On a recent post at the Libertarian, we speculated about the following:
"Still, according to experts, the notion that most Syrian rebel groups are tied to al-Qaida is mostly a myth. Experts say that rebel groups with ties to al-Qaida make up about 10% to 20% of the country's rebel forces fighting Assad. "
This report from Business Insider ends with the most amazing two sentences, the same that appear on the title of this post. Now, go through this with me.
"Experts" say that rebel groups make up about 10% to 20% of Syria's rebel forces fighting Assad. Assume the figures are right and then assume they are understated by 50%. The way Washington lies and distorts facts, I may be understating the problem. We are supporting an insurgency in a civil war that is composed of from 10% to 40% al Qaeda. Here are some of the implications:
- Al Qaeda, a 10-40% part of the Syrian Rebels presently is receiving assistance from the CIA.
- Al Qaeda, as part of the Syrian Rebels presently has full diplomatic support from the US State Department, The Pentagon, The NSA, the Republican heads of the US House of Representatives, the Democratic head of the Senate and will soon be supported by the US Air Force and the US Navy.
- The major US media is supporting the Obama Administration's drive to involve the US in a civil war on the side that is being supported by al Qaeda.
- The proposed war is based on unproven allegations as to who used the chemical weapons.
- Without exaggeration, a full US attack on Syria will kill more Syrians that were killed in the gas attack.
- Iraq, the recent recipient of 10 years of a US war, ostensibly fought because of some connection to 911 has announced that they will not cooperate in any US aggression against Syria.
- The Islamist leadership in Turkey will assist.
- Saudi Arabia, the country that supplied money and 18 of their citizens for the attack of the US on 911, approves and supports the US being on the side of al Qaeda against the government of Syria.
- The President of The United States is orchestrating this war.
- Almost two years ago, the same Islamic groups were involved in the US attack of Libya. Part of the repercussions of the war in Libya was CIA involvement with shipping arms from Libya to Syria. It blew up in their face in Benghazi and every member of the Obama Administration from Obama on down lied to the American public with a fabricated story about an internet video offending Islam being the cause of the Benghazi attack and killing of four Americans.
- The same US President, Barack Hussein Obama, now expects up to believe the "Common Sense" notion that Assad was more likely to have used chemical weapons than al Qaeda. In a sense we are to accept al Qaeda's claims.
- There are no videos of the families of the children killed by the gas and no videos on the actual killings.
- The internet is laced with videos of al Qaeda, fighting with the rebels, butchering and murdering captured soldiers and civilians. The videos include the murder of children. The videos include the murder of a captured Syrian officer, whose al Qaeda murderer then cut out his heart and liver and ate it.
- The Internet has videos of truck drivers pulled off the road by al Qaeda rebels and were then murdered in cold blood because they prayed outside the standards set by al Qaeda and the rebels.
- The internet has videos of priests being murdered and some beheaded while they were alive by rebels and al Qaeda.
- As I type this one of the oldest Syrian Christian villages, still using the language of Jesus, is being assaulted and raped by al Qaeda. For many years this village was protected along with millions of other Christians by the Assad government. The Assad government cannot protect them because Syria is fearful of the US Navy under the orders of Barack Hussein Obama, poised to attack Syria.
- Christian members of the US armed forces are inadvertently causing the deaths of Christians at the hands of al Qaeda because of their presence and stated purpose of attacking the government and armed forces of Syria.
It appears that we understated the problem:
Syria: nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, says IHS Jane's report
Nearly half the rebel fighters in Syria are now aligned to jihadist or hardline Islamist groups according to a new analysis of factions in the country's civil war.
By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent, and Ruth Sherlock in Beirut
7:17PM BST 15 Sep 2013
Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands.
The new study by IHS Jane's, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists - who would include foreign fighters - fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda.
Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.
There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.
The stark assessment, to be published later this week, accords with the view of Western diplomats estimate that less than one third of the opposition forces are "palatable" to Britain, while American envoys put the figure even lower.
Fears that the rebellion against the Assad regime is being increasingly dominated by extremists has fuelled concerns in the West over supplying weaponry that will fall into hostile hands. These fears contributed to unease in the US and elsewhere over military intervention in Syria.
Charles Lister, author of the analysis, said: "The insurgency is now dominated by groups which have at least an Islamist viewpoint on the conflict. The idea that it is mostly secular groups leading the opposition is just not borne out."
The study is based on intelligence estimates and interviews with activists and militants. The lengthy fighting has seen the emergence of hundreds of separate rebel bands, each operating in small pockets of the country, which are usually loyal to larger factions.
Two factions linked to al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - also know as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) - have come to dominate among the more extremist fighters, Mr Lister said. Their influence has risen significantly in the past year.
Though still a minority in number, ISIL has become more prominent in rebel-held parts of Syria in recent months. Members in northern Syria have sought to assert their dominance over the local population and over the more moderate rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The aim of moderate rebel fighters is the overthrow of their country's authoritarian dictator, but jihadist groups want to transform Syria into a hard-line Islamic state within a regional Islamic "caliphate".
These competing visions have caused rancour which last week erupted into fighting between ISIL and two of the larger moderate rebel factions.
A statement posted online by Islamists announced the launch of an ISIL military offensive in the eastern district of Aleppo which it called "Cleansing Evil". "We will target regime collaborators, shabiha [pro-Assad militias], and those who blatantly attacked the Islamic state," it added, naming the Farouq and Nasr factions.
Al-Qaeda has assassinated several FSA rebel commanders in northern Latakia province in recent weeks, and locals say they fear this is part of a jihadist campaign to gain complete control of the territory.
As well as being better armed and tougher fighters, ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra have taken control of much of the income-generating resources in the north of the country, including oil, gas and grain.
This has given them significant economic clout, allowing them to "win hearts and minds" by providing food for the local population in a way that other rebel groups cannot.
ISIS has also begun a programme of "indoctrination" of civilians in rebel-held areas, trying to educate Syria's traditionally moderate Sunni Muslims into a more hard-line interpretation of Islam.
In early September, the group distributed black backpacks with the words "Islamic State of Iraq" stamped on them. They also now control schools in Aleppo where young boys are reportedly taught to sing jihadist anthems.
“It seems it is some sort of a long-term plan to brainwash the children and recruit potential fighters," said Elie Wehbe, a Lebanese journalists who is conducting research into these activities.