There are no more good guys left in Syria

The civilian revolutionaries who filled the early days of the uprising with so much promise are today largely spread across the globe, living in Turkey and Lebanon and Europe as refugees or long-distance activists. For some of these original moderates, the end of the revolution came as soon as demonstrators took up arms against a better-armed regime. For many more, the exodus was brought on by the rise of ISIS, in the middle of last year…

Late last year, in the city of Gaziantep in southern Turkey, I spoke with a Syrian doctor who told of a similar purge among his own profession in Raqqa. ISIS had recently seized control of the town from an alliance of anti-regime groups, and immediately turned its attention on the revolutionaries and activists who already lived there…

A well-regarded Christian anesthesiologist had recently turned up dead in a part of Raqqa that was controlled by ISIS, the doctor said, an action that made little sense to him given how desperately anesthesiology was needed in rebel-held Syria. “I don’t know why they would do that,” he said, as we walked around town. “They look at the rest of us as non-believers who can be killed or beaten. Like you are nothing.”