Reuters: Jihadis are disarming, sidelining “moderates” within rebel ranks all over Syria

posted at 8:01 pm on June 19, 2013 by Allahpundit

In case you were wondering whether anything’s changed since the NYT reported in April that “Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of,” the answer is no, nothing’s really changed. In fact, from the sound of this Reuters piece, there may be fewer moderates now than there were then.

Omar’s group, Ghurabaa al-Sham, wasn’t defeated by the government. It was dismantled by a rival band of revolutionaries – hardline Islamists.

The Islamists moved against them at the beginning of May. After three days of sporadic clashes Omar’s more moderate fighters, accused by the Islamists of looting, caved in and dispersed, according to local residents. Omar said the end came swiftly…

It’s a pattern repeated elsewhere in the country. During a 10-day journey through rebel-held territory in Syria, Reuters journalists found that radical Islamist units are sidelining more moderate groups that do not share the Islamists’ goal of establishing a supreme religious leadership in the country…

Many [moderates] pledge allegiance to the notion of a unified Free Syrian Army (FSA). But on the ground there is little evidence to suggest the FSA actually exists as a body at all.

The Free Syrian Army is the group led by Gen. Idris, whom McCain’s been touting as our man in Syria. As of two days ago, Idris still hadn’t heard from the White House or the Pentagon about the weapons we’re supposedly going to send them. Then again, if the FSA right now is more of a rhetorical construct than an actual fighting force, maybe the White House is planning to pull together its own homegrown units on the ground over there and call that the FSA. Either way, what are the odds that the FSA, however constituted, is going to take down Assad while simultaneously fending off tens of thousands of predatory Islamist who are supposed to be on their side?

The Reuters story at the link up top is long but worth your time as a snapshot of what the Pentagon’s up against in trying to somehow vindicate American prestige in this clusterfark. The dynamic described there will be a familiar one to you: The “moderate” rebel ranks, such as they are, are apparently crawling with thieves and looters, which makes the locals amenable to being ruled by less overtly corrupt jihadist militias instead. That’s the story of the entire Middle East in microcosm, including/especially in Egypt. Two obvious points to all this, then. One: The fact that the U.S. has spent months making noise about finally aiding the “moderate” rebels surely must have encouraged the jihadis to purge them, right? If you know that an enemy hyperpower’s about to start arming your chief rivals for control of the insurrection, then your next move is obvious. Eliminate as many of those rivals as you can in order to maximize your advantage. Makes me wonder if part of the reason Assad’s been so successful on the ground lately is because his jihadi enemies were momentarily preoccupied with weakening elements of the rebellion themselves.

Two: If the jihadis are intent on isolating and purging the moderates, what exactly is the strategy for getting them to fight in concert against Assad? The assumption thus far has been, I guess, that once U.S.-armed units start to put a hurt on the regime, the jihadis will leave them alone and will try to multiply the effect by focusing on the regime themselves. But in light of this story, maybe that’s naive. Maybe the jihadis will launch a two-front war, one against Assad and one against the proxy army of their western archenemy, which in turn will make things easier for Assad’s forces by letting them fight a divided enemy. That would be the exact opposite of what the U.S. is out to do here, i.e. help the rebels beat up on the regime and drag out the war until Assad sues for peace. Even in a best-case scenario, in which the CIA somehow builds a small moderate force and turns it into an effective army, what’s the plan for the obviously inevitable civil war after the Assad falls between the U.S.-backed Sunni moderates and the Sunni jihadis? You’re going to have to fight and kill them too, apparently, or else they’ll fight and kill you. That means committing to years of supplying one side here, and maybe doing more than that if/when things don’t go their way. How long, roughly, is all of this going to take?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The Syrian Rebels……”just like the founding fathers in America!” from Jay Carney in 5…..4….3…

“Democracy is sometimes messy”—Dick Durbin to explain the Cannibals of Syria we support.

PappyD61 on June 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM

We need to send them boys some guns, quick.

myiq2xu on June 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM

How long, roughly, is all of this going to take?

I dunno, someone said you were going to sort it out./

MontanaMmmm on June 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM

OT, but nothing about Vince Flynn all day? What a loss.

hollygolightly on June 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Insane. Keep out of Syria!
And don’t give them arms because we’re angering half the world and we might end up in a bigger more expensive and dangerous conflict. For what? In this of all cases, let the marbles fall where they will.

anotherJoe on June 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM

The Free Syrian Army is the group led by Gen. Idris, whom McCain’s been touting as our man in Syria.

Nice friends you have there John…

http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2013/06/u-s-backed-obama-supported-fsa-rebels-massacre-an-entire-christian-village-in-syria/

Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army loyal to Bashar al Assad intervened on behalf of the Christians.

sharrukin on June 19, 2013 at 8:10 PM

It’s lose-lose for the US. Stay out.

TfromV on June 19, 2013 at 8:11 PM

LOL but remember trust Bammy because complicated

WisCon on June 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Moderates probably don’t have much of a stomach for jihadi methods…

They kidnapped him…beheaded him and fed him to the dogs…

“Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix said: ‘His only crime was his brother criticised the rebels, accused them of acting like bandits, which is what they are.’

There have been a growing number of accounts of atrocities carried out by rogue elements of the Syrian Free Army, which opposes dictator Bashar al-Assad and is recognised by Britain and the West as the legitimate leadership.

Sister Agnes-Miriam, mother superior of the Monastery of St James the Mutilated, has condemned Britain and the west for supporting the rebels despite growing evidence of human rights abuses. Murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery are becoming commonplace, she says.

‘The free and democratic world is supporting extremists,’ Sister Agnes-Miriam said from her sanctuary in Lebanon. ‘They want to impose Sharia Law and create an Islamic state in Syria.’

One of the most effective fighting forces is the Jabat Al-Nusra, which has an ideology similar to Al Qaeda.

‘The uprising has been hijacked by Islamist mercenaries who are more interested in fighting a holy war than in changing the government,’ she said.

‘It has turned into a sectarian conflict. One in which Christians are paying a high price.’

The rebel attacked the northern town of Ras Al-Ayn, on the Turkish border, last month. The fighters entered the Christian quarter, ordering civilians to leave and leaving their homes.

‘More than 200 families were driven out in the night,’ Sister Agnes-Miriam says. ‘People are afraid. Everywhere the deaths squads stop civilians, abduct them and ask for ransom, sometimes they kill them.’

An estimated 300,000 Christians have been displaced in the conflict, with 80,000 forced out of the Homs region alone, she claims.

Many have fled abroad raising fears that Syria’s Christian community may vanish – like others across Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity.

Al Assad, a member of the Alawite Muslim sect, claims only his regime can protect Syria’s minorities from domination from the Sunni Muslims majority….”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2255103/Syria-rebels-beheaded-Christian-fed-dogs-fears-grow-Islamist-atrocities.html#ixzz2Wi7zplbn
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

workingclass artist on June 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I know why the enemy of USA is arming jihadies.
But what is McShame’s excuse ?

burrata on June 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I told you Obama only cares about two:

1. His own power

2. His muzzie brothers’ success.

Name one nation, I triple dare you, which is free/freer, due to Obama.

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Name one nation, I triple dare you, which is free/freer, due to Obama.

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

The nation of …islam ?

burrata on June 19, 2013 at 8:18 PM

hollygolightly on June 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

One of my favorite Authors. Such a shame. Thought he might kick it when I saw him last year.

Thoughts and prayers for his family.

Barred on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Whoa, everything Barky touches turns to s***.

I’d guess this is what Barky’s corrupt regime would call his “Egyptization” of the Middle East.

viking01 on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Obama’s dream of a world caliphate coming true.

Good on ya democrats!

tom daschle concerned on June 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I know why the enemy of USA is arming jihadies.
But what is McShame’s excuse ?

burrata on June 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

It’s either flattery…senility…or he’s been bought like a cheap whore.

Maybe all 3.

workingclass artist on June 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

B-b-but, “Climate change is the ‘global threat of our time.’”

Fallon on June 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

As of two days ago, Idris still hadn’t heard from the White House or the Pentagon about the weapons we’re supposedly going to send them.

Are we sure about that ?
Maybe Idris is in Ireland ……or Germany ?
He NSA, can you guys confirm that for us ?

burrata on June 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Crap, I keep forgetting my tagline, AND I’m wearing a bunny suit,

Fallon on June 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Whoa, everything Barky touches turns to s***.

I’d guess this is what Barky’s corrupt regime would call his “Egyptization” of the Middle East.

viking01 on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 PM

As revealed in a hot mic incident between egyptian pols last week…The Egyptians are already at war with the US and Israel…and we gave them the money and the weaponry.

workingclass artist on June 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM

OT, but not really – look how dishonest the media still are.

Schadenfreude on June 19, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Name one nation, I triple dare you, which is free/freer, due to Obama.

Obamanation

myiq2xu on June 19, 2013 at 8:31 PM

B-b-but, “Climate change is the ‘global threat of our time.’”

What ever happened to Nuclear Winter and Global Warming?

myiq2xu on June 19, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Maybe all 3.

workingclass artist on June 19, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Maybe he has converted to islam??
How else can he have such visceral desire to harm our country ?
His mom wasn’t a marxist, his dad wasn’t a muzie, how did McShame end up being such an aider and abetter of jihad ?

burrata on June 19, 2013 at 8:43 PM

hollygolightly on June 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

One of my favorite Authors. Such a shame. Thought he might kick it when I saw him last year.

Thoughts and prayers for his family.

Barred on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Love Vince Flynn. I think he and his wife have three children. Prayers for them.

INC on June 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Maybe McCain can help them disarm those dirty, rotten “moderates”. Like the “moderate” he met with.

NotCoach on June 19, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Just can’t figure out why Obama’s Arab Spring thing turned to sh*t, almost from the beginning. It’s almost as if Team O wanted to pave the way for some sort of Islamist fascist takeover of the entire Middle East or something.

coldwarrior on June 19, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Do I really need to add a /sarc tag?

coldwarrior on June 19, 2013 at 8:55 PM

…calling Senator Senile!

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM

When are McCain and Rubio and Graham going to stand trial for crimeS of mass stupidity against America and women and western civilization?

VorDaj on June 19, 2013 at 8:59 PM

“If I was in charge, I would F-up everything under the sun” – Marco “The Worm” Rubio, the F-ing dumbest man on the planet.

VorDaj on June 19, 2013 at 9:02 PM

…calling Senator Senile!

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM

And don’t forget his faithful servant the Boy Blunder.

VorDaj on June 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

McCain and Rubio are no good Christian hating sons of #itches.

VorDaj on June 19, 2013 at 9:08 PM

hollygolightly on June 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

One of my favorite Authors. Such a shame. Thought he might kick it when I saw him last year.

Thoughts and prayers for his family.

Barred on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 PM
Love Vince Flynn. I think he and his wife have three children. Prayers for them.

INC on June 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Absolutely.

hollygolightly on June 19, 2013 at 9:14 PM

workingclass artist on June 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

What a tragedy. May God rescue and help the Christian people there, as it appears no one else will. Sad that we don’t have a Leader to call our Nation to prayer instead of being part of the problem.

Thank you workingclass artist for making us aware of this.

bluefox on June 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

This is what you get with idiotic foreign policy crafted by a bunch of liberals in the state department.

They want to take out Assad because their liberal friends in the media think Assad is the bad guy here, and liberals like rebels in general, even when they’re terrorists.

A lot of liberals are actually clueless about the fact that the rebels are pretty much comprised of terrorists because the media here white washes things and makes Assad look like the bad guy, and the rebels look like they just want democracy and freedom.

kaltes on June 19, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Malkin on Hannity and Hannity is making a fool of himself by defending Rubio!

burrata on June 19, 2013 at 9:32 PM

I mean look at the Weather Underground. Terrorists. “Rebels”. The darlings of the intellectual left. These people grew up dreaming of Che. The only rebels that a liberal wouldn’t like would be conservative rebels trying to overthrow a liberal dictator, like Chavez. Those rebels get called “counter-revolutionaries” and the like.

I am not sure what’s better, that Assad wins and kills all the terrorists for us, or that the terrorists win and all the morons who helped them look like idiots once Taliban part 2 starts up in Syria.

No, no, I kid. Of course Assad winning is better than letting a new terrorist safe haven form. If that happens, we will need to bomb/invade Syria just to defend ourselves after the terrorists start setting up training camps and launching attacks. That would be a hugely expensive and wasteful outcome we could easily avoid by helping Assad kill as many terrorists as possible.

kaltes on June 19, 2013 at 9:35 PM

I know Sarah Palin is stupid and everything but she may have hit the nail on the head we should let Allah work it out. Not our Allah, their Allah. Speaking of that……AP do you ever take any heat over using your pseudonym?

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:44 PM

It would seem to me that any Islamist head-chopper group in Syria right now has a direct pressing strategic interest in purging every “moderate” they can lay a scimitar on as quickly as possible, then making a fake and temporary but Big Deal for the Western rubes about how very tolerant, multi-sect and freedom-loving they are in anticipation of a visit from the Obama Claus weapons workshop.

Sacramento on June 19, 2013 at 9:44 PM

For every weapon and dollar we send to Syria, or any other Muslim country, we need to send a Che shirt wearing liberal to deliver it… And then tell them they’re on their own. If they support this sh!t, then let them put all their azzes on the front line with their jihadist “friends”.

SteveInRTP on June 19, 2013 at 9:46 PM

What could go wrong?

Well, everything.

This is the next installment of Westworld where nothing can go worng. Wait is that Yul Brenner over there?

banzaibob on June 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

It’s a blind man driving a truck with frayed tires, filled with nitro over a bumpy, rain slick road with steep cliffs on either side on a dark, moonless night.

MaiDee on June 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM

For every weapon and dollar we send to Syria, or any other Muslim country, we need to send a Che shirt wearing liberal to deliver it… And then tell them they’re on their own. If they support this sh!t, then let them put all their azzes on the front line with their jihadist “friends”.

SteveInRTP on June 19, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Better yet, send them wearing a ‘coexist’ t-shirt. I’m sure that will work well.

ghostwalker1 on June 19, 2013 at 10:52 PM

No wonder the Obamaites love the rebels. They employ the same tactics as liberals: demonize and destroy your political opponent.

Count Mahdrof on June 20, 2013 at 7:19 AM

A lot of liberals are actually clueless about the fact that the rebels are pretty much comprised of terrorists because the media here white washes things and makes Assad look like the bad guy, and the rebels look like they just want democracy and freedom.

kaltes on June 19, 2013 at 9:31 PM

It’s worth noting that the present buzzword meme’ about the Syrian Islamists is calling them “the rebel alliance”. Which of course is intended to make them sound like Luke Skywalker & Co. in the Star Wars movies, i.e. the Jedi Knight, mystically-inspired good guys.

The scary thing is that this may actually be how The One and his minions perceive them. Putting Assad in the Darth Vader role. (Which also gives Assad way too much credit, imho.)

Government by Hollywood tends not to work in the real world. Then again, from all indications, no one in this Administration has ever lived in the real world, either.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 20, 2013 at 7:41 AM

The window on Syria closed in late 2009.(Give or take a few months.) This is mostly about the political class seeming to do something. Movement without motion, gestures, hand-waves, acting without doing. This is bad political theater. Which at best, will get Americans killed for no strategic or tactical reason. It was not for nothing, that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs used what little clout he has left to object. Doing so, and making it public(not him, but some in the civilian side of the National Security Complex) puts markers down when this goes “south”. And it will, count on it.

flackcatcher on June 20, 2013 at 8:43 AM