Here are 10 points regarding the Status of Jihadis in Syria with the coming of 2015:
1- There are way-too-many Jihadi groups fighting in Syria these days.
2- The top 5 most important groups are: #The_Islamic _State, #Jabhat_al-Nusra, #Jaysh_al_Muhajirin_wa_al_Ansar, #Ahrar_al_Sham, and #Jaysh_al_Islam. These groups are considered Jihadi because they claim to work for the implementation of Allah’s word and look to establish a Muslim Ummah according to their rules that, of course, do not stop with the borders of Syria. They all have stated repeatedly that they want a Caliphate according to path of the Prophet. خلافة على منهاج النبوة. These are all Sunni Muslim groups.
3- The percentage of Syrians in these groups vary. Syrians compose most of Jaysh al-Islam, a huge part of al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, a good amount in the Islamic State, especially now in Syria, and almost none in Jaysh al-Muhajirin wa-al-Ansar.
4- There are Shia fighting groups operating in Syria, like Abu al-Fadl al-‘Abbas Brigades and Hizallah, but those Shia groups do not claim to be fighting to implement Shari’a or establish a Muslim Ummah, rather than fighting to protect Shi’a shrines and towns in Syria, or help Bashar al-Assad stay in power.
5- On the military front, major groups like the Islamic State and al-Nusra are involved in fire fights in many flash points all over the country. Both are also present in force on the borders of Lebanon of late threatening to attack.
6- The Syrian local Jihadi Jaysh al-Islam shelled Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia killing many civilians recently in a short lived-much-hyped, rocket attack, along with its allies in what is known as #al-Jabha al-Islamiyah. Jaysh al-Islam was also busy with getting rid of his opponents (Jaysh al-Ummah and Islamic State) in the areas it operates in al-Ghuta. So far it had limited success, unlike the grand claims of its leaders Zahran Allouch who continue to threaten surprise attacks against the Assad’s positions inside Damascus. This group also was engaged in public executions, assassinations and others forms of chaos.
7- As for the Islamic State: the most important fights these days are in Deir al-Zur’s airport area against al-Assad, and near Ayn al-‘Arab/Kobani against the Kurds, where the Islamic State still holds tens of villages in the area even after losing all of its fighting positions within the city itself. Also, they are engaged against al-Assad’s troops in al-Sha’er Gas fields, east of Homs. The Islamic State also continue with capital punishment in public spaces where recently they threw few men accused of homosexuality and pedophilia from high places, cut the heads of some sorcerers, cut the heads of those who curse at Allah, and of course cut the heads of few captured victims, like the two Japanese men.
8- al-Nusra is very busy in fights near Idleb and Aleppo against Assad and anti Assad groups alike. al-Nusra had been fighting Harakat #Hazm (Anti Assad Western/American backed group) to solidify its control, and take its weapons of course. al-Nusra is also said to have killed a high religious official from Ahrar al-Sham in the town of Bennesh, near Hama. al-Nusra is also involved very heavily in the southern parts of Syria. They are the main fighting force in the Dar’a region, and they are now on the border of Israel in the Golan Heights. al-Assad control very little these days on his borders with Israel. al-Nusra, of course, had been performing to a large audience public executions, whipping in public, and other forms of punishments.
9- On the civil front, the main Jihadi groups are very busy solidifying their control over the societies they are able to control. al-Nusra these days is doing what the Islamic State did a while back. The model is very clear. From establishing missionary centers in Salqin and Darkush, by al-Nusra
To public flogging for those who smuggle cigarets, commit petty crimes, and being a musical instrument (publicly destroyed two keyboards and a Lute/’Ud) by the Islamic State
To meeting with Pharmacists in al-Raqqa explaining to them what “TRUE” religion is, Jihadi groups are digging deep into the Syria Society.
10- al-Nusra, and other Jihadi groups are on the boarders of #Israel.