Thursday, March 2, 2017

Feet on the Ground in Syria

The American mainstream media has, for the most part, passed on coverage of the now boring civil war in Syria.  It's just not captivating enough for most readers/watchers and the confusing situation and the lack of Western media feet on the ground makes the situation less than captivating.  That said, the war is now entering its seventh year goes on punishing Syria and Syrians despite being ignored.

Let's open this posting with a map of Syria to help you orient yourself:

Here is a map showing the situation on the ground:

...and a diagram showing the extremely complex and fluid nature of this war:

In a recent interview on CNN, Congresswoman and decorated veteran of two Middle East deployments, Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi), had this to say about America's role in Syria:

Ms.Gabbard states that she was repeatedly asked this question during her tenure in Syria:

"Why is it the United States and its allies supporting these terrorists who are destroying Syria  when it was al-Qaeda who attacked the United States on 9/11 not Syria?"

After being confronted about the mantra that the United States is supporting “moderate rebel groups”, Ms. Gabbard stated:

"The reality is, Jake, that…every place that I went, every person that I spoke to I asked this question to them and without hesitation they said there are no “moderate rebels”.  Who are these “moderate rebels” that people keep speaking of.  Regardless of the name of these groups, the strongest fighting force on the ground in Syria is al-Nusra or al-Qaeda and ISIS, that is a fact.

Here is a relatively little-viewed video that shows Ms. Gabbard interacting with college students on the streets of Damascus:

While everything looks and sounds normal in Damascus, here is a fascinating video that shows what the now four year-old battle looks like in Aleppo, formerly Syria's largest city, from both sides of the conflict:

Please note the aerial views of Aleppo at the 10 and 23 minute marks to give you some idea of what a devasting war this has been for hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians.  It is also interesting to note that the video footage starting at the 15 minute mark is stamped with the Mujahdeen Army emblem.  Does the use of the word Mujahdeen remind anyone else of the Mujahdeen that were the embryonic form of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s?  The Mujahdeen Army is not, however, a cohesive force. It was created on January 3, 2014, in a statement that listed the following main member factions:

1   The Noureddin al-Zengi Battalions
2   The Ansar Brigade
3   The Fastaqim Kama Umirta Gathering
4   The Islamic Freedom Brigade
5   The Amjad al-Islam Brigade
6   The Ansar al-Khilafa Brigade
7   The Jund al-Haramain Brigade
8   The Islamic Light Movement

The Mujahdeen Army was formed to fight against ISIS in the northwestern part of Syria and to control the movement of goods between Turkey and Syria.

While the conflict in Aleppo seems to get what little headline coverage that exists in the West, here is a video showing the ongoing conflict in Daraa located in the far south of Syria, showing us how widespread the conflict is:

As was the case after Russia left Afghanistan in 1989, one can only guess what the next target will be for tens of thousands of "moderate rebel" fighters when the Syrian civil war ends.  I think that Tulsi Gabbard is one of the few Americans in a position of power that understands the long-term unintended consequences of the Western desperation to rid Syria of Bashar al-Assad.  At the very least, she is one of very few Americans who has put her feet on the ground where the seemingly endless civil war still rages.

No comments:

Post a Comment