<<“The spokesman…said in a phone interview from Daraa that Al-Nusra’s higher salaries and high-quality weapons have spurred many local FSA soldiers to break ranks and join the Islamist group. He estimated that 80 percent of Al-Nusra’s fighting force in Daraa is currently comprised of Syrians, and the other 20 percent of foreign fighters.
“Daraa is partially controlled by Al-Nusra Front and affiliated groups, but it could fall entirely to their hands,” he said.>>
“The real competitor for the local administrations is considered to be with the Syrian regime. The regime continues to spend nearly $3 billion a year on employees’ salaries, something that the local administrations and the development budgets cannot do. The regime pays the salaries of employees in all areas, without exception, even in areas outside its control. This means that many employees and their families are still subordinated, in one way or another, to the central government.”
A number of US drone strikes within few days have killed “dozens of suspected militants” of Al Qaeda in Yemen. This is considered as success in the US and is reported as good news in western press:
This is because in Yemen (just as in Afghanistan or Pakistan) Al Qaeda fighters or those with almost identical attitude and methods are considered terrorists. Not however in Syria, where their existence and relevance is either denied or belittled. Thus, it is tolerated by the US, UK, France, Turkey and implicitly also by Israel that the Syrian Nusra Front is non other than the local branch of Al Qaeda and that most supposedly “moderate” rebel groups closely and regularly cooperate with the Nusra.
“In fact, the only rebel factions still strong enough to resist and fight the regime on the latest fronts are the radical Islamists. The town of Azizeh, just outside the Marjeh area in the east, the strategically vital Sheikh Najjar industrial zone, the old city and Aleppo’s central prison are all defended by al-Qaeda’s affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as Salafist militants Ahrar al-Sham, a member of the Islamic Front.”
“Make no mistake, this is not a “resurgence” of the Syrian revolution…It is simply a cutthroat struggle for power, between jihadist groups of similar ideology, distinct only in name and the identity of their backers, albeit with slightly differing methods of imposing their doctrines on the ground…The Islamic Front, the alliance of jihadist groups now fighting ISIS, were more subtle and less murderous in dealing with citizens, even though they imposed harsh Sharia rules according to their strict interpretation, for example the public flogging of two men who missed Friday prayers in Sukkari, Aleppo by Ahrar al-Sham. It is also important to note that many factions that make up the Islamic Front have been implicated in serious war crimes such as the mass sectarian killings in rural Latakia and more recently in Adra, as well as the summary executions of captured soldiers.”
al-Qaida-linked fighters of the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant found the wounded rebel in a hospital after a battle with government forces on Wednesday.
They said he was moaning phrases typical of Shia.
The fighters later displayed the man’s head before a crowd in Aleppo city. But residents identified it as belonging to a leader of another hardline Islamist rebel group, Ahrar al-Sham.
“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…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…”
Saudi Wahhabi Sheikh Calls on Iraq’s Jihadists to Kill Shiites
“Saad al-Durihim, a Saudi Wahhabi sheikh, posted a tweet on Twitter in which he said that jihadist fighters in Iraq should adopt a “heavy-handed” approach and kill any Shiites they can get their hands on, including children and women.”
“I want to apologise to Syrian mothers,” wailed Latifa from Tunisia. “I didn’t know my son was coming here. We want to tell you our sons were brainwashed.”
“More than 42 countries are now sending fighters to cause bloodshed in Syria,” declared Syrian-American industrialist Khaled Mahjoub, who is on a mission to take on Islamists he calls “Salafi Wahabis powered by petrodollars”.
Jihadists from European countries – everywhere from Britain to Sweden – can be seen in videos uploaded to the internet, along with fighters from areas long seen as breeding grounds for militancy, including the tribal areas of Pakistan and Chechnya.