The latest Syrian ceasefire agreement came into force yesterday and reports allege that it is largely holding. That said, some opposition groups which include both fundamentalist Sunni Islamic and Western deemed moderate groups are not happy with the proposed ceasefire.
This is a problem for the US, it has asked Western deemed moderate groups to separate from fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups such as Jabhat Fateh al Sham (formerly Jabhat al Nusrah) and affiliated groups. The problem is that Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other fundamentalist Islamic opposition groups have been left to grow and cement themselves among the opposition fighting in Syria.
The current list of those who oppose the current ceasefire agreement are as follows:
Western deemed moderate groups:
- Nour al Din al Zenki
- Faylaq al Sham (Sham Legion)
- Fastaqim Kama Umirt
- 1st Division
- 101st Division
- Faylaq Homs
- Jaish al Islam (Army of Islam)
- Division 13
- Northern Division
- al Jabha al Shamiyah (Levant Front)
- Safwat al Islamiya
- Al Furqah al Wista (Central Division)
- Jaish al Nasr (Army of Victory)
- Jaish al Tahrir (Army of Liberation)
- Asala wa al Tanmiya (Authenticity and Development Front)
- Jund Badr 313
- Liwa’ Suqour al Jabal (Mountain Hawks Brigade)
Fundamentalist Islamic groups:
- Ajnad al Sham
- Ansar al Islam
- Liwa al Fatah
- Ahrar al Sham
- Jaish al Farouq (Farouq Brigades)
Source – https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai
As reported many times previously on The WIDER View, much of the effective fighting force are fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups that make up the backbone and large sections of the opposition.
They have long worked with Western deemed moderate groups and allowed to do so, establishing themselves as indispensable in the fight against the Syrian Arab Army and associated militias including fundamentalist Shi’a groups.
Now the US and others require Western deemed moderate groups to separate from fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups, they are reluctant to do so. Fundamentalist Sunni Islamic groups have garnered respect among Western deemed moderate groups following their close co-operation on the battlefield for a number of years, proving time and again to be the most effective fighting forces among the opposition.
Because Western politicians and main stream media news outlets have chosen to turn a blind eye for so long toward fundamentalist Sunni Islamic opposition groups actively fighting in Syria, it has exposed the current issues we see regarding the latest ceasefire agreement. The new ceasefire agreement may well be compromised from the start.
It is to be remembered that many influential and powerful fundamentalist Sunni Islamic opposition groups have been present in Syria from the start of the conflict, they have not just appeared years into the conflict.
The WIDER View has stated previously that ignoring the myriad of fundamentalist Sunni Islamic opposition groups on the ground in Syria by Western politicians and main stream media news outlets will store up problems for the future, this is but one example, more will inevitably follow.
One of the groups opposing the latest ceasefire agreement is the fundamentalist Sunni Islamic group Ahrar al Sham, now widely acknowledged as the largest opposition group in Syria. They are not fighting for a democratic, free Syria which is the continued reason given for support of the opposition by Western politicians and main stream media news outlets.
In complete contrast, Ahrar al Sham is fighting for an Islamic Emirate governed by Sharia Law. This in itself highlights the gaping flaws and misrepresentations made by Western politicians and main stream media news outlets toward their respective populations.
If the largest and most influential opposition group is NOT fighting for a free, democratic Syria, let alone the myriad of other fundamentalist Sunni Islamic opposition groups and coalitions on the ground such as Jaish al Fateh, Jabhat Fateh al Sham, Turkistan Islamic Party, Jund al Aqsa, Ajnad al Kavkaz, Jabhat Ansar al Din and the Islamic Front – what is the likely outcome for Syria should the opposition eventually be victorious?
UPDATE: 15 September 2016:
Jahat Fateh al Sham have released a statement on 13 September 2016 regarding the latest Cessation of Hostilities agreement brokered by the US and Russia. They criticize the agreement alleging that it compromises the Syrian revolution and seeks to divide opposition groups. They also thank both fundamentalist and Western deemed moderate groups (see above) for their statements of support, opposing the latest ceasefire agreement which requires Western deemed moderate groups to separate from Jabhat Fateh al Sham.
- Jabhat Fateh al Sham statement regarding latest ceasefire agreement (13 Sep 2016):
- Joint statement of Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic groups (listed above) opposing latest ceasefire agreement (12 Sep 2016):