[Marxism] FSA and rebel statements on rules of war in current Damascus offensive

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Wed Mar 22 23:12:53 MDT 2017


In the current rebel offensive in Damascus, which has linked two 
rebel-held working class districts across and industrial zone and taken 
them close to Assadist HQ, the Free Syrian Army released the following 
statement:

During this operation, the Free Syrian Army remains fully committed to 
all international laws of war, most importantly:
1.    Avoiding civilians of all religions and sects outside of the area 
of conflict
2.    Avoiding diplomatic missions and buildings from the aim of direct 
and indirect fire
3.    Avoiding all buildings of worship and symbols from the aim of 
direct and indirect fire
4.    Commitment to fair treatment of prisoners and bodies of the dead 
without insulting or abusing them
5.    Securing and protecting medical personnel, Civil Defence crews, 
humanitarian aid and media groups
https://twitter.com/FSAPlatform/status/844141770694889472/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The main rebel formation leading this offensive, Faylaq al-Rahman 
('Rahman Brigades'), an FSA-soft Islamist coalition, released an almost 
identical statement: http://en.eldorar.com/node/5186

According to EAWorldview:

"The rebel offensive is now being led by the factions Faylaq al-Rahman 
and Ahrar al-Sham, with involvement of other Free Syrian Army units and 
support from Jaish al-Islam in strengthening frontlines. Despite some 
mainstream media reports — accepting pro-Assad propaganda — there are 
few fighters from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, the group formerly linked to Al 
Qa’eda" 
(http://eaworldview.com/2017/03/rebels-renew-offensive-in-syrias-capital-damascus/).

At the same time as this offensive in Damascus, rebels have also 
launched a new offensive in northern Hama, taking areas very close to 
Hama city 
(http://eaworldview.com/2017/03/rebels-renew-offensive-in-syrias-capital-damascus/). 
The Hama-based FSA brigade, Jaish al-Nasr, is playing a prominent role 
in this offensive.

And all this just after the recent renewal of the offensive in the south 
by the FSA Southern Front, which had been dormant for a while under 
US-Jordanian pressure to fight ISIS and Nusra only. It seems once the 
rebels understood that the deliberate US-Jordanian aim was to hand the 
Jordanian border over to Assad's brigades, the SF finally broke ranks, 
seeing, somewhat late, the existential threat posed.

With new offensives in Damascus, Daraa and Hama, with a prominent FSA 
role in all three, so soon after the crushing of Free Aleppo, once 
again, predictions both that the revolution has ended and/or that the 
FSA is finished and there are only "jihadists" still fighting, have, 
once again, proven to be premature.

I'm reminded, in fact, of the countless times over countless years that 
it was announced that the Arafat PLO/Fatah was either finished, wiped 
out, eclipsed by others or irreversibly sold out, from about 1982 
onwards. 




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