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The latest edition of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) propaganda magazine Rumiyah, published on Saturday, suggests that the goal of Erdogan’s safe zone plan is to prevent a Kurdish state and pressure the Syrian government in the future.
The militant group also said that in the future the Syrian rebels will have no choice but to surrender to Assad, or join the Turkey-backed rebels in northern Aleppo and fight ISIS.
On August 24, the Turkish Army and allied rebels in Syria launched the so-called Euphrates Shield Operation under the pretext of combatting terrorism.
However, Kurdish politicians and activists said that Turkey’s intervention in Syria was mainly aimed at attacking the Kurds, namely the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). It seems that the Islamic State agrees with this analysis.
“The taghut [tyrant] Erdogan and members of his apostate government increased in talking about the “Safe Zone,” mentioning its being a means of preventing the establishing of the Kurdish state, to which the secular kafir PKK aspires,” ISIS magazine said.
“As such, Turkey seeks to take control over the area stretching between Jarabulus and ‘Azaz, covering more than 50 km of land, which would prevent the areas ruled by the apostate PKK militants east and west of the Euphrates from joining together. Doing so, the Turkish murtaddin [apostates] would make this area barrier to block Islamic State mujahidin from reaching their lands,” the magazine added.
However, according to the Islamic State, Turkey wants to control the area in northern Aleppo not only to destroy the Kurdish plans to unite their cantons, but also to weaken the Syrian government.
“Whoever scrutinizes the actual situation on the map and the ongoing political events in both Turkey and Sham [Syria] will recognize that the importance of this area to the apostate Turkish government far surpasses the issue of destroying the plans of the Kurdish state, despite its importance to them,” ISIS said.
“This is because the Turkish army’s assertion of control over some part of Sham will be a means of great pressure on the Nusayri [Alawite] regime in the future, which will exceed the importance of controlling the many factions of the Sahwah murtaddin [anti-ISIS Syrian rebels] – meaning that they will reap many rewards in a future withdrawal, no matter what kind of taghut [tyrant] government is set up in Damascus,” the Rumiyah magazine said.
Moreover, the magazine added that Turkey’s partial control of northern Syria, with Russian and American air support, would prevent Assad from bombing it. “This would help Turkey to eventually rid itself of a large number of undesirable refugees (those who are disruptive or offer little benefit to Turkey) by opening refugee camps for them in this area. Such would also alleviate much of the great costs burdening the declining Turkish economy,” the ISIS magazine said.
It also suggested that Aleppo fell in December 2016 due to an agreement between Russia and Turkey, and that both states want to spread the ‘Aleppo experiment’ to the rest of Syria in areas under rebel control.
According to ISIS, the goal of Russia and Turkey is to force all the Syrian rebels to fight ISIS in a Turkish-controlled safe zone, or join the Syrian government.
“It [Euphrates Shield zone] will be a haven for all factions and groups that enter into the Russian-Turkish project’s frame-work, and they will begin moving there with their weapons, equipment, families, and bases,” the magazine said.
“At that, those apostate factions outside of the peace agreement with the Nusayri regime will remain in their own haven, Idlib, where Russian and Nusayri [Assad] planes will continue to bombard them from above, while the Rafidi [Shiite] militias will choke them on the ground,” ISIS said about the future of Idlib.
“There will be no escape from that hellish situation, except for one who surrenders himself to and joins the Nusayri army or one who officially crosses Turkey’s borders to be transported to the “Safe Zone,” where he will join the “moderate” Sahwah army to fight the Islamic State, far from any frontline against the Nusayri army,” the magazine concluded.
According to ISIS, eventually the Assad army will completely control the areas of Idlib, the coastal region, and the northern countryside of Hamah, with the Syrian rebels from parts of Homs, Damascus, Daraa, and Qalamoun, having the only choice of reaching a peace agreement with Assad, or to enter the Turkish-controlled safe zone in northern Aleppo.
Nicholas A. Heras, a Middle East researcher at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), told ARA News that ISIS has provided a ‘correct analysis’ on the ongoing developments in Syria through the new issue of its magazine Rumiyah.
“ISIS is correctly analyzing the greater strategy behind a nationwide ceasefire and the formal establishment of safe zones. The overall objective of such an agreement would be to turn the guns of as many rebel factions as possible against ISIS,” Heras said.
“That agreement would formally prevent rebel groups that do not want to be declared al-Qaeda or radical Islamist extremists from continuing to seek the violent overthrow of Bashar al-Assad,” he told ARA News.
“In exchange for not being targeted, they would become part of a de facto Grand Army of the Republic, including Assad military forces and IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] militias, against ISIS. That type of force would be a grave threat to the ISIS’ would-be Caliphate,” Heras added.
“So to prevent that scenario, ISIS is seeking to taunt other rebel groups with this article. ISIS is conducting a type of psychological warfare against them. Chastising them for their failed revolt against Assad, and telling them that only ISIS is a threat to his rule,” he concluded.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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