Monday, November 03, 2014

Bashar laughs and laughs and laughs

Washington Post report on the al-Nusra Front overrunning of moderate Syrian rebel positions in Idlib --

A Jabhat al-Nusra base was one of the first targets hit when the United States launched its air war in Syria in September, and activists said the tensions fueled by that attack had contributed to the success of Jabhat al-Nusra’s push against the moderate rebels.
“When American airstrikes targeted al-Nusra, people felt solidarity with them because Nusra are fighting the regime, and the strikes are helping the regime,” said Raed al-Fares, an activist leader in the Idlib town of Kafr Nabel.
“Now people think that whoever in the Free Syrian Army gets support from the U.S.A. is an agent of the regime,” he said.
Fleeing rebel fighters said they feared the defeat would spell the end of the Free Syrian Army, the umbrella name used by the moderate rebel groups that the United States has somewhat erratically sought to promote as an alternative both to the Assad regime and the extremist Islamic State.

Since the half-hearted US support has been so effective in destroying the moderate rebels, the biggest risk that al-Nusra faces at this point is that by the time the supposed US$500 million in new US aid comes on stream, they'll be the only alternative to ISIS still standing and the US will decide to give the aid to them.