The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been shown to be passive toward the Syrian revolution since the beginning of the crisis.
ISIS violations against Free Syrian Army rebels and activists have been on the rise lately and sources have informed Zaman al-Wasl of its intention to withdraw from positions in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.
ISIS withdrawal coincided with confrontations with the Army of Islam. Fierce clashes between the two have intensified in recent weeks, and ISIS was accused of being responsible for the two car bombings in Duma, and the assassination of the Islamic Army judge, Anas Quider. Most significantly, an incident in Souq Al Hal in which two ISIS members threatened to blow themselves up exacerbated tensions.
ISIS has retreated slightly in Eastern Ghouta, in response to a statement made by Ghouta’s Unified Judicial Body that demanded the organization to be dissolved, and resort to the arbitration of the judicial body, a legal entity established by signatories from all Ghouta’s major factions.
It seems that ISIS has sensed a real alliance looming that seeks to expel the organization permanently from Ghouta after the conference with the military commander of the Islamic Front, Zahran Aloush, and the judicial body’s statement, which demanded Ghouta men recruited with ISIS defect from the organization and surrender, to spare themselves prosecution and punishment.
ISIS then issued a statement completely different to its previous response to the judicial body, that was clearly intended to appease, in order to stop the war declared by the Army of Islam against ISIS.
Paradoxically, ISIS has not engaged in any clashes with the regime during its military campaign in Eastern Ghouta, instead it retreated from its only military position there, which is filled with “Nusayri” and “Rafada” gangs, as it describes the regime’s soldiers and Hezbollah mercenaries.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer