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Washington’s ‘Moderates’ in Syria Are Marauding Takfiri Monsters…The ‘Al-Zinki’ Example

Hussein Mourtada

He carried his knife and calmly began beheading the “12-year-old” child Abdullah Issa in front a phone camera which was raised – out of pride – for that which was severed from the inert body. A child’s head is held high amid shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’, after which the terrorists began celebrating, a scene which was deemed by all to be the most shocking and brutal of all the online short clips that show the great crimes that are occurring in Syria.

The crime of the slaughter of Abdullah Issa by one of the members of the “Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement” is after all, naught but one episode of a series of interconnected crimes committed by terrorist groups of various names since 2011.

The horror of the scene was not overshadowed by attempts by the “Nour al-Din al-Zenki” movement to describe what happened as “an isolated mistake”, as it quickly received a response from its ally the United States, which described what happened as “appalling”. Yet planning circles – for the terrorists in the northern front – within the Turkish intelligence services were nevertheless busy trying to find a justification for the group.

According to exclusive sources, the overseer of these groups – who is from the Turkish intelligence and is situated in the Turkish city of Gaziantep – informed the leader of the movement, Tawfiq Shahabuddin, that he was too hasty in issuing the statement in which his movement claimed responsibility for the crime of the slaughter of the Palestinian child. (The Turkish intelligence official) also said that work is underway to find a way out in relation to its embarrassed sponsor the United States.

As for why the Turkish intelligence considered the statement as untimely, it is because it will undermine the project of continuing to market the movement as a “moderate” group, in line with a plan which was prepared by Saudi, US and Turkish intelligence that describes many terror groups as “moderate”. This especially comes as Turkey had taken steps in this area and conducted a change in the leadership of the movement by bringing back Sheikh Shahabuddin, after the dismissal of the Saaed al-Masri, a captain that fled from the Syrian army. (This change in leadership) was based on assurances given by Shahabuddin of his commitment to Turkish objectives in the east of Aleppo districts, while the Turks vowed to continue providing logistical and financial support, to such an extent that they asked the Americans to provide that terrorist group with “Tow” anti-armour missiles.

There is no doubt that the history of the terrorist group helps a lot in understanding US and Turkish support for it, as it is known to everyone as a group financed by Turkey, and one that is volatile in its relations with other groups. In the midst of the battles and defeats of the militants in Aleppo, it was asked to enter many alliances, from which it soon withdrew, until finally, Sheikh Tawfiq Shahabuddin consolidated the relationship with the “Nusra Front”, the official branch of “Al Qaeda in the Levant”. This explains the meeting which took place in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on April 29 of this year in the presence of the leaders of the so-called “Army of Islam”, the “Sunna Army,” “Sultan Murad”, and “The Legion of the Levant”, with Turkish intelligence officers, in which the Turkish intelligence requested all those factions to take action consistent with the idea of the United States regarding what it called the “moderate groups.”

So who is this movement?

The “Nour al-Din al-Zenki” movement held arms against the Syrian state since the beginning of the crisis, with its activities being confined initially to rural Aleppo, and specifically within Qoptan al-Jabal village. With the beginning of developments which formed a crucial turning point in rural Aleppo, this movement – which is considered one of the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria – merged with the so-called “Al-Tawhid Brigade” in July 2012. Thereafter, it went back and joined the so-called “Gathering of the Fastaqim kama Omirt Brigades”, and then pulled out in June 2013.

It has since worked independently after receiving support from the Salafists of Kuwait through the “Kuwaiti People’s Organisation” headed by Hajjaj al-Ajami. At the beginning of 2014, the “Nour al-Din al-Zenki” brigades joined the so-called “Army of the Mujahideen”, of which Tawfiq Shahabuddin became its (the “Zenki Brigades”) leader. At this point, his movement began to receive Qatari support through the Protection of Qatari Civilians organisation, leading up to May 2014 when it announced its withdrawal from the “Army of the Mujahideen” and changed its name from the “Islamic Nour al-Din al-Zenki Brigades” to the “Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement”. By doing so, it linked its main funding channel thereafter to the “Al-Mok” operations room run by the Americans.

It seems like the movement of “Nour al-Din al-Zenki” failed to play the role of the “moderate” groups in line with what was drawn up for it by the Americans. This is due to the ideological roots of its current leader – Tawfiq Shahabuddin – and the group as a whole, which is related to Takfirism, and how this thought forms the underlining motivation for any military action carried out by this group. They are another example of the “Free Army”, which held Takfiri thought from the very beginning of the war in Syria. This confirms that all the groups fighting the Syrian Army hold the same Takfiri thought.

In relation to the incident of Abu Saqar, who slit the chest of a Syrian soldier and ate his heart, this murderer himself belongs to the “Kataeb al-Farouq”, which belongs to the “Free Army”, forming a part of those carrying out the barbarity. They were trained to apply this barbarity by the Saudi, American, and Turkish intelligence, and so it became a fixed part of (such groups) which is strongly attached to their ideology and actions. This has become the reality on the ground.

Source: al-Ahed News

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