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29.03.2017 - 17: 03

"Jihadists" carry the war in Syria city

Last week was marked by a sharp increase in terrorist activity around the cities of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and the advent of militant groups, "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham '(its basis is made by troops of the former" Dzhabhat en-Nusra ") in the Syrian capital. For this aggravation is seen a clear desire jihadis and those who support them from abroad, not only to disrupt the peace process, which is sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran, but also to participate in the division of spheres of influence in Syria, imposing on the country a model section of power and territory.

Over the past two months in Damascus and Homs took place four on an unprecedented scale terrorist attacks. In late January, two suicide bomber blew himself in the neighborhood of Kafr Sousa Damascus that killed 11 people. 25 February during suicide attacks 32 people were killed in Homs, including the head of Syrian military intelligence, General Hassan Daabulya close to Bashar al-Assad. During the terrorist attack he had been wounded even one of the leaders of the Syrian intelligence services, Brigadier General Ibrahim Darwish. 11 March as a result of the terrorist attack in Damascus Bab Saghir district killed 74 people, including 43 Shiite pilgrims from Iraq. This area is famous for the fact that there is a world famous Shiite tomb of Sayyida Zeinab. Finally, in March 15 bombing occurred at the Palace of Justice in Damascus, as a result of which he was killed and the wounded man 31 60. A few hours later there was an explosion in the Damascus district of Al-Rabwah.

You may notice that the jihadist tactics in Syria is changing. They are less and less hope of success on the battlefield and carry the war to the cities, making its main target the civilian population and the Syrians trying to prove that the government is unable to ensure their safety. During the six years of war, Damascus remained an island of relative calm in the sea of ​​the Syrian unrest. Now the terrorists are trying to change this picture. Something similar is observed in Iraq. As the establishment of the Iraqi government control of Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul attacks in eastern Baghdad began to thicken, become more ambitious. One of the ideologists of the forbidden in the Russian terrorist "Islamic state" (IG), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who died in October 2016, shortly before his death urged to take the war to the streets "crusaders" of cities, ie in Europe. Prior to European cities clutches of terrorists still really has not held, but the fighting has extended to the streets of Baghdad and Damascus.

Activation of suicide bombings coincided with the emergence in the south of Syria's most famous living ideologues of jihad, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. His real name - Isam Mohammed al-Barkaui. He was born in 1959, in Nablus in Palestine, he lived in Kuwait, studied at the University of Mosul (Iraq), and in Saudi Arabia. At the end of 1980-ies he participated with Osama bin Laden in the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. There, he met and became friends with Abu Musab Zarqawi, who later became the first leader of "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia." In the 1995-1999 year Maqdisi with Zarqawi served time in a Jordanian prison. Zarqawi was accused of organizing bombings in Amman a few hotels, and Maqdisi that was their ideological inspiration. In the early 2000-ies Maqdisi was back in prison. By the time he was involved in developing the concept of supremacy of individual terrorism with the use of suicide bombers. In the 2009, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi has received a five-year term after an interview with "Al Jazeera", in which he urged jihadists to go to Afghanistan to participate in the war against US troops. After his release from prison, he moved to Syria, where he had a strong influence on the activities of the group "Islamic State."

Since the end of the year 2016 Maqdisi is already in force in the south of Syria, where the patron of "Army Halida Ibn Walid." This armed group Islamic militants named in honor of the legendary commander of the first years of the Arab Caliphate, overrode Syria Arabs and Islam was spreading there. After the appearance of the "Army Halida Ibn Walid 'action fighters in the south of Syria, particularly in the province of Deraa, have become much more audacious and well-coordinated. Before 2016 in the south of the country was dominated by the so-called forces of the Southern Front, an umbrella structure, ward Jordanian security services and brings together up to 60 small armed opposition groups the moderate wing. However, since the fall of the year 2016 radicals have come to dominate here. With the advent of Maqdisi in southern Syria significantly improved funding jihadists. Currently, each fighter gets to 350 dollars a month, which is higher than in competing organizations. There is no doubt that by the activation of the militants in the south of Syria had a hand in foreign forces. Perhaps this is Saudi Arabia and Qatar dissatisfied with the fact that they actually pushed from the negotiations in Astana and their henchmen can get around in the settlement process.

Another manifestation of the increased activity of jihadist attack on Damascus was undertaken 21 of March. Militants from the organization "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham" in the amount of two and a half thousand people have made a breakthrough in the metropolitan districts and jobaria Kabun and reached the Abbasid Square, located two kilometers from the historic center of Damascus. The invasion was accompanied by a massive rocket attacks peaceful neighborhoods. Recall that the group "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham" has arisen in the end of January this year, after the split of the "Ahrar al-Sham", where the most radical part of it came out from under Turkish custody and joined the former "Dzhabhat en-Nusra", declaring uncompromising war on both the Syrian government and more moderate factions. This attack was unprecedented in scope and impudence. Before that, for six years, militants have never been able to invade the Syrian capital; fighting occurred in the outskirts of Damascus, but the situation in the city remained relatively calm, there has accumulated about three million people who fled from the horrors of war from other parts of the country. Damascus streets, even in the most difficult days were crowded with people, they walked brisk trade. And after the recent attacks and rocket attacks on the central areas of the Syrian capital for the first time a few days emptied.

The escalation of terrorist activity in the metropolitan area suggests that the forces seeking by all means to disrupt talks on Syria, does not intend to renounce it. They insist on the withdrawal of Syrian troops and all foreign volunteers, including units of the movement "Hezbollah"; while in the "jihadis" ranks continue to fight many foreign volunteers and foreign instructors are.

A source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Author: Aleksandr Kuznetsov

Tags: Syria, the war in the Middle East, terrorism, militants, al-Qaeda, the Middle East, analysts