombings, oppression nesunnitskogo population and so on. The main difference from Daishev is prioritization: if Daishev puts in first place the creation of an Islamic caliphate, the militants for al-Dzhulani and other organizations is a priority for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad. Because of this “Dzhabhat en Nusra” has shown some flexibility in its relations with other organizations.

Initially, many radicals, including “Al-Nusra” fought on the same side with the FSA under the “brand” of the meta-group. Thus, in November 2012, The Washington Post even called “al-Nusra” the most successful power within FSA, but 10 days after the United States recognizes that “Dzhabhat en Nusra” terrorist organization.


The fourth category include Daishev. Thus, even if the Islamists of the third category, some analysts still belong to the opposition, Daishev “stands alone”, the last two years fighting against all the other parties to the conflict. It is important to note that until the end of 2013 Daishev remain quite weak involved in the conflict, mostly directing material support “Al-Nusra” and sometimes assisting them a small part of its militants (such as the capture of in March 2013) . This illustrates perfectly presented above Heatmap militants al-Baghdadi, the vast majority of attacks which until 2014 focused in Iraq.

There are also organizations that are difficult to be attributed unequivocally to a particular category (such as “Legion Sham”, while entering into an alliance with both “The Syrian Turkmen teams,” and with “en Nusra” and “Ahrar al-Shamom” as part of “Army of conquest”), but their number and role of the military and political importance is not so great.

For example, only the first category one can see how complicated the relationship between the various factions, as well as incorrect attempts to mix all in a bunch of rebels, which will be made by Russian officials and the media after Russia’s conflict in September 2015.

For organizations like the IF position is comfortable, because they receive funding and arms from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, while remaining on good terms with both the FSA, and with the “Al-Nusra”, as well as maintaining their independence. A similar grading for the FSA allows you to “filter” their hostile relations with “Al-Nusra”, covering the rear teams IF and using tactical acquisitions’ al-Nusra “for their own purposes. In the same vein, the strategic layer of “moderate Islamists” allows you to protect FSA against further decay, when radical Islamists lured to his side the whole team.


But, speaking about the causes of the transition of the rebels from the FSA to the Islamists need to very clearly separate the motivation at the level of organizations and personal motivation. So, brigades and divisions, leaving the entire FSA at the end of 2012, mostly for pragmatic reasons. For the freshly formed or a change in the ideological camp of teams are available resources coming from Syria, first of all, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

Regarding the personal motivation, it is indicative of a series of studies, ” Voices of Syria “held Vera Mironova, Sam Whitten (Sam Whitt) and Lubna Mrai (Loubna Mrie). According to the analysis conducted surveys among civilians, fighters Islamists FSA and it is clear that in some aspects, such as attitudes to Assad, among different groups of people there is complete unanimity.


According to most experts, students of Islamic groups in Syria, if the religious and ideological reasons, and the transition took place, it is not the first.

But the most important factor leading to radicalization and more chaos, is the policy of the regime for institutional commission of war crimes. Dozens of episodes use against the rebels and the civilian population of chemical weapons,the practice of dumping cask bombs, sexual violence against women (and not only), torture of children – just the tip of the iceberg.


Abdullah Ahmed, the victim during the attack of the Syrian Air Force, in a refugee camp in the village of Atmeh, Syria, December 11, 2012 (photo by Muhammed Muheisen / AP Photo)

In 2013, running from Syria former military police Assad, known under the pseudonym of “Caesar.” Before his escape, he documented the transportation of bodies regime arrested people after death sent from prisons and other facilities in military hospitals (eg, number 601 and number 607). With a Caesar takes about 55 thousand photos, which he did in March 2011. By their estimation involved leading lawyers and forensic scientists with the experience of war crimes in the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone. The report on the basis of conducted their analysis concludes that the photos were at least 11 different thousand bodies, belonging mostly young men . Many were extremely exhausted and had traces of torture: wounds, bruises, suffocation and exposure to electricity, have been part of the empty sockets.

Some functionaries of the regime, in the photographs of Caesar, will also run in Europe and for further investigation, they may be accused of, if not, then at least a material witness.

Civilians in the suburbs of Aleppo, survivors reset cask bombs, April 27, 2014 (photo Hosam Katan / Reuters)

The forces of the regime responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths directly attacking schools, hospitals and markets. According enter Calculateorganization Syrian Network for Human Rights, in December 2014 for 1328 will die of civilians, of whom 1,049 (including 203 children and 105 women) will be killed by forces loyal to Assad. Daishev militants during the same period will be killed 72 people from among civilians. This ratio is quite clearly illustrates why the desire to take revenge on the regime is one of the main factors pushing people to join the team FSA and Islamist organizations.

With the separation Daishev from “Al564dfb828f2662 Qaeda” and the beginning of the war against all (see. Below), Assad sees the ability to control balance, pitting opposition to each other. Self Daishev become undeclared ally of the regime (best describe their relationship to the English word «frenemies»), and they prefer to avoid possible collisions with each other.

An illustration of this would be a clear analysis of Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Centre, which shows that out of 982 counterterrorism operations regime in 2014, only 6% are held directly against Daishev. In turn, of the attacks Daishev in the same time period only 13% will have to belong to the regime forces and objects.Despite the denial of such a symbiosis of both sides, the two sides even establish economic ties, and if oil from Daishev will buy all all, even the regime will continueto maintain controlled Daishev mining companies through private intermediaries like HESCO.

Currently, there are four major smuggling routes, one of which allows the export of oil from Syria and Iraq through Syria (for the sales to Turkey and the Assad regime), and the other three – directly from Iraq (for sale in Turkey, Iran and Jordan).

As a result of the trade will receive funds almost all the conflicting parties, since each will have a share or for resale, or for the transportation of oil through its territory. The exception would not even bitter rivals Daishev of Iraqi Kurds – some corrupt commanders “Peshmerga” will buy oil at a price two times lower than the market to continue to resell it in Iran or Turkey with notable margin.

In the same vein, a strategic Daishev play an important role for the preservation of Assad’s regime, because with a significant weakening of the opposition’s choice for Syria in the future will be only between Bashar Assad and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And despite the fact that the former is responsible for far more deaths to the global community in which case it will be nominally “lesser evil.”

But back to the opposition and its split. One of the main forces within the Syrian opposition to the end of 2012 becomes the “Al-Nusra Front.” Initially, the militants of the organization enlisted the respect due to the opposition of discipline and professionalism of its fighters, which allowed the company to enter the “foreground”. But this “en Nusra” was the first organization, which has taken responsibility for the terrorist attacks, the victims of which have been, and civilians.

Last repelled by “Al-Nusra” brigade commanders and FSA. The remaining teams in the ranks of the secular rebels openly condemn the methods of the people of al-Dzhulani planters rule of sharia in the territories under their control. But discord “Al-Nusra” with secular forces does not occur immediately.


Al-Nusra fighters “in the suburbs of Aleppo, October 25, 2013 (photo by Karam al-Masri / AFP)

Throughout 2012 FSA tolerate the status quo, considering his forced alliance with radical Islamists as the only chance of survival and victory against Assad. But then it became clear to many that a confrontation with the FSA “Al-Nusra” – only a matter of time. The solution to this difficult dilemma emerged in September 2012 when the “break” between the FSA and “Al-Nusra” Islamists (the first category) created the first coalition – “Syrian Islamic Liberation Front,” which will “Brigade al-Tawhid”, “Falcons Levant “and” Jaish al-Islam. ” A couple of months later, with the beginning of the first large-scale offensive of the opposition, there was a “Syrian Islamic Front”, which began to carry out joint activities “Ahrar al-Sham”, “Ansar al-Sham” and “Liwa al-Haqq.” These coalitions have become the basis for one year arose “Islamic Front”, allowed the FSA to prepare for combat operations against “Al-Nusra” and Daishev open feud which started in May 2013.

In the same month in the war actively turn on the Kurds at that time to confront and FSA, and the Islamists. Between them small skirmishes have already occurred, but if in 2012, disagreements were resolved fairly quickly, but now it is impossible – the Kurds are dealing not with a single FSA, and a variety of teams and organizations, openly showing hostility to them. Basically, the Kurds will have to fight with jihadists from “al-Nusra” and other Islamist organizations, and then they will be able to keep one of the most intensive attacks Daishev in Syria. With the FSA as the Kurds come to a consensus in 2014 to form even a common operating room “Euphrates Volcano” to conduct joint operations against radical Islamists.

At the same time begins another very important process – separating Daishev from “Al Qaeda”. Before that Daishev, being more “Islamic state in Iraq”, carries out the functions of the regional branch, while al-Baghdadi was engaged in “Governor-General” – the epitome of the organization’s management of orders in the assigned region, lacking political independence. His unwillingness to put up with this state of things and the limitation of their power within the geographical borders of Iraq (especially considering that his people have created and coordinated a nearby branch – “Dzhabhat en Nusra”), openly manifested in April 2013.


Daishev militants on the Iraqi-Syrian border, date unknown (image with the propaganda of the site)

Then he released an audio recording with his speech, which states the organization, sponsorship and support of “Al-Nusra” it IGI, and now the two groups come together under the name of “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”This move comes as a surprise for the leader of “Al-Nusra Front” Abu Muhammad al-Dzhulani and for the head of “Al-Qaeda” Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al Dzhulani in reply denied the merger, adding that anyone from the leadership of “Al-Nusra” produces no consultation on this issue.

After a couple of months to write a letter to both regional leaders and al-Zawahiri, explaining its categorical opposition to the merger, as well as appointing a mediator between al-Dzhulani and al-Baghdadi to resolve disagreements. The latter immediately go for broke, declaring in his next report to refuse to obey al-Zawahiri, as well as the continuation of the merger.

The next six months, al-Baghdadi is increasing its force. In July 2013 Daishev militants freed up to five hundred prisoners of the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib and Taji, many of whom were veterans of the guerrilla war against the coalition. At the same time Daishev stop material support “Al-Nusra”, and in September of that year to attack the rebels from the FSA, knocking them out of the city of Azaz (30 kilometers north of Aleppo). The networks are beginning to appear photos and videos and demoralizing propaganda character, and the presence on the Internet Daishev since will only increase.

Next Daishev accusing “Al-Nusra” betraying the revolution and aiding the regime, essentially declaring war on al-Dzhulani. By the end of 2013, the majority of foreign fighters, “Al-Nusra” moves to the side Daishev, which also receives the bulk of acquisitions, “Al-Nusra” in the east of Syria, including Rakka, which soon will be the capital of their quasi-state. Al-Baghdadi is preparing to go on the offensive, but first he will turn his attention to Iraq.

Two years later, Maliki’s policy of gradual “tightening the screws”, degradation of the army and the infringement of the Sunnis of Iraq has become a breeding ground for a new war. Former branch of “Al-Qaeda” in Iraq is greatly enhanced due to the acquisitions in Syria, as well as win over the former baasovtsev and Sunnis (including even former members of the “Sons of Iraq”). Many among them (ironically) often have no alternative but to join the new force, the forerunner of which they helped to drive out before.

The group is moving rapidly without encountering serious resistance. In January 2014, captured the city of Fallujah and Ramadi. Daishev continues to successfully advance in Iraq and Syria, forcing the world to discuss new terrifying force of the atrocities which tries to disown even the “Al-Qaeda”, which in February 2014 formally severs all ties with Daishev, and after a failed attempt in May of the same year truce and did leave attempts to return control of stray “daughter”.


Demonstration in support of Daishev after the capture of the city of Mosul, Iraq, in June 2014 (photo by AP)

June 10 militants al-Baghdadi capture the second largest city in Iraq’s Mosul.Content banks Mosul (worth over 400 million US dollars), along with a huge stock of weapons (including the US), thrown randomly apostate Iraqi army, will be enough to change the balance in Syria, where Daishev soon rapidly capture governorate Dayr al-Zaur rich minerals.

Soon there is a video message and al-Baghdadi, where he announced the creation of a world caliphate, and calls himself the caliph. Since then, the organization referred to as an “Islamic state” starting to prepare the ground for the creation of their own subsidiaries (Vilayat) in other Asian and African countries.

The United States in response to authorize the sending of more than 300 military advisers in Iraq, as well as initiate the creation of an international coalition (hereafter – American coalition), whose purpose becomes Daishev. August 8, 2014 the US Air Force is applied to the first blow by militants of al-Baghdadi in Iraq, attacked the Kurdish militia under Irbil. In turn Daishev publishes video executions of kidnapped American journalist James Foley (James Foley) Emvazi militant Muhammad, known as the “jihadists John» (Jihadi John).


“John jihadists” and James Foley, a frame of video, 2014

In the same month comes another important event for Iraq – Nouri al-Maliki quickly losing its political position after the election in July 2014 of a new president of the country (which began Fuad Masum Kurd) and Speaker of the Parliament (Sunni Salem Dzhauri). Maliki’s call to resign, and Masum offers a prime minister nominee Haider al-Abadi. Maliki did not want to give up power, takes to the streets of Baghdad, loyal security guards that block the government quarter of the city. But under pressure from the international community, Nouri al-Maliki gives his place without bloodshed.

September 18, 2014 US Senate supports the program of the Pentagon’s arming and training of the moderate Syrian rebels against Daishev, and less than a week for the first time the United States applied a blow on Syrian territory located on the objects of the organization. At the time, a year acting CIA program for the purchase of non-US weapons and its subsequent delivery teams FSA.

The main task of the curators of the CIA was that bought American weapons has not got to the “Al-Nusra” and other radicals. However, these efforts were not very effective, given that the militants “Al-Nusra” simply began to attack their former allies internally FSA, taking them from the Americans received weapons astrophies, or receiving it from the defectors.


In the same month, gunmen Daishev begin siege located near the Turkish border town of Cobán. Most of the civilians (about 130 thousand people) runs to Turkey, but the city still defend troops YPG / J. Aviation American coalition has all possible support, but this is not enough – found themselves in dire straits Syrian Kurds seek assistance from their Iraqi brothers. The leader of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani, in spite of political differences with the Syrian Kurdish parties and running battles against Daishev in Iraq, answers the call, sending Turkey through a small group of fighters “Peshmerga”.


American coalition airstrike on positions Daishev, Cobán, October 2014 (Photo Bulent Kilic / AFP)

Around the same time, it is in danger of Yezidi, Kurdish representatives of ethnic and religious groups. Yazidis, exactly like the Friends Alawite – a religious minority which does not provide for treatment (ie, Yezidis can only be born). Their beliefs are insufficiently studied, but generally combine elements of Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Initially, the Yezidis to treat almost all Kurds, and the separation of the Yezidi-Kurds of conservatives and Sunnis formed under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, which tried for centuries to get rid of “the heretical teachings.” The biggest community (around 650,000 people) living in the world of the Yezidis in Iraq. With the onset of the Yezidis Daishev threatened with destruction – killing many, taking others as slaves, and others forced to flee to the mountains. The UN action Daishev will subsequently be regarded as an attempted genocide of Yazidis.

In December 2014 the situation began to change. Fighters “Peshmerga”, to cover up this retreat from the north-western regions of Iraq civilians among Christians and Yezidis, succeed with the support of US-led coalition air squeeze Daishev adjacent to the city of Sinjar areas. Following this planned fracture in Cobán, where by the end of January 2015 Daishev suffer a humiliating defeat.

The myth of the invincibility of the “Caliphate” is debunked, that threatens to turn into big problems for Daishev enjoying their military success as one of the main instruments of propaganda fighters from around the world. Turns out to be a “paper tiger” in response to the organization deploys an unprecedented campaign of terror. The tactic is successful – quite soon the world says is not the defeat of Daishev under Kobanov and Video burning of Jordanian pilot, whose plane was shot down by insurgents over the Raqqa a month earlier, or by decapitation 21 Egyptian Coptic in Libya.


Kurds in Kobanov after the siege in early 2015. (Photo Yasin Akgul / AFP)

Daishev also focus on spreading their “franchise”, taking the oath of a large number of Islamic organizations in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, including the Egyptian “Ansar Beit al-Maqdis” Nigerian “Boko Haram” and many others. The militants organize terrorist attacks in Tunisia and Yemen, while the extremists have sympathizers in the autumn of 2014 begin to carry out attacks in Canada, France, Denmark and other countries.

In mid-May to the Syrian governorate Dayr az-Zaur is sent a small detachment of US Special Forces. Their goal becomes the elimination of Abu al-Sayyaf, one of the lieutenants of al-Baghdadi, oversees oil and gas deal “caliphate.” In addition Sayyaf, they consume 31 more militants, creating the first and so far the only precedent for the use of ground troops in the US-led coalition in Syria.

Daishev same a few days later captures the legendary thousands of years of historical monuments, militants organizations have already done earlier in Mosul and other captured cities.


Soldiers YPG / J celebrating their victory at Tel Abyad, in June 2015 (photo by Reuters)

But in the summer 2015 offensive Daishev stops, and the organization suffered a series of defeats on the joint action YPG / J and the FSA for the north. The Kurds, along with the rebels begin to clean up the country’s border regions from the militants of al-Baghdadi, having until today the most successful operation against Daishev for all the years of the conflict. By the end of June, they take control of the town of Ain Issa, located 50 kilometers from the capital of the “Islamic state.”

Daishev trying to reverse the situation, began a series of “ramadanskih” attacks and acts of terrorism, which has called in an audio message a commander group Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. June 25 occurs Kobanov for which Daishev guides to the city about a hundred militants disguised as soldiers FSA and YPG. At the left after the January retreat “sleeping” agents they killed several hundred civilians and 30 soldiers YPG / J, but the Kurds fight off an attack on the same day. Immediately after that followed the attack in El-Hasaka,


The only direction where to autumn Daishev can lead anything like a successful action will strengthen the positions near Palmyra, where they occupy in August Al-Qaryatayn. In general, if most of 2014 can be characterized as a period of expansion Daishev, after the defeat of the Kurds in January 2015, their impact on the course of events is rapidly decreasing. This allows the rebels and Islamists to hold a series of successful operations against the regime. One of the most effective offensive becomes “an-Nusra” and “Islamic Front” in Idlib, which affects the outcome including the morale of the forces of the regime.

Shift the balance of power in the summer it gives a second breath talk about the fate of postwar Syria. Given the fragmented nature of virtually all parties to the conflict, most experts expressed the view that Syria will repeat the fate of Yugoslavia broke up in the near future for several states. And the possibility of Assad to remain in power, even in a future individual states (for example, on the basis of the governorate of Tartous and Latakia, where the majority of the country’s Alawite), rumored to cease to believe even his allies among the Iranian elite.

And at this critical time for Bashar al-Assad in the conflict enters a new player, changing all the possible scenarios. At least the end of August the forces of direct support for the regime is beginning to Russia. For the first time, activists engaged OSINT (Open source intelligence), find it on video loyal to Assad National Defence Forces fighting while under Latakia, where in addition to the Russian language and rarely seen BTR-82A. Detailed investigations show that even then, most likely, has begun preparations for the deployment of the armed forces of the Russian base in the region. Officially, Russia will take a month Syrian conflict.

Conflicts in Syria and in Iraq today

Today, the Syrian conflict (in the author’s value judgment) can be described as a civil war in which fighting five and a half sides, difficult or religious aspect. This time with more and more resembles a proxy war for influence between the regional powers (Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and in the last weeks complicated confrontation western countries and Russia. But what a current balance of power, and what are the interests of other countries into Syria?



The forces of the regime and its allies at the moment:

  • Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – the armed forces of Syria;
  • National Defence Force (PDF) – by the Syrian government in late 2012 paramilitary forces, mainly composed of volunteers and used mostly as a reserve infantry force;
  • “Shabiha” – militant pro-government organization that has been used to break up the protests at the beginning of the conflict, and later almost completely integrated into the VAT, as well as a number of small groups (such as the combat wing of the party “Baas” and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, as well as ” Army monotheists “);
  • Iraqi Shiite paramilitary organizations (“Asaib Ahl al-Haqq”, “al-Abbas Brigade” and others.);
  • military wing “of Hezbollah” – Shiite militias in Lebanon, assisting regime forces during including offensive operations;
  • military organizations in Iran: “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”(hereinafter – the IRGC) with the special unit of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds “, as well as volunteer militia” Basij “;
  • Russian Armed Forces.

The purpose of the regime in control of less than 20% of the country is self-preservation, the chances of which are becoming less each year conflict. The diplomatic solution of this problem has become almost impossible after the failure of attempts by the regime to establish a dialogue (such as the spring of 2012), as well as the practices of the regime’s destruction of civilian targets and the civilian population, which has led to intransigence against the Assad all his opponents.Therefore, the Syrian president is vital assistance to other countries.


Bashar al-Assad to located on the front line soldiers CAA, January 1, 2015 (photo by Reuters)

The first such country – Iran, which is a strategic partner of Syria for over 30 years. A small contingent of the IRGC was located on the territory of Syria before the war began: Iranian experts were engaged in training the Syrian army and security services. Since the beginning of the conflict, Iran has expanded its assistance by sending arms and money to Syria, as well as helping to train the remaining loyal to the formation of such VAT. However, the conflict is enabled and financed by Tehran organization “Hezbollah.” Iranian military involvement in the early stages of the war was minimal, and the reports of Iranian involvement in the fighting began to act only in the second year of the conflict. The main goals of Iran – the preservation of its role in Syria, as well as opposition to the influence of Ankara, Riyadh and Washington in the region. It is costing Tehran about $ 35 billion dollars per year. At the same time, Iranian authorities are trying very carefully to expand its presence in Syria, as their involvement in the conflict quitecold perceived by the public.

Objectives of Iran at odds with the objectives of the Assad – they are not so much interested in leaving the Syrian leader in power, as in preserving their influence in the most important parts of Syria (primarily inhabited predominantly Alawite governorates Lattakia and Tartous). As noted above, since the summer of this year, rumors circulated that Iran will not oppose a scenario the collapse of Syria into several smaller states. Close to the September 30, they are beginning to find some confirmation in the words of the Iranian generals in Syria. For example, died Oct. 9, 2015 under the Aleppo General Hamedani, who commanded the IRGC and “Qods” in the country, openly declared their negative attitude towards the Assad regime (however, with the proviso that he Asad guilty to a lesser extent than built by his father system) and overly strong reaction to the protests in 2011.Some experts believe it is reasonable that such a position of the Iranian high-ranking officials and forced Assad to seek Moscow’s help, the objectives of which is somewhat closer to the regime.


Gen. Soleimani and Iranian-backed militants Iraqi Shiite irregular military formations under Aleppo, October 15, 2015 (source)

Alarming and that, in addition Hamedani the past two weeks have killed several leaders of “Hezbollah” in the country. The death of such a large number of Iranian agents in such a short time significantly undermine political and military influence Iran to Syria. According to some assumptions, the killings could be regime is trying to protect the position of their leader. Tehran is hardly ready to give up just because of its role in this connection the 13 October 2015 the country had sentGen. Qassem Soleimani, as well as several thousand Iranian soldiers to take part in the battles of Aleppo. In addition, Iran sees as a more Daishev priority objective rather than the mode or Russia, but the main effort to combat the “Caliphate” taken by the Iranians (both directly and through financing Shiite militias) in Iraq, not in Syria.

Another key ally of the regime – is the Russian Federation. Despite the fact that the country has officially entered the war on September 30, 2015, in fact it was a few weeks before that date. A Russian citizens had to be noted in the conflict even before – over a thousand holders of Russian passports have gone to fight in Syria on the side Daishev, and on the side of Assad fought in the autumn of 2013, “Slavic body”, more than 250 mercenaries who have returned home after the first battle, but there were detained by the FSB. The further fate led some soldiers to a private military company Wagner, noted in the operation of “return” of the Crimea and the fighting in the east of Ukraine, and according to the latest investigation“Fontanka” some of these mercenaries from late summer 2015 again fighting in Syria.

Russia is much more interested in Iran to power in Syria remained Bashar Assad, but instead managed Balkanization long-term goal with respect to the Syrian government, rather, is to restore the power of the regime throughout the country.

Moscow has diplomatic support Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the conflict, so the cessation of aid to the Syrian regime, in particular, would be a manifestation of the inconsistency. Russia’s interest is also associated with the continued presence in Tartus, where the operating base of the Russian fleet.

Some analysts even with the beginning of September has been suggested that the real strategic goal of the Kremlin in Syria could be “the chess exchange”, in which the Russian authorities refused to to take part in the conflict on the side of al-Assad for the abolition of Western countries, economic sanctions and the international community’s recognition of the Crimea as a Russian territory. But even if the data (according to the author – rather doubtful) assumptions were close to the truth, that to date, the (hypothetical) plan can be considered a failure, based on the position of the Western countries as a matter of Russian intervention in Syria, and on the question of Crimea.

The aim of Russia in Syria is likely to destroy any viable opposition that will put the world community to choose between Assad and Daishev. This is confirmed by the fact that about 80% of the air strikes of the Russian Federation was not applied for the purposes Daishev, according to the Defense Ministry, and on the projects under the supervision of teams and IF FS.


It is important to note that the official reports on the activity of the Russian Federation Minoorony Russian aviation in Syria have controversial character with the operation. Thus, most of the territories, which were produced on strikes are hundreds of kilometers away from the controlled Daishev objects.According assembled from open source data Institute for the Study of War, which were verified reports of the Defense Ministry, the main area of activity in the first three weeks have fallen to rastanovsky “bag” and the valley of El Gab (located at the junction of the governorate of Idlib, Hama and Latakia) where from October 7 unfolded main offensive mode on the territory controlled by the opposition. The Russian VKS was hit and objects Daishev in Raqqa and Deir az-Zaur. As a result, all new posts at the Defense Ministry activity in the region are verified activists OSINT analysts and leading publications.

Many experts, assessing the way in which all possible restoration of the rule of Assad over the country, most of which he hates, have drawn parallels with the“Chechen scenario” that took place after the Second Chechen War. It is no coincidence in the rhetoric (and not only) the Moscow terrorists designated by all opposing Assad forces (with the exception of the Kurds). Dissonance this is the fact that despite supplied to the media and social networks, the official legend of the fight against Daishev, Russia pays the militants of al-Baghdadi minimal attention, exactly like the regime itself.


The consequences of the Russian air strike on the town of Tell-Bissau, September 30, 2015 (the frame of the video)

In the long term, Russia’s participation in the conflict may result in significant damage to the Putin regime, and therefore no coincidence that many experts recall the Soviet war in Afghanistan, frightening parallels to the current conflict which is in Syria.

Another relatively friendly to the Syrian regime is the country of Iraq. At the heart of the Syrian-Iraqi collaboration – in the face of a common enemy Daishev and warm relations with Iran.

The primary task of the military regime and its allies – the return of control of a strategically important highway mode M5, linking Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo. For her performance October 7, 2015 CAA started the offensive in Hama and Idlib Russian Federation with the support of videoconferencing. But the promotion of army regime, even with Russia and Iran is still insignificant – FSA and Islamists have CAA fierce resistance, destroying tanks and other equipment, as well as returning control of the lost village.

October 9th, 2015, on the tenth day after the onset of the Russian air strikes in Syria and the third day since the beginning of large-scale operation CAA forces Daishev the first time in a long time went on the offensive, capturing about 100 square kilometers of territory north of Aleppo.

In this fight against Daishev in fact it is a matter of very remote, because to destroy any political and military opposition to the regime and its allies would be beneficial to continue to ignore this grouping. This approach provides a much less manpower, material resources and time to return control of the regime in the country.


Acquisition regime and its allies from September 30 to October 18, 2015 by the data of the journalist of the German Bild Julian Röpke

Speaking of prioritizing tasks, mode and RF state that any negotiations on the political future of the country is possible only after the victory over terrorism. The irony of this approach lies in the fact that the terrorists they believe all those struggling against the authorities, and that the current Syrian extremism – a symptom of the disease is growing at the expense of the current regime.


The composition of the opposition by the majority of experts included the secular brigade FSA, the organization “Islamic Front”, as well as a radical “Al-Nusra Front.” However, based on the objectives, priorities and methods of each force, part of the opposition, the more correct would be to divide it into two half side – FSA, «Al-Nusra” and plays a buffer role of the “Islamic Front”. Moderate part of the opposition supported by the US, European countries, Turkey and the Arab League.

The objective of the FSA is the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and the creation of conditions for the country’s transition to a democratic political regime. “Al-Nusra Front” shares the task of overthrowing Assad, but the future of Syria, in the view of this organization is much more like that are trying to impose on the territories under their control militants Daishev. Of the same “Islamic Front” ideologically positioned between the FSA and “Al-Nusra”, considering that the Sharia in Syria must be supported by a majority of the Syrians, and because militants outside the IF and plant groups are not forced to Islamic law in the territories under their control.

The main danger for the FSA is the radicalization of the opposition as a whole, which was made ​​possible by Russia’s entry into the war. So, being in rastanovskom “poke” FSA brigades were even forced to make a temporary truce with militants from the “Al-Nusra” by creating joint operative room. In the longer term the need to cooperate for the sake of survival may lead to the fact that the political weight of “Al-Nusra” will allow this organization to become the dominant faction within the whole opposition.


The most famous fighter of “First Coast Division» FSA Abu Hamza shoots from American ATGM TOW, October 15, 2015 (the frame of the video)

FSA to protect against such an outcome can both help from Western countries, and the creation of a political counterweight. That step was the announced October 11, 2015 the formation of a “democratic forces of Syria” (hereinafter – SDF), which consisted of Kurds from YPG / J, some teams FSA, Christians, Assyrians, and Syrian Turkmens. This move was supported by and in Washington, marking the SDF as a key partner in the framework of its new strategy to combat Daishev.

The goal of the US and the US-led coalition included the destruction Daishev deprivation Assad’s government as well as the neutralization of other radical Islamists. Thus, if 12 years ago, such problems are likely to be brought to the ground operation, now the US and its allies are much more cautious, referring to his experience in Iraq.

To solve the first problem of the Western countries for more than a year carried out airstrikes on targets Daishev in Iraq and Syria. As a result of these attacks killed about 10 thousand fighters, but their ranks to make up for this time at the expense of foreign recruits.


As a result, the activity of aviation American coalition can not be considered highly productive, but it is not a meaningless, because without such measures vis viva Daishev would be much more, and without having to disperse and hide from air strikes their activity would not have been so undermined as after January 2015 year.

Other destinations include the arming and training the rebels and the Kurds. If the supply of arms in Washington considered the best overall solution, the preparation proved a failure, and October 9, 2015 the US abandoned this experiment. However, with the formation of SDF Americans have promised to increase the supply of arms to have joined the umbrella of this new structure of the organizations, as well as distribute them air support in the fight against Daishev. The first delivery of the Americans SDF cargo weighing 50 tons had already occurred on October 12.


From outside the US coalition pursuing its own objectives, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Saudi Arabia is actively supplying both teams FSA, and the more radical groups. The main objectives of the Saudis – to increase its influence in the region, opposing such attempts on the part of its main enemy – Iran. They are also interested in political containment “Muslim Brotherhood” and creating the image of the country as the main defender of the Sunni Arabs.

Qatar sees in the existing Syrian crisis, the possibility of using its economic potential to build political power. The main volumes of Qatari aid are Islamists and “Muslim Brotherhood”, which were represented in the Syrian National Council, but under pressure from Western countries, and the subsequent formation of the Syrian National Coalition began to lose his political capital. However, the possibility of Qatar to resolve the conflict in Syria is extremely difficult to name serious, because they choose teams and political forces either lost their positions or taken at the same time help from other countries – for example, the largest of the supported Qatar teams Islamist “Ahfad al -Rasul “to receive assistance and Saudi Arabia, and in 2014 was disbanded altogether.

But the most interesting position of Turkey. On the one hand, Ankara supports the FSA and of the Islamic brigades in the fight against Bashar al-Assad, on the other hand the Turkish authorities at least until July 2015 is not particularly hindered Daishev. The primary “headache” Ankara is the Kurdish question, consisting of three parts.

The first part is the relationship between Ankara and the Turkish Kurds. Over the years, the relationship turned into a bloody guerrilla war from time to time subsided, and the treatment of the Kurdish population is not allowed to constructively solve disagreements. In addition, of the registered political parties in the country, Turkish Kurds are in the majority support of the peoples Democratic Party (HDP), advocates for equal rights for minorities in the country.Her performance in the recent elections have put the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party to the need to negotiate coalition first with the other two major parties of the country – CHP and MHP, and after the failure of the nearly three-month negotiations have led to the escalation of the conflict with the Kurds in the country and, in particular, “Kurdistan Workers Party” (hereinafter – PKK). The goal pursued by Erdogan – to do everything to HDP in the November elections are not won more than 10% of the vote.


The second part – a relationship of Turks and Iraqi Kurds. The latter live in the broad autonomy, without being an independent state, which Ankara is a positive precedent. Therefore, the volume of Turkish investments in Iraqi Kurdistan is thegreatest, and their relations can be called a rather friendly. However, the attitude of the Iraqi Kurds to the Turks become more wary at the same time as the latter continue to bomb PKK positions in northern Iraq.

The third part is a part of Syrian Kurds in the regional balance of forces. The Syrian conflict, during which they were able to prove its political independence, within the meaning of Erdogan is a time bomb – if the Balkanization of Syria will lead to the emergence of an independent Rozhavy, for many Turkish Kurds it could serve as a “bad example.” Hence, the interest grows in weakening Kurdish Erdogan Rozhavy, for which he was “blind eye” to the flow of recruits seeking to join Daishev and repress trade Daishev with Turkish mediators.

Despite the fact that Turkey officially joined the US-led coalition back in July 2015, in August the Turkish Air Force has been applied only three air strikes on targets Daishev. The main objectives of the Turkish pilots to become position of PKK fighters in northern Iraq. It is interesting that the Syrian regime supports the PKK against Turkey, supplying them with arms and money.


The main forces of the Kurds are Rozhavy YPG Brigade and YPJ, who in 2014 were in alliance with parts of the FSA in the operational part of the room, “the Euphrates Volcano”, and from October 2015 formed the basis for the freshly SDF.Support for the Kurds has American coalition, as well as Turkish Kurds from the military wing of the PKK and the Iraqi “Peshmerga”.

Objectives of Syrian Kurds – self-defense, as well as the formation of an independent Kurdish state. The latter is understandable – after all, the Kurds are the biggest nation without its own state. After World War section of the former territories of the Ottoman Empire by the agreement Sykes – Picot ignored their interests, after led to armed insurrection, genocide and other negative factors, destabilizing the region as a whole. For the emergence of the Kurds de jure independent Rozhavy becomes a matter of historical justice and is primarily separates them from the rest of the opposition.


YPG fighter takes position in the destroyed building, July 22, 2015 (photo Rodi Said / Reuters)

Prior to 2015 the Kurds held a defensive strategy, but after the siege Kobanov they chose a different approach. The first attack YPG / J together with the FSA allowed them to inflict serious injury Daishev and prepare the base for further action. Before Raqqa, chosen as the capital of the “Islamic state”, there remains 50 kilometers away, and soon the Kurds are ready to resume their offensive, which, if successful, inflict serious damage on logistics Daishev.


As of early October 2015, the most famous and richest terrorist organization of the world operates in 10 countries. Playing on the contradictions of their opponents, Daishev able in 2014 to establish control over large parts of Syria and Iraq, and despite the US-led coalition air strikes, still represents one of the most influential parties in both conflicts.

Objectives Daishev – establish an Islamic caliphate distorted by Sharia law as well as wreak havoc in the region and more distant countries. Chaos gives rise to radical tendencies, and so the people of al-Baghdadi will seek to “pour oil on the fire” wherever possible. This Daishev attempt to consolidate his power over the Sunnis, trying to present himself as the only legitimate force in their perverted interpretation of Islam. If successful in Syria and Iraq following their expansion objectives will be Jordan and Saudi Arabia.


Areas that Daishev sees as its future land

But for such a consolidation Daishev need to revise their economic policies.According to a recent utёkshemu report on the financial aspects of the organization in the governorate of Deir az-Zaur, major income Daishev – is the proceeds from the sale of oil and gas (27.7%), the payments charged for electricity (3.9%), taxes ( 23.7%) and the weaning of property (44.7%). It is likely that in the territories controlled by terrorists in Iraq will be somewhat different ratio (the percentage of oil and gas sales will be higher, since Daishev in Iraq more buyers). However, such an approach is the weakest Daishev, because soon the local population simply does not have the means that can be taxed or withdraw.And without new territorial gains in the long term it will mean a crisis organization.

But after the beginning of the offensive mode with support for videoconferencing and the subsequent weakening of the Russian opposition Daishev teams could go on the offensive north of Aleppo, and many experts believe that the militants will continue to move westward, is attacking the rebels controlled territory.


In order to solve the Syrian issue should be considered and Iraq. For Daishev there is no concept of borders, and therefore any attempt to deal with the militants “caliphate” in individual countries clearly counterproductive, so to defeat Daishev will need to coordinate actions both in Syria and in Iraq.

Authorities are prudently last game. Factors such as the establishment of a coordination center “4 + 1″ (it included Russia, Syria, Iraq, Iran and “Hezbollah”) in Baghdad, as well as the proposal of Prime Minister Abadi Russian videoconferencing to strike Daishev in Iraq do not remain unnoticed by the American coalition countries. Therefore, the latter will be forced to increase the volume of its aid as the country’s government and the Kurdish “Peshmerga”. In part, this is reminiscent of the policy of North Korea, who played on the contradictions between Beijing and in Moscow 40 years ago, which made ​​it possible to obtain from both countries virtually free assistance.

Domestically, in addition Daishev still remain problems in the relations between the government and the Sunnis, brewing a potential conflict between the “Peshmerga” and Shiites, alongside which the Kurds rebuffed militants Daishev the past two years. But the greatest concern is the crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan, in the political life which involved the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the party “Gorran.” The first two games are the largest political movements in the region, the north-western part which controls the KDP and the southeast – UCS. Confronting these parties resulted in a civil war1994-1998 gg., And at the moment they are made ​​in the coalition (but most important positions held by members of KDP).

Supporters of the party “Gorran,” which has the second highest number of representatives in the Parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan, are dissatisfied with the level of corruption and other abuses of power by the KDP and its leader Massoud Barzani. In this regard, they have organized protests and massacre belonging to the KDP headquarters in the cities of Sulaymaniyah governorates, where the opposition has the greatest impact. If the PDK will not be able to negotiate with the “Goran”, it is fraught with serious political schism in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as the weakening of “Peshmerga”. The problem last that this organization remainspoliticized, so when a serious conflict of political forces in Iraqi Kurdistan and the possible split of the “Peshmerga” into two warring camps.


The clashes of protesters with the police in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, Oct. 8, 2015 (photo NRT)

It will benefit from a similar turn of events Daishev militants which currently maintain control over a huge part of the country. In mid-October 2015, they attacked the Iraqi army under Samarrai, and continued to strengthen the city Ramadi, surrounded by government troops.

Abadi government acts in a more constructive direction, than under his predecessor Maliki, leading reformist policies, and seeking to correct the mistakes of the previous years in relation to the Sunnis. But Abadi and his plans are threatened at the mercy of the Shiites, who are afraid of losing their positions, as well as the commanders of the Shiite militia, yet remain faithful to the government.At the same time it is necessary to solve a number of tasks on improvement of the economy, without which any attempt to unify the country and repel Daishev can go to the dogs.

From Syrian conflict affected millions of people. Score perished long ago moved to the hundreds of thousands, and the four-year ongoing bloodshed spawned the largest migration crisis since World War II.

And if almost everyone is talking about refugees, few people remember that there are still millions of civilians without sustainable access to safe drinking water, food and basic services, including, above all, health care. Providing the latest becomes extremely relevant in light of the October cholera outbreak in Iraq, where, as of October 20, 2015 recorded 1809 cases of infection. The humanitarian disaster that few people want to or even can decide (at least individually), only exacerbated the conflict and the decision by the events of the last month postponed for another few years.


In this situation, it makes no sense to choose the “right” or “wrong” side of the political camp or the Alliance, as the benefit of mankind – as soon as possible to establish a dialogue between the leading countries, and to act not in its geopolitical interests, but for the sake of those who can not leave the combat zone.

360-degree video from the streets of the city of Aleppo, August 2015

But this is not enough coordinated air strikes or ground operations organization. It is necessary to defeat the chaos, despair and oppression, on the basis of which grow and radical forces. It is necessary to create the conditions in which it will hear the voice of all ethnic and religious groups, as prescribed by UN Security Council Resolution number 2118. And, above all, give them the opportunity to start the first conversion. It once had worked for Iraq, and can work again, if the government will be taken the necessary steps to pacify the Sunnis with Shiites and given assurances that after the expulsion Daishev moderate forces will not repeat the fate of the “Sons of Iraq.”

Syria is such a force could be SDF, but their success will be necessary for countries to American coalition with Iran and Russia could come to to agreementsregarding the fate of Bashar al-Assad and Syria as a whole. Also involved in the conflict, countries need to prioritize their objectives in the region, for Russia alone plan or strategy for the US coalition is not enough.


The child goes on a ruined street, Dayr az-Zaur, April 4, 2013 (photo by Khalil Ashawi / Reuters)

The fact that this now seems impossible – in fact, a matter of perspective. After all, few people imagined even a year ago that the international community and Iran will be able to reach agreement on the control of the latter’s nuclear program.Mankind overcome their darkest times it is due to an uneasy alliance and the war in Syria should not be an exception.

PS The author wishes to thank the wonderful people, without whom there would not be this text:

  • many thanks for assistance in the collection of information for all these months, good advice, and editing of the patient;
  • for information support and proofreading – Leo, Ruslan, Cyril and Eugenia Plato;
  • Team Conflict News (Gissuru, Michael, Shura, Julie, Kyle and Stephen) andMartin – for helping to clarify the information;

In Baghdad, still uneasy,


Note : This article is translated just for rich information from the source . is not owner of this article . If you have objection about this article . We will immediately remove it . just drop us email on  [email protected]



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