In the West, Mosul and Raqqa are not to be hypocritical when it comes to condemning the planned offensive on Idlib and thereby protecting the jihadists. Why is Western politicians – and the media that agree with them – portraying the planned offensive of the Syrian-Iranian-Russian forces on the so-called “rebel stronghold” as disaster and crime?
The United Nations is even warning of the worst humanitarian catastrophe of this century. Idlib is at least partially controlled by al Qaeda fighters and other jihadist militias who have partially withdrawn their families there after being offered a corridor. Of the alleged 3 million people living there, half sought refuge there because they did not want to go to other parts of Syria, be it the areas controlled by Damascus or by the Kurds.
So you are not completely involuntary here. How many jihadist bodies and members of other armed militias live here is a matter of speculation. It is estimated that there are at least 100,000 heavily armed members of armed groups and gangs, including up to 20,000 or 30,000, directly linked to HTS (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham), al-Qaeda, once al-Nusra. They control a large part of the area.
The proportion of their families in the total population is even worse. Maybe half a million? But which are presented by the critics of an offensive as civilians.
Turkey has tried to assemble all the groups in Idlib in the allegedly moderate National Liberation Front (NLF) and bring them out of the line of fire and under their own control. That did not work out, probably because HTS and other jihadist groups are not dependent on Turkey, but (also) supported financially and with weapons by other countries. The main problem may be that the West is not only gaining influence over the groups in the region and preventing the consolidation of the Assad government, but wants to preserve the terrorist slave. Now jihadists can no longer be moved to Syria, with the danger of tens of thousands moving to Turkey or other countries.
As enemies of the enemy Assad and Putin they are indeed as allegedly “moderates” desired, as friends you do not want to take the worshipers and founder of the Caliphs also with you. The alleged commitment to the civilians is aggravated by the fact that Turkey has taken over even those jihadist fighters in militias in order to fight against the true terrorists, that is, against the Kurds. Erdogan accordingly calls for an end to the Idlib offensive to protect the “moderate rebels” who played a crucial role in the “Turkish fight against terrorists in northern Syria”. However, HTS and other Salafist groups do not play along with the calculus of Ankara. Like ISIS in Mosul and Raqqa, they entrench themselves behind the civilians, who hold them hostage and punish every “betrayal”.
And if it is true that Moscow and others suspect that the White Helmets supported by the West are allied with HTS, then the horror images and stories are also staged by them to propagate a fight of the evil against innocent civilians. The offensive against Idlib is not much different from the offensive against Ramada, Mosul or Raqqa, not to speak of the Saudi attacks on Yemen. Fight to the end like in Raqqa and Mosul. A report in Al-Monitor makes it clear again that the western view is clouded. The jihadists for HTS would, as ISIS has done in Mosul and Raqqa, hold civilians hostage and fight to the end: “The bloodier it gets, the better it will increase pressure on the Syrian regime and Russia, stop the fighting and allow the jihadists to keep their enclave. ” Reference is made to an article in the Washington Post, according to which HTS has erected gallows around the province of Idlib to execute traitors, including those who want to negotiate a withdrawal. There is a network of cellars and caves serving as prisons, JAN Violations, which documents allegations against HTS or Jabhat al-Nusra, speak of at least 5 prisons, “some are notorious for torture”. In recent years, around 10,000 people in Idlib have been arrested by the jihadists, and many are believed to have been killed. Idlib has thousands and thousands of those who have immigrated from East Turkistan (Uyghur), Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Europe and America, from non-Arab and Arab countries. They have left their children, their homes, their jobs and their careers behind to look for what Allah has for them and they want to become martyrs. … In the name of Allah we have made a vow and we will crucify anyone who sets down his weapon in this liberated land. It was liberated with the blood of the brave martyrs with whom we may unite Allah, as I ask.
The Egyptian-born HTS sheikh Abu Al-Yaqthan Al-Masri in a sermon on 27 August Meeting of Putin and Erdogan: Hardly a solution conceivable Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are meeting today in Sochi to find a common solution. Erdogan has failed to unite all groups and bring them under Turkish control and wants to receive the jihadist enclave surrounded by Turkish troops. Russia and Syria at least demand a separation between “moderate” and hard jihadists, but Turkey can not do that. Not only has it strengthened the Turkish forces around Idlib, but it also knows the United States and its allies in a Syrian-Russian offensive, at least if an attack, by whatsoever, was to take place with chemical weapons. While Russia is interested in deepening the gap between Turkey and the US, the US has an interest in letting Turkey back away from Russia. It can be assumed that both Russia and the US want to avoid a direct military conflict. Russia and Syria will not be deterred from bringing Idlib under control, and it may even be necessary to split the enclave. US Secretary of State Pompeo had earlier this month admitted that the terrorists in Idlib must be fought. Erdogan also wants to find ways with Putin to fight the terrorists, but wants to prevent the bombing. How to do that remains his secret for the time being, especially since he is obviously not for the creation of humanitarian corridors to let the civilians out of Idlib. Edogan said Turkey would fight all terrorists, including the Kurds, but Turkey would have to bear the political and humanitarian consequences of an offensive. Now 3.5 million Syrians are in Turkey. And he hypocritically emphasized in view of the occupied Syrian territories that Turkey did not want to divide Syria like the other states. Turkey does not have such intentions that Syria should remain a state. And if Iran and Russia say that they have been invited by the Syrian government, then Turkey has been invited by the people, “Dasa is the difference, we do not recognize the regime, we recognize the people.” And because Turkey does not leave suffering people alone, people in Idlib would wear Turkish and not Russian, American, German and French flags. Some, however, also carry the flags of the jihadists. (Florian Rötzer)
translate from german to English by Alfonso