Every Friday in the revolution get’s a different name, this Friday is called “There’s no terrorism in Syria except Assad’s terrorism.” This came after the announcement a few days ago by 29 groups of activists and battalions to call it “No to American intervention, we are all Jabhat al-Nusra” which was followed up by some 70 more like minded groups. This again came in response to the US’ listing of Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organization, which it has announced to be working on before and which was bound to become the group’s fate after the UN resolution against their terrorist attack on the Saadallah al-Jabri square in Aleppo.
The reaction to the resolution had been mild compared to the backlash today. Shaykh Moaz al-Khatib called for the decision to be reviewed, the Muslim brotherhood rejected it, as did Col. al-Agedi of the FSA’s Military Council in Aleppo. It’s clear that US policy regarding Jabhat al-Nusra, has been counter productive and, together with its passive attitude towards the revolution, has only contributed to driving the Syrian people more and more towards this group. This is Binnish, Idlib:
The context of it explains this Friday’s name, but it doesn’t justify the denial that it carries with it. The Assad regime and after that its allies are the primary and main responsible parties for the terror, genocide and destruction unleashed upon Syria. They could be responsible for as much of 99% of it, but not all. It is an absolute fact that acts of terrorism have been committed by various extremist groups, and the only possible way this can be denied is to ascribe their terrorism and crimes to the regime, either by having a hand in it or by indirectly supporting it. This is what the response has been to nearly everything Jabhat al-Nusra had been doing before they integrated themselves more and more in the revolution by summer, but it hasn’t been the response ever since Saadallah Jabri and has instead only become more and more apologetic.
Anyone committing crimes and terrorism is responsible for the deeds he has chosen to commit. Anyone who has encouraged this, primarily the Assad regime itself as well as extremists around the world, is responsible after that. Then follow those who stood by and watched it all happen from a safe distance, which is the international community. The point that the opposition makes is that the Syrian people are victims in all of this, and they certainly are. The hypocrisy of it all is perfectly depicted by the brave and gifted people of Kafr Nabl, who have spoken out against all forms of injustice, in the top picture. A name that reflects this expression would have been excellent. But when the responsibility for causing it does not lie with those who suffer from it and simply try to survive, it doesn’t mean the responsibility for solving it doesn’t remain theirs nevertheless. Whoever is responsible for terrorism, it is up to the Syrian people to confront that and rid the country of it. Is that not what the entire revolution against the regime is about?
Today a point has been reached that nobody could imagine a year ago [itself nearly a year into the revolution], when Jabhat al-Nusra did not even exist. Today they are a force to be reckoned with, popular enough to have significant local support in some places, tolerated by most and cooperated with by some, and only bound to become stronger and more popular, if not an actual leader in this revolution. A small minority that it still is, it already competes with the FSA on various levels and is clearly no longer marginal.
But it has gone far beyond that, Jabhat al-Nusra alone is really yesterday’s discussion. Ahrar al-Sham, who have declared themselves to be Qaedist just like Jabhat al-Nusra [though they may arguably be less aware of what that actually means], is up next. Various other local independent battalions have joined as well, and there have been a lot of unification efforts amongst them in several places. Take the unified rejection of the coalition that took place in Aleppo, or the more recently formed Mujahiddin Shura Council in Deir al-Zor. And now we see a battalion which is seemingly part of the FSA and who has not joined the “Jihadi” movements, yet it adopted part of the ideology and practices it to extents unheard of before: Burning a Shia Mosque.
There is a point of no return, it is coming increasingly closer and denial will not make it go away. The choice is not between Assad and the revolution, Assad began to fall the day he declared war on his people. Today, most of the country is free from him and his regime except for their bombardments from the sky. The choice is between a free Syria and a Syria plagued by Assad’s heritage of sectarian hatred and extremist violence. There is no third option for this country, no minority will be able to rule it peacefully. Moreover, Assad has not yet fallen amongst his own supporters, and his achievement in creating the enemy of his wild dreams only further delays his fall. Bombs do not overthrow dictators, God does.