“When your Lord inspired to the angels, “I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.” (Qur’an 8:12)
“They cut heads”: “So when you meet those who disbelieve, strike necks…” (Qur’an 47:4)
“‘They cut hands, cut heads, play with corpses’: Islamic extremists fighting brutal war against Kurds in Syria,” National Post, May 11, 2014:
A dirty little war is grinding on in northern Syria, off the West’s radar and beyond the reach of much of its media, writes Jonathan Spyer, who has just returned from a visit to the besieged Kurdish enclave of Kobani.
The conflict between the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the Kurdish upstarts provides a glimpse of what the future might hold for the country, now in the fourth year of a punishing civil war — wars within wars.
Syria is now fractured into a multitude of interests, split along ethnic, religious and regional grounds — and each badly disposed to the others.
Last year, Syria’s Kurds seized the opportunity to declare independence from Damascus in areas along the border with Turkey. Today, they control three separate enclaves — Jazira, the largest, in the northeast, Kobani and Afrin. These are among the most peaceful and well-governed areas of the country.
However, the enclave has the misfortune of being located in an area the ISIS is eyeing as part of the Islamic state it is seeking to establish — a wide swath of territory from Anbar and Ninawah provinces in western Iraq through eastern Syria to the Syrian-Turkish border. It already controls a substantial part of eastern Syria, lapping around Kobani.
Now, the area is under siege, as the Islamists seek to starve the Kurds into submission. Jihadi fighters assault its borders with a daily barrage of mortar fire and sniper activity, and occasionally launch all-out ground attacks.
ISIS is the most brutal and extreme of the political-military organizations engaged in the civil war in Syria, ostensibly against President Bashar Al-Assad, but in reality against anyone who does not follow their extremist brand of Islam.
Residents of this new Islamist state are living in conditions of extraordinary brutality. Christians in Raqqa must pay a special tax — the jizya — in accordance with Shariah law. Anyone caught drinking alcohol is imprisoned and tortured….
For their part, the Kurds combine a studied contempt for their opponents’ tactical abilities with a sort of fascinated horror for some of their practices.
“They cut hands, cut heads, play with corpses,” said one female fighter.
“Many of them are on drugs. They attack randomly, haphazardly. But they can’t progress into our areas.”
A male fighter was more succinct. Asked about the Chechens who make up a significant portion of the jihadis’ manpower, he replied, “They are monsters.”…
Monsters? Oh, the Islamophobia!