There are now some reports of yet another “RESET” for the Jihadi groups in Syria, post-Aleppo. There are reports on social media of consolidation and reorganization and, more likely, renaming.
These guys keep trying to find a formula that works, so far nothing seems to work for them:
- Renaming Al Qaeda to Al Nusra did not work.
- Renaming Al Nusra to Jaish Al Fath (Army of Islamic Conquest) has not worked.
- A Saudi-sponsored Jaish Al Islam (with reliance on some Western support and training) failed miserably.
- Earlier the Free Syrian Army (who I saw correctly as the Free Syrian Salafi Army) had several iterations, before it faded somewhere into Turkey.
- The Syrian National Council, dominated by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists and some Tribal types changed its name a few time, to no avail. Eventually it petered out.
No matter how hard some Gulf (Saudi and Qatari) media and the gullible Western media tried to paint these groups as representing the will of the Syrian people, it did not work. Even though the Jihadis and their Arab and Western media allies won the war of disinformation, they have lost the battle on the ground. Because that foreign view did not reflect the reality in Syria. Even in foreign exile, most Syrians oddly voted for Assad a couple of years ago. Not necessarily because they liked Assad and his regime. But most likely because they knew first-hand what the rebel Jihadis represented, what kid of Wahhabi future they had in mind for Syria.
Maybe, nay very likely, it was a preference among repressions: they preferred Assad’s secular political repression to the Islamists all-encompassing theocratic political-social-religious-sectarian repression. Very likely that is why.
Some Earlier posts:
M Haider Ghuloum