All those on the "Left" that have been predicting and, in truth, cheering for a victory by the fascist Assad Regime in Syria may soon be disappointed. Jisr al-Shughour, the place armed rebellion first broke out in June 2011, has been liberated by a Syrian opposition that has seen a reversal of fortunes in the past few months. Monday, The Daily Beast wrote about these recent changes:
While most in the West, including the "Left" paint both ISIS and al Nusra with the same jihadist brush because they preach very similar versions of radical Islam, fighters on the ground have always seen very important practical differences. Muhamed Nabih Osman, an engineering before the revolution who spent 14 years in Assad's infamous Tadmor jail, expects to see al Nusra to break with al Qaeda in the near future, noting that the rank-n-file of al Nusra are Syrian and fighting to overthrow Assad, “You have to understand that al Nusra consists of two very different parts and that one part, mostly local fighters, are not interested in global jihad.”
Syria’s Rebels on Winning Streak—In Alliance With Al Qaeda
Important victories may presage major changes in the fortunes of the anti-regime fighters. They may also encourage al Qaeda’s clients to break ranks. A twisted tale.
4 May 2015
GAZIANTEP, Turkey—The thumbs-up a top rebel commander flashes at me as he returns to this Turkish border town from the front-lines of northern Syria’s battlefields speaks volumes.
There has been little for Syrian insurgents to cheer about in recent months. Even a few weeks ago this man was downcast and appeared adrift and unable to imagine an end to a war that has claimed the lives of 6,000 of his men.
But a new Islamist alliance of brigades backed by al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra is moving ahead aggressively against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and the emboldened insurgents, fresh from two significant battlefield gains, say that the four-year-long civil war is entering a new and critical phase—one that didn’t appear likely, or even possible, as recently as February.
And as the gains pile up, talk is intensifying within Jabhat al Nusra, and especially among the group’s Syrian commanders and fighters, of breaking with al Qaeda—a move they hope might entice the West to support this offensive and impose a no-fly zone across northern Syria.
The capture of the cities of Idlib and, last weekend, Jisr al-Shughour had major symbolic significance. This is where the armed rebellion against Assad began in June 2011, after Assad’s security forces fired on a funeral demonstration. And it has boosted the fighters’ morale. The newly confident Sunni rebel militias are focusing now on objectives to the south, seeking to block Syrian government supply lines from the regime’s coastal stronghold of Latakia. That would force the Assad regime to supply it’s remaining forces in the province of Idlib and the city of Aleppo only from Damascus.
Inspiring this new-found coordination among the rebel militias that have made such gains is the realization that they can’t rely on anyone but themselves.
Such is the rebels’ soaring confidence that they talk of taking the war out of northwest Syria and positioning themselves either to put pressure on Latakia or strike south towards Hama, affording them the opportunity to threaten the Syrian capital and coordinate more with rebel militias in the southern and eastern suburbs of Damascus.
From the despair and anger of December and January, when Assad’s forces appeared a skirmish away from encircling rebel-held districts in Aleppo and severing insurgent supply lines to Turkey, the transformation is remarkable. Back then, plagued by infighting and demoralized by the US-led coalition’s focus on the jihadists of the self-styled Islamic State, Syrian rebels were directionless and pessimistic about their chances of toppling Assad. I met many fighters who were throwing in the towel and deciding they had had enough after four years of struggle.
Fighters blamed the West, the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf Arab states and Turkey for their plight, seeing their refusal to supply more advanced weaponry as a betrayal and evidence of duplicity by Washington. They argued the Americans preferred for Assad to remain in power, and accused President Barack Obama of buying into Assad’s argument that his ouster would result in the caliphate of the Islamic State enlarging to include the whole of Syria—that either he is the ruler of Syria or Abu Bakr al Baghdadi will be. More...
Noting that some people think they know all because they know what someone says they stand for. Hence, Assad is a secularist which is good, al Nusra are jihadists, which is bad. End of story. Of such simplicity, Osman says, “The West is living in a detached world of philosophical ideas.” We have only to look at the discourse around Syria on what passes for The Left in the West these days, to see exactly what he means. Hundreds of children are murdered by sarin that seeped down into their basements while they slept. They learned to sleep in their basements because for months they have been murdered by Assad's rockets if they tried to sleep in their beds on the upper floors, and the major discourse on the "Left" is designed to raise questions about Assad's responsibility?
The Left should have been the champions of the people. The Left should have been in the forefront of those demanding justice for this crime against humanity. It should have been the honest prosecutor for the people, pursuing the criminals no matter who they may be until they are brought to justice. Instead it acted as Assad's attorney, pointing the finger at others only to raise reasonable doubt and get its client off. Once that was done, the "Left"'s interest in finding the truth vanished like snow in the desert because seeking justice for the people was never a part of this "Left" agenda. Instead, once any punitive action against Assad was cancelled, the celebrations on the "Left" began.
Despicable! Disgusting! Where is the humanity? Were is the concern for the children? Where is the outcry against the reintroduction of these terrible weapons to the class struggle. Where is the demand that the murderers be brought to justice no matter who they are?
|Look what Assad has done to Aleppo|‘Death everywhere’ - war crimes and human rights abuses in Aleppo, Syria
Civilians in the city of Aleppo, Syria are being subjected to appalling human rights violations committed by the Syrian government and many armed opposition groups. These violations amount to war crimes and in the case of those committed by the Syrian government, are so systematic and widespread that they constitute crimes against humanity. In this report Amnesty International calls upon all parties to the Syrian conflict to end deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects; to end the indiscriminate use of explosive weapons; to end arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances; and to allow unimpeded humanitarian access. DOWNLOAD PDF HERE
|They will win!|
See also Why Assad is Losing, Charles Lister, Foreign Policy, 5 May 2015
[Syrian National Coalition’s president, Khaled] Khoja said opposition forces, fighting to topple the nearly 45-year-old Syrian regime headed by Assad and previously by his father, have doubled the territory they control in Syria during the past two months.See also from Middle East Eye:
Rise of Jaish al-Islam marks a turn in Syria conflict
7 May 2015
The seizure of large swathes of Syria's Idlib province by opposition fighters has signalled for many a change in the balance of power in Syria's seemingly unending civil war.
While previously many had been predicting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was on the verge of reasserting his authority over the country, the loss of the cities of Idlib and Jisr al-Shughur and the continuing consolidation of opposition control throughout the province have led to suggestions that Assad is being put on the backfoot.
Abdurrahman Saleh, head of JAI's international media office, was one of the group's early devotees.
“I am from Aleppo – I was a member of a rebel group fighting the regime and we joined Jaish al-Islam to organise our work against the regime, to get what we want,” he told Middle East Eye.
“But our work with Jaish al-Islam does not mean we are seperated from Syrian society. We are part of the Syrian revolutionaries, we fight under the banner of Jaish al-Islam as a revolutionary Syrian group. Not for anything else.”