Friday, July 19, 2013

FSA statement about an al-Qaeda state in northern Syria - fact, rumor or fabrication?

Yesterday, I posted an article and a video about the statement made by FSA officials that al-Qaeda had decided to create an Islamic state in northern Syria.  As posted it "as is" since I did not have the time to comment about it, which is what I want to do today.

The first thing which came to my mind yesterday is that this was probably not true, and that the FSA was trying to spread disinformation about al-Qaeda as a retaliation against the hardening of the anti-FSA stance of al-Qaeda.  Think of it - how likely is it that al-Qaeda would announce the creation of an "al-Qaedastan" right in the middle of the Mashriq knowing full well that this would horrify everybody: not only the majority of the Syrian population, but also Turkey, the Kurds, the US, the EU, NATO, Jordan, the Iraqis, the Iranians and even probably the Saudis and Qatari.  Why?  Because everybody understands that any tract of land on the planet which would officially declare itself to be "al-Qaedastan" would immediately turn itself into a high-priority target for the US military which would literally have to bomb it or risk turning the entire GWOT into a farce (ok, the GWOT is already  farce, but most Americans still do not realize this).  To declare some kind of Islamic Caliphate or Emirate in norther Syria would be phenomenally stupid, really.  You might as well paint a big bullseye on you.

I am aware of the fact that the Chechen insurgents did just that, they declared "Caucasus Emirate", but they did that only in 2007, when they really did not control any meaningful territory.  Before that, when they were in control of some territory they only declared a much more modest "Chechen Republic of Ichkeria".  Which, of course, made much better sense from a PR point of view.

In contrast, the FSA has all the motives to accuse al-Qaeda/al-Nusra of planning to create some kind of Islamic Emirate or Islamic Caliphate in Syria: the hope would be to scare off those who otherwise might support these organizations both directly or indirectly.

In fact, I would argue that even western intelligence services would have a reason to spread such a rumor.  Imagine that you are some NATO intelligence service who came to the conclusion that arming the insurgents (whether FSA or al-Nusra) is extremely dangerous.  You cannot overtly go against your allies or, in some cases, against your own government.  So you start a rumor like that just to sabotage the entire concept.

Finally, needless to say, that the Russians also would immensely benefit from such a rumor too as it would make the insurgency look really terrible.

The only group who does not have an interest in this rumor is, I think, al-Qaeda/al-Nusra & Co.

This being said, I very much hope that this is true.  My personal dream would be to have al-Qaeda declare an Islamic Caliphate not only in Syria, but the entire Middle-East along with a promise to overthrow every single "Kufar" regime in the region beginning with Turkey.  Now that would be fun to watch!!  Alas, I don't believe that the Anglo handlers of these crazies will allow that, even if they wanted to.  But who knows?

Bottom line: I call this a rumor and a deliberate disinformation.

Are there any other opinions on that?

The Saker