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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

ISIS does the unexpected in latest shocking execution images Watch

Image of The ISIS militants are photographed hugging the blindfolded accused gay men.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New images claim to show ISIS militants showing compassion. Two accused gay men were set to be stoned to death, however, prior to the stoning, their executioners did something strange and unexpected. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ISIS fighters were ... continue reading


White House admits fault: Two hostages accidentally killed in U.S. drone strike Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A U.S. counterterrorism operation targeting an al Qaeda compound in January accidentally killed two innocent hostages, including one American. President Barack Obama, making the announcement this week confirmed that a U.S. military drone that targeted the ... continue reading


U.S. warships monitoring Iranian traffic off coast of Yemen Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters that America has been clear in its messages to Tehran on sending weapons to Houthi rebels inside Yemen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States has deployed warships to Yemen in order to monitor nearby Iranian vessels. Officials say this gives America "options" on how it could react to Iran's behavior in the region. Ships traveling from Iran could be trafficking arms to Houthi rebels. ... continue reading


Tensions mount between U.S. and Iran over nuclear talks, Yemen Watch

Image of Iran's annual Army Day military parade showcased new weapon systems and banners that read

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On April 18 Iran marked its national Army Day with a military parade with intent to intimidate and threaten the west, especially the U.S. and Israel, showcasing new weapons systems and even a truck which carried a large banner that read "Death to Israel." LOS ... continue reading


ISIS takes over government functions: Birth certificates, vaccinations, 'till death do us part... Watch

Image of Unlike the Taliban, ISIS allows vaccinations against polio. While in the grip of Islamist State, polio vaccinations continue unabated throughout Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State, as in the nightmarish dictatorial regimes of past and present - Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy and present day North Korea have massive bureaucratic systems in order to oppress the citizen on every level. A peek into the brutal totalitarian ... continue reading


ISIS destroys Christian graves as part of horrific religious purge Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS continuously commits heinous acts waging purge and terror against other religions, documented through photos and videos shared online. Recently, the terrorist group released a set of undated photos showing militants armed with sledgehammers destroying Christian ... continue reading


Muslim migrants arrested for throwing Christians off vessel, victims feared dead Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fifteen Muslim migrants from Sicily were arrested after being accused of throwing 12 Christians overboard as they cross from Libya to Italy last Wednesday. According to the Palermo police, they detained the suspected perpetrators, while the victims are feared to be ... continue reading


Israeli Prime Minister warns of second Holocaust in memorial speech Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During his speech at a Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for a commemorative event, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Israel's current state with the operations of Washington to that of the time of Hitler. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Israeli Jews remember Holocaust in remarkable way on 70th anniversary of Nazi death camp liberation (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People all across Israel came to a complete standstill for two-minutes to mark the Holocaust memorial day. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As sirens wailed across the country, the silence was echoing. Playgrounds, road traffic and beaches all came to a complete ... continue reading


Dead Sea dying as the River Jordan dries up Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dead Sea, the famed Biblical body of water tread by prophets and kings, is increasingly endangered by enormous sinkholes. Coupled with the fact that the River Jordan is evaporation the Dead Sea could be literally - dying. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... 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, First Peter 5:5-14
5 In the same way, younger people, be subject to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... 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