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Monday, September 16, 2013

Syria Rebels Say Obama is Without Honor

Syrian rebels are none too happy with Obama and the West for failing to carry out strikes against Assad's regime:

The battalion's commander, Abdulaziz Salameh, was even more scathing about the United States. 
While accusing Russia and Syria of "devising a perfect plan to put a stop to an attack by the West," he said "Obama has shown himself not to be a man of honour, without anything to say." 
... Abu Feras, spokesman for Al-Tawhid, said "the international community doesn't care what happens to Syria. If it really did it would have intervened a long time ago." 
"The United States and Russia are playing with Syria; we mean absolutely nothing to them. The same is true of the United Nations, which accuses the regime of crimes against humanity and keeps talking and talking, as if that would solve anything. They have been talking for 30 months and done absolutely nothing." 
A man standing nearby, interjected: "Obama is a liar. He won't keep his word. He said he would attack if Assad used chemical weapons against the civilian population. What more does he need to intervene and put an end to this slaughter." 
Hassan al-Mara, a former school teacher turned fighter, agreed with the man. 
"You are right, the West has let us down again. America and Europe have shown that their threats were no more than cheap propaganda."
 Of course, one of the significant problems is that the rebel forces are dominated by jihadists and strict Muslims which the West does not--cannot--trust to establish a moderate government if Assad were to fall.
Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands. 
The new study by IHS Jane's, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists - who would include foreign fighters - fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda.. 
Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle. 
There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.

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