The Islamic State, commonly referred to as ISIS, officially stretched their militant tendencies around the globe on Tuesday as they declare a jihad against both Russia and the United States. In a bid towards their ultimate goal of establishing a Sunni Islamic State within the Middle East.
ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad as-Adani called for action from Muslim youth worldwide in an audio message on Tuesday, labeling the US and Russian opposition to the Islamic caliphate a “crusader’s war”, saying that it is a battle of “atheist and idolaters against believers”.
Russia appears to be bearing the brunt of the aggression, mostly due to its airstrike campaign, which began in Syria on September 30th and was commissioned to target positions of ISIS and the Nursa Front, an al-Qaeda sponsored terror group which also called for attacks on Russia just a day before ISIS. Nursa Front leader Abu Muhammad has also called for a unifying jihad against Russia, urging the various terror factions of the region to cease infighting in order for focus of removing the Russian presence in the Middle East.
Opinions of the Russian element in Syria seemed to be shared by the rebels, and over 41 different rebel faction including the powerful Ahrar a-Sham Movement have come to perceive the Russian led coalition as an occupation rather an a source of assistance. Rebels have been taking steps to organize and anti-Russian coalition alliance, a statement which demonstrates the rebels lingering increasing resentment of the superpower’s meddling in the area, with special disdain aimed at Russian airstrikes.
The anti-Russian sentiments did not end at calls for organization, however. Physical attacks aimed at Russia have begun, as two mortar shells struck the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Tuesday. Supports of the Russian airstrike campaign in Syria have responded to the attack by gathering in front of the embassy in a show of gratitude. So far no casualties have been reported, the results being limited only to structural damage.
The United States have not managed to generate as much disdain from Syrian rebels, largely due to their support of the various rebel groups in the region against both Assad’s governmental regime and the Islamic State. However, due to Russia and the United States’ increased presence in Syria, the world is beginning to see the beginnings of another Russo-American proxy war in the Middle East, similar to the Soviet Afghan was that stretched from December of 1979 to February of 1989, with the recently declared jihad showing that ISIS appears to be caught in a potential crossfire.