“Syria’s Phase of Radicalization” and an Inside look at Kitaba Farouq
The International Crisis Group (ICG) released a report discussing the radicalization of they Syrian opposition groups as a result of continued violence. The report goes into detail highlighting the specific ways in which the violence has worsened even while the cease-fire was supposed to come into place. ICG describes the international communities’ “half-hearted” pledges to support diplomatic initiatives, which is largely the reason for the current violent status quo. ICG report recommends the U.N. monitors patrol areas of violence, pressure the regime to allow peaceful protests, enforcing a freeze on weapons transfers to Syria, and formulate “modalities of a credible investigation” into the worst acts of violence.
Meanwhile, David Enders wrote a piece for McClatchy Newspapers giving a “rare view” inside the Free Syrian Army. He tells the story of Katiba Farouq, a fighting brigade from the ravaged area of Baba Amr. He says that the group has discovered “the Syrian military’s weaknesses,” and has become capable of “inflicting heavy casualties.” Enders interviews Mohamed Idris, a leader of Farouq’s branch in Baba Amr, revealing some of the tactics employed by the guerilla forces. Idris admitted that the Farouq fighters had carried out at least one execution of a captured member of the air force intelligence.
Salama Kayla, a Syrian-Palestinian writer recently arrested by the regime, wrote in Al-Akhbar before his arrest that the Syrian regime has failed to stop the revolution; despite its attempts to convince the international community it has done so. “Internally, the war will not defeat the revolution,” wrote Kayla. He opined that the Russians cannot “protect the regime indefinitely” and are likely to change their position. The U.S., he said, does not want to topple the regime and instead is drawing Russia into a “Soviet Union in Afghanistan” episode as it attempts to consolidate its hold over Syria. As the regime is “driven into isolation, impotence, and weakness,” Kayla concludes saying that history has shown that nothing can stop the revolution, “except change being achieved.”