Syrian Rebels welcome US Air strikes on ISIL Terrorists

By Juan Cole

Ilaf reports that rebels in East Aleppo, Syria are deeply divided over the prospect of President Obama ordering US air strikes on the so-called “Islamic State” (IS). IS is vicious and has spent most of the past 18 months studiously avoiding actually fighting the Baath government of Syria, concentrating instead on destroying its rivals, the Jabhat al-Nusra (Succor Front), other radical groups, and the more secular-minded Free Syrian Army. When IS comes after its rivals among the rebels, it is vicious, mowing them down without conscience. Even classic al-Qaeda under Ayman al-Zawahiri has condemned IS and kicked it out of al-Qaeda.

Abu al-Miqdad of the Islamic Front, which has fought both the regime and IS, said he supported the American intervention against IS because of the latter’s bloodthirstiness. “They don’t distinguish between civilians and combatants and they kill people with knives,” he said. “Who kills people with knives?” He said he hoped the US bombed every last one of them to smithereens. “They are not Muslims,” he said, “but infidels.” He said that real Muslims would never have done what they did to civilians and to the Free Syrian Army.

Jaber, head of the Islamic Front’s ad hoc military police in Aleppo, agreed that the US air strikes would be welcome. He said that fighters were facing a de facto alliance of the regime of Bashar al-Assad with IS, since the two avoided fighting each other and concentrated on the other rebels.

Meanwhile, the UN has issued a report condemning both the Baath and IS/ ISIL for war crimes.

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related video:

The Young Turks: “Does ISIS Really Pose A Threat To The United States?”

12 Responses

  1. IS “studiously avoiding” fighting Assad? Western media report IS killed almost 200 Syrian troops in taking an airbase just last week.

    • ISIS was believed by some to have backing from Assad when they fought Americans in Iraq at Falluja.

      There is also speculation that the Baathist regime in Syria is covertly helping ISIS and point to the fact that the bulk of the military efforts against ISIS have been other Syrian rebel groups.

      ISIS sells petroleum to the Syrian government.

    • For a while it suited the IS and Assad to give each other a bit of guarded leeway since the one was able to pursue its ideological goals by cleaning the other’s stables. But that time is now passed, a new round has begun, and it better suits Assad to align with the IS opposition since, although sharing the same enemy doesn’t make you allies, it does introduce possibilities not present in stalemate.

  2. Arun Dube

    @clancycnn I hope the air strikes are able to deliver 2 knockout punches: ISIS and Assad. Shouldn’t be the first and not the other.

  3. Was the headline intentionally ironic, given the lede? And does the article argue in favor of US military returning to hired thug mode (where the thug conveniently even pays his own wages and provides his own tools and PR)? I mean, there’s such a rich string of past successes of US airpower projection to point to…

    • But hey, “we” always do what “we” know how to do, with the massively expensive and ponderous tools in the black box, or those artistic operations in the destabilize-and-over- throw Kermit Kit. Because think of all the careers and investments and JOBS and legislative positions that are part of the inept and ill-suited and corrupt Juggernaut of “our” waning but prideful Empire…

  4. You may think it’s anathema but I don’t care one bit what you all think. I want Assad to stay in power. He’s our last bulwark against complete anarchy and ISIS type mullahs in the near east. Enough with Islam. Secularism, even the dictatorial one, is far better.

  5. Well suggesting that Assad is supporting IS so that IS will do the dirty work of killing all the moderates is a step up from the it’s-the-CIA-all-the-time conspiracy, but seriously I”m not sure how this post-defeat of the moderate rebels “align with” would work …

    Tale of a moderate rebel who lay down his arms and took an offer to relocate in Turkey — interesting but caveats apply.

    link to nytimes.com

    rather bizarre article from the Guardian from a Yazhidi woman still trapped on the mountain ….

    link to theguardian.com

    another single-source cell phone eye-witness — rather raises more questions than it answers.

  6. I agree Nayla. Assad tortured people for Cheney and this is the thanks he gets. The US has a rich history of supporting dictators worse than Assad.

    For all of Saddam’s butchery, he kept the lid on Iraq.

  7. Compare to golan property losses, and then look at usa creating it’s own enemies.
    Potus is warring and doesn’t know with whom!
    Stop the Illegal and Immoral wars!

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