Identity, Equality, Unity
Ali Garbousi is a Tunisian young man and a blogger blogging about the events in Libya Egypt and Syria. Syria is the place that he left while leaving behind a number of Tunisian young men who joined the fight there, whether voluntarily or while being pushed to do it. There were many facts that Ali Garbousi discovered while being there on the battlefront that he exposes today.
Ali Garbousi: 29 years old from Gafza, studied the Art Institute, his hobby is music and he is a guitarist. Besides that, Ali Garbousi spent more than a month fighting with Free Syrian Army (FSA). He decided to return (home) after several Facts became clear to him:
” You should just see how low and dirty these people are. He (facilitator) would select who to send for Jihad. That person would than leave to Turkey. From Turkey, he would talk to him on the phone telling him to go to Antakya and meed with Abu Ahmad. And we know that they guys in Syria where Abu Ahmad is. Abu Ahmad would then deliver them at the Antakya border to Sheikh Abu Hadi. Abu Hadi has a Hyunda Sierra or some other model that probably costs about twenty-five thousand dollars. And we can barely afford one tire. Abu Hadi would then enter the first point of the so-called Free Syrian Army and goes for Jihad. Then Abu Hadi goes back to Turkey during heaving combat to stay in a dream house.”
We asked him about the fate of the young men after they had entered Syrian territory.
” I wish for any of the Tunisian that are there to ask about the operation in Homs. How more than 124 Libyians and Tunisians were murdered and burnt in the Homs operation. In order to accuse the Syran Arab Army of doing it. Second, it is impossible for any Arab combatant fighting in Syria to get treated. Whoever gets injured dies. I dare them to bring me a single Arab who got injured and treated in a field hospital. We are being treated as cannon fodder. We are the grease used to lubricate the oozing Syrian blood. When Imams (Clerics) call for Jihad on pulpits, how is it possible to call for Jihad in a place than you don’t know? Who goes for Jihad? It is the poor, those who have nothing, no future, and those who lost hope in life. Have you ever seen one person who ‘s got and X 5 going for Jihad? These are the poor from poor neighborhoods that are being sent to Syria because they are conducting a war by proxy in Syria. I am starting my hope, thank God, after my life is coming back to normal. However, if each of them had and opportunity to be productive in order to progress our nation.”
In the battle fronts in Syria there are still Tunisians fighting and perhaps others who will join them.
In early summer, Abu Ismael, a six-year veteran of al-Qaida, left the insurgency still blazing in his homeland of Iraq and traveled to what he believes is the start of the apocalypse. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/01/syria-rebels-fear-foreign-jihadis
Abu Ismael made no secret of his wish for Syria to be the heartland of an al-Qaida-led renaissance. Nor, unusually, did he hide what he had done in Iraq, or what he planned to do in the new war. In a candid hour-long discussion, he offered a rare insight into the terror group’s designs on Syria and the organisation’s fraught battle to assert itself. “I was a member of the al-Qaida organisation from 2005-11,” he said, his black eyes set in an unflinching stare. “I joined them with my father when I was 16 and apart from one and a half months in prison, I was very active in every way.”
The young Iraqi’s attire and demeanour were unmistakably those of a Salafi. He refused cigarettes, cuffed the bottoms of his fatigues at ankle level and wore a black skull cap over closely cropped black hair. More instructively, he spoke with derision about Shia Muslims, whom he said were increasingly travelling to Syria to fight the Sunni-led opposition.
“They are saying they are going to protect the Sit Zeinab mosque in Damascus,” he said of a shrine revered by Shias. “The Jaish al-Mahdi [Mahdi army] and Hezbollah are just using that as cover to enter the rest of Syria. We will not let them. We will attack it, perhaps not to destroy it, but to drive them out.
Rise of the Salafis
Bashar al-Assad has insisted from the start that Syria was facing attack by “armed terrorist gangs”, not a popular uprising – though there is ample evidence of the army firing on mostly unarmed demonstrators. But it has become clear that extremist Salafi or jihadi groups, some linked to al-Qaida, are now a significant element of the armed opposition.
Alongside fighters from al-Qaida in Iraq or Fatah al-Islam from Lebanon is the mysterious Jabhat al-Nusra, which has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Damascus and Aleppo. It is sympathetic to al-Qaida. Others hail from Jordan, Libya and Algeria.
The overwhelming majority of jihadis are Syrian, with the number of foreigners ranging from 1,200 to 1,500 members. Jihadi groups in Syria represent less than 10% of all fighters. Still, many have combat experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya and compete for funds and weapons with the Free Syrian Army, the main armed opposition group.
“Most foreign fighters go abroad to defend their fellow Muslim brethren from being slaughtered,” according to Aaron Y Zelin, an analyst at the Washington Institute.
“Once in the area of battle, though, many come into closer contact with hardline jihadis, as well as fighters from other countries, and are exposed to new ideas.
“Therefore, portions of foreign fighters are not fighting to help establish a future state for Syrian nationals. Rather, they hope to annex it to be part of their grander aims of establishing emirates that will eventually lead to a re-established caliphate – however fanciful this project might be.”