Infighting among “ Foreign Jihadis ” & FSA , with insufficient supply of weapons strangled the Syrian Opposition, Syrian forces reclaiming the lost grounds 1 by 1


FSA Rebels being killed by Foreign Jihadis in SyriaJNN 16 July 2013 Damascus : The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has demanded more weapons from the international community to fight Al-Qaeda-linked groups, a day after one of its top commanders was killed by fighters from a rival group.

 An FSA commander in the area who witnessed the killing told Al Jazeera on Saturday that they wanted to avoid all out war with Al-Qaeda, but they sought justice for their killed commander.

“Their extremism has become unbearable. The foreign fighter have come with their own alien agenda. We demand the international community supply us with arms to get rid of this disease,” the FSA commander said.

He said that all the foreigners should leave the country.

The FSA has demanded that an Al-Qaeda-linked-group hand over the man it blames for killing of Kamal Hamami, known as Abu Basir, in Latakia province on Thursday.

“We believe this was a pre-planned attack on our leader because we wanted to strengthen our frontline position near the Turkish border against the regime. And we felt Al-Qaeda didn’t do the necessary to protect out back from any regime attacks,” the FSA commander said.

The incident has increased tensions between fighters who are supposed to be working together to take on the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

‘Fundamental problem’

Sharif Nashashibi, a journalist and Middle East analyst, told Al Jazeera that there would be no win for the people of Syria without sufficient support from the West.

“This is a fundamental problem now in Syria. The groups fighting in Syria are the most effective fighting forces because they have had a steady supply of weaponry,” he said.

FSA is made up of thousands of mostly Syrian nationals and it is backed by the U.S., the Persian Gulf Arab Countries and European nations.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which members of the FSA say was responsible for the murder of its commander, is linked to Al-Qaeda and its members are mostly foreign fighters.

Jabhat al-Nusra, another Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, is blacklisted by the U.S. and had an arms embargo imposed on it. Some of its members are foreign fighters.

‘Starved of weapons’

By the laws of sheer demographics in Syria, President Assad should have been finished long ago. Three quarters of the country is Sunni and this is a predominantly Sunni uprising.

But now some who supported the revolution are even switching, however reluctantly, to the regime, as the lesser of two evils. The result is that the government is looking stronger than ever.

The town of Qusayr fell to a government offensive six weeks ago.

It looks very much like the last rebel pockets in the much bigger city of Homs will be next.

One of those pockets is Khaldiya. For two years the rebels held out here, but now government tanks are closing in.

An activist reached by Skype told us that most people have fled Khaldiya, just fighters and their families remaining, living in medieval conditions without power and running water.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, three FSA fighters stand looking at the camera and declare they will defend Khaldiya to their last breath.

“This is the only weapon we have left,” says one, pointing to a suicide belt he is wearing. “By God’s will, we can hold this place.”

The suicide belt is a sign of how Wahabi ideology has spread even through the FSA, as well as of how desperate the battle against the regime has become.

The rebels in the Khaldiya suicide belt video are clear where the blame lies for what – despite their declaration – seems like an imminent defeat.

They have been abandoned by the outside world, they say, and even by their own leadership in the FSA. They say that, starved of weapons, they had little against a Syrian regime armed with tanks, artillery, jets and Scuds.

‘Powerful players’

I met that particular commander in Turkey, not far from the border with Syria, 10 days ago.

He was describing a long-standing and often bloody enmity among those fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad – “secular” against jihadi, “moderate” versus “extremist”.

That struggle has now resulted in the loss of one of the FSA’s most senior figures, Kamal Hamami, who commanded an important brigade in his native north-western province of Latakia. One word about this on Facebook can earn you a bullet” Activist who spoke out about FSA looting

Even as the Syrian regime pushes back the rebels on several fronts, a civil war within the civil war is building on the opposition side.

A spokesman for the FSA’s Supreme Military Council said Mr Hamami had been driving through Latakia when they ran into a checkpoint run by the main group linked to al-Qaeda in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The fighters at the checkpoint refused to let him pass, saying he would need to get permission from their emir. He told them they had to take their checkpoint down.

As the argument raged, one of the fighters – a foreign jihadi from Iraq, it is said – raised his weapon and shot Mr Hamami. The FSA men retreated with their mortally wounded commander.

According to the FSA, the emir gave a long list of reasons for the killing, one of which included the fact he was a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council.

The FSA said the Islamic State had threatened to kill all of the other members of the Supreme Military Council – another sign of the escalating struggle within the armed uprising.

This is partly a battle over spoils, partly ideological.

In truth, almost all of those fighting the regime are to some degree religious, including those FSA brigades commonly labelled “secular”.

The crucial difference, though, is that the “secular” FSA will accept a civil state while the jihadis are fighting to establish an Wahabi theocracy.

A year ago, the jihadis were still operating almost underground in Syria. Now they are powerful and important players, in some places running whole towns, where they impose Sharia law.

“This is a disaster for us, a disaster for the revolution,” a female opposition activist told me.

She was complaining about Islamist gunmen telling her not to smoke, to cover her head, and to leave meetings where she was the only woman.

“We do not want these people,” she went on, referring to the foreign fighters who have joined jihadi brigades. “This is not Syria.”

She admitted that the jihadis had grown in popularity because of corruption and infighting among the FSA. Many rebel groups were preying on the people they are supposed to be fighting for, she conceded.

I spoke to another activist who had spent two years on the run from the regime, only to finally flee Syria because he spoke out against looting by the FSA. “One word about this on Facebook can earn you a bullet,” he told me.

The moral clarity of the early days of the uprising has been lost.

Then, people wanted to defend themselves against overwhelming and brutal force – and ultimately to replace a corrupt, one-party dictatorship.

Now many people tell me the revolution itself has become corrupt and, in rebel-held areas, they fear a different kind of tyranny: crime, kidnapping, gangsterism

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4 thoughts on “Infighting among “ Foreign Jihadis ” & FSA , with insufficient supply of weapons strangled the Syrian Opposition, Syrian forces reclaiming the lost grounds 1 by 1

  1. Pingback: VELAYAT TV USA – Infighting among “ Foreign Jihadis ” & FSA , with insufficient supply of weapons strangled the Syrian Opposition, Syrian forces reclaiming the lost grounds 1 by 1

  2. It is all the best that there is infighting within the rebels and intruders and foreign supporters . There can not be any thing better , let the rebels and their supporters , the yahoodi – saudi
    kill each other and finish themselves so that Syrians may get rid of these intruders and the internal enemies .Long live the resistance of Syrians , their President Assad and their armed forces ,their supporters and friends. Let us hear the news soon that the SHAAM is free from these evil intruders and the entire country is free from any rebellian . Let reconstruction and restoration starts soon .Insha Allah

  3. It is all the best that there is infighting within the rebels and intruders and foreign supporters . There can not be any thing better , let the rebels and their supporters , the yahoodi saudikill each other and finish themselves so that Syrians may get rid of these intruders and the internal enemies .Long live the resistance of Syrians , their President Assad and their armed forces ,their supporters and friends. Let us hear the news soon that the SHAAM is free from these evil intruders and the entire country is free from any rebellian . Let reconstruction and restoration starts soon .Insha Allah.LA FATAH ILLA ALI LA SAIF ILLA ZULFIQAAR . Long live Hizbullah , Iran ,Lebnan and Bahrain .

    Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2013 07:11:56 +0000 To: zaheerhusain@hotmail.com

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