Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/5/13

Why Syria's militias may implode

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   3 comments
Message Niloufar Parsi

There are signs of significant rifts among Syria's foreign and domestic militias trying to overthrow Assad.

This is particularly the case with the 2 main Islamic groups: On the one hand there is the "Jabhat al-Nusra" militia (hereafter referred to as "Nusra') who are Salafist jihadists backed by Saudi and Qatari funds and political support, and closely linked to Al Qaeda and the Taleban.

Nusra fighters are among the fiercest and regularly use suicide bombings as standard operating procedure. A large part of this force is foreign, and includes mercenaries for hire from previous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

(Image by FreedomHouse)   Details   DMCA

by FreedomHouse

They are highly effective fighters, and constitute one of the most important "rebel' factions. Information on their numbers is scant. However, this group has no other aim than to grab power for the sake of establishing a fundamentalist Salafist state.

Their level of intolerance for any form of pluralism is demonstrated by their atrocities across the previously mentioned countries' wars. They are extremely dangerous to any Syrian who is not a Salafist, and in the main they tend to come from Saudi Arabia.  

The irony of having non-Syrian mercenaries who are dedicated to the establishment of a pan-Islamic Caliphate acting as the "lead force' in "fighting for democracy and freedom' in "Syria' has yet to be appreciated in full by various observers.

The other major Islamic group of fighters in Syria are the "Al-Farouq Brigades" that are more Syrian in character, and backed up by the Muslim Brotherhood, closely aligned with Egypt. They are said to have emerged from the city of Homs, which has been a hotbed of opposition to the Assad family for decades -- similar to Ben Ghazi's case against Qaddafi in Libya.

Not surprisingly, the first defectors from the Syrian army (such as Lt. Tlass) came from Homs. The numbers of their fighters are likely to be substantial, but unknown. Their funding also comes from Saudi and Qatari sources, but also the West.

The Al Farouq Brigades are said to be more "moderate' than the Salafist Nusra group. However, it is reported that 90% of Christians in the city of Homs have already left following the takeover of the city by the Farouq brigades.

Signs of a rift between the two main Islamic fighter groups emerged on 9 January 2013 when the leader of the Farouq Brigade's northern command was shot dead on the Syria-Turkey border. This killing was apparently due to his alleged involvement in the murder of a Nusra commander by the name of Firas al-Absi in September 2012.

Later again in March 2013 a firefight apparently took place in the northeast between the two groups over the detention of some Al Farouq fighters by the Nusra salfists in the area. Al Farouq's commander was shot in the incident, which reportedly took place near Tell Abiad.

These incidents reflect a fundamental rift between these two most effective forces on the ground. As the fighting rages on, and the more these groups believe themselves to be close to "victory', the more fierce will become their hostilities toward each other.

The other factions, loosely referred to as the "Free Syrian Army', which are said to have more secular leanings as compared to the 2 Islamic militias described above, have already acknowledged that a war with the Salafists is inevitable "once Assad falls'.

Signs are, that all these militias could well be at war with each other far earlier than that. ;

News 1   Interesting 1   Inspiring 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Niloufar Parsi Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

An average Iranian with a keen interest in international affairs. Niloufar is a graduate in Development Studies in the UK, and works as an international consultant in the field of international development (non-profit).
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ten things you probably didn't know about Ahmadinejad

What "global' financial crisis?

What is next for Iran?

the times they are a-changin'

The West is an enemy of democracy and secularism globally

A de-Americanized world

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend