Rise of al-Baghdadi Caliphate


Militants of the Islamic State during a military parade in the Syrian city of Raqqa. File photo

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria- The emergence of the al-Qaeda splinter group known as the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the region, as a cross-border “Jihadi” power and as a rival to the al-Qaeda-linked group of al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), has led to an unprecedented clash among the world’s “Jihadists”, especially in the Middle East where the most “expiatory” Islamic groups are based.

Dissenting from al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s leader, is the most remarkable step of IS, where it has chosen to follow the Muslim Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The fall of the second biggest Iraqi city, Mosul, is the biggest proof of IS capacity to compete al-Zawahiri’s group.

The dispute between the two groups emerged in April 2013, when al-Nusra Front, led by Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, refused to become a part of the Islamic State, then al-Zawahiri confirmed this refusal by al-Qaeda.

Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi accused al-Zawahiri of committing “religious violations”.

The spokesman of IS, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, said in an earlier statement that al-Zawahiri has “deviated from the righteous way”.

Noteworthy, militants of the Islamic State beheaded dozens of fighters of al-Nusra Front following clashes between both groups in the last few months in northern Syria.

Speaking to ARA News, Colonel Ibrahim al-Hamad, a dissenter of the Syrian police, argued: “Al-Qaeda was created by the US in coordination with Saudi Arabia to beat communists in Afghanistan in the twentieth century.”

“Following the fall of the socialist camp and the Soviet Union, al-Qaeda’s job was finished and the US decided to fight this group to serve its other agendas around the world,” Al-Hamad said.

Al-Hamad added that IS defected from al-Qaeda when its (IS) militants started to expand territory and dominate over rebel-held areas in Syria, to become then a main rival to all moderate Islamic rebels in the “Arab Spring” countries.

“The radical members of IS wanted to distort the moderate Islamic wave by committing atrocities irrelevant to Islam,” Al-Hamad told ARA News.

Following IS control over huge areas in Iraq and a third of the Syrian land, as well as owning great financial sources, and confiscating heavy weapons from the Syrian and Iraqi armies, many extremist Islamic factions started to seek allegiance to al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate.

The growing power of IS attracted several Syrian rebel groups to pledge allegiance to al-Baghdadi and serve under the wing of IS. Some members of al-Nusra Front itself left their al-Qaeda affiliated group to join the ranks of IS (ISIS/ISIL).

The Islamic State faced great opposition from many prominent religious clerics and Salafists in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, who condemned the group’s practices and considered the Caliphate “illegitimate”.

Al-Hamad believes that the “expiatory” Islamic groups in the region (like IS) are “tools” in the hands of “infidel countries to serve their agendas of distorting Islam and its teachings”.

Since its formation ten years ago, IS had different names. It was first known as “Organization of Monotheism and Jihad” founded by Abu Mosab al-Zarqawi in 2003.

In 2004, it became the “Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers”, to be followed by “the Islamic State of Iraq” in 2006.

In 2013, the name became “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”.

Following the announcement of the “Caliphate”, the organization decided to call itself “the Islamic State” in reference to representing all Muslims in the world.


Reporting by: Rodi Ahmed

Source: ARA News

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