The story circulating in the news media for the past day of ISIS’s killing 100 of it’s soldiers is confirmed. I avoided mentioning this story until I myself could confirm it. However this is only a portion of the story of events these days inside Ar Raqqa which is ISIS main stronghold inside the Syrian territories. As the story reports, there was a large group of fighters who wanted to leave ISIS. For this they were imprisoned and ultimately executed for the crime of “apostatizing” from the religion.
What the article doesn’t tell you is that ISIS is currently in the midst of an internal crisis. Apparently they were planning to attack Ahrar Asham and Jabha Anusra positions in the Idlib area. However shortly before the attack a disagreement broke out between two factions within the group with the Turkmani’s on one side and the fighters from Kavkaz (region of Chechnya) on the other. A heated argument quickly escalated into weapons being drawn and ultimately fired with the two factions killing members of the other side. The nature of the argument is still not known. This internal division scuttled the sneak attack ISIS was planning on Mujaahideen forces in Idlib. Shortly thereafter the sprawling base at Wadi Daif was overrun by Mujahideen forces in Idlib. This convinced ISIS leadership that the combined forces of Ahrar Asham and Jabha Anusra were too well fortified in Idlib’s suburbs and thus the attack was called off.
In other news in the region of Al Bab, ISIS religious advisor (Shari’) Abu Abdur Rahman Al Misree was assassinated for stating that ISIS was indeed an Islamic state, and obedience to that state was obligatory, but it was not a caliphate. ISIS commanders branded him an apostate for his statements and he was subsequently put to death as a result.
The issue with takfeer movements is that their methodology is one that will not tolerate dissent of any kind, so ultimately the members inevitably turn on one another. They accuse one another of apostasy for the slightest act and due to the fact that all members are armed, the result can quickly turn bloody.
The reasons why some of ISIS membership’s once solid foundation is showing major signs of defection is due to two main reasons as defectors state:
1. Many members were upset that all the fighting they are asked to do in Syria is against other
rebel groups and not Bashar Assad’s forces. This has sown the seeds of doubt regarding ISIS direction and leadership. According to a report on NBCnews.com IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center’s (JTIC) database showed just 13 percent of ISIS attacks during the past year up to Nov. 21 targeted Syrian security forces.
2. The statements of Islamic scholars around the Islamic world condemning ISIS in unison has taken a toll on the membership numbers as well. They cite that the lack of scholarly support for the group has made them doubt the validity of their support for Abu Bakr Baghdadi and the groups methodology.