Saturday, September 28, 2013

Formation of Syrian Rebel Alliance is Exactly What Assad Wants

Recent news that the Syrian rebels formed an Islamist Alliance that calls for sharia or Islamic law to be the sole source of legislation in Syria may isolate war-torn Syria from most of the Western world now.

I understand the Syrians' frustration and  anger at the perceived lack of action by the West regarding the destruction and deaths wrought by the Assad government.  In particular the Chemical attack last August (that killed over a thousand including hundreds of children) disappointed many who had wanted the US to launch a retaliatory missile strike against the Assad military. But this Islamist Alliance will make it even more difficult for Western governments to get support from their own peoples to help the Syrian people.

The formation of the Islamist Alliance is in fact exactly what Assad wants. People in the West perceive him as the lesser of two evils, as there is a great deal of resistance to supporting Al Qaeda elements.

I understand the Syrians' wish to limit outside (i.e. Western) influence in the fate of Syria. But it would seem to me that top priority ought to be to get Assad out of there and end the war.  Afterwards, a democratic process could insure that the various factions are represented in the next government.

Here is a quote from The Washington Post summarizing the recent development:

From The Washington Post "The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group, which will further complicate fledgling U.S. efforts to provide lethal aid to “moderate” rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Others include the Tawheed Brigade, the biggest Free Syrian Army unit in the northern city of Aleppo; Liwa al-Islam, the largest rebel group in the capital, Damascus; and Ahrar al-Sham, the most successful nationwide franchise of mostly Syrian Salafist fighters. Collectively, the new front, which does not yet have a formal name but has been dubbed by its members the “Islamist Alliance,” claims to represent 75 percent of the rebels fighting to topple Assad."

This recent development is frustrating for those who feel sympathetic toward the Syrian people. As it is approximately 100,000 have died in the war, and two million have fled Syria. I predict that even more will flee with this recent formation of the Islamist Alliance.

Read on:
Syrian Rebel Units Reject Pro-Western Opposition Political Leaders - Wall Street Journal
Largest Syrian rebel groups form Islamic Alliance - The Washington Post
Syrian rebel groups form Alliance, - Los Angeles Times
Syria rebel rifts deepen as Islamists ranks swell - BBC
Qaeda Branch seeks own agenda - NY Times

UN Probing More Syria Chemical Attacks -Reuters
UN Investigates more alleged chemical attacks in Syria - The New York Times
In Syria, Advocates Step in to Sift for Truth - The New York Times
Watching Syria's War - The New York Times
Makers of War - Aleppo arms manufacturers
Syria Chemical Attack: Testimonies from the field

Read also my other blog entries about Syria:
All for now,

No comments: