Middle East: Stages of “Islamic State” formation

 

Editor’s note: Rebuilding the world is a whole field of warfare in itself. ISIL is one of the most powerful instruments of erasing state borders by violence and blood that has been created after World War II. ISIL shows all signs of being not just Islamist, but fascist. Slavery and paganism are just a few of the indicators. ISIL is also heavily aided by Turkey: Turkey is training ISIL militants, funds ISIL by buying its oil, Turkey is even proposing to open the embassy (sic!) of ISIL in Istanbul on the eve of Paris terror attacks… And Turkey downed the Russian jet that was bombing ISIL oil tank trucks. As we can see, Ukraine, Turkey, ISIL, Middle East are all a part of a certain picture, of a new fascist world order that Russia tries to stop by supporting the right of nation states on sovereignty. The study of world-rebuilding warfare will help us see a part of this picture more clearly. We will start by studying ISIL.

 

Obviously, one of the directions of the expansion and entrenchment of ISIL is Libya. Another direction of the activity of the “Islamic State” is Saudi Arabia.

 

Today the main political process for all of the Middle East and Northern Africa is the creation and the explosive growth of the so-called new caliphate. That same “new caliphate” which was recognized by the world as a real force after Syrian and other Islamists, who attacked Bashar al-Assad, managed to quite powerfully spread out in Iraq, creating the so-called “Islamic State” (IS).

The global mass media are overloaded with daily reports on the activities of this “Islamic State”. At the same time, the primary trait of this new quasi-state formation that catches the eye is extreme violence against any population which ISIL engages in contact.

This violence is meaningful. It is born from the principal conviction of the creators of the “Islamic State” that the existing modern states of the Middle East (as well as the states of the Muslim world as a whole) have no right for existence whatsoever. From the point of view of the extreme caliphatism, these states themselves are parasites infecting the body of the true state, meaning, the caliphate.

In that case, one mustn’t beat around the bush when it comes to parasites. “If you don’t exterminate the parasites — you won’t build a new caliphate” — based on such policy ISIL contraposes its own model against the current flawed structure of the macro-region.

Territorial composition of the “Islamic State”

The “Islamic State” is divided into wilayahs (provinces) in terms of territorial administration.

Currently six central wilayahs are formed inside IS:

(Editor’s note: the article was originally published on March 4, 2015. Iraq and Syria live and continue their war against ISIL militants to this day, despite the wants of Turkey, Qatar, the USA and other creators of ISIL. There were certain victories on the front. The information on the territorial composition, nevertheless, remains a valuable source of information for everyone interested in how ISIL works and how it can be stopped. The large ISIL attack against Syria started in April 2015, which is why the territorial composition described below mostly covers Iraq).

The leader of the Iranian Quds force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani reportedly took up a prominent role in both the planning & execution of the offensive to liberate Tikrit from ISIL. Quds is a special forces unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards

The leader of the Iranian Quds force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani reportedly took up a prominent role in both the planning & execution of the offensive to liberate Tikrit from ISIL. Quds is a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

1) Saladin wilayah (a province in northern Iraq, the administrative center of which is Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein) (as of February 4, 2016 Tikrit is not under ISIL control. It was liberated by Iraqi forces in early April 2015 – Editor).

2) Kirkuk wilayah. One of the largest oilfields in the world is found in Kirkuk. In addition, this is the territory where Kurds traditionally live. These reasons are enough to turn Kirkuk city into a zone of endless violent conflicts between the units of the “Islamic State” and Kurdish self-defense units (Peshmerga). Kurdish units persistently hold Kirkuk, however, this doesn’t prevent ISIL from naming their province neighboring Kurdish territories like this (the territories are still controlled by ISIL as of February 4, 2016. They didn’t capture the city, though. The fighting continues – Editor).

3) Middle Euphrates wilayah.

4) Border wilayah. This is how the border zone between Syria and Iraq is indicated in IS territorial system.

5) Anbar wilayah — meaning the territory where Sunni tribes opposed to Baghdad traditionally live (Iraqi forces have recaptured Ramadi in January 2016, however, significant fighting continues as of February 4, 2016 – Editor).

6) Baghdad wilayah — territories referring to the suburbs of Baghdad.

In addition to this trans-border territory captured in Iraq and Syria, “Islamic State” already marks two new prospective wilayahs outside the zone described above.

In autumn 2014 the head of the “Islamic State” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi urged the kindred organizations in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria to swear allegiance to the caliphate.

Such claims could have been considered as Utopian, however, two wilayah enclaves separated from the Syria-Iraqi zone of ISIL control have actually appeared in the middle of autumn of 2014.

Map of the war against ISIL as of February 3, 2016. Dark purple marks territories controlled by Iraq; pink - territories controlled by the Syrian government; dark grey - territories controlled by ISIL. White - controlled by al-Nusra; green - by other anti-government armed groups

Map of the war against ISIL as of February 3, 2016. Dark purple marks territories controlled by Iraq; pink – territories controlled by the Syrian government; dark grey – territories controlled by ISIL. White – controlled by al-Nusra; green – by other anti-government armed groups; dark and light yellow are the territories controlled by Syrian and Iraqi Kurds; blue – territories controlled by Hezbollah; orange – by the Lebanese government. Click on the image to zoom

The so-called Derna wilayah had appeared on the shores of the Mediterranean in Libya. In October the representatives of tribes from Misrata, al-Avakir and Ubeydat have swore allegiance to “caliph” al-Baghdadi, having violently suppressed the protest of those who disagreed. The whole process was accompanied by ISIL representatives who had been sent to Derna for this exact purpose. The main facility around which the forces that recognized IS entrenched was the airport — the main channel for communicating with the “big” ISIL territory.

After this the creating of the so-called Sinai wilayah was announced in Egypt. In early November 2014 the Sinai-based radical gang Ansar Bait al-Maqdis swore allegiance to the “Islamic State” and its leader (the gang had followed the Libyan example and suppressed those who disagreed by executions) (one year later this Sinai-based terrorist organization claimed responsibility for bombing the Russian passenger aircraft which departed from Sharm el-Sheikh to Pulkovo airport in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, on October 31, 2015, murdering all 199 adults and 25 children on board – Editor).

Flowers to the victims of the terrorist attack over Sinai. November 7. Entrance to Pulkovo airport, Saint-Petersburg, where the passenger plane down by Sinai-based ISIL terrorist was supposed to land.

Flowers to the victims of the terrorist attack over Sinai. November 7, 2015. Entrance to Pulkovo airport, Saint-Petersburg, where the passenger plane bombed by Sinai-based ISIL terrorist was supposed to land.

IS and “Al-Qaeda”: Building the alliance

The gigantic and not yet fully digested resource for structural and territorial building of IS is “Al-Qaeda”. Especially considering the fact that IS is the ideological heir of this terrorist organization.

Just recently, in mid-February 2015, the “Islamic State” and its leader have accepted the allegiance of one of the key terrorist groups of the Middle East — “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP). It is necessary to emphasize that this division of “Al-Qaeda”, the Yemen AQAP, is an aristocracy of a kind in the community of terrorist structures. It is this part of “Al-Qaeda” that was the basis of bin Laden in the early stage of the activity of the organization. It is this part of the organization that committed those first anti-American terrorist acts even before 9/11, when the latter made a name for “Al-Qaeda”. And, finally, it is part of the organization took the responsibility for the high-profile terrorist act against “Charlie Hebdo” in January 2015.

It is necessary to note the fact that just recently the Yemen “Al-Qaeda” was a decisive opponent of the politics of the “Islamic State”, and was sympathetic of the Syrian armed group “Jabhat al-Nusra”, the most combat-capable core which opposes Damask. At the same time such drastic change of the attitude of the core of “Al-Qaeda” towards the self-proclaimed “caliphate” was caused not by the strength of the ideology, or military skill, or the terrorist acts of the latter, but by the effectiveness of the American military hardware.

On January 31, 2015, the most irreconcilable opponent of IS, a senior Shariah court official of Yemen AQAP Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari was assassinated by an American drone. This weakened AQAP so much that it had to engage in an alliance with IS to get stronger again. Two weeks after al-Nadhari’s death, AQAP swore an oath of allegiance to the “new caliphate”. The oath literally said: “We reject the oath of allegiance to the great warrior of faith and religious scholar Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri and swear an oath of allegiance to the caliph of the true believers Ibrahim bin Awad al-Baghdadi“.

After the above described turn in the fate of the Yemen “Al-Qaeda”, the fact of reorientation of the Middle Eastern cores of “Al-Qaeda” towards the “Islamic State” can be considered if not set, then significantly advanced.

Territories marked as white are controlled by AQAP; grey - controlled directly by ISIL.

Territorial situation in Yemen as of February 3, 2016. Territories marked as white are controlled by AQAP; grey – controlled directly by ISIL.

But the oaths of separate structures of “Al-Qaeda” to IS is one thing, the relations between IS and “Al-Qaeda” as a whole is a whole different thing.

On February 2, 2014 the leaders of “Al-Qaeda” rejected ISIL: “ISIL [“Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, later — “Islamic State] is not a division of the “Al-Qaeda” group. We are not connected to it organizationally in any way and bear no responsibility for its actions.

However, by the end of October 2014 the Syrian “Al-Qaeda” (known as “Jabhat al-Nusra”) and the “Islamic State) (already IS) have managed to reach some agreements and declared that they will merge. Now, after AQAP swore an oath of allegiance to the “new caliphate” in February 2015, we can speak of the new possibilities that IS received. Indeed, such transformations have occurred in three key regional divisions of “Al-Qaeda” — in Iraq, Syria and the Arabian peninsula — that military, organizational and personnel resources of “Al-Qaeda” are now being included in building the “Islamic State”. Which means that IS receives new possibilities for growth and expansion.

The upcoming directions of IS expansion

The most recent tragic events show that one of the directions of expansion and entrenchment of IS is Libya.

A new video address of IS militants with a demonstration of the execution of prisoners had appeared online in the mid-February 2015. The title of the video material is telling: “A message to the peoples of the cross written in blood”. This way, the declaration of war of annihilation was addressed specifically to the Christian world. The video shows the execution of Egyptian Christians on the shore of the Mediterranean, near the Libyan city of Tripoli. The representative of the group of executioners informed that the “Islamic State” which had previously fought in Syria and Iraq is now launching active military combat in Libya.

Current military situation in Libya: Dark grey is under the control of ISIL and Ansar al-Sharia. Other colors represent the sides of the civil war in Libya which started after the bombing of Libya by the West in 2011.

Current military situation in Libya as of January 5, 2016: Dark grey area is under the control of ISIL and Ansar al-Sharia. Derna can be found on the north-east, a small patch of land separated from the new territories of ISIL around Sirte. Other colors represent the sides of the current civil war in Libya which started after the Libyan statehood was destroyed by Western bombings of the country in 2011.

Another direction of the activity of the “Islamic State” directly involved Saudi Arabia. It is known that IS doesn’t feel the due reverence towards the relic-bearing country and intends to at least problematize (or completely undermine) the existing status of this state in the Muslim world. As one of the leaders of IS, Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi, declared in June 2014, “people don’t visit Kaaba to pray. They commit idolatry in Mecca. I swear by Allah, if we reach Saudi Arabia, we will destroy Kaaba.” It is important to note that such an abnormal claim evidences of the intent to completely destroy the whole structure of the Muslim world, up to its load-bearing pillars.

Pilgrims performing Tawaf (circumambulating) the Kaaba. This picture was taken from the gate of Abdul Aziz. Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim. GFDL 1.2 distribution license.

Pilgrims performing Tawaf (circumambulating) the Kaaba. This picture was taken from the gate of Abdul Aziz.

photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim. GFDL 1.2 distribution license.

 

From what was said above we may draw conclusions on what are the main stages of preparation of reformatting the Middle East and a part of Africa in the vein of caliphatism.

The stages of development of the jihadi hotbeds of Middle East and Africa

The “Arab Spring” and the wars in Iraq that preceded it played the most important part in preparation for the reformatting. These processes undermined the stability of the states in the region. How did it happen?

Stage 1. Extreme weakening of the state of Iraq as a result of the series of military campaigns of the Western coalition in this country.

A reaction and a result — the forming of the strongest “Al-Qaeda” cell in the region on the territory of Iraq. The entrenchment of this cell on Iraq territory.

Stage 2. The period of the “Arab Spring”.

A) The destruction of the Libyan state and the simultaneous gathering of Libyan radical groups around the core based on “Al-Qaeda” personnel. The entrenchment of this core on Libyan territory.

B) The beginning of the “Arab Spring” in Syria and the forming of “Al-Qaeda” core against the backdrop of the actions of the armed opposition.

Stage 3. The influence of processes of the “Arab Spring” on African countries.

Forming of the enclaves influenced by “Al-Qaeda” (or groups close to “Al-Qaeda”) in African countries — Mali, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria. Their territorial entrenchment. The appearance of a kind of “reserves of ‘Al-Qaeda’ ” in different countries of the Middle East and Africa, with their ability to unite into a single system at the right time in mind.

Stage 4. The beginning of a new series of jihadi transformations — again from Iraq. The transformation of Iraqi “Al-Qaeda” into an IS embryo. The appearance of the organizational core of the “new caliphate”.

Stage 5. Adding Syria — with its “Al-Qaeda” division — to the core of the “new caliphate”.

The emergence of a trans-border quasi-state system.

Stage 6 — current. The oaths of allegiance to the “new caliphate” by different jihadi groups of the region. The readiness of “Al-Qaeda” of the Arabian Peninsula and Libya to transform into a part of IS.

Stage 7 — expected to happen eventually, in the case of successful development of the main core of IS in the Middle East. The transformation of the “reserves” of “Al-Qaeda” into more or less prepared fragments and acting cores of the “Islamic State”. This stage is ready to be launched in Libya and is about to be launched in the Arabian peninsula.

New stages of the formation of the caliphatist quasi-state lie ahead. The clearer will be the understand of their consistency and logic, the clearer will be the necessary strategy of resistance.

Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/?p=5211

 

This is the translation of an article (first published in “Essence of Time” newspaper issue 117 on March 4, 2015) by Maria Podkopayeva of a series on rebuilding of Middle East and Africa by the West. This rebuilding was launched to give rise to the most violent and bloody regime, such as IS “caliphate”, which is supposed to eventually attack and conquer Russia, China and Europe.

 

We encourage republishing of our translations and articles, but ONLY with mentioning the original article page at eu.eot.su (link above).
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