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Largest “moderate” group in Syria calls for “an Islamic state” in country, Sharia law imposed in Northern Aleppo


Ahrar Al-Sham militants in Syria.

Al Masdar News reports:

The largest Islamist rebel faction operating in Syria – Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – has issued a statement [pictured below left] following their participation in the Riyadh peace conference

This statement expressed Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s satisfaction with the meeting and its participants; it also thanked the Saudi’s for hosting the conference.

Perhaps the most important part of the statement delivered by the Islamist group was the list of demands that expressed their overall objective in Syria.

According to their statement, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham has issued a list of demands:

1. All Iranian and Russian military personnel must leave Syria.

2.The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) should be disbanded, along with their paramilitary units – they reference the Shabiha.

3. All of Syria shall be united – no partition.

4. Syria will become an Islamic state.

5. No negotiations with the Syrian Government.

6. Fighting ISIS is secondary because rebels have lost family members because of the war with the Syrian Army.

7. Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham asserts – once again – that Syria will be an Islamic state.

8. A secular Syria will only empower ISIS.

9. Any agreement without Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham will be considered “unsuccessful” and “unofficial”.

Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham has attempted to garner support as a “moderate” rebel group; however, their statement from Riyadh begs to differ.

Al Madar News further reports:

The Army of Conquest, a coalition of Islamist groups openly supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have introduced a string of Shariah law to be implemented in Northern Aleppo [edict pictured below right].

The main signatories to these laws were Al-Nusra, Fajr Al-Khilafa, Jabhat al-Shamiya and Ahrar al-Sham among many others. Ahrar ash-Sham have been an internet sensation the last few days with a propaganda video that seemed to portray the execution of ISIS prisoners before stopping and forgiving them. This has led to Westerners calling the Islamist group as just mere opposition forces [see related OffGuardian post].

The laws implemented include the banning of cross gender teacher and student classrooms. Effectively a male teacher cannot lecture a female teacher and vice-versa.

Dress codes will be enforced in schools, hospitals and all forms of public life. Females will be prohibited from being uncovered and those who do not adhere will be brought before a Shariah court and judged in accordance with those laws.

This will be enacted by a committee for vice and virtue who will supervise and ensure these new laws.

The West, Saudi Arabia and Turkey portray The Army of Conquest as moderate opposition forces to the Assad government and often overlook it as a coalition of mostly Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar ash-Sham.



  1. Barish says

    The largest “moderate” group has proven to be just not “moderate” enough:

    “Islamic Front – Ahrar al-Sham
    In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
    A statement of withdrawal from the Riyadh Conference

    We were careful to be pioneers in any political initiative aiming to achieve the goals of the revolution of our people and to reduce their suffering, and from this aspect we participated actively in the sessions of the Riyadh Conference to unify the opposition, despite our objection to the weak representation of the jihadi factions, and the presence of personalities belonging to the Syrian regime is not hidden.

    We went to the Riyadh conference thanking those who invited us, bearing a task from our people inside, whom we promised to do political and military struggle to preserve their principles and tenets that were previously declared.

    But we find ourselves before a Shari’a and national duty which makes it inevitable upon us to withdraw from the conference and object to its results, for the following reasons:

    Giving a political role to the National Coordination Commission and other groups that are considered to be of the regime, which is a clear violation of the revolutionary work.
    Not taking into consideration a number of notes and additions offered by the factions to modify the tenets agreed upon in the conference, including the document of the five tenets, and not confirming the identity of our Muslim people.
    Not giving real weight to the revolutionary factions, both in the percentage of representation, or the size of the participation in the results.

    And thus we withdraw from the conference and call upon the Jihadi factions and the working revolutionary factions to stand a historic stand for their religion and Ummah and people, putting before their eyes the size of the great sacrifices that were made to achieve these goals and tenets.

    And thanks be to Allah the God of the two worlds

    Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement
    The General Command
    28/Safar/1437H [10 December 2015]”

    Leaving the “Syrian National Coalition” and the few on-the-ground hangers-on militia that sat through Riyadh’s PR-exercise the client sham of an “exile” government or, rather, puppet regime-to-be that it has been since its inception. Needless to say, the ramifications of this are rather disastrous: here they are, the proud Saudi sons of the desert, marshaling their conquerors and overseers over the infidel Syrian territory, who through their grace would even see to tolerating some of the infidels living there – and then their main group of “moderate” foot soldiers simply up and leaves due to this act of magnanimity!

    (The National Coordination Commission mentioned in the document is the home-born political opposition still residing in the Syrian state itself and has this pesky tendency not to be fully aboard the “moderate” train to run over Bashar al-Assad and all Alawites with him, should you wonder.)

  2. Yeah, you can see how ‘moderate’ they are, just looking at ’em. Specially him in the hat (back row, no scarf). Milk of human kindness fair flows.

  3. Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet and commented:

    These monsters must be denounced. What a victory for the western democracies and the “civilised” world this is. The Syrians of Aleppo include among the dead before Christmas, Shi’ites/Alawhites, moderate Sunnis, Christians, Kurds, Druze and any other moderate non Wahhabist extremists. The only ones they have “forgiven” are ISIS and they now demand that we stop fighting IS. What does that tell you about who they really are. In Saudi Arabia, 70% of the population hate Al Qaeda and the Wahhabis who govern them. If they are allowed to live, these monsters will eventually move against the mainly Shi’ite population of Iran and their Iranian Jews and Christians.They are a cancer that must be eradicated to stop the spread “by whatever means necessary”.

  4. Finally, the West, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have found their all so democratic and progressive champions in Syria. Good that they could come to some sort of tentative agreement among themselves. Peace may finally be in the offing.

    One thing that I would quibble with, however, is item 1) on Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s list of conditions for peace. It needs to be amended. It should read, “All Iranian, Russian, and Syrian military personnel must leave Syria.” Or better yet, why not just, “All Iranian, Russian, and Syrian nationals must leave Syria?” That way you wouldn’t have to bother with all the tedious additional details of items 2) through 9), and especially item 9), since Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham would be left having only to agree with itself and, of course, the West, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    • Norman Pilon,
      No Harakat Ahar Al-Sham wouldn’t need to give the US or Turkey any consideration at all. They are supported by the intensely Wahhabist extremist regimes of Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Jordan who will be able to divvy up Syria and Iraq just as the Atlanticists and US always planned – no Russian pipelines and no more Iran – Endgame(checkmate)

      • John says

        I suspect Norman is being ironical in asking his apparent questions.
        What neither of you mentioned, however, was how these events play into the Yinon Plan scenario.

  5. John says

    Are these developments being brought to the attention of the people of Turkey?
    Are they generally supportive of all these demands?
    For, if they are not, they need to know what their government’s chosen instrument is advocating for Syria.
    Inevitably, these same conditions will eventually be applied to all the people of Turkey.
    Is this what the people of Turkey want?
    If Turkey becomes an EU member state, will they try to get the same conditions applicable throughout the EU?
    These questions may be mainly theoretical for now but there is a real possibility they could become factual.

    • Whoever says


      “..Are these developments being brought to the attention of the people of Turkey?
      Are they generally supportive of all these demands?..”

      The west just bombed Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor followed by an ISIS attack. Are the western armies acting as ISIS’s air force? Is this what the western citizens want? If not what are they going to do about it? Do they want to be supporting Turkey and other countries who support/finance these terrorists? As for the Turks they are being made to believe they are supporting the good guys in Syria just like many westerners. So, lets just not deflect the blame.

      • John says

        I am not having a go at the people of Turkey. You are right; they too are being kept largely in the dark by their government and mass media. But have they been made fully aware as to what their government is supporting?
        I don’t have any easy way of achieving such knowledge distribution but I still think they are entitled to know.
        Mind you, they have heard enough from Erdogan and his party members to know they are a right bunch of lunatics, yet still they keep getting elected back into office, though that may be more of a reflection on the poor political opposition in Turkey. I assume the Turkish electorate know about yet they are still happy to continue voting for this crazy individual. If they are, then what can we do about it?

        • We in the UK had a choice of Right wing elitists, or right wing elitists and another minor party of right wing elitists or UKIP. only recently have we had the option of Jeremy Corbyn who is a socialist. Millions have flocked to him, but the right wing elitists within the party he now leads are trying to oust him. There is no democracy in the UK and I doubt very much that true democracy exists within the so-called democratic nations. A choice of the lesser of two evils is no choice at all.

        • Whoever says

          Well, there used to be people who reported on these things! Do you remember the editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper who is facing espionage charges? Thanks to people like him, people in Turkey and around the world knew that Turkey was supplying arms to rebels in Syria. MIT(Turkish intelligence) officers were caught red-handed by the police(or army was it?) while trying smuggle arms through the Turkish-Syrian border. This was reported at least a couple of years ago but MSM never picked up on it then, not even RT as far as I can remember. So, even though I’m not a Turk and not even European or Arab I know that people in Turkey do know about these things but like everywhere else people vote for internal policies of the government, most people dont care about what its government does outside the country unless it starts affecting them in a meaningful way. And under Erdogan’s rule Turkey achieved a lot of prosperity(that is why it trying to flex its muscle since its economically strong now) so people seem content with it.

          • John says

            I admit I was being rhetorical in asking George if the Kurds also supported Erdogan’s policies (though I daresay a few might) simply to make the point that excessively wide and broad sweeping statements should be avoided. Saying or implying that ALL Turks support Daesh is not correct.
            Let us not forget that the Kurds, just like all the other groups in that part of the world, are disunited.
            That is why the conventional “divide and rule” principles of the zionists and US are so effective.

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