Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There are fears that arming opposition forces would lead to weapons in the wrong hands

While U.S. Military intervention in Syria has appears to have cooled down at the present time, there are growing concerns that showing support for opposition forces in that country could wind up backfiring. According to a recent report from IHS Jane, a defense consultancy, many of those battling the Bashar al-Assad regime are hardline Muslim - with little connection to the U.S. And its western allies.

Among all other concerns is the very real fear that the rebellion against the Assad regime is being increasingly dominated by extremists.

Among all other concerns is the very real fear that the rebellion against the Assad regime is being increasingly dominated by extremists.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, opposition foirces, weapons, military intervention


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  According to the report, forces battling the Assad regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters. After more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands. The study has found that there are around 10,000 jihadists, 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. These factions are more concerned with defeating the Bashar regime in lieu of wider, international concerns. 

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

Western diplomats estimate that less than one third of the opposition forces are "palatable" to the United Kingdom. American envoys put the figure even lower.

Among all other concerns is the very real fear that the rebellion against the Assad regime is being increasingly dominated by extremists. The west's support for these groups could in effect give weaponry that would later fall into hostile hands. These fears contributed to unease in the U.S. and elsewhere over military intervention in Syria.

"The insurgency is now dominated by groups which have at least an Islamist viewpoint on the conflict. The idea that it is mostly secular groups leading the opposition is just not borne out," Charles Lister, author of the analysis, said.

Based on intelligence estimates along with interviews with activists and militants, the report contends that the fighting has seen the emergence of hundreds of separate rebel bands, each operating in small pockets of the country, which are usually loyal to larger factions.

Two factions linked to Al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - also know as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) - have come to dominate among the more extremist fighters, Lister says. Their influence among the rebel factions has only grown over the past year.

"Because of the Islamist make up of such a large proportion of the opposition, the fear is that if the West doesn't play its cards right, it will end up pushing these people away from the people we are backing," he said. "If the West looks as though it is not interested in removing Assad, moderate Islamists are also likely to be pushed further towards extremists."

Click here to learn about our 'Saint Michael the Archangel' conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Middle East

A HEINOUS NEW LOW: Syrian rebels sabotage vaccinations, killing 50 babies Watch

Image of Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-based group that works in rebel-held areas of northwest Syria, sent an internal e-mail saying that up to 50 children may have died from the vaccine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As proof of their bravery, rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are suspected of sabotaging a batch of measles vaccinations, leading to the deaths of up to 50 young children. If true, it's a new low in an especially discouraging chapter of ... continue reading


Casualty of war; Syrian children fall behind in studies Watch

Image of Even if they should survive and thrive after the civil war in their nation of Syria ends, millions of school children, deprived of an education during the conflict, will be a generation of ill-prepared citizens.

By Katie Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The 3-1/2-year-old conflict in Syria is preventing 2.8 million children from getting an education and has destroyed or damaged more than 3,400 schools, an international children's charity said on Thursday. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The 3-1/2-year-old conflict ... continue reading


'Lend Me Your Ears' Hostage reporter appears in Islamic State sham news report Watch

Image of reporter and hostage, John Cantile appeared in a video made by the Islamic State.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released another video, perhaps attempting to persuade Americans and British forces from attacking them. This time, instead of beheading a journalist they have created what appears to be their own version of a crude news segment. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Half of Iraqi army incapable of fighting against ISIL, top U.S. general declares Watch

Image of According to General Martin Dempsey, the solution must begin with formation of an Iraqi government that is able to convince the country's Kurdish and Sunni populations that they will be equal partners with the Shiites in Iraq's future.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, the U.S. military's top officer gave his assessment of Iraq's military capability in deterring the Islamic State. Dempsey says that almost half of Iraq's army is incapable of working against ISIL. ... continue reading


Stone structure in northern Israel was to worship moon god, scholar says Watch

Image of The vast structure, which is 150 meters long with a volume of 14,000 cubic meters, is thought to have taken more than five months to build.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the shape of the crescent moon in northern Israel, a 5,000-year-old stone structure is now being declared as an ancient monument. Predating much of the construction of Stonehenge in England and Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the structure according to one ... continue reading


A plea from Christian churches around the world: Stop the genocide in Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State have been systematically waging a war of terror on Christians and other religious minorities in regions under their control in Iraq and Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian leaders throughout the Middle East have called on Muslim governments and religious authorities to condemn the Islamic State for its ongoing persecution of minority religious communities in Iraq and Syria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The leaders ... continue reading


ISIS on the run! Kurdish forces on the move towards Mosul! Watch

Image of Kurdish forces with a captured Islamic State fighter.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have retaken a bridge and several villages around Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region, and pushed fighters from the Islamic State back towards Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Islamic State ... continue reading


Refusing responsibility, Hamas admits to using schools, hospitals as 'human shields' in rocket attacks Watch

Image of The question that remains: Did Hamas deliberately and systematically fire rockets at Israel from homes, hospitals and schools in the hope that Israel would be deterred from retaliating, as Israel claims?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two weeks after the ceasefire, a Hamas official admits that his organization DID use schools and hospitals in Gaza Strip as "human shields" to launch rocket attacks on Israel. Said official, Ghazi Hamad claims it was "mistake." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Stemming tide of ISIS recruits: Nations work to prevent citizens from joining jihadists Watch

Image of While part of Turkey formerly supported the Islamic State, Turkey has since changed its tune after Turks were targeted for violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Countries across the globe are disturbed by the high recruitment rates by the Islamic State, who are gathering fighters from all over the world. Working to turn back this deadly tide, nations are formulating policies that will hopefully turn back the tide of ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - Jihadi John beheads David Haines (FULL VIDEO) Watch

Image of Haines in the moment before his apparent execution.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has beheaded David Haines, and threatened to kill another Briton if the British government continues to ally with the United States against the Islamic State. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Time is running out for Alan Henning, who is next in ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
20 all in accordance with my most confident hope and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 21st, 2014 Image

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter