by Sophie Mangal
According to The Washington Post, the ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition is considering the possibility of closer cooperation with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Bashar al-Assad’s opponents are now afraid to remain without the US support as the CIA began secretly shipping lethal aid to the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad three years ago.
It is worth mentioning that the new president-elect of the USA has stressed he adheres to a completely opposite position on Syria. Moreover, Trump has also noted that it is necessary to stop the supply of weapons to the Syrian opposition because the US has no understanding of what they (the opposition) really are.
Realizing the complexity of the situation and the fact that Syrian opposition’s war crimes would never be forgotten and forgiven, its leaders are beginning to look for alternatives.
First of all, the rebels’ agenda is to strike a close alliance with the better armed Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. A massive outflow of the fighters from the ‘moderate’ opposition to groups such as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and ISIS is contributing to this. As the opposition now openly joins radical Islamists, the world will finally get a chance to see its true face.
The opposition is also hoping to purchase powerful heavy weapons from the Sunni Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Such weapons, the opposition hopes, would be able to turn the tide and to force the government troops to retreat, suffering heavy losses.
In addition, the rebels are also considering changing their war tactics. They are now planning to use traditional guerrilla methods such as involving more snipers and carrying out subversive activities and sabotage.
The outcome of the Syrian Army operations for the liberation of Aleppo — and the outcome of the civil war in Syria in general — depends on whether the opposition leaders are able to carry out at least one of the options above.
It is clear that the Syrian government should take into consideration all the possible scenarios and be prepared to conduct preventive measures as fully demoralized opposition could take only inadequate steps. The Syrian Army is trying to accelerate the liberation of Aleppo, which may radically change the balance of power in the country as a whole.
Sophie Mangal is a freelance associated with Inside Syria Media Center.