by: Onan Coca
The State Department issued a travel warning to all Americans this week, saying that Americans should stay out of Syria because a rebel group called the Al-Nusrah Front has carried out over 600 attacks across Syria in recent years. Why should that matter to Americans whose nation has sided with the rebels? Because the Al-Nusrah Front is a branch of al-Qaeda’s army in Syria. Last we checked, al-Qaeda is always looking for Americans to kill… so the State Department, in all its wisdom, has warned us to stay out of Syria.
Now somebody at the State Department just needs to carry this information up the street to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The resident-in-chief there somehow missed the memo.
The State Department warning goes on to explain why this particular rebel group is so fearsome. You might expect that a rebel insurgency fighting a civil war against the government and the military has focused its violence upon high value military and political targets. But in the case of the Al-Nusrah Front, you’d be wrong. “Public places such as government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces have been targeted.”
Attacks like these cause focus damage to civilian populations in hopes that the violence will turn the civilians against the government. It’s a monstrous way to fight a war. There’s more – when the Obama administration finally labeled the Al-Nusrah Front as a terrorist organization allied to al-Qaeda, several other rebel factions protested in support of Al-Nusrah. Even the President of National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces begged the administration to “reconsider the designation.”
In Western Syria we are learning that government troops supporting Bashar al-Assad are actually fighting now to protect a Christian village in the mountains of Syria from attack. Who is attacking a low value military target that is not involved in the Civil War? Rebel groups loyal to al-Qaeda. The ancient village is an important piece of world history and on a UNESCO list of tentative world heritage sites.
Other groups are led by men like Abdul Samad Issa, whose brutality seemingly knows no bounds. He recently became “famous” when video of he and his men executing Syrian soldiers was leaked to the New York Times.
"War is hell," as the old platitude goes, and there is no war where both sides have not committed atrocities. The Syrian civil war is no exception. A rebel, disenchanted with such atrocities, has smuggled a video out of Syria graphically depicting a brutal execution of captive soldiers. The man responsible is known as "the uncle," or Mr. Issa (Arabic for Jesus), commander of the Jund Al-Sham brigade associated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Aren’t we supposed to be getting involved to stop the brutality of the Syrian government? Who is going to stop the brutality of the rebel groups? I plan to heed the State Department’s warning and stay out of Syria. Hopefully the President will do the same.
(If you have a strong stomach and want to learn more about the many atrocities committed by the Syrian rebels – they’re keeping track at the Libertarian Republic. Warning – it is graphic and not at all for young eyes.)