Monday, 28 March 2016
Former ISIS Hostage: 'We Need A New Narrative'
"They are not enemies. They cooperate together. ISIS needs the regime to kill Syrians in huge numbers, so then, ISIS can come and tell the Sunnis in Syria we are the bad guys powerful enough to protect you. We are like your godfathers. Because as long as ISIS is here, the West will be terrified and will say, maybe, Bashar al-Assad is the lesser problem. This regime, which claims that it fights terrorism, that it is secular. It is nothing like that. All the foreign fighters who joined the Iraqi insurgency in the early years of the American occupation of Iraq, they all transited through Syria! And this transit was managed by the Syrian intelligence. The regime played with terrorism to ensure its future.
Assad needs ISIS to survive. He released Jihadi prisoners at the very early stages of the revolution, he declared an amnesty. But this amnesty did not concern all the democrats. They stayed in prison. All the political prisoners in jail, they stayed in jail. But all the Jihadis, they were released because he wanted a civil war, he wanted this revolution to become a civil war. And for the very same reason he also created tremendous fear among the minorities in the country. So that the Syrian Christians, for instance, are convinced that if ever the revolution succeeds then they will be either dead or will have to flee, which was at least at the beginning totally wrong. Yes, there is definitely now concerns for the future of minorities in Syria. But at its early stage it was just people begging for its freedom.
One of our main mistakes is to believe that ISIS is the problem. No, ISIS is just the result of the problem. If we fight only ISIS, is just like if we fight fever but don’t care of the disease. No, we have to fight the disease. And the disease, what is it? It is the massacres being committed against the Syrian population. Since the beginning of the revolution over 300 thousand Syrians have been killed. Do you know that the Syrian regime has killed between seven to ten times more civilians, since the beginning of the civil war, than ISIS? So it is our short view on this, and our only focus on ISIS and terrorism because we are afraid of these guys. And it’s normal because it’s their job to terrorize us. It is this which creates the conditions for ISIS to become prosperous."