RECOMMENDED READING: “Syrian Opposition Divided On International Anti-Terror Coalition”


MEMRI has posted a report titled “Syrian Opposition Divided On International Anti-Terror Coalition” that looks at the positions of the various Syrian opposition factions towards the US-led anti-ISIS coalition. The report begins:

U.S. President Obama’s decision to establish an international coalition to combat terrorist organizations, particularly the Islamic State (ISIS), met with mixed responses within the Syrian opposition; these responses ranged from qualified appreciation for the decision to strong objection to it. The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NC), led by Hadi Al-Bahra, welcomed the decision, and even called for hastening its implementation, in light of the dire humanitarian situation in ISIS-controlled areas. However, the NC stressed that the international coalition must also attack the forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, stating that he is the root cause of the terrorism. In contrast, another NC member, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which, although it is part of this coalition, strongly opposed Western military action against ISIS in Syria, fearing that this international coalition’s real agenda was to fight Sunni Islam.

There is similar disagreement among the armed elements of the Syrian opposition. Thus, some fighting groups were pleased with the decision; some criticized the extent of the aid given to the armed opposition; and some opposed the decision, even to the point of threatening to react violently.

These disparate responses among the Syrian opposition reflect a lack of faith in a U.S.-led international coalition, stemming from the disappointment with the American administration’s handling of the war in Syria, which has been raging for nearly four years. One main claim by the opposition is that the West in general, and the American administration in particular, did not act decisively to stop war crimes committed by the Assad regime during the war, including the use of chemical weapons – crimes that they claim are substantially worse than those committed by ISIS.

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW had reported extensively in 2013 on the Syrian National Coalition an opposition group which included members from the Syrian National Council (SNC), an earlier group that was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Our predecessor publication had also identified three SNC leaders that were tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood as well as pointing out that Ghassan Hito, chosen by the Syrian National Coalition in March 2013 as its interim Prime Minister, was also part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi also enjoyed close relations.

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