Coming under increased scrutiny, rebels prove no less fractious than the traditional political opposition. Much of their fractiousness, however, can be traced back to continued dabbling by said opposition, as well as the shifting demands and whims of external sponsors. Still, and so many reporters embedded with them have reported, the rebels’ daily experiences with death and suffering make them far more reliable as partners, especially when they work in cooperation with local political activists.
Sunday October 7, 2012
Today’s Death toll: 121. The Breakdown: toll includes 7 children and 3 women. 62 in Damascus and Suburbs (38 found field-executed in Hameh), 23 in Aleppo, 15 in Homs, 8 in Idlib, 7 in Hama, 3 in Daraa and 3 in Deir Ezzor (LCC).
Across from Hermel and inside Syrian territory, a string of villages inhabited by Lebanese Shiites has been clashing with majority-Sunni villages that back the opposition in the countryside of Qusayr, on the outskirts of Homs. There have been a series of tit for tat kidnappings between the groups, and some have suggested that Hezbollah is providing military support to the Shiite villagers.
Allowing Syria’s chaos to continue will damage too many strategic American interests and, perhaps more importantly, squander an opportunity to affect precisely the kind of change that will make the world a safer place as America’s ability to “police it” inevitably fades.
People whose lives have been decimated by conflict should receive as much assistance as we can give them. Yet Palestinian refugees from Syria, escaping the same violence, destruction and dangers and seeking the same protection, relief and refuge as their Syrian counterparts, are being excluded on grounds of nationality.
Rania Abouzeid offers another great article on rebel groups in Syria. With this report, yesterday’s diagram by the Turkish newspaper Hurrieyt, the New Republic article on rebel groups, the study on armed opposition prepared by Joseph Holliday of the Institute for the Study of war, and my recent report andop-ed, a good and accurate picture of rebel groups is finally emerging.
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