Syria loses another Provincial Capital to al-Qaeda affiliate
On Saturday, a coalition of ultra-conservative Islamic groups swept into Idlib, a major Syrian city, taking over intersections and government buildings. The al-Nusra Front, (an al-Qaeda affiliate), along with fighters from Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa, and a few smaller groups “loosely affiliated” with the Free Syrian Army, have been taking territory in Syria due to the focus being on the Islamic State.
According to Fox,
“On Saturday, Islamic fighters jubilantly swept in, taking over key buildings and tearing down posters of Assad. Videos posted online by activists and the Nusra Front showed a group of heavily armed fighters kneeling down in prayer in the city’s sprawling Hanana square as others fired their guns in celebration.
“Allahu Akbar!” — God is great — they shouted. The fighters then took down a Syrian flag flying in the center of the square and set it on fire to the backdrop of incessant shooting.”
Reportedly, Assad’s forces rapidly collapsed as the fighters entered the city and overran the barriers. The group reportedly used a U.S. TOW missile in the battle.
Arming the “moderates”
The United States supported the Free Syrian Army (FSA), because it was reportedly “moderate.” Brigadier General Salim Idris is termed the “commander” of the Free Syrian Army, which is actually a loose coalition of supposedly “moderate” rebel forces. But he tweeted that he was in support of the takeover of Idlib by al-Qaeda backed Al-Nusra.
Think about this: the Al-Qaeda group is increasing in strength and snatching up territory while the US is supposedly focused on ISIS. This group of so-called” rebels” will attempt to push Assad out of Damascus, which has been a goal of the United States for years.
We’ve been arming so-called “moderate” rebel groups to accomplish that goal. But remember, many of the leaders of the so-called “moderate” al-Sham group were killed in an explosion last year. What is left has very little to do with “moderate.”
If these al-Nusra/al-Qaeda forces take over at least that part of the region, they are not any more favorable toward the United States than ISIS. There is no such thing as “moderate” when we are talking about these ultra-conservative islamic groups.
It’s another brilliant move on Obama’s part in his attempt to “manage” the Middle East.
Im confused: A) Can we decide if al-Nusra is an ally of ISIS or not B) Are they trying to pass off AN as moderate? pic.twitter.com/izLlmcQP8v
— Adam Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) March 29, 2015
FSA chief, “Gen.” Salim Idriss, praises Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in #Syria). LOL, you can’t make this stuff up
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) March 28, 2015