Young Saudis return from jihad in Syria, complain that al Nusra wants to use them as cannon fodder

Disillusioned Saudis Return from Jihad in Syria: Saudis, Not Locals, Sent on Martyrdom Operations

Disillusioned Saudis Return from Jihad in Syria: Saudis, Not Locals, Sent on Martyrdom Operations

Submission gone wrong: MEMRI TV Transcript:

Saudis returning to their country after becoming disillusioned with the Jihad in Syria recounted their experiences there, in a report that aired on Saudi TV channel 1 on March 26, 2014. The commanders, who wore ski masks, would “evoke our religious zeal, saying that this was martyrdom for the sake of Allah,” said Suleiman Al-Fifi. “Why don’t they do it themselves?”

Following are excerpts:

Muhammad Al-Utaybi: Most of the operations were carried out by the [Saudis].

Suleiman Al-Fifi: In a roundabout way, they suggested that I carry out a martyrdom operation. They said: “The quickest way to get to Paradise is to blow yourself up, killing infidels and polytheists.” To tell you the truth, I wasn’t convinced. I rejected the idea.

I saw that the majority of the people who carried out the operations were Saudis. Where are all the locals, the Syrians, the Iraqis? Why don’t they do it themselves? They were a bit taken aback, and stayed away from me. They kept me out of their meetings and talked in codes.

Muhammad Al-Utaybi: We didn’t know the military commanders. Most of the soldiers, and even the commanders, wore ski masks. Most of the commanders were Iraqis, Tunisians, Libyans, and Saudis.

Suleiman Al-Fifi: Most of the commanders did not reveal their identities. They wore ski masks. You couldn’t see anything but their eyes.

Our relations with them were superficial. We couldn’t ask questions or discuss things. We couldn’t tell who he was or what he represented. It was strange. One does not feel comfortable with that. We rarely met the same person twice. We didn’t hear the same voice twice. They kept replacing people, and you didn’t know what was going on.

They spoke mostly in literary Arabic. They didn’t have a Syrian accent or an Iraqi accent, and they wore ski masks. We didn’t know if they were from North Africa, from the Gulf, or what…

[…]

They would come and tell us to prepare for battle, because the army was on the move, and a confrontation was imminent. They would tell you that it was for the sake of Allah, trying to make you want to fight.

They would evoke our religious zeal, saying that this was martyrdom for the sake of Allah, and such things.

[…]

The FSA, the Al-Tawhid Brigade, ISIS, and Jabhat Al-Nusra all fought [against the regime], but then they started fighting one another, and stopped fighting Assad’s Alawite army, which is the enemy.

[…]

Muhammad Al-Utaybi: It got to the point that they no longer told us who we were fighting – ISIS or Jabhat Al-Nusra. They just told us to fight. You didn’t know if you were fighting Saudis, Muslims, or what. They just told us there was fighting and sent us to fight.

Suleiman Al-Fifi: Jabhat Al-Nusra and the FSA were far away. We didn’t know if there were Saudis among them or not, or if they were even Arabs. We didn’t know if they were Shiites or Sunnis. They would just tell us to fight the enemy.

[…]

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