January 8, 2014
When the Islamic Front formed on November 22nd, it marked the unification of seven of the most powerful Islamist rebel groups in Syria, but stopped short of including Al Qaeda-affiliated groups Jabhat a-Nusra and Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS).
Less than two months later, the Islamic Front, while continuing to fight alongside Jabhat a-Nusra in clashes across Syria, has announced its condemnation of ISIS, a group largely composed of non-Syrian militants.
ISIS is a “tyrannical faction that is against us, which still engages in acts contrary to the religion of Allah the almighty, and unjust toward other groups,” Zahran Alloush, the group’s military commander, told Al Jazeera Sunday.
Captain Islam Alloush, a military spokesperson for the Islamic Front, spoke with Syria Direct’s Abdulrahman al-Masri about the Front’s desire to extend an olive branch to foreign fighters waging jihad in Syria as long as they do not attempt “to claim the title of state, because forming a state requires conditions and not just saying the word.”
Q: What is the Islamic Front’s honest position about the clashes that have been taking place between ISIS and other opposition groups?
As we published in our charter on foreign fighters: they are here to support us in the jihad, and their jihad is appreciated. We are responsible for protecting them and their dignity and their jihad. The almighty said, “Is there any reward for good, other than good?” (Or, “One good deed deserves another,” or, “Isn’t the result of a good deed a good deed?”) What is ours is theirs, and our duty is their duty.
We are fighting against those who attacked us, whether foreign fighters or Syrians. We reject the bubble that the media has placed around foreign fighters to distract from the main errors that have been committed. We reject efforts to restrict the jihad to one faction. We don’t accept any one faction claiming the title of state, because forming a state requires conditions and not just saying the word.
Q: But isn’t the Islamic Front fighting ISIS even as it is fighting the regime?
Fighting? No, it’s defending itself against ISIS’ injustice.
Q: ISIS published a statement accusing the Islamic Front of being enemies of Islam, and their Emir issued a fatwa to fight against you. What is your response to this statement?
We don’t begin the fighting, we are only resisting the injustice and the attacks against us by these groups, and defending ourselves by all available means.
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