Syrians Bracing For All-Out Conflict
Syrians are bracing for an all-out conflict as Bashar al-Assad’s loyalist forces continue attacks across country and find resistance growing. The UN was warning of a civil war looming, but I’d say we’d reached that point earlier this year and that Assad is doing all he can to crush an insurrection caused by his ongoing crackdown against protesters.
The crackdown has resulted in a splintering of his military forces and an increasing number of defections has meant that the level of violence will only increase as those defectors are now fighting back against Assad’s loyalists.
Assaults on Homs continue and the death toll continues to rise.
Assad’s forces are attempting to crush the centers of resistance, including an ongoing pummeling of the city of Homs. Once again, the UN says that crimes against humanity are evident across Syria - carried out at the behest of Assad and his loyalists.
Reuters is reporting that fighters from Iraq are slipping into Syria to bolster the fight against Assad. Whereas the arms shipments were being delivered from Syria to insurgents in Iraq, the flow of weapons and fighters is moving the other way as Sunni tribes are looking to help their fellow Sunni tribesmen across the border. There are also indications that al Qaeda may be exploiting the security situation along the border and there have been calls by al Qaeda to rise up to fight and defeat Assad. Al Qaeda has been on the losing end of the Arab Spring and this is an attempt to get back to the forefront of the movement to establish Islamist states according to its doctrine. Most Arabs across the region aren’t amenable to that - and their economic concerns outweigh any desire to become a strict Islamic state. To me, al Qaeda is trying to reassert its presence and is using the instability for maintaining its relevance in the Arab World. It’s a losing cause, but al Qaeda has shown that it has no problem spilling blood of fellow Muslims when they deem it necessary. It’s a sign of desperation as events have overtaken the terrorist group and its hate-filled messages.
Still, with terrorists from al Qaeda looking to feed a sectarian conflict and fighters from Iraq and elsewhere gaining entry into Syria to fight, this already dangerous situation is only threatening to become even more so.