IS Held Deir Ez Zour Discusses Impending US Strikes

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September 19-21, 2014
Deir Ez Zour, Syria

Citizens in IS held Deir Ez Zour discuss the impending US strikes. Included are vox pops with a local woman and an IS fighter.

Sound Bite 1: Jamal, Nurse

Interviewer:

"What is your opinion concerning the international air strikes and the countries contributing in the strikes?"

Jamal: "It will have a negative effect on the Arabs and the Islamic state, we are an Islamic state built on the basis of Quran and Sunna, so if the strikes were from the west, they will rise problems for the Islamic state."

Interviewer: How is your spirit and your preparations?

Jamal: "Our spirit is positive and we are insisting to deliver our message and we do not doubt the abilities of the fighters."

Interviewer: "Is there a fear that the Islamic State will lose some of the areas it controls after the strike?"

Jamal: "We do not fear this movement, it is a zionist movement against the Islamic State. We do not approve of this issue because we are Muslims."

Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power after 40 countries have announced that they will contribute in the air strikes?"

Jamal: "The power we have is the support of God, no power exceeds the power of God. We insist on this method, the method of Islam."

Sound Bite 2: Khaled, Fighter:

"There will be battles, and those air strikes will not change anything. My opinion is that those air strikes will not affect us at all."

Sound Bite 3: Abu Abdullah:

"America remains the enemy of Islam and Muslims, and those who support America is the enemy of Islam and Muslims. All Muslims are against those strikes and we will stand against them."

Sound Bite 4: Abu Mohammad:

Interviewer: "How is your spirit and preparations?"

Abu Mohammad: "Well our spirit is very positive because we have the support of God and he will help the Muslims win. He will help our brothers in the Islamic State."

Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic state will stop expanding after the strikes?"

Abu Mohammad: "I do not think so, they have a very positive spirit. When we sit with some of the brothers we notice their positive spirit and their commitment to expand."

Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of powers since over 40 countries agreed to contribute in the strike?"

Abu Mohammad: "They have the power when it comes to planes, but on the ground they cannot beat our fighters. God will help them."

Sound Bite 5: Mohammad, owner of electronics shop:

Interviewer: "What is your opinion about the international strikes against the Islamic state, and the countries that are contributing [to the strikes]?"

Mohammad: "My Muslim brother, concerning the upcoming American strikes and the Jewish liberal western alliance that is happening against the Islamic state, we do care about the name, we talk about this concerning the Shari'a. The Shari'a of god will be applied literally, we are not applying it literally now, but hopefully we will reach a point where we will. As for the people participating with the infidels in fighting the Islamic State, those Arab presidents, those dictators fight any person who tries to apply the Shari'a of God. Any person who helps the infidels fight the Muslims is the biggest infidel. Those are the word of Sheikh Salman Bin Fahed al-Alwan, may God release him from the prisons of the Saudi family."

Interviewer: "How is the preparation for the strikes?"

Mohammad: "We have God on our side. They have the infidels and we have God."

Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic state might lose some of the areas it controls after the strikes?"

Mohammad: "God is supporting us to stay on this land. We know that Islam is fought by everyone and anyone who tries to apply the Shari's is fought, but God will help us win."

Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power since over 40 countries agreed to contribute to the strike?"

Mohammad: "This is very similar to the previous question, I already told you, we have God supporting us. If all the countries in the world cooperate against the Islamic State, and God wants us to win, we will win. God will help us win, and stay, and apply the Shari'a. Those who have the support of God fear nobody."

Sound Bite 6: Abu Yaakoub:

Interviewer: "What is your opinion concerning the international air strikes and the countries contributing to the strikes?"

"We all know that those air strikes are against Sunni Muslims. They tried to cover it by saying that they are striking against the extremist groups, but it is only against the Sunni groups. And now America is afraid of the Muslims because they are getting stronger and that is why it is trying to destroy us."

Interviewer: "How are you, as doctors and civilians, preparing for the strike?"

Abu Yaakoub: "We have been preparing for over three years against any strike despite of our humble abilities. We are prepared against a strike, we knew people are going to interfere to protect Bashar and his followers and to protect the Shia. We were able to stand against all the attacks we have been facing for the past three years. We have had barrel bombs dropped on us, we have been attacked so many times and we survived. Bashar was not fighting us alone, he had many by his side, we were fighting half of the world and now the whole world is fighting us and we are ready."

Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic state might lose some of the areas it controls after the strikes?"

Abu Yaakoub: "We know that God will be on the side of the righteous people, and if the Islamic state is right, then nothing they will do can harm us. We know for sure that victory is meant for the Sunnis and we are meant to go back to the Islamic caliphate, just like the Era of prophet Mohammad. If anything, we expect the strike to bring us close together and the concept of the Islamic state will expand to all of the Levant and hopefully Mesopotamia."

Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power now that over 40 countries agreed to contribute to the strike?"

Abu Yaakoub: "We are convinced that if the whole world came together to destroy the people of the prophet Mohammad, they will not be able to. They will never be able to destroy the people of Mohammad, we are staying until judgment day."

Sound Bite 7: Um Sabri:

Interviewer: "How is the spirit and the preparations?"

Um Sabri: "Thank God we are preparing very well because, for the past three years, we have been receiving strikes from Bashar al-Assad."

Interviewer: "What is your opinion about the American strikes and the countries that are contributing to the air strikes considering a lot of them are Arab countries?Um Sabri: I believe the air strikes are not against what they call ISIS which is the Islamic state, it is against the Syrians who proved to the world their strength with their amazing revolution, and to defend Bashar al-Assad."

Interviewer: "How are the civilians preparing?"

Um Sabri: "This question is very late, they should have asked how we prepare for the strikes of Bashar al-Assad. The American strikes, along with the 40 countries, are not going to be tougher than the strikes of Bashar al-Assad. So, thank God, the days have proven that we are ready for any strike from the infidels."

Interviewer: "Is there a fear that the American strikes might slow down the expansion of the Islamic state?"

Um Sabri: "That is up to the strength of belief in this organization. If they are right, God will help them, and if they were wrong, God will take care of them."

Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power when there are over 40 countries contributing in the strike?"

Um Sabri: "There is no balance in power between the Islamic State and those big countries who have the contribution of 40 countries, some of which are Arabs. Definitely there is no balance in powers, but victory comes from God."

Sound Bite 8: Man in the Street:

Interviewer: "What is your opinion about the international strikes against the Islamic state, and the countries that are contributing?"

Man: "Those are infidels, Americans are infidels and those who support them are infidels. The Islamic State will remain with the help of God."

Interviewer: How are the Spirit and the preparations?

Man: "We are ready for anything."

Interviewer: "Do you fear that the Islamic State might lose some of the areas it controls after the strikes?"

Man: "The Islamic state will remain with the help of God, we want religion, and with the help of God we will stay and expand."

Interviewer: "How do you see the balance of power since over 40 countries agreed to contribute to the strike?"

Man: "They are infidels, the Islamic state will remain. Infidels have banded together to fight the Muslims throughout history, but we will remain with the help of God."