"I spoke to the regional commander of the Farouq brigade, a muscular young lieutenant from the southern province of Dara'a called Abdulah Abu Zaid. 'I will not allow the spread of Takfiri [the act of accusing other Muslims of apostasy] ideology,' he told me in his military compound a few kilometres from the border post. 'Not now, not later. The Islam we had during the regime was disfigured Islam and what they are bringing us is also disfigured. The Islam we need is a civil Islam and not the takfiri Islam.'
"The jihadis, he said, had looted and stolen from the local people and demanded protection money from local businesses in order not to steal their merchandise. 'I managed to stop them,' he said, 'and I won't let them spread here.' Later that day he issued an ultimatum to their commander, a Syrian called Abu Mohamad al Abssi, to leave the area with his foreign jihadis or he would be killed.
"I met Abu Mohamad, a monosyllabic doctor, the next day. He emphasized that he had been struggling against the regime since 1992 while the Free Syria Army were defected officers who until recently served the regime. The Arab spring was, he said, a result of Islamic fervor. 'We will never leave our positions here,' he said in a quiet voice. 'God willing, we will win.'
"A few days later, Abu Mohamad's body was found in a ditch. He had been kidnapped and killed."
As always, while our well-wadded Western interventionists sit safely in glitzy TV studios or cozy Congressional offices and cry havoc, it is others who are devoured by the dogs of war. A hydra-headed, multi-sided conflict has been unleashed in Syria, and our warmongers are seeking frenziedly at every turn to worsen it.
Their concern for the "Syrian people" -- whose plight they have happily ignored for decades -- is only skin deep; it never surfaced until a chance arose to, in their minds, give a hot-foot to their grand enemy du jour, Iran. (Just as Jimmy Carter midwifed the global jihadi movement more than 30 years ago in order to hobble the Soviets in Afghanistan.) Unfortunately for the Syrians, it is their skin, and that of their children, which will be seared as these cycles of violence, exacerbated at every turn by war profiteers and the cozy imperial cowards -- who, unlike Othello, never fight in the front lines or take responsibility for their crimes -- go on and on.
NOTE: Another excellent source for direct reports and cogent insights on the Syrian war is, of course, As'ad AbuKhalil, the "Angry Arab," who wields a double-edged analytical sword on the depredations of all parties involved in the worsening, widening conflict.
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