I think you guys are too happy. Really. Get that grin off your face. In Syria, the civil war is neither civil, nor a war. New battle lines are being drawn between disparate groups and we’re all gonna die.
I’m gonna try to split this up so we can keep it all straight. Here we go.
Rebels Vs. Government
Let’s start with what we’re all familiar with — the war between the Assad regime and people who hate the Assad regime, whether homegrown militias, Army defectors or a mix of the two.
Rebels — no one’s really telling us which rebels — have sent the Syrian army packing from its last base near the northern town of Saraqeb, which is a very important strategic point for the major city of Aleppo, which the rebels had been fighting to take after some time.
But it ain’t all hunky dory with the Rebel Alliance. They screwed themselves when the United Nations reported that the rebels committed themselves some war crimes after seizing the base. Video that can’t be confirmed was released of rebels, after taking the base, had captured Syrian soldiers — and then executed them one-by-one.
It’s been a growing trend: rebels retaliating against the government’s human rights abuses by committing some of their own. It’s not good.
And in our next section, it’s getting worse.
Rebels Vs. Kurds
As I’ve mentioned before, the Kurds are a stateless people. They’ve been kicked around for a long time in Syria, Iraq, Kuwait and other nations that technically hold pieces of a region where the Kurdish people predominantly reside.
So when the Syrian Civil War came into full swing, the Kurds decided, hey, maybe we can cut a sliver for ourselves, and took control — or at least claimed to — a section of northern Syria.
Well, strategically important (and commercial hub) Aleppo is there, and as noted above, rebels are about to take it. They don’t want to deal with opening a second front, but the Kurds are just operating too close for comfort for the rebels, apparently. Kurds have held territory and resist the Assad regime, but claim neutrality to the fighting and have no plans or intentions of going any further than where they are now.
Guess that doesn’t sit well with the rebels. Shaha Ali Abdu was the head of a Kurdish militia group charged with holding and defending the center-north slice of Aleppo, and she was en route to transfer over bodies and captives of rebel soldiers after their minor skirmishes.
Well, rebels decided to just plain capture her, and they executed her a week later. Whether the rebellion at large agrees with this, or this was a warlord with an axe to grind is unknown. But you’ve got to think the Kurds are going to respond to this.
Government Vs. Everyone
The Syrian military has been launching air strikes throughout the city of Damascus. Yup, they’re bombing their own capital.
Activists say that while the military is targeting rebel positions, they’re trying to achieve maximum collateral damage while doing so, in an effort to drive a wedge between civilians and rebels.
After failed attempts by their ground troops to take the suburbs, they say, Assad’s regime just decided to level the place. If they can’t have it, no one can.
And then, finally…
Exiles Vs. Washington
A major exiled Syrian group has charged the United States with attempting to undermine the Syrian revolution. Somehow.
Basically, the Syrian National Council lashed out at America for attempting to overhaul how opponents of Assad are organized.
Their statement tells us what they’re really thinking: “Any discussions aimed at passing over the Syrian National Council or at creating new bodies to replace it are an attempt to undermine the Syrian revolution by sowing the seeds of division.”
I.e., they say that the folks in Washington aren’t giving the SNC their due, and thus undermining the revolution. This charge comes two days before key talks amongst the disparate opposition groups in Qatar.
Question: Are you confused? I’m confused. And I’ve been following this stuff for over a year and a half.