REPORT: Don’t Bet on Syrian Freedom Fighters to Take on ISIS; They DON’T EXIST!
The international coalition that is working to fight ISIS in Syria is made up of many first-world countries including the U.S., France, Great Britain, and others. However, all of the groups seeking to bring down ISIS in the Middle East are relying on a flawed premise--that there are moderate Syrian fighters who will help take on ISIS.
In a poignant op-ed for the usually liberal Guardian Mowaffaq Safadi, a Syrian national himself, brutally takes apart the argument that many governments are using as they are arming various Syrian rebel "Freedom Fighters" to help attack ISIS.
Firstly, Safadi makes sure to point out that Syrian fighters look at their role in the Middle East as a job, not as a calling. That means that they switch from group to group and side to side based on mundane things like pay and salary, how stable the situation is where they'll be fighting, and the quality of weapons and equipment they'll be given.
They don't necessarily fight for a group on ideological grounds.
That gets messy for the United States and other countries who've supplied resources to rebels for years now because the rebels will often switch sides and be fighting against the very people who gave them the better arms in the first place.
Another important point is that Syrian fighters mostly just want to get rid of Bashar al-Assad. If that means they have to join up with an American-led militia to do the job, so be it. But, in that same vein, if ridding Syria means aligning themselves with ISIS troops, those same "moderate" Freedom Fighters will do it just as quickly.
Arming rebels is no clean solution to solving any problems in the Middle East. Rebels are fickle, just like the rest of us, and the guns we give to them today may be pointing in our direction tomorrow.
h/t: The Guardian