by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 8, Muharram, 1439)
The US-Zionist-Saudi-sponsored takfiri project is finally on the verge of collapse. For more than three years, these mercenaries masquerading as “Islamic warriors” have caused havoc in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and beyond. Now their tent is being folded as the Iraqi and Syrian armies continue mopping up operations reclaiming vast areas from their control.
The takfiris’ reverses began late last year when they were driven out of Aleppo in December 2016 in what was seen as a huge psychological blow. Its military significance was also not lost on their backers. This occurred soon after the Iraqi army drove them out of the eastern part of Mosul in October. Since then, all of Mosul has been liberated from their clutches. The last remnants of the takfiris were driven out on July 8, 2017.
It is, however, in Syria that the takfiri presence posed the greatest threat. Backed, financed, trained, and armed by the US and its European allies, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, and Israel, the aim was to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Asad. Syria is a vital link in the supply chain to Hizbullah in Lebanon to confront the Zionist entity. The imperialist-Zionist-Saudi plan was to break this chain by decapitating al-Asad’s government.
With the help of its allies Iran, Hizbullah, and Russia, the Syrian government and army have systematically defeated the foreign-sponsored mercenaries and bottled them up in a tiny sliver of territory comprising no more than 20% of Syria, most of it in the countryside. Their last stronghold at Raqqa is also about to be liberated, although the US continues to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs by supporting Syrian Kurdish groups to grab the city. According to latest reports, the myriad takfiri groups have been driven out of 90% of Raqqa.
Last month, the Syrian army broke the three-year-long siege of Deir al-Zour. It was here that the US bombed a Syrian air force base killing more than 100 Syrian soldiers in September 2016. At first, the US denied carrying out the attack; then its story changed and said it would investigate, finally settling for the statement that it was a “mistake.”
The US and its allies are in Syria illegally. The Syrian government has not given them permission to enter its territory. They are violating Syria’s sovereignty but since the Syrian government is not in a position to confront them militarily, the foreign invaders continue with their illegal acts. Their project, however, has been frustrated thanks to the determination of Iran, Hizbullah, Russia, and the Syrian army and people. The vast majority of Syrian people support the government because the alternative — the takfiris and their head-chopping zealots — is too gruesome to contemplate. They would rather live under al-Asad’s rule, for now.
This is also the conclusion the resistance has drilled into the heads of rulers in the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Foreign meddling has been delivered a blow. The terrible trio no longer parrots the demand that “Asad must go’.” They have been forced to admit that he cannot be overthrown by force. This message has also been conveyed, in clear terms, to the Syrian opposition groups that were waiting in the wings to take over when al-Asad’s government falls. Their foreign sponsors have told them to get used to al-Asad remaining in power.
Now that the imperialists and Zionists and their regional puppets have been sufficiently chastened and frustrated in their plans, attention has turned to minimizing their losses. Some of them — Bani Saud and Bani Israel — are feeling distinctly uncomfortable. They fear the staying power of the resistance front and they know there will be a price to pay for the crimes they have committed in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen.
Unfortunately, the takfiris and their sponsors have caused immense damage to the infrastructure of Iraq and Syria. Add to that the destruction of Yemen at the hands of Bani Saud, and it will be decades before these countries are able to recover.
It is, however, another kind of damage that the takfiris have inflicted on the world of Islam that will be hard to repair quickly. Their real crime is that they have distorted the message and, therefore, the image of Islam so badly. It is an unforgivable crime.
This gives a clue to their real motives, or those of their sponsors and handlers operating from behind the scenes. Hitherto, the imperialists and Zionists had launched direct wars on Muslim countries. First it was Afghanistan (the Americans are still there and do not want to leave despite being defeated militarily); then they moved to Iraq and later attacked Lebanon (2006) followed by Syria and Yemen. While most of these countries have suffered huge infrastructure damage, the imperialists and Zionists have not succeeded in their political or strategic objectives.
Afghanistan is far from subdued. The Taliban have not been vanquished; instead the world’s self-proclaimed sole superpower with the highest military budget in the world has been militarily humiliated even if the Americans do not want to admit it publicly except in an oblique way. “We cannot win but we won’t let the Taliban win either,” is how US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put it following Trump’s announcement of a troop surge in Afghanistan at the end of July.
Iraq is no longer under US control. It has moved closer to Iran — the very opposite of what the Washington warlords had planned when the US invaded the country in 2003 using a completely false pretext (the Washington warlords should be tried for war crimes). In Lebanon, Hizbullah gave the Zionist invaders a bloody nose in 2006 leaving them deeply traumatized. Syria has delivered an even greater blow.
Further, Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria has provided the resistance group battlefield experience that will be extremely helpful should the Zionists again blunder in attacking Lebanon. Hizbullah has also streng-thened its hand in the divided Lebanese political landscape as was apparent from the election of Michel Aoun as president. Hizbullah backed him but his election was delayed for many years because the pro-Saudi, pro-American Saad Hariri group was blocking it. Hariri ultimately realized the futility of his stance and has since reconciled with Aoun and Hizbullah.
When the imperialists and Zionists failed in their direct military assault project, they resorted to creating terrorist groups that have wreaked havoc in the countries where they are involved. And they have done all this in the name of Islam. Using the legitimate grievances of people, these groups were unleashed in several countries. The consequences of their brutal actions have been the total destruction of these societies leaving people in even worse condition than before. It will take decades before any of these countries are able to recover to their pre-war level development or prosperity.
By adopting the name, the “Islamic State,” they linked Islam with their barbaric practices. There is ample proof that the name “Islamic State” was chosen for them by the enemies of Islam. It is not difficult to understand why. For Muslims, living in an Islamic state is a fundamental obligation. If an Islamic state does not exist, Muslims must strive to establish one. By inflicting such horrors on the people — throat slittings in public and setting people on fire — they created a horrible image of the Islamic state; most Muslims, indeed most people in the world recoiled in horror. If this is what an Islamic state would look like, they wanted to have nothing to do with it, and this was the desired impact as choreographed by the imperialists, Zionists, and their Wahhabi-Saudi tag-alongs.
True, it has now become known that the Israeli Mossad and American CIA agents perpetrated most of the horrific acts — at the end of August a Mossad agent, Ephraim Benjamin was captured in Benghazi, Libya. He had become a top commander of Da‘ish, according to the Hebrew website, Inian Merkazi. The activities of such intelligence agents attracted many gullible Muslim youth into their ranks. Their lives have been ruined because there are no prospects for their return and rehabilitation into any of the Western societies from where they went to join the ranks of the murderous thugs.
There are important lessons in the bloodletting of the last seven years for Muslims everywhere. First, relying on the imperialists and Zionists and their local proxies is a recipe for disaster. These entities are not interested in restoring the rights of the oppressed Muslims. Second, for Muslims to resort to sectarianism is ultimately self-destructive. It may rile up some people in the short term but its consequences for Muslims generally are negative.
If Muslims are sincere in establishing the Islamic state, then they cannot do so by seeking the help of the enemies of Allah (swt). They must turn to the noble Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah and Sirah to seek guidance. Any other path would only lead to death and destruction.