A video of a jihadist commander in Syria drawing inspiration for an impassioned speech to his fellow militants from a little girls’ favorite Hello Kitty note pad has gone viral on the internet.
The address by Zahran Alloush, the head of Jaysh al-Islam, was
aimed against the rival Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
In late June, ISIS declared the captured territories, from Iraq's Diyala province to Syria's Aleppo, a ‘caliphate’, with its leader being Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and announced that from now on it should be called ‘The Islamic State’.
The two groups are currently involved in a battle for control over the Ghouta area, a collection of farms surrounding the south and east of the Syrian capital Damascus.
According to the description in the video post on YouTube last week, Alloush urged his men to fight the “evil ideology” of ISIS, which recently announced the establishment of an Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
He labeled the group as traitors to Islamic values, who had “tried to destroy jihad in Afghanistan, in Chechnya, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Iraq. They have now come to try and destroy jihad in Syria.”
The Jaysh al-Islam leader also slammed ISIS for recruiting
foreign fighters and having virtually no regard for the civilian
Alloush cut a hawkish stance, wearing a desert camouflage uniform and a semi-automatic handgun strapped to his side.
However, the effect was ruined by a pink-colored Hello Kitty note pad lying in front of him.
I knew it from the beggining. Zahran Alloush declares war to the Caliphate while quoting Hello kitty latest book. pic.twitter.com/kRx7DpHhYZ
— Marwan-el-Tounisi (@Marwouantounsi) July 2, 2014
Hello Kitty is a fictional character, designed by Japanese artist
Yuko Shimizu in 1974. Since then, this cute white bobtail cat
with a red bow on her head has inspired the undying admiration of
small girls all around the world.
The Hello Kitty brand has been rolled out on dolls, stickers, greeting cards, clothes, accessories, school supplies, home appliances, jewelry and other products.
It was selected as Japan’s cultural ambassador in 2008, also boasting its own animated series, a music album and several video games.
BREAKING ZAHRAN ALLOUSH SPONSORED BY HELLO KITTY pic.twitter.com/T4XyF6beFe
— The Iraqi Witness (@_IraqiWitness) July 2, 2014
Jaysh al-Islam is a coalition of militant groups fighting against the government forces of President Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war.
It was barred from joining the Free Syrian Army and stands accused of massacring over 30 religious minority representatives in the town of Adra in December 2013.
ISIS is believed to be the strongest insurgent group in Syria at the moment. It is not only fighting the government, but other militants.
Its forces are also advancing in Iraq, claiming to have already gained control of an area of over 50 thousand square kilometers.