Who are the Syrian Rebels? — 10,000 Jihadis including al-Qaeda Plus 30,000 to 35,000 Hardline Islamists Out of 100,000 Syrian Rebels — Videos

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Who are the Syrian Rebels, Really?

SYRIA Study Finds Almost Half Of All Rebels Are Extremist, McCain Says It’s Not True

 

Official says CIA-funded weapons have begun to reach Syrian rebels; rebels deny receipt

Crisis In Syria U S Arming Syria’s Rebels CIA Paid for Weapons,but not american made

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Benghazi – Syria – Sources Tell Fox News That CIA Will Run Arms Program To Syrian Rebels

50% of Syrian rebels are jihadis: Study shows nearly half anti-Assad forces are Islamist extremists

A new study conducted by defence consultancy IHS Jane’s suggests that nearly half of the rebel fighters in Syria are aligned with jihadists or hardline Islamist groups. The analysis claims that opposition forces battling against Bashar al-Assad’s regime now amount to some 100,000, and that they have assembled into as many as 1,000 bands over the course of Syria’s civil war, which is now into its second year.

Extremism Export: US admits arms sent to Syria find jihadists

Syria: nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, says IHS Jane’s report

Nearly half the rebel fighters in Syria are now aligned to jihadist or hardline Islamist groups according to a new analysis of factions in the country’s civil war.

By , Defence Correspondent, and Ruth Sherlock in Beirut

Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands.

The new study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists – who would include foreign fighters – 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, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.

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

The stark assessment, to be published later this week, accords with the view of Western diplomats estimate that less than one third of the opposition forces are “palatable” to Britain, while American envoys put the figure even lower.

Fears that the rebellion against the Assad regime is being increasingly dominated by extremists has fuelled concerns in the West over supplying weaponry that will fall into hostile hands. These fears contributed to unease in the US and elsewhere over military intervention in Syria.

Charles Lister, author of the analysis, said: “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.”

The study is based on intelligence estimates and interviews with activists and militants. The lengthy 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, Mr Lister said. Their influence has risen significantly in 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.”

Though still a minority in number, ISIL has become more prominent in rebel-held parts of Syria in recent months. Members in northern Syria have sought to assert their dominance over the local population and over the more moderate rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The aim of moderate rebel fighters is the overthrow of their country’s authoritarian dictator, but jihadist groups want to transform Syria into a hard-line Islamic state within a regional Islamic “caliphate”.

These competing visions have caused rancour which last week erupted into fighting between ISIL and two of the larger moderate rebel factions.

A statement posted online by Islamists announced the launch of an ISIL military offensive in the eastern district of Aleppo which it called “Cleansing Evil”. “We will target regime collaborators, shabiha [pro-Assad militias], and those who blatantly attacked the Islamic state,” it added, naming the Farouq and Nasr factions.

Al-Qaeda has assassinated several FSA rebel commanders in northern Latakia province in recent weeks, and locals say they fear this is part of a jihadist campaign to gain complete control of the territory.

As well as being better armed and tougher fighters, ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra have taken control of much of the income-generating resources in the north of the country, including oil, gas and grain.

This has given them significant economic clout, allowing them to “win hearts and minds” by providing food for the local population in a way that other rebel groups cannot.

ISIS has also begun a programme of “indoctrination” of civilians in rebel-held areas, trying to educate Syria’s traditionally moderate Sunni Muslims into a more hard-line interpretation of Islam.

In early September, the group distributed black backpacks with the words “Islamic State of Iraq” stamped on them. They also now control schools in Aleppo where young boys are reportedly taught to sing jihadist anthems.

“It seems it is some sort of a long-term plan to brainwash the children and recruit potential fighters,” said Elie Wehbe, a Lebanese journalists who is conducting research into these activities.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10311007/Syria-nearly-half-rebel-fighters-are-jihadists-or-hardline-Islamists-says-IHS-Janes-report.html

Yes, we can: Obama waives anti-terrorism provisions to arm Syrian rebels

The Obama administration waived provisions of a federal law which ban the supply of weapons and money to terrorists. The move is opening doors to supplying Syrian opposition with protection from chemical weapons.

The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) allows the US president to waive provisions in Sections 40 and 40A, which forbid providing munitions, credit and licenses to countries supporting acts of terrorism. But those prohibitions can be waived “if the President determines that the transaction is essential to the national security interests of the United States.”

President Barrack Obama ordered such a waiver for supplying chemical weapons-related assistance to “select vetted members” of Syrian opposition forces, the administration announced on Monday.

The announcement came after a UN report, which confirmed that sarin gas was indeed used in Syria on August 21, but didn’t point to either the Syrian army or the rebel forces as the culprits.

US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said she was convinced that details of the report “make clear that only the regime could have carried out this large-scale chemical weapons attack.” 

But Power’s counterpart from Russia Vitaly Churkin said the report has no “airtight proof or conclusions” pointing to the Assad government and that it allows “everyone to draw their own conclusions, hopefully professional and not affected by political pressure.”

The US plan to provide chemical weapons-related assistance to Syrian opposition was in the works before the August attack a senior administration official said as cited by NBC News. Under the AEC rules, it will take at least 15 days before any of the materials can be officially shipped to Syria.

he Syrian opposition groups are increasingly dominated by radical Islamists, many of them foreign fighters who, the UN says, are involved in numerous crimes committed in Syria. According to estimates of defense consultancy IHS Jane’s, more than a half of the forces fighting to topple President Bashar Assad government are jihadists. The US explicitly listed Al-Nusra Front, a powerful Al-Qaeda-linked part of the Syrian opposition, as a terrorist organization.

Still, US politicians believe national intelligence community can ensure that the military assistance goes to the right hands.

“Our intelligence agencies, I think, have a very good handle on who to support and who not to support,” Senator Bob Corker said on CBS on Sunday. “And there’s going to be mistakes. We understand some people are going to get arms that should not be getting arms. But we still should be doing everything we can to support the free Syrian opposition.”

The US, France and UK announced their intention to provide more help to the Syrian opposition after a Monday meeting of foreign ministers in Paris. US Secretary of State said the US pursuits a political solution of the Syrian crisis, which would deliver a future Syria without Bashar Assad.

The US in the past provided non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition, like vehicles, night goggles and body armor. CIA also reportedly helped countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to smuggle weapons to the rebels.

Damascus denied any responsibility for the August sarin attack. But it agreed to dismantle its chemical weapons stockpile after a call from Russia. The move put on hold US plan to use military force against Syria in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons.

http://rt.com/usa/obama-terrorist-arms-supply-966/

Extremists and Al-Qaeda carrying rebel fight in Syria – study

Almost half of the rebel forces fighting against the Syrian government are hardline Islamists or jihadists with Al-Qaeda links, according to a new study due to be published this week.

Split into around 1,000 fragmented cells, the Syrian opposition consists of at least 10,000 fighters who are jihadists with strong links to Al-Qaeda, while another 35,000 are hardline Islamists, according to analysis by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s.

The difference between jihadist and hardliners, the Telegraph reports is that the latter concentrates only on the Syria, while jihadist groups have a global outreach. A further 30,000 opposition fighters belong to more moderate groups that have an Islamic character. The study, based interviews with militants and on intelligence estimates, concludes that around 100,000 rebel fighters are involved with the opposition forces.

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

Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are two dominant groups that have Al-Qaeda links and are gaining momentum on the ground.

“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,” Lister 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.”

The issue of Western support to the opposition has long raised questions over the fears arms might fall into terrorist hands.

As if trying to help the West separate hardcore militants from moderate opposition, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri addressed his brothers on Sunday, calling on them to avoid allying with other rebel fighters backed by Gulf Arab states and the West.

“I warn my brothers and people in the Syria of unity and jihad against coming close to any of these groups,” Zawahri said.

Meanwhile, in the past two weeks the US has reportedly begun delivering arms to militants battling the Syrian government.

The CIA has been entrusted to monitor the delivery of arms to insure that it does not end up in the hands of Al-Qaeda associates.

The agency controls and tracks the delivery of reportedly light weapons and other munitions via countries bordering Syria, such as Turkey and Jordan.

The US State Department has its own separate program of delivering vehicles and other non-lethal gear, such as communication equipment, advanced combat medical kits and high-calorie food packets to the Syrian opposition forces using the same supply channels.

http://rt.com/news/jihadists-dominate-rebels-syria-898/

IHS Jane’s Report: Nearly Half Of Syrian Rebels Are Jihadis Or Hardline Islamists

Excerpted from THE TELEGRAPH: Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands.

The new study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists – who would include foreign fighters – 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, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.

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

The stark assessment, to be published later this week, accords with the view of Western diplomats estimate that less than one third of the opposition forces are “palatable” to Britain, while American envoys put the figure even lower. Fears that the rebellion against the Assad regime is being increasingly dominated by extremists has fuelled concerns in the West over supplying weaponry that will fall into hostile hands. These fears contributed to unease in the US and elsewhere over military intervention in Syria.

Charles Lister, author of the analysis, said: “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.”

The study is based on intelligence estimates and interviews with activists and militants. The lengthy 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, Mr Lister said. Their influence has risen significantly in 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.”

Though still a minority in number, ISIL has become more prominent in rebel-held parts of Syria in recent months. Members in northern Syria have sought to assert their dominance over the local population and over the more moderate rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The aim of moderate rebel fighters is the overthrow of their country’s authoritarian dictator, but jihadist groups want to transform Syria into a hard-line Islamic state within a regional Islamic “caliphate”.

These competing visions have caused rancour which last week erupted into fighting between ISIL and two of the larger moderate rebel factions.

A statement posted online by Islamists announced the launch of an ISIL military offensive in the eastern district of Aleppo which it called “Cleansing Evil”. “We will target regime collaborators, shabiha [pro-Assad militias], and those who blatantly attacked the Islamic state,” it added, naming the Farouq and Nasr factions.

Al-Qaeda has assassinated several FSA rebel commanders in northern Latakia province in recent weeks, and locals say they fear this is part of a jihadist campaign to gain complete control of the territory.

As well as being better armed and tougher fighters, ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra have taken control of much of the income-generating resources in the north of the country, including oil, gas and grain.

This has given them significant economic clout, allowing them to “win hearts and minds” by providing food for the local population in a way that other rebel groups cannot.

ISIS has also begun a programme of “indoctrination” of civilians in rebel-held areas, trying to educate Syria’s traditionally moderate Sunni Muslims into a more hard-line interpretation of Islam.

In early September, the group distributed black backpacks with the words “Islamic State of Iraq” stamped on them. They also now control schools in Aleppo where young boys are reportedly taught to sing jihadist anthems.

“It seems it is some sort of a long-term plan to brainwash the children and recruit potential fighters,” said Elie Wehbe, a Lebanese journalists who is conducting research into these activities.

http://patdollard.com/2013/09/ihs-janes-report-nearly-half-of-syrian-rebels-are-jihadis-or-hardline-islamists/


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