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Thursday, 13 December 2012

An Islamist Free Syrian Army Brigade Burns A Shiite Mosque In Zarzur

Meet the Amr bin ma'ad Yakrib al-Zubaydi Brigade, based around Jisr Al Shughoor, Idlib


Note both the presence of the Free Syrian Army logo, and a version of the Islamic State of Iraq flag modified to include the name of the brigade, taken from the name of one of Mohammad's companions, itself not too unusual.  They've operated in the region for several months, and yesterday this video was posted online, from the village of Zarzur


At around 1:15 we see the mosque (marked here) has been set alight, and among the commotion someone says "destroying the dens of the Rejectionists (a term for derogatory of Shiites) and the Shabbiha" and "God is great, all glory to God. The banner of Islam is being raised [over the mosque]", and later flags being burnt. 


We also see graffiti that reads "No, 1,001 times to Sectarian strife!", which in the circumstances seems unlikely to have been written by the men in the video


So is this a sign of sectarian violence rearing it's ugly head in Syria?  Other motivations for burning the mosque appear unclear, and as the group involved associates itself with the Islamic State of Iraq, an organisation that "aims to establish a caliphate in the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq", it seems there's a strong possibility of sectarianism playing a significant part of the events shown in the video.

Many thanks to Michael Nahum for his translation work on this video.

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You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

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