In a new video purportedly released by the Islamic State titled “The Grandsons of al-Baraa,” ISIS militants in “Wilayat al-Janub,” south of Baghdad, show their attacks on “sahwat” and Shia civilians. The video was released on ISIS terrorist channels on November 19.
According to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, “Wilayat al-Janub is the southernmost Islamic State wilayat in Iraq; it is also one of the largest Iraqi provinces, along with Wilayat al-Anbar.” Vulnerable cities in the wilayat include: “Basra, Nasiriyyah, Suq al-Shuyukh, Faw, Al-Jabasiyyah, Al-Medina, Al-Zubayr, Al-Huwayr, Al-Hammar, Al-Islah, Al-Samawah, Al-Shafi, Abu al-Khasib, Al-Harithah, [and] Zawb’a.”
According to the Long War Journal, “the Islamic State’s opponents… are part of the ‘sahwat,’ meaning they are supposedly part of the ‘awakenings,’ which received crucial assistance from the US during the fight against the Islamic State’s predecessor organization, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).”
Syria Direct further reports that the sahwat “stabbed ISIS in the back” and that has made them a target by the Islamic State. It is unclear which side the sahwat are fighting with or for now and if they still have American assistance or not.
The title of the video comes from “the likes of Mu’aath, Mu’awwith and al-Baraa’ (R.A.D.A), who followed the path of prophet (S.A.W.S), indeed have their descendants…” According to Answering Islam, “SAWS” means:
“SAW” and “PBUH” represent the Arabic phrase salla Allah alaihi wa sallam, meaning “may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.” It is a standard Muslim expression of love and respect for the Prophet.
According to ISIS English channel interpretations of the video, the video shows covert operations by ISIS militants that “have their particular importance. For they are carried out in heart of the #Rafidi/murtadd lands, and it sows panic in their communities.”
“Rafidi” is a derogatory term for Shia Muslims used by Sunnis. It means “rejectors” because Shia Muslims believe in a different line of successorship for Islam following the death of its founder Muhammad. It is commonly used by ISIS to refer to Iranian-backed Iraqi government as a whole.
ISIS further adds:
One of the aspects of the covert operations is the Sahwat hunting, in which the mujahideen arrest the Sahwat fighters/spies/leaders, just as they used to do against Muslims. We don’t have anything against (innocent) Muslims. Tell the Sahwat fighters (of the tribes) to repent, otherwise we will hunt them down.
Footage is then shown of a nighttime, mass execution of sahwat south of Baghdad.
Later in the video, footage is shown of a suicide bombing on Samawah City, south of Baghdad. The bombing was carried out by the “istishhadi.” “Istishhad” is Arabic for “‘martyrdom’, ‘death of a martyr’, or ‘heroic death.'” It is the word ISIS uses to describe their suicide bombers. Istishhadi is the plural of istishhad.
Heavy is an independent news organization. We report acts of terror and violence so that the public may be fully informed. This may include content considered graphic, which is identified. We do not support, in any way, the individuals or organizations involved.
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