At The Agonist, we’ve been covering the attack on Syria for some time (Syrian Crisis). The considered move by the ‘good’ rebels, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), isn’t news. It’s history. In recent government victories at Qusayr and Homs, on the Turkish border, and in Latakia, FSA and other rebel groups have accepted negotiated surrenders to the Syrian Arab Army.
The FSA has struggled of late. A large group of FSA aligned fighters left that organization on September 25 to join the Islamic Alliance headed by a United States designated terrorist organization, Jabhat al-Nusra. The alliance comprises up to 75% of rebels attacking the government.
“The creation of the bloc nonetheless leaves Idriss’s [FSA] council directly responsible for just a handful of small units, calling into question the utility of extending aid to moderate rebels, according to Charles Lister of the London-based defense consultancy IHS Jane’s.” Guardian Sep 25
The FSA isn’t giving up. Rather, what remains of the organization that led the U.S., NATO, Gulf oligarch assault on Syria is trying to win at the negotiating table what it couldn’t on the battlefield.
This is part of a distancing policy toward the jihadist infested rebels by the U.S. and it’s NATO partners. With the majority of rebels siding with Al Qaeda aligned al-Nusra and European countries fretting over the blowback potential of their jihadist citizens returning to the United Kingdom, France, etc., it is clear that the al-Assad government is seen as the lesser of two evils.
The spectre is looming of a second Syrian civil war with the head of the opposition’s official forces declaring that he is prepared to join regime troops in the future to drive out al-Qa’ida-linked extremists who have taken over swathes of rebel-held territories.
General Salim Idris, the commander of the Free Syrian Army warned that in particular Isis (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham), with thousands of foreign fighters in its ranks, was “very dangerous for the future of Syria” and needs to be confronted before it becomes even more powerful.
Western security agencies now believe that Syria poses the most potent threat of terrorism in Europe and the US from where hundreds of Muslims have gone to join the jihad. MI5 and Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch recently tackled the first case of men sent from there specifically to carry out attacks in London.
One senior Western intelligence official stressed that the Syrian regime’s forces must be preserved for the battles ahead against the Islamists and the need to avoid the mistakes made in Iraq and Libya, where the army and police were disbanded with the fall of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, allowing terrorist groups to rise in a security vacuum.
The Syrian Arab Army continues to win victories around Aleppo in preparation to retake rebel occupied portions of that city of 2.5 million. A victory in that battle should settle the issue of sovereignty for Syria and begin the horror show of jihadists returning to their European and other nations of origin; nations that were more than happy to send them off to destroy Syria but now await their return with fear and trepidation. This may give the ruling elites of these nations just a tiny fraction of the terror felt by the Syrian people besieged for over two years by zealots from Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan, Chechnya, etc.
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