World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian opposition armed group Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) commander Muhammad Zehran Alloush has broken his silence on his brigade’s fallout with rival opposition group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the ongoing Geneva II conference which aims to end the three-year-old civil war in Syria.
Alloush cast doubt on the Geneva II conference, reminding that none of the promises of the first Geneva conference were kept, in an interview with Al Jazeera Turk.
‘Where are the promises from the first conference?’ he asked, adding ‘some countries tell us to sit at the negotiation table and promise us their support, but where is their support now?’
‘Which religion, which law allows you to leave 1.6 million people in isolation, abandoning them to starve?’ he questioned.
Alloush, whose forces are based in the Damascus suburbs of Al Gouta and Duma, where the Assad regime killed over a thousand civilians in chemical attacks last summer, has been criticized for not doing enough to negotiate the delivery of vital aid to the cut-off civilians in his brigade’s territory.
Responding to this, Alloush said: ‘Let us just say that the fighters were terrorists, what is the crime of the millions of civilians who are not fighting the regime? Their only crime is that they believe in Allah. For this, they have left them to die.’
In a message to the groups attending the Geneva II conference, Alloush warned them not to ‘sell out’ the blood of the Syrian people. ‘Those who go to Geneva should be real representatives of the Syrian people, not people who only represent themselves and bargain over Syrian blood.’
Speaking on his group’s clashes with ISIL, Alloush claimed that ISIL forces were kidnapping his men, as well as the men of the Free Syria Army. He also said that they were killing regime defectors and cutting off their routes. ‘They are oppressing and tyrannizing our people under the directorship of the regime but in the name of Islam,’ he said.
Claiming that Assad’s men had infiltrated ISIL, he said that one of their commanders in Jarablus who was originally believed to be Egyptian actually turned out to be one of Bashar al-Assad’s lieutenants. Furthermore, he claimed that some of the ISIL soldiers who had been captured by his brigade turned out to be Iranians. As is known, Iran is a staunch supporter of the Assad regime.
Alloush also expressed his regret over the announcement of the autonomous canton of Jizire by ethnic Kurds in the north of the country, saying that while the regime divides the Muslim world on sectarian lines, groups like the PKK and the PYD were separating based on nationalism.
Having adopted the name Jaysh al-Islam, the group formally known as Liwa al-Islam formed the Islamic Front along with Ahrar al-Sham, Al-Tawhid Brigade and ve Shukur al-Sham in November 2013. Muhammad Zehran Alloush, who is the son of the well-known Syrian scholar Abdullah Muhammad Alloush, has around 25,000 men under his command.Last Mod: 24 Ocak 2014, 10:29