ARA News – Exclusive
Aleppo, Syria – With the militarization of the Syrian revolution in summer of 2011, many armed groups emerged to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The majority of Syria rebel groups joined the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to carry out organized operations against headquarters of the pro-Assad military forces.
However, the continuity of the armed conflict across the country led to rifts among the rebels groups, mainly concerning the efficiency of the operations and the ideological influences. Several brigades and battalions with so-called “moderate Islamic thoughts” established the Islamic Front in northern Syria, which operates as an extended umbrella to more than ten rebel groups. The Front mainly operates in Aleppo, Idlib, Damascus countryside and some western Syrian areas.
In an exclusive interview with ARA News, Islam Alloush, spokesman of the Islamic Front, talked about the latest developments among the Front’s rebels and their military operations against the pro-Assad army and militants of the Islamic State (IS), beside the current phase of the Syrian rebellion.
Alloush first talked about the “right track” of “the Syrian revolution” where “it was obvious from the very beginning that it will liberate people from slavery and injustice practised by al-Assad regime”.
“The regime committed a lot of atrocities such as imprisoning, torturing, repressing and manipulating laws as well as building coalitions with anti-Syrian people countries,” he said.
According to Alloush, Syria rebels defeated militants of the Islamic State (IS) in Damascus.
“We completely squelched the Islamic State (al Qaeda splinter group, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ‘ISIL’) in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus countryside,” spokesman of the Islamic Front said.
“We completely cleansed Idlib and Aleppo from IS militants. We are working on striking this extremist group in other areas of Syria,” Alloush stated to ARA News.
He also pointed out that the percentage of lands “liberated” from the regime is bigger than the regime-held areas, which is “a strong indication of victory, although we did not achieve the main goal yet”.
Politically, Alloush believes that Syria lacks real political representatives, “as we have various agendas and internal, regional and international disputes among the different parties”.
Talking about the power of the al-Qaeda offshoot of the Islamic State, following the delivery of weapons from Iraq, Alloush said: “Media exaggerates about IS group. In Iraq, they are not that strong and rather non-organized according to our informed sources.”
“Throughout history, Khawarij (supporters of Ali ibn Abi Talib) did not succeed in building a state. Hence, we believe that they will fail regardless of the magnitude of their weapons,” he added.
Regarding the recent battles between rebels and Syrian army in Damascus suburbs, Alloush stressed that the rebels of the Islamic Front achieved considerable advance last week.
“We aim to proceed and progress to bring down al-Assad regime in Syria, and Damascus is our ultimate target,” Allosh said.
As for the sporadic clashes between the Front and the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, Alloush stressed: “We should not mix between the Kurds and Kurdish factions which repress them (in reference to the YPG).”
“Kurds are an important component of the Syrian society. The Kurdish people have a great history in Syria. We are one; there are no differences between us except for some traditions and customs,” Alloush told ARA News.
He also referred to the Charter of the Islamic Front “that talked positively about the Kurds”, clarifying that Kurds have their representatives in the Front.
Addressing the General Staff of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), spokesman of the Islamic Front said: “They (FSA General Staff) are good when they serve the interests of Syrians. They should avoid deviance from the revolutionary track not to become a tool in hands of regional and international powers.”
“The FSA General Staff should not ignore the prioritization of military, societal and political goals.”
According to Alloush, many governmental employees support the “Syrian revolution”.
“Pro-revolution employees who still work for the Syrian government are powerless and out of the decision-making circles. We understand that the majority of those people are in need for that monthly salary from the authorities, so we never blame them to continue working in their institutions. However, those who still send their children to join Assad army should understand that they are facilitating Assad’s killing machine against Syrians.
Concluding his interview with ARA News, spokesman of the Islamic Front rebel body referred to the difficulty of getting funds for their long-term battles against Assad regime and the Islamic State militants, quoting Ibn Khaldun: “Kings have no glory without men, men have no glory without fortune.”
Interviewed by: ARA News
For the latest news follow us on Twitter
Join our Weekly Newsletter