Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Jaish al-Islam

To recap, on 24/9 a statement was issued on behalf of at least 11 rebel groups. ISIS, a branch of al Qaeda, is out in the cold, for the time being, but a group not previously known for its islamist credentials is joining forces with Jabhat al-Nusra, a slightly less extremist franchisee of al Qaeda. All these groups disowned the SNC or any group based outside Syria. But it's only a statement and they will maybe continue to cooperate with Gen. Salim Idriss and the Supreme Military Council. 

Obviously, this makes the supplying or arming of moderate factions of the rebels more difficult to argue for. But it also puts a question mark over the much-touted "diplomatic solution". Who would you negotiate with? This was made even more clear when there was some possibly even bigger news breaking on 29/9, the formation of the Jaish al-Islam or Islam Army, of which more later.

Al Jazeera had this:
Many rebel groups join forces in Syria (17:27). Amazingly, there was nothing on this story on the BBC WS on Sunday and nothing on the website. They did report that Jarba had agreed to the Geneva II talks in November, after meeting the UN Secretary General (BBC WS, 29/9, 08:00). Brown Moses remarked: Added appropriate quote marks - Syrian "opposition chief" holds first meeting with Ban Ki-moon http://t.co/vv7cdhE6rX  
(@Brown_Moses) September 29, 2013, 1:29 PM

Back to Jaish al-Islam. In contrast to the 24/9 statement, which was delivered by just one of the groups' leaders, the video of this shows 8 or 9 leaders, with scores of others in a conference hall type setup.
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30/9 Syrian Minister Invokes Sept. 11 to Accuse U.S. of Hypocrisy By RICK GLADSTONE and SOMINI SENGUPTA 2:43 PM ET In a point-by-point rejection of the West’s version of the conflict in Syria, the foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, likened the “devastations of terrorism” in Syria and the United States
Syria condemns 'foreign terrorists' Syria's foreign minister claims that "terrorists from more than 83 countries" are killing soldiers and civilians across the nation.

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