Is Syria Becoming a Settler State?

Chinese Uighurs are replacing Syria’s displaced citizens through illegal settlements.

Five years into the conflict it’s no longer a secret that terrorists from over 180 countries have infiltrated the embattled country. However, the Uighur migration to Syria appears to be more permanent.

The Uighurs are not only flooding to Syria to take up arms against the government and their citizens, they’re arriving in tow with their families and occupying the homes of fleeing Syrians.

The Chinese minority taking up arms is part of the Turkistan Islamic Party, who, with their families are setting up terrorist training camps. In the early stages of the conflict the Uighurs were allied with Al Qaeda’s Nusra front enabling them to make military and strategic gains.

Al Arabiya reported that the Syrians, at first, viewed the Uighur settlers favorably as they didn’t impose Shariah law and fleece Syrians for the Islamic tax, unlike the FSA and other allied Islamist militias.

It’s hard to believe that Syrians would view any foreign settlers involved in the destruction of their homeland favorably. Furthermore, from the onset of the conflict Islamist militias have terrorized neighborhoods. When they have taken over an Islamic tax is imposed. The Uighurs may or may not be involved in applying a tax, but the fact remains they have been fighting alongside the militias.

Subsequently, families have fled leaving their property behind only to be occupied by militants seeking to establish a caliphate. The displacement has then been blamed on the Syrian government despite the fact that internally displaced people flee to government-controlled areas.

Furthermore, the migration to the self-proclaimed caliphate has largely been ignored and has failed to gain condemnation from the pro-Palestinian activists who virulently rebuke the Zionist settlements.

It’s odd that any pro-Palestinian would stay silent on the issue given that there is no difference between the armed Zionist underground movements who committed terrorism under the British mandate to create Israel and the Salafist militias operating in Syria.

The Haganah, Lehi and the Irgun among others led by the core belief of being God’s chosen people and the land being theirs by divine right ethically cleansed, massacred, raped, looted and terrorized areas. Sound familiar?

Today the hardline Islamist factions espousing to the Takfiri/Salafi doctrine including, the Uighur minority have made their way to Syria following calls of jihad to spread an austere and intolerant version of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia.

The Uighurs along with other armed factions after receiving training in Pakistan or Afghanistan have made their way to Syria through Turkey.

Factions being supported by the west and their Gulf allies have destroyed churches, killed Christians, including nuns and priests, taken their women as slaves. Victims have included Sunnis, who found themselves on the wrong side by being government workers.

While Islamists continue developing their caliphate built on sheer criminality, the world stays silent on the settlers migrating to Syria illegally. The Uigurs have largely settled in pro-Muslim Brotherhood areas including Idlib and can be found in Jisr al Shoghur, Ariha and Jabal al-Zawiya.

Written by Sara Yasmin Anwar

Sara is a freelance journalist specialising in politics of the Middle East and Arab affairs.

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