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August 12, 2012

The Tawhid Corps: The Syrian Moslem Brotherhood's New Army

August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012

Following the Libyan Islamist "Tripoli Corps" model, the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood set up a new Qatari - backed army, the Tawhid Corps. The Tawhid corps recently came to light thanks to aljazeera, the Qatar based Arab TV network. Abdul Qader al-Saleh, the leader of the Tawhid Corps became an instant star after al-Jazeera hosted him for an interview; the interviewer was none other than Ahmad Mowafak Zeidan, aljazeera's former Pakistan correspondent, who interviewed Osama Ben Laden for the popular TV network and was known for his Al-Qaeda sympathies. Zaydan was a member of the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood, and is now active within the Syrian opposition, alongside his Al-Jazeera job.
The Sunday Times reported today that Qatar is pouring money to its allies in Syria to buy weapons and supplies in their fight against Bashar Assad's brutal dictatorship. But the newspaper also reported on American fears from a heavily armed Islamist presence in Syria.

Abdul Qader Al-Saleh, the Tawhid Corps leader

The most interesting part in Zaydan's interview with alsaleh is when the latter was asked about the alQaeda modeled Alnusra Front. Al-Saleh said "they have a presence on the ground, and they are fighting against the regime, so we welcome them". Zaydan nodded with approval. He criticized the Free Syrian Army's leadership in Turkey, calling on them to join the fight against the regime.
Al-Saleh reiterated the Moslem Brotherhood position regarding establishing a civic state post-Assad's dictatorship. He spoke positively about minorities, especially Christians, having equal rights following the overthrow of the incumbent dictator.

In the past few weeks, the Tawhid Brigade uploaded hundreds of videos on its operations, mostly in Aleppo and Idlib, both in Northern Syria. Al-Saleh claims that they are the principal fighters on the Aleppo front, but reality shows otherwise. The Arab Digest interviewed a Syrian opposition member who said the following on the Qatari support and the over-rated Islamic presence among the FSA:

Qatari and Saudi donors stipulate a strict Islamic (Salafist) code for all recipients. This led many fighters to grow beards and pray to receive much needed funding and weapons. The Tawhid Brigade is growing, but it remains one of the fighting factions on the ground; it is definitely not the dominant group.

(Video: Zaydan interviews AlSaleh on Aljazeera)

Zaydan went to lengths in promoting the corps; he videotaped their fighters while sweeping the street.


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