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Since its creation, we have learned about the Islamic State from its enemies. Its story has largely been told by those fighting the group in Iraq and Syria, traumatized civilians who have escaped its brutal rule, and the occasional defector. That is about to change. This is the story of Abu Ahmad, a Syrian operative for the Islamic State who witnessed the group’s lightning expansion firsthand and spent months among its most notorious foreign fighters. In this series of three articles, he provides unique insight into how Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s political scheming paved the way for the Islamic State’s expansion into Syria, al Qaeda’s efforts to stem the group’s rise, and the terrifying weapons in the arsenal of the self-proclaimed “caliphate.” Some names and details have been omitted to protect Abu Ahmad.
Abu Ahmad agreed to speak to us, he explained, for several reasons. Although he is still with the Islamic State, he doesn’t agree with everything the outfit does. He is attracted to the organization because he views it as the strongest Sunni group in the region. However, he is disappointed that it “has become too extreme,” blaming it for doing such things as crucifying, burning, and drowning its opponents and those who violate its rules.
enemies. We have heard about her story largely by those who are fighting organization in Iraq and Syria, and traumatized civilians who have fled the brutal rule, and defectors from the organization in some cases. This is about to change. This is the story of Abu Ahmed, a Syrian element in the "Islamic state" , which has seen massive expansion of the organization with his own eyes and spent months along with the mightiest of foreign fighters. In this series of three articles, Abu Ahmed , it offers a unique insight into how the policy of Abu Bakr al - Baghdadi , cunning paved the way for the expansion of "state regulation" in Syria, as well as al - Qaida 's efforts to curb the rise of the organization, and terrifying weapon in the arsenal of so - called "caliphate." Some names and details have been deleted to protect Abu Ahmad.
originally posted by: pavil
a reply to: skywatcher44
good article, read first section .
Abu Ahmed told us how the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) came to acquire some of the world’s most fearsome weapons, which were claimed as spoils of war from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces months before its creation. Roughly four months before the split between the Nusra Front and ISIS, in December 2012, dozens of Syrian jihadi fighters climbed a hill toward Regiment 111 — a large army base near the town of Darat Izza, in northern Syria. That town had been taken roughly five months earlier by a coalition of rebel groups. But while they had besieged Regiment 111 since the summer of 2012, they still had not succeeded in capturing the base from the troops loyal to President Assad. The weather had turned bad in winter, however, making it more difficult for the Syrian Air Force to hold off the rebels with airstrikes. Moreover, the base was huge, sprawling over almost 500 acres, and difficult to protect from all approaches. Syrian Army soldiers inside Regiment 111 successfully defended their base during the first rebel attack in early November 2012, killing 18 Nusra fighters in the process. But the cold December wind only fortified the rebels’ resolve. The base was a goldmine: home to guns, artillery, ammunition, and vehicles. And deep inside Regiment 111’s bunkers lay something even more valuable — a cache of chemical weapons.