The Corner

The Free Syrian Army, Our ‘Moderate Islamist’ Ally, Continues to Ally with Al-Qaeda in Syria

At the Long War Journal, Caleb Weiss reports on how the Free Syrian Army is continuing to ally with al-Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria.

The Free Syrian Army has recently allied with Islamist rebels fighting in al Harah, a town in the southern Syrian province of Deraa. Elements from the Free Syrian Army coordinated their efforts with the Islamist Syrian Revolutionaries Front, the Islamic Front, and the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, to take the al Harah Hill and the surrounding town.

The report and accompanying video are worth your time.

The FSA, or course, is the “moderate Islamist” rebel force President Obama — supported by Beltway Republicans – is having the United States arm and train (in “moderate” Saudi Arabia) in the expectation that they will become our ground force against the Islamic State in Syria. This is, shall we say, problematic: (a) The FSA is only really interested in fighting the Assad regime and has consequently been more than willing to confederate with any jihadists who share that goal; and (b) al-Qaeda affiliates and allies continue to push a truce with the Islamic State in which the jihadists would suspend their intramural feud in order to focus on their common enemies – mainly the United States and the West, but also Assad and his Shiite backers, Iran and Hezbollah.

In short, we are maneuvering into a conflict in which many of the people we are training will eventually join with our Sunni enemies while our half-hearted aerial bombing campaign inures to the benefit of our Shiite enemies.

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