Analyses of the Islamic State's history in Iraq and Syria have noted some different categories of people who have been members of the group. The most widely known categories are those of muhajireen (general term for the foreign fighters) and ansar (general term for local fighters in Iraq and Syria). An angle that has been much less explored is that of the distinctions among the local fighters of the Islamic State and how these played out on the ground. That this angle has been far less explored is no surprise on account of the lack of much concrete data. Now though, we finally have some testimony that touches on this angle, exploring the rather interesting case of distinctions between Iraqi Arab members of the organisation and their Iraqi Turkmen counterparts (dubbed the 'al-Qaradish') in the Ninawa region of northwest Iraq. It is known of course that many people of Iraqi Turkmen origin have held important positions in the Islamic State such as Abu Ali al-Anbari, and it is likely that the current leader of the Islamic State is of Iraqi Turkmen origin if he is indeed the figure 'al-Hajj Abdullah' who was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's deputy.
However, this is the first insider testimony work that explores the issue of relations between the Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Turkmen in Islamic State in substantial depth. The author of this work is Abu Muslim al-Iraqi, a former amni who wrote two prior parts (see here and here) about his experiences inside the Islamic State, criticising the organisation as oppressive and unjust in various ways. I recommend reading those works if you have not already done so. This third instalment in Abu Muslim al-Iraqi's testimony is specifically dedicated to exploring the Arab vs. Turkmen dynamic among local Iraqi members of the Islamic State in the Ninawa region, which he argues was a factor in the Islamic State's undoing as this kind of division embodies ethnic nationalisms that are contrary to Islam. Though the author asserts his neutrality in the dynamic and argues that both sides erred, I could not help feeling that he considers the 'al-Qaradish' to have committed more wrong, though he does point out faults among the Arab members of the al-Ba'aj sector as well.
Some of the interesting and reports and claims in Abu Muslim al-Iraqi's testimony:
. The Arab-Turkmen tensions predated the conquest of al-Mosul in 2014 and began with issues surrounding the Islamic State's extensive extortion operations in Ninawa. Specifically, the Arab members operating in al-Ba'aj extorted money from the wealthy in their area. They gave the money to the Turkmen Islamic State members of the Telafar area, who then hoarded the money for themselves and used it to make purchases for their own needs and equipment while marginalising the al-Ba'aj group. The complaints led the General Supervisory Committee to split the west Ninawa countryside into two sectors: the al-Ba'aj sector for the Arab members of the al-Ba'aj area, and the al-Jazeera sector for the Turkmen members. The former became responsible for the borders with Syria and was responsible for smuggling Abu Muhammad al-Jowlani into Syria.
. After the conquest of al-Mosul and much of northern Iraq, the Islamic State pursued within Iraq a policy of appointing local members to administer their areas. In Rabi'a for example the group appointed someone of Shammar origin (local to Rabi'a) as amir for the area, but this person had previously worked in the al-Ba'aj sector, and the Turkmen members of Islamic State refused to obey him as they considered Rabi'a within their authority and they rejected him as someone of the al-Ba'aj group. This contributed to the fall of Rabi'a.
. Once the al-Ba'aj and al-Jazeera sectors were merged into a 'Wilayat al-Jazeera,' leadership positions in that wilaya became the monopoly of the Turkmen, who liked to take administrative and office positions but were unwilling to assume responsibility themselves for the difficult military fronts, which they then delegated to Turks and Azeris (fellow Turkic peoples) and thus they marginalised the Arabs anyway.
. Such was the resentment that the Arabs of al-Ba'aj group held for the Turkmen that once Telafar and al-Mosul became besieged and they learnt of the news, they were glad to be rid of the connection with Telafar. In the meantime, a division was set up (al-Fatah Division) from the remnants of other Islamic State military divisions with the goal of breaking the sieges of Telafar and al-Mosul, but there were conflicts over leadership of the division: on one side, the Turkmen wali of Wilayat al-Jazeera and his successor to the wilaya, on another the Arabs of al-Ba'aj and al-Qayrwan, and on a third side the remnants of the al-Kawasir Division. While operations were launched in attempts to break the sieges, they were poorly executed and more like incinerators for the Islamic State fighters.
. When Telafar fell, the Uzbeks and Tajiks residing in the town were left to be captured by the Iraqi forces.
. The Delegated Committee was made aware of the grievances against the imposition of the Turkmen over Wilayat al-Jazeera leadership, but the Delegated Committee did nothing about it and effectively wished to appease the Turkmen, fearing defections.
Some other interesting details for historians include the line of succession of governors of Islamic State's Wilayat al-Jazeera and the military formations.
Below is the text translated in full. Note that the endnotes are the author's own.
The Testimony of a Repenting Amni (3)
Written by Abu Muslim al-Iraqi (may God protect him and guide him).
al-Wafa' Media Foundation
The Testimony of a Repenting Amni (3)
Rights of printing and publication are open to every Muslim man and woman provided that the contents of the book are not infringed upon through deletion or addition.
First printing: al-Muharram 1442 AH (September/Aylul 2020 CE)
al-Wafa' Media Foundation
The Testimony of a Repenting Amni (3)
Written by Abu Muslim al-Iraqi (may God protect him and guide him)
al-Wafa' Media Foundation
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God and it has sufficed, and prayers and peace be upon the Prophet al-Mustafa, and on his family and companions the imams of guidance, and on the one who follows and tracks his footstep.
As for what follows:
After I mentioned some of the crimes of the security apparatus in the Awadi state in part one from my testimony against them, and after I came upon mentioning a simple aspect of their media lying, and the imposition of the walis on the Muslims, and the discrimination between the soldiers and the amirs in part two, I present now to you in part three the fitna of the Arabs and the 'Turkmen' (al-Qaradish)[i] that was in the 'Dawla.' And I will speak of it as an eye witness, not as a judge or claimant against one group besides another, for in my view all are mistaken.
And whoso has been silent about that fitna is mistaken as well, for the division that was in 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' between the Arabs and the 'Turkmen' was a serious and great division. Indeed it was among the most important reasons for the collapse of the 'Dawla' as the conflict was between two conflicting axes not coming together: in both of them what God is well aware in terms of Jahiliya.
The Partisanship for Tribe, Region and Ethnic Nationalism
That rotten ethnic nationalism that is the fruit of the disbelieving 'Ba'ath Party' that planted it in the souls of the Muslims over half a century: despite the infiltration of this Jahili ethnic nationalism and its diffusion in the 'Dawla,' many of the mujahideen themselves ignored it. And that is for a clear and well-known reason among all and it is: the claim of preserving the rank and not splitting it: this pretext that destroyed the jihad, and dispersed the mujahideen, and made the virtuous women become sabaya among the atheists of the 'PKK' as the leaders of the organisation of the 'Hujjaj' worked to keep quiet the likes of these matters, and they planted in the minds of the soldiers that mention of something of it openly and in public is of irjaf and splitting the rank and stirring up fitna, even if the aim of mentioning it is to rectify the matter and correct it before it should be too late.
They mandated the avoiding of acting upon that serious damage through mention so that the rank should not be split! The rank that they polish in the visual releases while it is in truth a rank exhausted, torn, divided in a partisan way, separated and divided into ranks: a rank for the leaders, a rank for the soldiers, a rank for the veterans,[ii] a rank for the new members,[iii] a rank for the muhajireen, a rank for the Iraqis, a rank for the Syrians, a rank for the Arabs, and a rank for the 'Qaradish' and...etc., so the conflict and pushing of one another were constituted over a number of stages of time.
The Occupation of Iraq and the Fall of 'Saddam Hussein'
Iraq is composed of a number of ethnicities and 'Ninawa' has the biggest share of these ethnicities. The Almighty has said: 'Oh people, We created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes to know one another. Indeed the noblest of you in God's eyes is the most pious of you. Indeed God is well-aware and knowing' (al-Hujarat 13). So after the Americans entered Iraq, and the tyrant of Iraq 'Saddam Hussein' fell- may God bring him to perdition- and the sun of the jihad rose upon the land of the two rivers, the Ahl al-Sunna in Iraq in general and 'Ninawa' in particular rushed to repel the aggressor enemy, and did not think at that time of establishing a state or emirate. For every group of them began with small numbers to undertake special operations against the American forces and the tongue of their state of affairs says: 'And fight in the path of God. You are only responsible for yourself. And rouse the believers. Perhaps God will repel the might of those who have disbelieved. And God is mightiest and strongest in inflicting damage' (al-Nisa' 84).
And like every special fighting operation, they needed financing, so the financing of those operations was from their own wealth such that every region formed a group particular to it, so in west 'Ninawa' there lives a mixture of 'Turkmen' (al-Qaradish) in 'Telafar,'[iv] 'al-Ayadhiya' and 'al-Muhlabiya' and the Arabs live in 'al-Ba'aj' and 'Rabi'a' and 'Tel Abtah' (al-Jabban) and 'al-Qayrwan' (Balij), and the Kurds live in the town of 'Sinjar' in west 'Ninawa.' And Sheikh 'Abu Ali al-Anbari'- may God accept him- formed the 'Kata'ib Muhammad Rasul Allah' in 'Telafar' and the rest of the regions of the 'al-Qaradish,' while 'Abu Bakr al-Khatouni'[v] formed 'Saraya al-Mujahideen' in 'al-Ba'aj' and its countryside areas.
As for the 'Kurds' who joined the convoy of the mujahideen, they are a small group who can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
The formation of these groups and factions came in a spontaneous sense because every member of these regions joined the fighting groups with those he knew of the brothers, and his joining of them was not on an ethnic nationalist or regionalist basis- praise be to God- and after the appearance of Sheikh 'Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi'- may God accept him- his group represented at the time in 'Jama'at al-Tawheed wa al-Jihad' found welcoming and acceptance in the hearts of the mujahideen, so most of the factions joined 'Jama'at al-Tawheed wa al-Jihad.' And among those factions that pledged allegiance to him: 'Kata'ib Muhammad Rasul Allah' after its defection from the 'Jama'at Ansar al-Sunna,' and 'Saraya al-Mujahideen.'
'The Islamic State of Iraq'
And after the spread of the expanse of the jihad in Iraq, there was announced the rise of the 'Islamic State of Iraq' in a visual speech by Sheikh 'Muharib al-Juburi'[vi] who was succeeded by 'Abu Muhammad al-Adnani' after his killing- may God accept him- and 'Hamid al-Rawi' (Abu Omar al-Baghdadi) was appointed amir for the 'Dawla', and the 'Dawla' was divided into 'wilayas' and 'sectors,' so there was among those 'wilayas' that were established: 'Wilayat Ninawa' that was known later as 'Wilayat al-Shamal': and in it 'al-Mosul', 'Kirkuk' and 'Salah al-Din', and 'Abu Talha al-Ansari' was made amir of it, and 'Ninawa' was divided into three 'sectors' and they are: 'city sector' (also called: 'al-Dakhil'), 'southern sector' in south of 'al-Mosul' and 'al-Jazeera sector' in west of 'al-Mosul.' Then the 'al-Qaradish' and the 'al-Ba'aj group' of Arabs were gathered into one 'sector' that is the 'al-Jazeera sector' in west 'Ninawa.'
And from here began the first signs of the conflict and quarrels between the 'al-Ba'aj group' and the 'al-Qaradish,' for the war spoils were the beginning of this conflict between the mujahideen of 'al-Ba'aj that were considered the tip of the spear of the Arabs in this rotten Jahili conflict, and the mujahideen of 'Telafar' that were considered the tip of the spear of the 'al-Qaradish' in this blazing disagreement. And their disputes reached the 'General Supervisory Committee'[vii] in that time, for they- that is, the 'al-Ba'aj group'- were gathering wealth from the wealthy of their areas and paying it to the 'al-Qaradish' through what was known- before the conquest of 'Mosul' in 1435 AH (2014 CE)- as the 'Diwan al-Iqtisad'[viii] that was imposing each year- more or less- heavy sums on the wealthy of 'al-Mosul' reaching $30,000 for the individual or more according to his wealth. And likewise the companies of connections, factories, pharmacies and vegetable stores in the 'al-Ma'ash market'[ix] paid money.
And likewise the contractors paid, and whoso refrained from paying was targeted or his properties burnt, and those of the rich who were compelled to pay on one of the occasions: 'Faris Ghanim Nahir Atbil al-Hazimi al-Juburi.'[x]
And the 'al-Qaradish' for their part were keeping the money in their hands, and preparing the equipment for themselves from weapons, clothes and cars for the 'Telafar' group, while the 'al-Ba'aj' group was marginalised. And on account of the multiple complaints of the people of 'al-Ba'aj and their grumbling and the escalation of the matter, the order came from the 'General Supervisory Committee' for the 'al-Ba'aj sector' to be newly established. So the 'sector' was divided into 'two sectors': 'sector for the Arabs' represented in the 'al-Ba'aj sector' and 'Abu Dawud Ba'aj'[xi] was made amir of it, and a 'sector for the al-Qaradish' represented in the 'al-Jazeera sector.'
And because the position of the 'al-Ba'aj sector' borders the artificial Iraqi-Syrian borders, the mission of the borders was assigned to it, so the brothers were transferred to Syria through it, and 'Abu Muhammad al-Jowlani' was transferred through it, and the one who transferred him was 'Abu Ghafran al-Obeidi.'[xii] And this state of affairs continued until after the conquest of 'al-Mosul.'
The Fall of 'Rabi'a'
After the conquest of 'al-Mosul' and the seizure of most of the areas of 'Ninawa,' 'Rabi'a' which is mostly inhabited by the Arab tribes like 'Shammar' and others was within those areas that were conquered and it was under the amirship of the 'al-Qaradish' in the 'al-Jazeera sector.' But the policy pursued in the 'Dawla' organisation in Iraq was that the area should be administered by its sons of those affiliated with the 'Dawla,' so the order came for the amirship of 'Rabi'a' and its countryside areas to be received by 'Abu Muthanna al-Shammary'[xiii]- and he was among those working in the 'al-Ba'aj sector'- instead of 'Abu Dawud al-Afari'[xiv] who was of the 'al-Qaradish.' But this did not please the 'al-Qaradish' so they said: 'How can we have the area then one of the al-Ba'aj group comes to receive the amirship of one of the localities of our sector?!'
This disagreement was during the attack of the apostates of the 'Peshmerga' on the locality of 'Rabi'a,' so they did not obey the orders of 'Abu Muthanna' and they quarrelled over the amirship, while the apostates advanced, until 'Rabi'a' fell, and the apostates reached the heart of 'Sinjar,' so 'Abu Muthanna' returned as he retreated into out sector- 'al-Ba'aj sector'- and I saw him in the base[xv] of the amni 'Abu Ruqayya al-Obeidi'[xvi]- and he was limping with 'Abu Ghafran al-Obeidi' and 'Abu Ruqayya,' so he spoke about what happened and said: 'It is defection! They did not obey me and they clung to Abu Dawud Qardash' as amir over them.'
The New Establishment of 'Wilayat al-Jazeera'
Things remained as they were until the loss of 'Zummar,' 'Rabi'a' and their countryside areas, and the fighting reached the heart of the locality of 'Sinjar,' so 'al-Ba'aj sector' was merged with 'al-Jazeera sector' so that 'al-Jazeera' should become in that a 'wilaya' independent from 'Ninawa,' and 'Abu Hussam'[xvii]- who was of the 'al-Qaradish'- was appointed wali of the new 'wilaya,' and he was succeeded by 'al-Hajj To'ameh Qardash,'[xviii] and after him 'Abu Ibrahim Qardash,'[xix] and after him 'Abd al-Aal Qardash,'[xx] and he was the last wali before the fall of 'wilaya' and its centre 'Telafar' and after its fall and transformation into a 'security wilaya' (imaginary wilaya), 'al-Mulla Ghareeb al-Turkmani'[xxi] was appointed over it.
And from here began the great confrontation and great division, and the evil ethnic nationalism moved between the two sides, for 'Abu Hussam' gathered the vehicles of the 'al-Ba'aj sector' and distributed them to the areas of the 'al-Qaradish': and they are 'Sinjar,' 'Shandukha' and 'al-Ayadhiya,' which stirred up the grudge of the 'al-Ba'aj grouo' and the 'al-Qaradish' justified this on the pretext that they had gathered the weapons of 'the two sectors' and divided them equally. But I saw in the one unit performing ribat on 'Mount Sinjar' two cars, each one of them with an anti-aircraft machine gun that was almost limited to calibre 12.5, 14 or 23 mm, and a car for the brothers to transport them to the centre of the town and bring them back. But after it was made one 'wilaya' I hardly saw in it- indeed I did not find- one car upon which there was anti-aircraft weaponry.
And likewise the weapons were few and the brothers were in great need, so the cursing and reviling of the 'al-Qaradish' by the 'al-Ba'aj group' was well-known, along with their prayers against the 'al-Qaradish' more than their prayers against the disbelievers and apostates. And that matter was spread between the soldiers and amirs of the units, and no one condemned anyone.
The Positions of the Amirs
The foundations of the conflict began since the establishment of this 'wilaya' and the intensification of the disagreement and hatred for each other. And among that: what happened on one of the occasions when we were sitting- I, 'Abu Yahya al-Bajari'[xxii] and Sheikh 'Abu A'isha al-Badrani'[xxiii]- and there was with us as I recall Sheikh 'Abu Othman al-Shari'i,'[xxiv] for 'Abu Yahya' said: 'There came to me one of the officials in Telafar, so he asked me to change the amir of the Agriculture office to be exclusively from the al-Qaradish!' And 'Abu Yahya' was shouting in agitation while Sheikh 'Abu A'isha' was calming him down saying: 'Let us be patient, perhaps it is better.' Then there happened what all feared! After the control of the 'al-Qaradish' was imposed on the amirship of 'Wilayat al-Jazeera,' they inevitably silenced every voice conflicting with them or disagreeing with them in opinion, so they made the amir of the 'Tel Abtah' sector of the 'al-Qaradish'! That person later became the wali of the 'wilaya' and he is 'Abu Ibrahim Qardash,' and the amir of 'al-Muhlabiya' also was from the 'al-Qaradish'! And the amir of 'al-Qayrwan' was of the 'al-Qaradish'! And he was 'Abu Omar Masajid.'[xxv] And the amir of 'Sinjar' was likewise of the 'al-Qaradish'!
'Abu Maryam al-Juburi al-Askari'[xxvi] was replacing the amirs of 'Sinjar' with frequency as the amirship became confined to the 'al-Qaradish.' Then came the turn for the 'al-Ba'aj sector' and it was- as we mentioned- the tip of the spear for the Arabs in west 'Ninawa.' So they dispersed the leaders of this 'sector' as Sheikh 'Abu A'isha al-Badrani' was transferred to 'Wilayat Shamal Baghdad' and the brother 'Abu Farhan al-Shari'i'[xxvii] was transferred to 'Jazeerat al-Khalidiya'[xxviii] (Wilayat al-Anbar), and likewise the administrative official 'Abu Ahmad al-Mousawi'[xxix] and 'Abu Hatem'[xxx] the amir of the 'sector' were removed outside the 'sector' and transferred to the distant 'wilayas' that were witnessing fighting, in order to be rid of the two of them.
And they pushed 'al-Mulla Ghareeb al-Turkmani' to become amir of 'al-Ba'aj.' This aroused the grudge of the brothers in 'al-Ba'aj.' And there appeared the cursing of the 'al-Qaradish' and detraction of them in the 'guest houses' and inside the offices of the 'Diwans' and among the amirs of the sectors of the 'Dawla' in 'al-Ba'aj.' And when there occurred the massacre of the brothers in the village of 'al-Qahtaniya,'[xxxi] I was sitting in the 'Islamic Police office' with 'Abu Anas al-Saba'[xxxii] and 'Abu Khattab'[xxxiii] and 'Abu Abbas Hanish al-Shari'i,'[xxxiv] so we mentioned what happened in the massacre, and how the amirs of sector showed negligence towards what happened to the brothers: indeed they were sitting to laugh only four hours after their painful killing! So 'Abu Abbas' said, and he was speaking with bitterness: 'Naturally they laugh, for those who have been killed are of the Arab brothers and not of the al-Qaradish!'
And the targeting of the amirs of the sectors of 'al-Ba'aj sector' began, so the brother 'Abu Anwar Zira'a'[xxxv] was removed from the amirship of the 'al-Ba'aj sector agricultural office' and there was appointed instead of him 'Abu Sadiq al-Afari,'[xxxvi] and likewise they placed their sights on the 'al-Ba'aj sector security office' so they put in place one of the 'al-Qaradish' upon it, and likewise the 'al-Ba'aj sector health office' in which there was 'Abu Ali Muhlabiya'[xxxvii] who was removed in order for 'Abu Qasim Qardash' to receive his place, despite the fact that 'Abu Ali' was of the 'al-Qaradish,' but he was removed because he was affiliated with 'al-Ba'aj' and so with the 'al-Ba'aj group' of old. Then they moved to the military sector! But it was difficult for them to receive the military command as there was only 'Mount Sinjar' in terms of exertion, hardship and ribat, and the 'al-Qaradish' could not abandon the offices and air conditioners in order to go to ribat.
So they could only resort to appointing the muhajireen from the 'Turks' and the 'Azeris'[xxxviii] so this idea was the most cunning solution for this problem that faced them, and thus they succeeded in being rid of the Arabs by withdrawing the amirship from them, and all became under their authority while they were in their offices under cooling. And there was among those who were appointed of the amirs 'Abd al-Wahhab al-Azeri' who inflicted harsh punishments on the brothers to the point that some of the brothers were washing his own clothes while he remained still in his place, besides incidents where he hit the brothers and humiliated them. Among those incidents: an incident where he slapped and degraded the administrative official 'Khalid al-Rashid'- may God accept him- because of his delay in come to him for half an hour, and when a complaint was submitted against him they closed the case immediately for they were the accused and they were the judges at the same time.
The 'military administration for the al-Ba'aj sector' was under the amirship of 'Abu Bara' al-Turki,' and whoso of the brothers complained to him would be accused of shortcoming in the end of the matter! And I heard the brothers often praying against him and hoping for his killing.
The Fall of 'Sinjar'
This disagreement has great impact in the fall of 'Sinjar' for after the withdrawal of the equipment to 'Telafar' and the town of 'Sinjar' (as 'Mount Sinjar' was under the amirship of the 'al-Ba'aj group' and the rest of the fronts were for the 'al-Qaradish'), 'Mount Sinjar' was left with some cars and units in which the number of the brothers did not reach ten persons, despite their knowledge of the attack. And the media of the disbelievers had publicised their preparation for the attack, and the mujahideen were mobilised and we were barred from returning to our homes, but we were left as prey for the apostate 'Peshmerga' forces and the aircraft of the Crusader 'international coalition'!
The apostates came down from a number of axes, so their axis from 'our sector' was the village of 'Jadala' and 'Tel Hayal' in the west of 'Sinjar,' so the brothers were killed there and those who remained alive found no car to get them out! And the other diwans of 'al-Ba'aj' were mobilised to repel the attack, and they were all killed- may God accept them- and among them: the amni 'Adnan' and 'Abu Diham Zakat' and 'Abu Abd al-Khatouni.'[xxxix]
But the question is where were 'Abu Eisa al-Azeri' (the general military official for the 'al-Ba'aj sector') and 'al-Mulla Ghareeb al-Turkmani' (the amir of the 'al-Ba'aj sectpr') and 'Abu Bilal al-Harbi' (the deputy general military official for 'al-Ba'aj sector')? All these three were on leave permit in their homes!
The brothers withdrew as they should have without there coming any support for them from 'Telafar' and I was rescuing the corpses of the brothers by my God- and God is our reliance and He suffices as trustee- and as for 'Sinjar' for which they gathered the weapons and equipment, it was abandoned in a little while, and the explosive belts were filling the paths along the path of withdrawal from 'Sinjar' to the locality of 'al-Qayrwan' (Balij).
The War Spoils
'al-Ba'aj' is an agricultural area noted for growing wheat and barley, and also for the fact that it relies on the rains, and in it is great livestock. And in the harvest season the wheat and barley were bought from the farmers and gathered in thousands of tons! But these crops were not sent to the poor of 'al-Ba'aj' or to the 'Diwan al-Zakat', and they were not taken to the poor in 'Telafar' and they were not distributed to the mujahideen, but rather they were gathered and transferred to 'al-Muhlabiya' near 'Telafar' and were left in big warehouses in the locality as war spoils for the apostate 'al-Hashd al-Sha'abi' on a platter to be taken without force or exertion! Meanwhile the people of our areas bought flour and food goods from the markets!
'The Battle of al-Mosul'
When the 'battle of al-Mosul' began the aim of the apostates was to besiege it, so they turned from the village of 'Ein al-Jahsh' south of 'al-Mosul' to the village of 'Tel Zalt' and the village of "Adaya' in the countryside of 'Tel Abtah.' Then they headed to 'Telafar airport' so they seized it, and they advanced to the point of taking the two villages of 'al-Amudiya' and 'Ain al-Hisan,' and their axis became connected with the axis of the 'Peshmerga' in 'Sinjar' such that they completed the siege of 'al-Mosul' and 'Telafar'! And in that time the personnel of the 'Dawla' in 'al-Ba'aj' did not realise that the mujahideen in 'al-Mosul' and 'Telafar' became besieged and that the matter was important! But rather they thought from another angle that showed the depth of the division that afflicted the group, so they said: 'Praise be to God our connection with Telafar has been broken, and the authority of the al-Qaradish has disappeared from us, and our matter has come into our hands!' And things got to the point with them that one of them called on his wireless device- while he was in our bases- saying: 'Rejoice oh brothers, caliphate on the al-Qaradish methodology has ended, and it has become a caliphate on the Prophetic methodology!'
Then the 'al-Fatah Division'[xl] was established to break the siege of 'Telafar' and 'al-Mosul,' and there was disagreement on the amirship of the 'division' and who should be the decision-maker in it! And there was no zeal of the two sides except for amirship and supremacy and authority, despite those difficult circumstances. So 'Abu Ibrahim Qardash' the wali of 'al-Jazeera'- at that time- and 'Abd al-Aal' who succeeded him to the 'wilaya' wanted the 'division' and its personnel to be under their amirship, and that the decision-making should be theirs, while the 'al-Ba'aj group' and 'al-Qayrwan' (Balij) likewise wanted its amirship for themselves, and likewise the amirs of the 'al-Kawasir Division'[xli] wanted the amirship and authority for themselves.
And the matter continued upon that for a number of weeks or months, and meanwhile the operations followed in succession to break the siege, but they were frivolous operations without true leadership, closer to being an incinerator into which the brothers were placed to be killed, and their scattered corpses and charred vehicles are a living witness to the awfulness of the situation and lack of wisdom and guidance. And whoso returned from the brothers in that time returned as a fugitive outcast, and all of that was because of the fact that the Arabs, 'al-Qaradish' and the amirs of the 'al-Kawasir Division' were fighting each other.
And on top of that catastrophe was a new catastrophe: namely, the appointment of 'Abu Anas Haditha' as amir of the 'al-Fatah Division.' If only it had remained without an amir! So his amirship only saw a rise and increase in the number of those slain.
The Fall of 'Telafar'
'Telafar' contained vehicles, ammunition and goods to suffice for years of fighting and steadfastness, and that is because of the fact that the weapons and cars were gathered from 'sectors': 'al-Ba'aj,' 'Tel Abtah' and 'al-Qayrwan' in addition to the wheat and barley of those areas in it. Indeed even the oil products were stored in 'Telafar' and hoarded over 'al-Ba'aj' and the rest of the 'sectors.' And no sooner had the attack on 'Telafar' begun than the organisation fled from it leaving behind the filled up storage places behind it, and as usual the one who had money got out through smuggling, and the smugglers coordinated with the apostate 'al-Hashd al-Sha'abi' to the south, and with the 'Peshmerga' to the north. And they are now outside of Iraq. As for the muhajireen of the 'Tajiks' and 'Uzbeks' and others who lived in the 'northern al-Kifah neighbourhood' in 'Telafar', they were captured along with their families and abandoned for the Rafidites after they were barred from leaving, so they are people of distinguished characteristics who do not resemble the Arabs and can be easily recognised.
'Wilayat al-Badiya': and what will make you understand what is 'Wilayat al-Badiya'! So after what happened arose because of the conflict between the Arabs and the 'al-Qaradish,' and what that led to from defeats and malices, the door of fitna was left open on its hinges, so on one occasion we were sitting with 'Abu Farhan al-Shari'i'- may God accept him- in the base of 'Abu Hassan SPG-nine'[xlii] so we asked 'Abu Farhan': 'Why did the al-Hujjaj leave the al-Qaradish to be imposed in this way?' He said: 'We raised the matter to them so they said: 'We fear their defection and we want to show ourselves willing to please them!' That is, after the 'Delegated Committee' had reviewed and become aware of all the details of what happened from division, dispute and conflict between the Arabs and 'al-Qaradish'! They ignored the matter and were silent about it on the pretext of not splitting the rank of the 'Dawla'!
Then they decided after all was lost to divide 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' into 'two wilayas': 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' and in it: 'Telafar,' 'al-Muhlabiya,' 'al-Ayadhiya' and 'Zummar,' and 'Wilayat al-Badiya' whose first wali was 'al-Hajj Shaker' and in it: 'al-Ba'aj,' 'al-Qayrwan,' 'Tel Abtah' and 'Rabi'a.' This was at a time when there did not remain a foothold for them in these areas: for Telafar had entirely fallen into the hands of the Rafidites. And there only remained for them 'al-Ba'aj'! But the 'al-Qaradish' were not content with that, which led to great stumbling in their media about this matter! For on one occasion they have attributed operations that occurred in the areas of 'Wilayat al-Badiya' to 'Wilayat al-Jazeera,' and on another they have attributed them to 'Wilayat al-Badiya'! So in the release 'Flames of War' (part two)[xliii] they mentioned 'al-Badiya' and in the release 'So Strike the Necks'[xliv] they only mentioned 'al-Jazeera,' and likewise this stumbling of theirs afflicted 'al-Amaq News Agency' so one time they mentioned the areas of 'al-Ba'aj in the name of 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' and another time in the name of 'Wilayat al-Badiya.'
But in truth they have had no presence in 'Telafar' or 'al-Ba'aj,' and the explosions that happened and were the claimed operation in 'Telfar'[xlv] are an embodiment of homes booby-trapped a while back since the fall of 'Sinjar.' And before that what happened in the two residential areas of 'al-Qahtaniya' and 'al-Adnaniya.' But rather there are groups in 'al-Ba'aj' countryside that is filled with buried wealth that was taken by shepherds: and God is our reliance and He suffices as trustee.
Written by: Abu Muslim al-Iraqi
Wednesday 21 al-Muharram 1442 AH
Corresponding to 9 September (Aylul) 2020 CE
[i] Qaradish: plural of 'Qardash,' and it is a Turkish word meaning: 'my brother.' And this term is applied by the 'Turkmen' to every Turkmani person. So 'Qaradish' means 'our brothers.'
[ii] That is, those who pledged allegiance to the 'Dawla' before its expansion to al-Sham.
[iii] That is, those who pledged allegiance to the 'Dawla' after its expansion to al-Sham.
[iv] They are likewise called 'al-Afara': plural of Afari. And it is every Turkmani living in 'Telafar,' as you hardly find an Arab in 'Telafar,' therefore the naming has been confined to them.
[v] Abu Bakr al-Khatouni: from the people of the village of 'Ein al-Hisan' south of the 'Sinjar cement factory.' And he was the founder of the 'Saraya al-Mujahideen' faction, a person of authentic manhaj. And he was among the rich people of the area. He was arrested in the year 1424-1425 AH (2004 CE)- approximately- at the hands of the American forces, and his group 'Saraya al-Mujahideen' was among those who pledged allegiance to 'Jama'at al-Tawheed wa al-Jihad' under the amirship of Sheikh 'Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi'- may God accept him- who later pledged allegiance to 'al-Qa'ida.' And after he got out of prison the 'Islamic State of Iraq' had arisen and was established, so he wanted to bring tofether the dispersal of his veteran companions and defect from the 'Dawla,' but inevitably the 'Dawla' pursued him and chased him until he turned fleeing outside of Iraq. And it is to be noted that the outbreak of the dispute and aggravation between the Arabs and 'Turkmen' became a greasy subject for kindling the fitna between the mujahideen and feeding the conflict. So when 'al-Mosul' was entered- for example- the satellite 'al-Arabiya' (al-Ibiriya) channel published misleading false information claiming that the amir of the 'al-Mosul expedition' was 'Abu Bakr al-Khatouni' contrary to the reality and truth.
[vi] The visual speech: 'Announcing the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq' issued by the 'Media Commission for the Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen in Iraq.' Date: Ramadan 1427 AH (October/Tishreen al-Awal 2006 CE).
[vii] Its name was changed in 1437 AH (2015 CE) to the 'Delegated Committee.'
[viii] Its missions relied on bring and gathering wealth, for before the expansion to al-Sham the 'Dawla' did not have a source of income or financing, for there was no oil, taxes or other things because they did not military control land, so they relied on ransom, war spoils and the like.
[ix] al-Ma'ash market: the biggest market to sell vegetables in general in 'al-Mosul.' And it is located in 'al-Tanak neighbourhood' in the west of the right side of 'al-Mosul.'
[x] He lived near the 'al-Shahama al-Arabiya' school in 'al-Ba'aj.' And I refrain from mentioning the rest of the names of the rich for security missions, and I limit myself to mentioning the name of 'Faris' because he was killed at the hands of the organisation in one of the cases.
[xi] Abu Dawud Ba'aj: of the people of 'al-Ba'aj': he was appointed amir of the 'al-Ba'aj sector' after its establishment. He was killed at the hands of the Iraqi forces in the 'Rajam Jadid' neighbourhood in the west of the city of Mosul.
[xii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part one), by the author (p. 2).
[xiii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 38).
[xiv] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part one), by the author (p. 18).
[xv] Comprising a house of the al-Wawi al-Khatouni family in north of 'al-Ba'aj': it was taken up as a base for the 'organisation' after the family left it and abandoned it for tribal reasons.
[xvi] Abu Ruqayya al-Obeidi (Abu Ruqayya al-Amni): the brother of 'Abu Dawud Ba'aj.'
[xvii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (pp. 16-17).
[xviii] al-Hajj To'ameh Qardash: Turkmani from 'Telafar.' Of short build, he was wounded during the bombing by Crusader 'international coalition' aircraft on a guesthouse in 'Sinjar' when he returned from al-Sham heading to 'Telafar.' So his leg was amputated, and after he recovered he continued in his work as wali, and after a time he was killed- may God accept him- in an air-raid by the Crusader 'coalition.'
[xix] Abu Ibrahim Qardash: Turkmani from 'Telafar.' He was an amir for the 'Tel Abtah' sector and after the killing of 'al-Hajj To'ameh Qardash,' he was appointed wali over 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' and he was killed during the siege of 'Telafar.' And he appeared in the release 'Sword of Courage'- issued by the 'media office for Wilayat al-Jazeera' on date Jumada al-Akhira 1438 AH (March/Adhar 2017 CE) in minutes (18:02-19:02).
[xx] Abd al-Aal Qardash: he was deputy of the wali 'Abu Ibrahim Qardash' and after the killing of 'Abu Ibrahim' he received the 'wilaya.'
[xxi] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 42).
[xxii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 44).
[xxiii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 12).
[xxiv] Abu Othman al-Shari'i: he was later appointed amir of 'al-Mosul University.'
[xxv] 'Masajid' in relation to his work in the 'Diwan al-Da'wa wa al-Masajid.'
[xxvi] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (pp. 16-17).
[xxvii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 25).
[xxviii] See its definition in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 25).
[xxix] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 32).
[xxx] Abu Hatem: of the veterans who pledged allegiance to the 'Dawla' before its expansion to al-Sham, and when 'al-Mosul' was conquered he became amir of the 'real estate office: al-Ba'aj sector' for a period. Then he became official for the weapons warehouse of the 'al-Ba'aj sector.' Then he became amir of the 'sector.'
[xxxi] See its definition in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 17).
[xxxii] See his biography in: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 45).
[xxxiii] Abu Khattab: the son of the amir of the 'al-Ba'aj sector' who was killed in the battle of the 'conquest of al-Mosul,' and his uncle is 'Abu Abdullah al-Qahtani' the judge of the 'al-Qayrwan sector' who was killed in a raid by the Crusader 'international coalition.' And 'Abu Khattab' was amir of the 'media office of al-Ba'aj sector.' Then he worked in the 'Islamic police.'
[xxxiv] Abu Abbas Hanish al-Shari'i: previously amir of 'al-Qayrwan.'
[xxxv] Abu Anwar Zira'a: college graduate who previously worked in the Iraqi 'Agriculture Ministry.'
[xxxvi] See: 'Testimony of a Repenting Amni' (part two), by the author (p. 14).
[xxxvii] Abu Ali Muhlabiya: he was amir of the 'medical office of the al-Ba'aj sector.' He was punished by being demoted to an ordinary member in the 'medical office of the Sinjar sector.' Then Dr. 'Qutaiba' intervened: he was amir of the 'Health Centre of Wilayat Ninawa' in that time before assuming amirship of the 'military medical division' in the 'Diwan al-Jund' after the establishment of the military divisions- and his fate is unknown now. He intervened because he had strong relations with 'Abu Ali Muhlabiya' so he managed to get assigned to him the amirship of the 'Health Centre of Wilayat Kirkuk' and when it was besieged, he fled and abandoned it.
[xxxviii] 'The Azeris': in relation to 'Azerbaijan.'
[xxxix] Abu Abd al-Khatouni: of the people of the village of 'Ain al-Hisan' west of 'al-Mosul.' Amir of the 'Diwan al-Ta'aleem.'
[xl] al-Fatah Division: a military division affiliated with the 'Diwan al-Jund,' the poins of whose work extended from the 'Jazeerat al-Siniya sector' in the east to the 'al-Qayrwan sector' in the west. It was composed of three brigades, and this division was formed from the remnants of the 'Nahavand Division' that worked in 'Wilayat Dijla' and the 'al-Qadisiya Division' that worked in 'Wilayat Salah al-Din' and the 'Ayn Jalut Division' that worked in 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' and the 'al-Kawasir Division' that worked in 'Wilayat al-Anbar.' And that was after the fall of the three 'wilayas' and the collapse of these 'divisions.' And this division was given the burden of breaking the siege of 'Telafar' and 'al-Mosul,' and the center of its command was in 'al-Qayrwan sector.'
[xli] al-Kawasir Division: a military division affiliated with the 'Diwan al-Jund' that worked in 'Wilayat al-Anbar.' And it was called 'al-Kawasir' because 'al-Adnani' and 'Ibn Awad' in their two audio speeches nicknamed the mujahideen of 'al-Anbar' as 'al-Kawasir.' And after the fall of 'Wilayat al-Anbar' in the hands of the Rafidites, they were transferred to the areas of 'Wilayat al-Jazeera' to work on breaking the siege and they were merged into the 'al-Fatah Division.'
[xlii] Abu Hassan SPG-nine: 'SPG-nine' in relation to the SPG-nine missile (SPG-9). He was of the people of the city of 'al-Mosul' and amir of the 'SPG-nine unit.' He got out after the liberation of the two prisons of 'Abu Ghraib' and 'al-Taji' within the 'Breaking of the Walls Expedition.' And he was killed in the 'Mujamma' al-Qahtaniya' when he entered a house booby-trapped in error by the brothers.
[xliii] The visual release: 'Flames of War- Until the Rise of the Hour' (part two). Issued by 'al-Hayat Media Centre' on date Thursday 12 Rabi' al-Awal 1439 AH (30 November/Tishreen al-Thani 2017 CE).
[xliv] The visual release: 'So Strike the Necks,' issued by the 'media office for Wilayat al-Iraq' on date Friday 22 Ramadan 1441 AH (15 May/Ayar 2020 CE).
[xlv] 'al-Amaq News Agency' affiliated with the 'Dawla' published news of claiming with this text: '22 August 2017: killing of five of the Iraqi forces by blowing up a booby-trapped house in the village of Tiniya east of Telafar.'