Over six years ago, I called for Syria to be liberated. I repeated that call two Aprils ago. Since then, however, I have kept silent, mainly due to concern that the fall of the Assad regime would notin fact be anything close to liberation, due to al Qeadites in the anti-Assad rebellion. While I still believe Assad must go, I wasn’t sure about his would-be successors.
That changed dramatically this week when the Wahhabist wanna-bes split off to form their own “Islamic state” crew (Long War Journal):
Fourteen jihadist groups based in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a hub of fighting during the nearly two-year old rebellion against the regime of President Bashir al Assad, have banded together to reject the newly formed National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. Instead, the 14 groups, which include the Al Nusrah Front, an al Qaeda-linked terror group behind at least 35 suicide attacks in Syria in the past 11 months, have called for the establishment of “a just Islamic State,” according to a statement released on the Internet two days ago.
Now, assuming this division holds, the NCSRO looks a lot better.
Moreover, now is the perfect time to encourage NCSRO to steer completely clear of Al Nusrah et al. That means coming to their aid ASAP – on the condition that the al Qaeda crew is frozen out.
While one can understand the amusement at watch al Qaedists battle Tehran’s proxies, that doesn’t mean we should let one of them win. Now we have a chance to defeat both of them. I say it’s a chance we must take.