[Marxism] US: no arms to FSA while fighting ISIS because ISIS might get the arms!!

mkaradjis at gmail.com mkaradjis at gmail.com
Wed Jan 15 23:11:23 MST 2014


It gets more ridiculous by the day. Here's how it goes. According to the US:

1. From the beginning: We can't provide arms to the FSA because they might 
get the extremists (ie al-Qaida linked groups Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS)

2. Also from the beginning: The extremists are getting too strong so we 
might have to think about maybe providing some very limited light arms to 
some vetted moderate FSA groups if they're very good to fight the 
extremists, or balance them

3. Also from the beginning: But we don't do (2) anyway, because of (1). 
(Though eventually we kindly provide some ready-meals, night goggles, flak 
jackets, radios and nice speeches, sometimes)

But also because, as we admit sometimes, we hate all of the rebel groups, as 
none of them serve our (or Israel's) interests (eg, chairman of the US Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey 
http://blogs.reuters.com/david-rohde/2013/08/22/a-moment-of-truth-in-damascus-and-washington). 
(And of course, because in reality, for the US all the stuff about worrying 
about "extremists" is just code for hostility for the entire popular 
revolutionary process in Syria, including the most democratic and secular 
https://www.facebook.com/RadioFreeSyria/posts/284206428400250?comment_id=1359188)

4. From about late 2012: But we might still think about perhaps maybe giving 
a few light arms to some very very very good FSAers if they will drop the 
fight against Assad and instead turn themselves into a full-scale sawha 
force to fight the extremists first 
(http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/americas-hidden-agenda-in-syrias-war)

>From late 2012 and through all 2013: FSA rejects this cynical US call for 
surrender and suicide for over a year. But then over that year, in practice, 
it more and more does fight the extremists simply because these extremists 
attack the FSA in the back, and because the FSA goes to the aid of Syrian 
people when they resist theocratic repression, first by JAN and then more so 
by ISIS. But still none of that gets any US or western arms, because the FSA 
still prioritises fighting the regime, keeping its fight with JAN and ISIS 
mainly defensive. Not good enough.

Beginning 2014: Al these attacks in the back and theocratic repression by 
ISIS, combined with popular pressure from the masses, force the FSA to 
decide to turn their ongoing battle with ISIS into a full-scale offensive to 
destroy ISIS, the most dangerous, murderous and extremist wing of the 
jihadist fringe. They decide to do this in their own time, based on their 
own analysis of the balance of forces and the needs of the revolution at the 
moment, rather than do the bidding of US imperialism.

But still, even if late, and based on their own decision making, it is what 
the US has been demanding all along, isn't it? So how does the US react:

6. Beginning 2014: Now we can't provide arms to the FSA because if we give 
them arms while their fighting the extremists, the extremists might get 
their arms!!!!!

"Also bolstering the regime is the caution of some rebel backers like the 
U.S. to boost assistance to moderate groups battling ISIS until the fighting 
in northern Syria ends. Some rebel groups such as the Syrian Revolutionaries 
Front, or SRF, hope their involvement in leading the fight against ISIS 
could reinvigorate waning international support for their cause, opposition 
members said. But the opposition's attempts to drum up U.S. support for the 
SRF in recent weeks haven't gained as much traction as they had hoped. The 
opposition recently extracted one SRF commander from the battlefields of 
northern Idlib province, where he was fighting ISIS, to meet with U.S. 
government officials in Istanbul. The commander, Jamal Marouf, appealed for 
help in arming the SRF. In the meeting, U.S. officials said they worried 
that if they sent arms to the SRF, they could fall into ISIS hands, said 
opposition officials with knowledge of the meeting."

And "the left" still echoes the lying imperialist media in calling the FSA 
"western-backed rebels".

MK


Fighting Among Rebels Boosts Syrian Regime

Assad's Forces Benefit From Northern Conflict Between Opposition, al 
Qaeda-Linked Group

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579318732940300704?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303819704579318732940300704.html


Jan. 13, 2014 5:28 p.m. ET


The Assad regime appears to be capitalizing on the chaos of rebel-on-rebel 
fighting in northern Syria, while recent amateur footage purports to show 
intense bombing around the capital. Via The Foreign Bureau, WSJ's global 
news update. (Photo: AP)


The Assad regime is gaining ground as it takes advantage of infighting 
between Syrian opposition groups, in a sign of how the rise of extremists 
could tip the balance in the three-year-old civil war.


Pro-regime forces have consolidated recent gains in and around the northern 
city of Aleppo, Syria's economic hub. These forces are also geared up to 
recapture more territory around the city, in a potential major setback for 
rebels after 18 months of battles to oust the regime from parts of the city 
that have remained under its control.


In one area, moderate rebels late last week succeeded in forcing extremists 
from Naqareen, northeast of the city. That withdrawal enabled pro-regime 
forces to move in against a weakened rebel contingent on Sunday.


Pro-regime forces are also preparing for an assault on rebels in the nearby 
Sheikh Najjar area—a sprawling industrial district, said a resident and 
opposition activists. If regime forces were to capture the area, it would 
cut off rebels inside the city from those in the surrounding countryside.


Opposition activists and analysts said the regime could reclaim the entire 
city if the fighting continues between rebels and the extremist group known 
as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.


"Regaining Aleppo city will set in stone the reality that rebel groups can 
no longer achieve a decisive military victory over the regime," said Ayham 
Kamel, a London-based analyst with the Eurasia Group.


Regime forces made significant gains in an offensive in areas southeast of 
Aleppo that allowed them to secure a road into the city, following an Aug. 
21 chemical-weapons attack on rebel-held areas in Damascus. They have 
consolidated and expanded these gains after fighting between moderate rebels 
and ISIS broke out in the new year.


The Syrian military issued a televised statement late Monday touting its 
latest gains in the Aleppo area. It said the army, along with pro-regime 
militias, captured Naqareen and four other adjacent areas, adding that this 
"new achievement bolsters security around Aleppo's international airport and 
paves the way to finish off terrorist mercenaries in the eastern and 
northern Aleppo countryside and helps close in on the industrial city" in 
Sheikh Najjar.


The developments come ahead of peace talks scheduled to open in Geneva next 
week, where the regime's gains on the ground could give it greater leverage 
and leave it less willing to offer compromises.


On Monday, the Syrian government criticized a statement the previous day by 
a pro-opposition group of 11 Western and Arab countries, including the U.S., 
who labeled President Bashar al-Assad a war criminal and said the Geneva 
talks would seek to end to his "despotic regime."


"The statements that came out of the meeting of the enemies of the Syrian 
people in Paris are more fantasy than reality and would only be made by 
individuals detached from reality," said a Syrian Foreign Ministry official 
quoted by state media.


Nearly 700 fighters from the ranks of the rebels and ISIS, along with more 
than 100 civilians, have been killed since the al Qaeda-linked group and the 
rebels started fighting on Jan. 3, said the Syrian Observatory for Human 
Rights, a U.K.-based opposition group tracking the conflict. The regime has 
said it considers all rebels, both domestic and foreign-born, to be 
terrorists.


ISIS took full control of the town of Al-Bab, east of Aleppo, from rebels on 
Monday, said opposition activists who fled the area.


These activists said ISIS fighters sweeping through the southern section of 
Al-Bab on Sunday detained military-age males and confiscated laptops and 
cellphones to check for links to Syrian rebel factions.


Many in Al-Bab said they fear executions by ISIS similar to those it carried 
out on Sunday in the neighboring province of Raqqa, which is now largely 
under the group's control.


ISIS members captured and executed as many as 100 fighters from an Islamist 
rebel faction called Ahrar al-Sham on Sunday on the outskirts of the city of 
Raqqa, activists said.


Also bolstering the regime is the caution of some rebel backers like the 
U.S. to boost assistance to moderate groups battling ISIS until the fighting 
in northern Syria ends.


On Monday, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain this week would 
announce a further "major" donation of humanitarian aid for Syria and stands 
ready to resume and increase supplying nonlethal support for the Syrian 
National Coalition, the main opposition group, when conditions allow.


Some rebel groups such as the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, or SRF, hope 
their involvement in leading the fight against ISIS could reinvigorate 
waning international support for their cause, opposition members said.


The SRF was formed in December with significant Saudi backing in part to 
temper Western concerns that the rebels were turning a blind eye to the rise 
of extremist groups in Syria.


But the opposition's attempts to drum up U.S. support for the SRF in recent 
weeks haven't gained as much traction as they had hoped.


The opposition recently extracted one SRF commander from the battlefields of 
northern Idlib province, where he was fighting ISIS, to meet with U.S. 
government officials in Istanbul. The commander, Jamal Marouf, appealed for 
help in arming the SRF.


In the meeting, U.S. officials said they worried that if they sent arms to 
the SRF, they could fall into ISIS hands, said opposition officials with 
knowledge of the meeting.


In the run up to the Geneva meeting, Secretary of State John Kerry and 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traded barbs in Paris on Monday over 
whether Iran—a major military backer of the Assad regime—should attend.


The two officials said they reached an agreement to broker a cease-fire in 
some of Syria's most embattled areas ahead of the talks—a pivotal condition 
set by Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Jarba for attending the talks. Scaling 
back the violence in areas like Aleppo and the Damascus suburb of East 
Ghouta, Messrs. Kerry and Lavrov said, would allow trapped civilians to 
receive humanitarian aid.


The meeting took a frosty turn, however, at a joint news conference where 
Mr. Lavrov pressed Mr. Kerry and Lakhdar Brahimi —the United Nations envoy 
in charge of organizing the talks—to allow Tehran to attend.


Mr. Kerry met with Mr. Jarba on Monday to stress the importance of 
opposition representation in Geneva.


Adding to rebel woes, Turkish authorities sealed off their southern border 
with Syria about 45 days ago, blocking any arms flows to the SRF and other 
rebel groups fighting ISIS.


The Turkish government has come under increasing pressure at home for the 
influx of foreign fighters from around the region traversing the border into 
Syria, with some extremist groups establishing safe houses in southern 
Turkey.


—Mohammad Nour Alakraa in Beirut, Stacy Meichtry in Paris and Nicholas 
Winning in London contributed to this article.



Write to Sam Dagher at sam.dagher at wsj.com and Maria Abi-Habib at 
maria.habib at wsj.com

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