“For us, it is extremely dangerous even just to move around. We are civilians, without any military escort when we travel. The areas in the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib have become a no-man’s-land, and the slightest suspicion is enough to get you killed by the men of ISIS.”
According to Wassim, however, the real problem is not al-Qaeda, but the ever-widening rift with the FSA. An activist living in Aleppo, Wassim explained, “When the revolution started, we used to sing ‘One, one, one. The Syrian people are one.’ Nowadays, the most popular song goes like this: ‘Alawites wait for us! We are coming to slaughter you! We will cut your throats.’ The activists abroad will tell you that it is not true, that we are a moderate people and sectarianism will not prevail. But this is true only of us civilians, not for those who fight.
“Well half of the fighters in the FSA believe they are fighting a war against the Alawites, and more generally against the Shiites, as a result of Bashar’s alliances with Iran and Hezbollah. They are simple young men, from the poorer classes. They have no education, and the weapons have gone to their heads. They have become cruel. Killing has become ordinary. They only want their enemy’s blood. We took to the streets for freedom and dignity, not to substitute the regime with another regime just as bloodthirsty.”
If I was imagining a way to fix the situation…. I’d accept Syrian Govt. ceasefire offer, as far as military action will lead to nothing in terms of any advantage. Then I’d push international actors into pressing Assad to change the regime and eventually release power.
By diplomacy, yes. Desperate situations can bring surprising situations.
Of course next step, even prior to achieve a change of regime, would b all together with full UN support crushing the angry beards.
And being realistic… no one can expect a change of regime criminalising those who worked for dictatorship. It would have the same effect than ousting sunnis from institutions, army, etc … in Iraq. Change in Spain came from within the Dictatorial regime we had until 1975.
Same happened in South America, South Korea, Taiwan, and many other places. And proved to be the only way to make change work.
A typically arab “honorable revenge” spirit will be as useless as all that blood spilled in vain.