New report says only one-third of Syrian rebels are “moderates” — and those “moderates” burn churches

The article below refers to the “the more moderate rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA),” but in this article, we learn about “a YouTube video showed an FSA gunman blowing up a church in Aarbin in the Damascus countryside and burning it completely. The clip shows the church destroyed and some of the icons burned.”

So even the “moderates” in Syria burn churches to the ground.

“Syria: nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, says IHS Jane’s report,” by Ben Farmer and Ruth Sherlock in the Telegraph, September 15:

Nearly half the rebel fighters in Syria are now aligned to jihadist or hardline Islamist groups according to a new analysis of factions in the country’s civil war.
Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands.

The new study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists – who would include foreign fighters – fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda..

Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.

There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.

The stark assessment, to be published later this week, accords with the view of Western diplomats estimate that less than one third of the opposition forces are “palatable” to Britain, while American envoys put the figure even lower.

Click here for full article.

Leave a Reply