Terrorism has never been a successful strategy. Its only consequence is suffering for ordinary people. This is what is happening in Syria. The terrorist groups, however, are now fighting each other because they are unable to dislodge the government of Bashar al-Asad. Their foreign masters--Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, the US, France, Britain and Israel, to name a few--have also realized that these terrorists cannot deliver.
September 27, 2013, 12:17 EDT
Never united except in their subservience to their foreign masters, the rebels in Syria are now at each other’s throats and giving ultimatums for others to surrender. According to inside sources, Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have given the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) 48 hours to disarm.
The two groups never got along because each claimed to represent all the fighters—an untenable assertion—but now they are fighting each other openly. The ultimatum went into effect at 8 pm local time on Thursday.
According to reports from Syria, al-Qaeda-affiliated group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), issued the ultimatum to the FSA to surrender in 48 hours. What these terrorists would do after 48 hours was left unclear but it is certain that fighting between the groups will intensify. Low intensity fighting has already been going on for months.
Britain’s Jane’s Defence Consultancy estimates there are at least 100,000 foreign mercenaries in Syria. They are split into myriad groups with no centralized command. The mercenaries have flooded into Syria from neighbouring countries—Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon—as well as from countries as far as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chechnya.
The mercenaries are paid by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. Turkey facilitates their entry into Syria while Lebanon is also used as a transit point for mercenaries from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
While Qatar and Saudi Arabia are bitter rivals for influence in the region and tiny Qatar is seen as an upstart by its bigger neighbour, they co-operate by supporting the mercenaries in Syria. This co-operation, however, is not coordinated. Each has its own favourite terrorists that they support. Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar hope that once the government of Bashar al-Asad is overthrown—a quest that has eluded them since March 2011—they will dominate the Syrian scene.
It is also interesting to note that while the US claims to be fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and a host of other countries, it is actually working hand in glove with it in Syria. This has led many observers to believe that al-Qaeda is actually a US creation and is used to advance US imperialist agenda. These observers also say that this does not mean al-Qaeda takes its orders from the US but that its policies are used to advance US interests.
In Syria, meanwhile, opposition activists say that clashes between takfiri terrorists have intensified in recent months primarily because of flooding of more weapons into the country. The US is also training these terrorists in Jordan from where they are launched into Syria.
In recent weeks, however, the US-Saudi-Israeli plot to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons failed. Both Russia and Iran took a determined stand and exposed the deep conspiracy. Threats by US President Barack Obama to attack Syria also did not garner the kind of support he was hoping for. More than 63% of Americans are opposed to another misadventure in the Middle East with the disastrous experience of Iraq and Afghanistan still fresh in their minds.
Russia and Iran offered the US a face saving climb down from the disastrous course. This has aroused hopes that a negotiated settlement to the ongoing tragedy in Syria might be found and the suffering of the Syrian people will come to an end.