HTS AND AHRAR AL-SHAM: REVOLUTIONARY FLAG AND FUTURE OF SYRIAN OPPOSITION
Written by Hadi Gholami Nohouji exclusively for SouthFront
[ Editor’s Note: One of the reasons Damascus could have had for allowing the jihadis to exit the Damascus area to Idlib was, once there, they would begin fighting over resources and control of milking the population.
I have seen little evidence that these groups have any interest in the Syrian people other than to have subjects to exploit or suffer the consequences.
Southfront’s editorial team has been cherry-picking material like this, which we watch carefully and bring over to VT whenever we can, since corporate media rarely presents the seamy side of the Syrian war, the fake US-coalition framing for what is clearly a British-era, colonialist Balkanization of the country.
Having these groups fight and kill each other allows Damascus and its real anti-terrorism partners to keep up the pace of rolling back ISIS and liberating their country, so a political settlement with a new constitution and elections is not just a dream. The Idlib jihadis can be dealt with later after they have thinned out their ranks by chopping each other up.
This has also exposed the depraved failure of those in the US coalition who thought proxy terrorism was such a smart and affordable tool to use, when we have a long record of them now, going back to the Taliban in Afghanistan, of their morphing into uncontrollable Frankenstein monsters let loose upon us.
What we see happening now might be why Syria eased off the offensive in Idlib, which would have united the groups more; then these current divisions would not have emerged or risen to the scale of fighting that we are seeing. We pray that it continues… Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … July 26, 2017 –
These past days Idlib has —yet again— seen fierce battles between the extremist group Ahrar Al-Sham and the Al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir Sham (HTS), battles that are weakening to the point of collapse the, arguably, strongest of the anti-Assad forces.
This new wave of conflict was predictable as since almost two weeks ago both HTS and Ahrar Al-Sham began fortifying their positions around each other and basically militarized Idlib, the main —and soon to be— last bastion of the Syrian rebels in the aforementioned Arab country.
The surprising fact has been that the increasing of the tensions that lead to this all out war is due to none other than the Syrian Revolutionary flag, a flag used by the FSA (Free Syrian Army) and its allies (including Ahrar Al-Sham) to symbolize the so called revolutionary ideas followed by these armed groups.
As noted by other observers of the now six year long conflict, the fact that two of the largest armed groups of the Syrian opposition go to war with each over the use of a flag is in itself a clear sign of the actual state of the so called Syrian revolutionary groups.
This inter-rebel fight, which has gone largely under the radar and —so far— has not been picked up by any of the major news outlets, shows the underlying reasons for the crumbling of the Syrian rebels while confronted with major challenges by the Syrian governmental forces.
The main reason, one can deduce, is the total lack of coordination and cooperation amongst the rebel groups that with their actions have clearly shown that are incapable of the most basic rational approach in cases of disagreements and crisis, which is in full display in their latest quarrel.
Also it showcases to the world the fact that the so called Syrian moderates are not even capable of negotiating with groups that sometimes ally with, a fact that raises serious doubts about the possibility of success of future Syrian peace talks.
On the other hand both HTS and Ahrar Al-Sham seem to forget that the longer their relentless battles continue, the more civilians will fall victim and as a result the civilians under rebel control in Idlib will start to lose their faith in the armed and extremist groups that govern them.
Similar episodes of rebel infighting have taken place before in the Syrian territories and the mounting civilian toll has, in most cases, decreased the support for the rebels and paved the way for agreements with the Syrian government to capture those places.
The continuity of such useless battles ensures the downfall of the Syrian rebels and also shows a clear lack of an intelligent and rational leadership that is capable of avoiding useless conflicts such as this while the threat of the Syrian government attacks on Idlib keeps growing larger by the day.
Even now the supporters of the so called Syrian revolution and the armed groups must be asking themselves the hard question and that is if they really want to be governed by bands of shortsighted warlords who do not compromise even when it is in the best interest of both sides and do not act according to their own groups’ benefits.