[ Editor’s note: Alloush, who died yesterday with his brother and other terrorist leaders during a Russian bombing raid is discussed in this article from the Kurdish government publication “Rudlaw.” His organization, Jaish al Islam, along with Jabat al Nusra, the al Qaeda franchise inside Syria, are fully as extreme as ISIS but are the primary beneficiaries of Israeli military aid, including bombing attacks inside Syria but also advisors and trainers as well.
They are also Saudi backed, very highly paid, and responsible for almost all civilian deaths in the Gouta region. Alloush was the beneficiary of Georgian sarin gas and killed up to 2000 in 2012 and 2013 in attacks that were blamed on the Damascus government, for awhile at least.
His group hosts a photo team formerly from the Jerusalem Post/Mossad that supplies Reuters with their “poison gas and barrel bomb” stories. Alloush was also the power behind the faceless and formless powerful “one man band” propaganda front called the Syrian Human Rights Observatory, source for most pro-terrorist publicity.
Here, below, the Kurds clearly describe Alloush as anti-democratic, but seem to see that as a good thing. To the Kurds, slowly being exposed as the business partners of ISIS and Erdogan in the looting of Iraq and Turkey, the Russian victory in killing these terrorist”monsters,” and they can be called nothing else, is a bad thing.
Thus, the bilateral approach to the war on ISIS wherein the Kurds supply the trucks, help steal the oil and protect the ISIS convoys into Turkey, while waging war on ISIS, or what seems to be waging war. Do we now see perhaps why Mosul, scheduled to fall in a Kurdish led but American backed offensive in March and April of 2013, is “safe and warm” with a Turkish Army, working with Kurds against Baghdad, protecting it?… Gordon Duff ]
What does Zahran Alloush’s death tell us?
The leader and founder of the Syrian Salafi group Jaish al-Islam, Zahran Alloush, was killed in an air strike east of the capital Damascus while in a meeting with other armed Syrian groups on Friday. At least ten rockets reportedly struck the meeting.
It is not immediately clear whether or not this air strike was Syrian or Russian. Jaish al Islam’s largest footholds in Syria are in Eastern Ghouta and Douma. All near and around Damascus, areas the Syrian regime is launching an offensive to retake with close Russian air support. Meaning this aerial assassination could well have been carried out by Russian aircraft.
Jaish al-Islam is one of the Salafi groups that Saudi Arabia supports in the Syrian war against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Its Salafi ideology is quite extreme and is indeed not dissimilar from the root ISIS’s radicalism stems from. Alloush initially made no bones about it, he sought to replace Assad with a non-democratic Islamist order, deeming democracy to be a corrupt form of governance.
However, perhaps as a ploy to win western support against Assad, he would later change his tune claiming a post-Assad Syria would be a representative Syria. Even for the Alawite minority from which the Assad family hails, a religious minority that Salafis deem to be unforgivably heretical. Alloush even went as far as to claim that many of his own pronouncements were rhetoric, to win over youths with extreme Salafist ISIS-like views to his side as opposed to ISIS’s.
Strategically Saudi backing of Jaish al-Islam was clearly a bid to give it some leverage over its adversary in Damascus. It is after all the most powerful anti-Assad armed group in the Damascus area and with continued Saudi financial and arms support could well be in a position to exert pressure on Assad in his own capital.
Since the Russian intervention late last September Russian air strikes have indeed been focused on such groups rather than ISIS.
Primarily because these groups are, while not as bad as ISIS, extremely violent and fanatical and in a more immediate position to directly threaten Assad. The Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) Islamist coalition force seized the strategically-important northwestern Syrian province of Idlib last May with Qatari and Turkish backing.
Like Jaish al-Islam the coalition consists primarily of Salafis and even has al-Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra in its ranks. Russia has directed many of its air strikes against this group and has sought to close-off their supply links from Syria’s northwestern border with Turkey. The death of Alloush was likely a similar strike, aimed at weakening, dispersing and destroying his Salafi group.
Have the Russians raised the stakes by carrying out such a targeted assassination on the head of a Saudi-backed opposition group just ahead of the Geneva peace talks? Even before the strike Moscow had made clear that regardless of the outcome of these talks it will continue bombing ISIS.
Given the Kremlin’s loose terminology about who constitutes ISIS (Moscow are usually talking about all Salafis in Syria when they talk about ‘ISIS’) should this be interpreted as a not so subtle warning that Moscow will not cease such operations against groups it has determined to be terrorist regardless of who the Saudis, and possibly the Americans too, determine to be a legitimate opposition group in Syria who should be part of a negotiated solution to this nearly half-a-decade-old Syrian conflict?
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.