US president Barack Obama still maintains the moderate opposition narrative

In a recent BBC interview on the 24 April 2016, US President Barack Obama said:

‘I do believe that we can apply international pressure to all the parties, including Russia and Iran, who essentially are propping up Assad, as well as those moderate opposition that exist and may be fighting inside of Syria to sit down at the table and try to broker a transition’.

This means that according to Barack Obama, moderate opposition exists in sufficient numbers to out muscle the large numbers of fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups (not IS) openly operating on the ground in Syria and fighting alongside western deemed moderate groups, to achieve a democratic and free Syria.

The same, large, influential fundamentalist groups that have and continue fighting on numerous fronts proving absolutely key to the armed opposition against Syrian government forces and allied militias both foreign and native.

Such groups and coalitions include but are not limited to:

  • The Islamic Front
  • Ahrar al Sham
  • Ansar al Sharia
  • Ajnad al Sham
  • Imam Bukhari Jamaat
  • Army of Mujahedeen
  • The Army of Islam
  • Sham Legion
  • Jabhat al Nusrah
  • Jabhat Ansar al Din
  • Jund al Aqsa
  • The Turkistan Islamic Party
  • The Army of Conquest
  • Imarat Kavkaz v Shame

A democratic, free Syria has been the stated goal and justification of support for the opposition by Western politicians and main stream media news outlets since the beginning of the conflict. This includes financial support using tax payers money and military support with the supply of weapons, munitions, training, ‘advisory assistance’ and airstrikes.

Despite realities on the ground changing dramatically since the very early days of conflict, the same narratives of ‘moderate’ and ‘democratic’ have been used throughout and continue to this day, miss-representing reality to the public.

If a democratic, free Syria is to emerge from the rubble and ashes of Syria then the myriad of fundamentalist Islamic groups and coalitions will have to be beaten, along with IS first.

This however will prove almost impossible. Fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups have flourished, establishing themselves as indispensable in the Syrian conflict in part due to support from regional allies and under cover of vague narratives offered by Western politicians and main stream media news outlets.

A few of the many previous related posts by The WIDER View can be viewed below:

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