This former ISIS hostage has an unexpected message: don't be afraid of the ISIS
'To our understanding, the main battle for Syria and Iraq has taken place between the forces of Assad's regime and the ISIS. One aspiring to establish a Caliphate, the other trying to hold on to his throne at all costs. Yet, Henin proceeds to establish the many ways in with the ISIS and Assad's regime are complicit with one another. Take for example, the number of times the Islamic State has actually fought the Syrian army over the course of the bloody war:
The ISIS fought the Syrian army when they seized the Menagh air base.
They also fought the army when they captured Division 17 in Raqqa (now capital of the declared Caliphate). Here they also captured a neighbouring airport.
The IS has also taken part in small-scale battles near Alleppo, Lattakia and Al-Qamishi.
This is the comprehensive list. And for a war that's claimed 200,000 lives and displaced half the country, the number of battles remains suspiciously small.
In fact, as of 2014, ISIS was earning $3 Million every day in the form of oil revenues. And a large portion of this oil is, to this day, sold to Assad. This complicity may be surprising. But it is not necessarily illogical. Because Assad stands to gain from the existence of the ISIS. It legitimizes his position as leader of the Syrian people. The "Assad or chaos" slogan is one he manipulates and brandishes with much success. The ISIS is the bogeyman. And by focusing on the malaise that is the ISIS, we are playing right into Assad's hands.
The Syrian people, as well as the Iraqis, would never accept the leadership of the Islamic State. It is an organization fraught with infighting and deceit. It cannot provide a viable Government in either country. It simply does not have the structural efficiency to. Additionally, the fear of the ISIS seems more potent than it is because of their ingenious PR campaign. We find ourselves shaken by their videos. We replay them time and again on television, further feeding into the deliberately cultivated fear. We are concerned that a future fighter of the ISIS may be among us. And in all this, we fail to recognize the sporadic, disorganized violence for what it is.
The real threat remains Assad. In his absence, the Sunni majority will not feel compelled to align with the fanatic jihadis. The moderates will rise again. The conflicts will begin to resolve themselves. But the first step is to dethrone the ISIS from the status of "super-terrorists". It's what they want. And they are not a credible threat to the world.'