Monday, November 11, 2013

The majority of journalists (if not all), who are reporting about the revolution in Syria, confuse between Jabhet al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq & Levant, as they view both of them as a branch of al-Qaeda. For that reason ,  I decided to clear this up in this blog .

First of all it is important to explain the mechanism that take for a faction to be part of al-Qaeda franchise. This is normally valid after an exchange of pledging allegiances 'Bay'ah' between the 'emir' or Chef of a faction and the current leader of al-Qaeda

This incident happened many times, as it occurred with al-Shabab al-Mujahdin faction in Somalia , with al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia in Iraq and recently with the Chef of Jabhet al-Nusra faction "al-Fateh al-Jolani". However, there is no return public Bay'ah by Dr. al-Zawahri  to Jabhet al-Nusra yet. On the other hand ,this was not the case with Islamic State of Iraq or later with Islamic State of Iraq & Levant whom did not give 'Bay'ah' to Dr. al-Zawahri .

As a consequence of this Bay'ah, recently a modified banner start circulating by Jabhet al-Nusra members hold additional texts "al-Qaeda Organization in Levant" or "Qaedet al-Jihad in Levant".

It also started to be seen in their announcements:

As this could indicate that Dr. al-Zawahri  already gave a private 'Bay'ah' and probably a public one is about to be given.
On 8th of November 2013, Abu Mohamad al-Fateh , Chef of Kataib Shabab al-Huda, announced on his twitter account (@AboMHDAlFateh) an agreement between twenty two armed rebellion groups, in east Ghota outskirts of Damascus, to assign one Sharia'a judge "Sheikh Abd al-Aziz al-Uyon" for judicial affairs. The agreement mentioned also forming a judicial body to solve judicial issues between civilians and also militants according to Islamic rules.

The signatory factions:
1-   Council of Mujadeen of Duma
2-   Islamic Union of Ajnad al-Sham
3-   The revolution's security forces
4-   Liwaa al-Farooq Omar
5-   Liwaa of Duma's martyrs
6-   Kata'aib  Shabab al-Huda
7-   Revolutionaries of east Ghota
8-   Liwaa lions of Allah
9-   Liwaa lions of Ghota
10- Liwaa Abu Musa al-Asha'ary
11- Liwaa Um al-Qura
12- Liwaa Abi Zar al-Ghafary
13- Commander of Amjad Duma's gathering
14- Katibait Arbin's Maryters
15- Liwaa Ghota's Maryters
16- Liwaa companions's grandsons
17- Commander of the military revolutionary council of east Ghota
18- Katibait Issa bin Mariam
19- Kata'aib Hamzah the lion of Allah
20- Brigades of al-Habib al-Mustafa
21- Kata'aib Ismail To'mah
22- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)

Few remarks regarding the signatory factions are:
1- Some important factions were missing in the agreement, such as Jaish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham & Jabhet al-Nusra.
2- The agreement included few but influential local factions such as (Kata'aib  Shabab al-Huda, Katibait Issa bin Mariam, Brigades of al-Habib al-Mustafa), which could give the agreement some value.
3- For the first time for such an agreement, it included the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). For the record, this could be a turning in ISIS policy as they previously refused to work with common Sharia'a bodies.