Coalitions of fundamentalist Sunni Islamic and western deemed moderate groups continue fighting in North Western, Western, Southern and Eastern Syria against IS (and its allied groups / tribes), Syrian government forces, allied militias including fundamentalist Shi’a groups, Syrian volunteer groups, Iranian forces, Russian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah.
These areas include, but are not limited to, Aleppo, Hama, Latakia, Homs, Damascus and Deir Ez Zur.
The RFS (Revolutionary Forces of Syria) Media Office is the media arm of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) which is allegedly made up of opposition groups fighting for Syria to become a democratic, free country supported by Western and regional allies. It continues to report of on going battles involving the FSA but fails to report on fundamentalist Islamic groups assisting the FSA.
The co-operation with fundamentalist Islamic groups is being reported by the RFS as ‘other fighting factions’, intentionally failing to make clear the true reality and co-operation with fundamentalist Islamic groups on the ground who do not wish to see a democracy established in Syria.
Recent examples of such reports can be seen below:
(Al Eis town was captured by Jabhat al Nusrah (al Qaeda in Syria) and subsequently held by Jabhat al Nusrah).
Northern Syria is predominantly controlled by Kurdish forces following the border with Turkey and IS slightly further South spreading East, West and South from the self proclaimed capital of Raqqa. Both continue to fight each other with Fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups and moderate coalitions targeting IS North of Aleppo currently.
North Eastern Syria see’s Kurdish forces pitted against Syrian government forces in and around Qamishli, al Hasakah currently. UPDATE (24 Apr 2016): A ceasefire agreement has now reportedly been reached between the two sides.
Central Syria see’s fighting around Palmyra between IS (and its allied groups / tribes) and the Syrian Arab Army along with it’s allied militias. Palmyra was re-captured from IS earlier this month however IS continue to make VBIED attacks, assaults and anti tank missile strikes in surrounding areas, particularly to the East / North East.
With fighting on-going between differing groups and coalitions, including airstrikes by predominantly Russian, US and Syrian jets on areas mentioned above, it continues adding to the civilian death toll, civilian casualties and refugees (both internal and external).
The Syrian Arab Army are helped by predominantly Shi’a forces including Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Iraqi, Lebanese and Afghan militias. Russian airstrikes and special forces on the ground are also providing direct assistance and advice.
IS continue to loose areas but recapture others, still an on-going force on the battlefield both in Syria and Iraq, launching large numbers of suicide attacks and artillery barrages often followed by rapid assaults.
Jabhat al Nusrah (al Qaeda in Syria) including it’s fundamentalist allies such as Ahrar al Sham, the Islamic Front, Jund al Aqsa, the Turkistan Islamic Party, the Army of Islam and Jabhat Ansar al Din are essential to the opposition fighting IS, Syrian government and allied militia forces.
Either the Cessation of hostilities is still in place, with only the oppositions fundamentalist Islamic groups including those ideologically, strategically sympathetic and some deemed moderate by the West, involved in many on-going battles.
If this is the case, it would highlight the true force of the oppositions fundamentalist Islamic groups, able to continue fighting on the majority of fronts throughout Syria as if little had changed.
Or it has broken down completely and both western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups continue to fight alongside one another on front lines all over Syria. With IS remaining a large influence within Syria, it collectively leaves a future democratic, free Syria looking highly unlikely.
Meanwhile, regional and international proxy’s continue to fuel the conflict for their own national and strategic interests, providing support such as funds, weapons, munitions and training. Advanced weapons such as MANPAD’s appear to be more common, showing up in the hands of opposition groups including fundamentalist Islamic groups recently.