Syrian terror groups working for the Assad regime

The Arabic News Digest, compiled and translated by The National, reports: None of the Syrian regime’s achievements matches its fabrication of the fundamentalist-terrorist groups that it pretends to fight and protect the Syrians from, opposition figure Michel Kilo wrote in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

Such radical organisations did not exist in Syria before the revolution. The regime decided to create them, with the most successful one being the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the writer said.

The ISIL has offered valuable services to the Syrian regime. It has undermined the Free Syrian Army (FSA), taken areas controlled by it and subjected the citizens to sectarian tyranny. This has started to persuade the people to accept a return to Mr Al Assad’s dictatorship, he added.

The ISIL has also undermined the people and groups who began the revolution, and which the regime’s intelligence services could not counter initially.

Civil forces, particularly the Union of Syrian Democrats, that are struggling to keep the goal of democracy alive, have also been weakened by the ISIL. The Union of Syrian Democrats was created by a variety of civil organisations and figures in an attempt to provide a unified political platform that reflects the wide civil and democratic grassroots groups that want an end to division among democracy advocates.

Since its inception at the hands of outsiders, the ISIL has targeted areas that had already been liberated by the FSA, which left those places to fight in others. The ISIL had only a few overseas fighters in the beginning, so they took as their base Ar-Raqqah city after violently forced out the FSA.

After crushing The Grandsons of the Messenger and The Eagles of the North using car bombs, the ISIL has threatened other organisations to provide it with fighters and its share of the spoils of war or else it would destroy them.

Moreover, the ISIL has issued religious edicts declared as apostates the FSA, the Syrian National Coalition, the democrats, and Islamists who reject its methods, threatening to kill all of them – and have killed or arrested some.

They have also terrified non-Muslims by kidnapping Christian priests including bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi and Father Paolo.

Finally, the ISIL has sought to win over the population using food assistance, and fighters using money and weaponry. In particular, it has recruited the regime’s Shabiha militias and embarked on hunting down the FSA, the democrats and journalists using lists provided by the regime’s intelligence services.

Syrian forces fighting for freedom must not be blamed for the acts of the ISIL, which is only fighting the enemies of Al Assad regime and the principles they are battling for, the writer concluded.

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