Located just 40 kilometres from Raqqa, Tabqa military base had been besieged for several weeks, forcing the Syrian regime to supply its trapped soldiers by parachute.After consolidating their position in Raqqa, ISIS turned their sights towards Iraq and the Kurdish areas in Syria, especially Kobani, investing a lot of manpower and American and Russian weaponry in the fight. The result has been a mass exodus of Kurdish civilians from the town and nearby villages towards the Turkish border.
In recent days however, ISIS stepped up its campaign, dispatching suicide bombers to breach the base’s outer wall – including, according to its social media accounts on Friday, Sufian al Omar, a 14-year-old boy who it claimed had joined his father in a “suicide operation” at Tabqa.
Despite government air strikes to try to beat back the attack, the jihadis quashed the remaining pockets of resistance on Sunday and entered the base, killing dozens of soldiers and capturing others.
Capture of the base will allow ISIS to concentrate more its efforts on Iraq, where it’s steady advance has brought it within miles of Iraqi capital.
One of the main powers of ISIS is its ability to recruit hundreds and thousands of alienated, poor and unsophisticated people from all around the world to become suicide bombers. They tell them they will enter paradise, and be granted their virgins. And they can point to Islamic scripture to justify their methods because many of the recruits are not educated about the Koran, and have no idea that their religious recruiters are peddling bullshit to them.
A former member of ISIS, who goes by the name of Sherko Omer, says he joined the group mistakenly. His recruiters misled him by saying he was being taken to a Free Syrian Army camp which turned out to be an ISIS camp. He explains how ISIS disposes of its zealous and ignorant recruits who have no fighting skills or an educational background in this interview. Here is an excerpt:
Nonetheless, many IS jihadist fighters truly believed all this but foreign recruits had no clue as to what the verses of holy Quran actually meant. I saw many foreign recruits who were put in the suicide squads not because they were "great and God wanted it" as IS commanders praised them in front of us, but basically because they were useless for IS, they spoke no Arabic, they weren’t good fighters and had no professional skills. They were brainwashed into the “women in heaven” and those they could rape on earth before they eventually killed themselves. I am alive partly thanks to my qualifications.It is important to know that ISIS recruits people through deception and that the recruits, like the one in the interview above, feel trapped and too fearful to escape to safety. There are many interview of young Tunisian or European Jihadists on YouTube who regret joining ISIS and coming to Syria and admit that they fell for their exceptional propaganda.
You have to remember that IS has been portrayed as an organisation of gangs only, although this is evident what they do, but the political leadership pay unbelievable attention to education and educated recruits.
Omer said that ISIS's leadership provides its members with all sorts of goodies, from foreign cars to conquered brides. They seek to recreate paradise on earth, for the short while they are here, and entice their brainwashed followers to commit to the cause with even greater fanaticism in order to get the reward of paradise for eternity in the afterlife.
This practice is not new. ISIS is not innovating anything. The brainwashing of suicide bombers in such a manner, especially the young and easily impressionable, was done by Hassan-i Sabbah and his Assassins. Below is an excerpt from, "A History of Secret Societies" by Arkon Daraul
Hasan began to attract young men from the surrounding countryside, between the ages of twelve and twenty: particularly those whom he marked out as possible material for the production of killers. Every day he held court, a reception at which he spoke of the delights of Paradise... "and at certain times he caused draughts of soporific nature to be administered to ten or a dozen youths, and when half dead with sleep he had them conveyed to the several palaces and apartments of the garden. Upon awakening from this state of lethargy their senses were struck by all the delightful objects, and each perceiving himself surrounded by lovely damsels, singing, playing, and attracting his regards by the most fascinating caresses, serving him also with delicious viands and exquisite wines, until, intoxicated with excess and enjoyment, amidst actual rivers of milk and wine, he believed himself assuredly in Paradise, and felt an unwillingness to relinquish its delights. When four or five days had thus been passed, they were thrown once more into a state of somnolency, and carried out of the garden. Upon being carried to his presence, and questioned by him as to where they had been, their answer was 'in Paradise, through the favour of your highness'; and then, before the whole court who listened to them with eager astonishment and curiosity, they gave a circumstantial account of the scenes to which they had been witnesses. The chief thereupon addressing them said: 'We have the assurance of our Prophet that he who defends his Lord shall inherit Paradise, and if you show yourselves to be devoted to the obedience of my orders, that happy lot awaits you'."Nearly a decade ago, Robert A. Pape, a scholar and Professor from the University of Chicago, wrote the book, "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism," arguing that military occupation, not Islam, is to blame for the rise of suicide bombing since 9/11. He wrote an article for Foreign Policy in October 2010 called, "It's the Occupation, Stupid."
Suicide was at first attempted by some; but the survivors were early told that only death in the obedience of Hasan's orders could give the Key to Paradise. In the eleventh century it was not only credulous Persian peasants who would have believed such things were true. Even among more sophisticated people the reality of the gardens and houris of paradise were completely accepted. True, a good many Sufis preached that the garden was allegorical - but that still left more than a few people who believed that they could trust the evidence of their senses.
Occupation is a big factor when local Afghans decide to blow themselves up in order to drive the foreign NATO invaders out of their country. Only a blind fool would deny that. But what makes ISIS members use that same tactic against fellow Sunnis, the Syrian army, Kurds, Shiites, and Christians, who are not occupying their land?
This is where the brainwashing kicks in. And there is ample material within the texts of Islam which allows conquerors, under one banner or another, in one era or another, to convince gullible young people to become suicide bombers and reach paradise.
According to the interview linked above, ISIS members are told that they are pure, that ISIS has a pure and holy mission on earth, and that they must "purify" the Muslims who are around them before attacking the infidels and the Jews. In their minds 90 percent of Muslims qualify as impure, so if they have it their way, they will to do everything to kill all of them before they engage Israel and the West in war. Such simplistic thinking is a recipe for genocide, and it is why Christianity in Iraq is no more.
Video Title: Egyptian TV Host: I Can Understand Suicide Bombings in Israel, But Not against Muslims or Christians. Source: MEMRI TV. Date Published: September 21, 2014. Description:
Egyptian TV host Rola Kharsa said on her show on August 30, 2014 that although she does not condone suicide bombings, she can perhaps understand when people carry out such attacks against Israel. However, she cannot understand how people carry out suicide bombings against fellow citizens, Muslims or Christians.