Islamic State: Where does jihadist group get its support?


**BBC News - Islamic State: Where does jihadist group get its support? **

Many Gulf states have been accused of funding Islamic State (IS) extremists in Iraq and Syria.

But as Michael Stephens, director of the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar, explains, not all is clear-cut in war.

Much has been written about the support Islamic State (IS) has received from donors and sympathisers, particularly in the wealthy Gulf States.

Indeed the accusation I hear most from those fighting IS in Iraq and Syria is that Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are solely responsible for the group’s existence.

But the truth is a little more complex and needs some exploring.

It is true that some wealthy individuals from the Gulf have funded extremist groups in Syria, many taking bags of cash to Turkey and simply handing over millions of dollars at a time.

This was an extremely common practice in 2012 and 2013 but has since diminished and is at most only a tiny percentage of the total income that flows into Islamic State coffers in 2014.

It is also true that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, believing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would soon fall and that Sunni political Islam was a true vehicle for their political goals, funded groups that had strongly Islamist credentials.

Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam were just such groups, all holding tenuous links to the “bad guy” of the time - the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria.

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Interesting article.

I also heard that part of the rise of ISIS was also helped by Assad, the article also states this, but not in much detail or reasoning behind it. Other reports say that Assad targeted the moderate rebel groups in Syria in order to help ISIS to defeat them, knowing that ISIS would be the only rebel group for him to deal with, and once ISIS made it’s goals known to the world, the West would come and help him take them down, as we’re now doing. In other words, Assad now has Iran, Iraq Shiite forces and the USA helping him to take down ISIS.

From what I got from the article is that Sunni Muslims are less likely to fight against ISIS than help Shiite forces. They’ll probably not help US Forces to take down ISIS either, as they’re beginning to believe that the prospect of a Caliphate could be divine will. This is what makes them so much more dangerous.



Not sure about that story of Assad ignoring ISIS


Assad Policies Aided Rise of Islamic State Militant Group

The Islamic State, which metastasized from a group of militants seeking to overthrow the Syrian government into a marauding army gobbling up chunks of the Middle East, gained momentum early on from a calculated decision by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go easy on it, according to people close to the regime.

More here



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