Mosul-Aleppo Axis: Between Past and Present

https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/?p=2396

ByMohammed Alsulami

Mosul-Aleppo Axis needs reconstruction. This is possible through supporting moderate Syrian protesters, clearing Mosul of Qassem Suleimani’s militias and closing Iran’s paths, and eventually besieging this country’s army in southern Beirut.
Iranian regime currently gives a lot of importance to Mosul in Iraq and Aleppo in Syria, and sees dominance over these cities and keeping the opposition away from them a strategic priority for its plans in the Arab region, which will open Iran’s path to Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, as such, Iran’s land road to Hezbollah in Lebanon will be realized, thus preventing the isolation and besieging of this party. That is why Iran has called recent events in Aleppo the “greatest victory.”
When we look at the history, we can see that Mosul-Aleppo Axis had a great strategic significance during the Crusades. The Crusaders besieged Aleppo during the rule of Al-Mustansir Billah, Abbasid Calfiate, and after his agreement with Seljuk Sultan Muhammad – one of Seljuk rulers at that time – and with extensive support from Mosul, the siege of the damaged city was broken.
Forces of Commander Sharaf Ad-Din Muwdud bin Tuntekin advanced, and Muslims defeated the Crusaders in the battle of “Sanbareh”. At that time, (1113 AD) Zahir Ad-Din Taghotkin was the ruler of Damascus who warmly welcomed Muwdud, but eventually jealousy and suspicion towards this warrior and hero overcame Zahir Ad-Din. When Muwdud was leaving Damascus palace for saying his prayer, one of the members of Ismaili Shia sect (the Assassins) betrayed him and ended his life with a poisonous dagger. Also at that time, we saw a series of attacks and assassinations carried out by Ismaili sect against the Sunni figures. That is why this period is one of the most dangerous in the history of the Islamic world. Domestic conspiracies were no less dangerous than the Crusaders, because when Muslims were facing and fighting the Crusaders, Esoteric Ismailis stabbed them from behind.
After this difficult time, Muslims arose again, with the emergence of a new hero called Imad Ad-Din Zengi. After Al-Mustarshid Billah, Abbasid Califate appointed him as ruler of Mosul; he had historical achievements against the occupying Crusaders.
Zengi then realized that he should create Mosul-Aleppo Axis because he understood that geopolitical connection between these two cities would eventually result in overcoming the main gate of Damascus, and is at the same time the gate to Mesopotamia. In 1128 AD, he could defeat Aleppo, after ruling over Mosul. The important point is that the Crusaders created division between cities and states, and dealt with each one separately, thus building relationships with some of the rulers of these cities to distance them from their Islamic origins.
When we look at the present reality of this region, we can see that Bashar Assad, the current ruler of Damascus, is an accomplice of Russians and Iranians against his own nation and Arab roots. Shia militias, whether “Popular Mobilization” in Mosul or other mercenary militias, that are deployed by Iran to Aleppo and other Syrian cities, are killing people for their identity–while being devoted to those who are beyond their borders.
The same thing can be said about ISIL and its behaviors towards Syrian protesters. While the protesters are courageously facing Bashar and his Iranian and Russian supporters, ISIL is stabbing them from behind, chanting slogans of enmity with others.
Therefore, Mosul-Aleppo Axis needs serious reconstruction. This can happen with support for moderate Syrian protesters and clear Mosul of resentful, religious militias who take their orders from Qassem Suleimani. This will close the doors on Iran and will defeat its nationalistic religious plans for Islamic Arab region while putting its arm in southern Beirut under the siege.
If Seljuk Turks had a prominent role in defeating the enemies in the Crusades, Turkey can currently cooperate with Arab forces for regaining security and stability in the region, because it enjoys the significant geographical position and has common borders with Iraq and Syria.
This requires coordination among Sunni forces, going beyond narrow-minded ideologies, and having deep, strategic view towards challenges ahead. Terrorism, religious sectarianism, and political plans rooted in resentful religious motifs are threatening the whole region’s security and stability — particularly when these plans rely on militias and mercenaries for implementation, and avoid direct confrontation.


Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS

Mohammed Alsulami
Mohammed Alsulami
Head of Rasanah: International Institute for Iranian Studies