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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Evacuation of a Caliphate: will ISIS change the deployment of

Responsibility for the attacks, shaking not only Europe, but other parts of the world, still takes care of so-called “Islamic state” (IG — banned terrorist group). A few years ago militants of this movement, capturing large territories in Syria and Iraq and declaring a Caliphate there, actually “monopolized” the terrorist field, replaced with headlines of “al-Qaeda”, “Taliban” and created a kind of franchise, and having the oath of cooperation from many other groups. However, despite all the “successes” of the IG, increasingly heard reports that the jihadists intend to leave the occupied Syrian and Iraqi land. What is behind this step? Whether the terrorists are preparing to “evacuate”, and if so, in what direction? This experts tried to figure out the “MK”.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Libya, the Sinai, Afghanistan: where to go to fighters?

— In the foreign press, citing a variety of sources lately and it appears the information that “Islamic state” allegedly preparing to evacuate from the occupied territories — how can it be true?

— I think so. Preparatory activities have long been recorded by the intelligence services of the countries of the region: the Egyptians, and Libyans, — reminiscent of the orientalist, the expert of the Center of studying of modern Afghanistan Andrey SERENKO. — There is reason to believe that the battlefield is being prepared, in particular in the Libyan Sirte, where in the autumn of last year went to the Abu Omar — an emissary of the head of the IG al-Baghdadi. It is worth noting that there, on the territory controlled by the militants, there is quite a large oil field. During his visit Abu Omar was not just propaganda for ISIS (especially its there to promote and not necessary), but the introduction of the new taxation system in accordance with the Shariah norms, promoted Sharia law and, according to local security officials, preparing the ground for the arrival may of al-Baghdadi. Libya, therefore, called among the most probable places for the evacuation of the IG. Also considered the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) where it has its own group, sworn to the “Islamic state”. There is a version of the departure of some militants in Afghanistan, where logistics is complicated, but to exclude this scenario is impossible. And it is important that Russia provided assistance to the Afghan government, local security forces, collaborating on this issue with NATO and Kabul. Because if the militants are seen on the ground in Afghanistan, they should immediately be eliminated, so they don’t have time to dig in. They now need the money and will “land” where you can earn: in Libya there is oil in Afghanistan — drugs.

— Information about the “evacuation” absolutely untrue, — said, in turn, the Islamic scholar, President of the Institute of religion and policy, member of the Council for cooperation with religious associations under the President of the Russian Federation Alexander IGNATENKO. The so — called “Islamic state” is not going to leave those territories that it conquered in Syria and Iraq, with “capital” in raqqa and Mosul. Jihadists could think of to escape from these cities and surrounding areas in the case against them actively and purposefully fought the broad international coalition that includes regional powers and the Syrian government. That is, if it was implemented the goal that for a long time formulates Russia, referring to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.

“Many commanders are not fighting for ideas, but for money”

However, Andrey Serenko believesthat military action against the “Islamic state” still have the desired effect and influenced the plans for the evacuation. “If the international coalition is formed, if the fight against ISIS declares NATO, if Russia continues military operations — it is clear that sooner or later the insurgents will be suppressed. Perhaps not as quickly as we would like, not in the course of the year, but will suppress, — the expert believes. — NATO at the summit in Warsaw took a pretty clear strategy to combat ISIS, as in the Alliance and in the European Union understand that, where the IG, there is the problem of refugees. A new migration crisis in Europe may soon not survive. We already know that the Alliance intends to provide countries of the international coalition intelligence information from the AWACS aircraft that will fly over Syria and Iraq. In addition, now in Jordan is training Iraqi security forces, with the end of this year or early next she continued in Iraq.”

In addition, we are talking about the financial problems of the terrorists. One of the “trump card” IG and factors of attraction for the militants has always been the financial independence of the group. Seizing new territory, the jihadists were primarily established production and illegal sale of “black gold” which enabled them, according to some, $3 million a day. However, the operations of the Russian HQs in Syria, as well as the General situation in the oil market led to the fact that the income of the IG declined over the past year and half.

“Revenues do decrease, and this affects both the inflow of new fighters, and these fighters, — says Andrey Serenko. — Many commanders are fighting for some ideas, and for the profit. Taking control of an oil rig, they just fixed near it, to earn their money — for them, the Jihad ends. It is clear that in such circumstances, the leaders of the ISIS is forced to prepare a plan B.

Terrorist attacks in Europe — the handwriting of the “Islamic state”

In recent times we are increasingly confronted with terrorist attacks around the world — the responsibility for them takes on ISIS. Is it likely that the group will completely change tactics and preoriented on dot attacks instead of the positional battles in Syria and Iraq?

— All acts of terrorism, responsibility for which is assumed the “Islamic state” is not only the recent tragedy in nice, but also events in Orlando (June 12, killing 49 people. — “MK”), in Dhaka (the Bangladeshi capital on 1 July killed 28 people. — “MK”) and other places, associated with him in the sense that it itself develops them, sends his people all over the world. No, these attacks are built on a different paradigm, developed by terrorists, — said Alexander Ignatenko. Is the “lone wolves” as they are called in the IG, or “sleeper cells”. There is another way, when a local terrorist group, the previous on their own, under the influence of certain factors bring oath of allegiance to ISIS, becoming, thus, its “branch”. We remember that when the attack occurred in Dhaka — Bangladeshi authorities said the fault lies with the local group. Yes, it’s a local group but she joined the “Islamic state”. And these “branches” — or vilayets, as they are called in the IG — in the world there are now at least 35. They are found sometimes in very unexpected places. For example, in Saudi Arabia, where there are at least half a dozen. Resonant terrorist attack in Medina on 4 July was made one of these provinces. Those attacks that are taking place around the world and the responsibility assumed by the IG, are designed not only to demonstrate its high combat potential, but also to divert resources and funds of various countries from the core of the “Caliphate”: Raqqa and Mosul.

I got a wave of migration to Europe over the past couple of years have been created by sleeper cells, able to carry out attacks in future, he believes, for his part, Andrey Serenko. — Most likely, they will continue to strike in Europe, as is the distinctive style of Islamic state. If, for example, the “Caucasus Emirate” or “Front EN-Nusra” (both groups in Russia as terrorist and banned. — “MK”) avoid attacks in Europe and condemn them behind the scenes, inside your community — that IG, on the contrary, has shown a willingness to attack targets in Europe and probably try to attack targets in the United States. But on the other hand, it is clear that this is the case, so to speak, enlisted personnel groupings, and where are the leaders? In Europe they hardly leave. Therefore, the part of the militants try to gain a foothold in North Africa.

The Sunni factor: militants may be back in demand

— As it is now possible to estimate the position of IG? After the liberation of Palmyra in March, many had the feeling that finally achieved superiority over the terrorists, but it is now clear that it is not so.

— Think of a quick victory over ISIS will not. And this is due to different factors, — stressed Alexander Ignatenko. — Not least because in the view of some Muslims “Islamic state” allegedly protects the interests of the Sunnis, who are subjected to harassment on the part of Shiite Iran in Syria and Iraq. And part of the Syrian and Iraqi Muslims in all ways will boycott any coalition, suggesting their involvement in the fight against ISIS. This will enable terrorists to hold out for a while and may even be strengthened. In addition, the militants in the territories that they have a policy, so to speak, of the bribing of the population. However, he is due to the implementation of Islamic principles and norms. For example, at the time it was declared about the “Syrian democratic army” composed of Arabs and Kurds to the city of Manbij held by the militants. And in order to mobilize the population to defend the city, the jihadists did two things. First, they announced a call of the total male population in the self-defense units, and secondly, distributed to the population of several million dollars as zakat. After that, the whole event was extensively covered on resources to promote the activities of the IG.

— Part of the militants of the “Islamic state” obviously will try to keep some territory in Iraq, — said Andrey Serenko. In particular, we are talking about the Iraqi province of Anbar — there is a struggle, believe, will, including, perhaps, a guerrilla war with ISIS. Because the Sunni population of al Anbar, fears that with the terrorists and strip them. And if that happens, if Baghdad will go too far in the fight against jihadists under the guise of a war with them will begin reprisals against Sunnis, the militants may again be in demand…

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