Those so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels are reportedly either running from or defecting to terrorists. The news is coming from the left-wing Washington Post of all places:
The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners in its war against the Islamic State.
Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.
Other moderate fighters were on the run, headed for the Turkish border as the extremists closed in, heralding a significant defeat for the rebel forces Washington had been counting on as a bulwark against the Islamic State.
Moderates still retain a strong presence in southern Syria, but the Islamic State has not been a major factor there.
A senior Defense Department official said the Pentagon “is monitoring developments as closely as possible” but could “not independently verify” reports from the ground. The official was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Jabhat al-Nusra has long been regarded by Syrians as less radical than the breakaway Islamic State faction, and it had participated alongside moderate rebels in battles against the Islamic State earlier this year. But it is also on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations and is the only group in Syria that has formally declared its allegiance to the mainstream al-Qaeda leadership.
A Jabhat al-Nusra base was one of the first targets hit when the United States launched its air war in Syria in September, and activists said the tensions fueled by that attack had contributed to the success of the group’s push against the moderate rebels.
“When American airstrikes targeted al-Nusra, people felt solidarity with them because Nusra are fighting the regime, and the strikes are helping the regime,” said Raed al-Fares, an activist leader in Kafr Nabel, in Idlib.
“Now people think that whoever in the Free Syrian Army gets support from the U.S.A. is an agent of the regime,” he said.
Fleeing rebel fighters said they feared the defeat would spell the end of the Free Syrian Army, the umbrella name used by the moderate rebel groups that the United States has somewhat erratically sought to promote as an alternative both to the Assad regime and the extremist Islamic State.
All this comes more than one month after Shoebat.com chided both Houses of Congress for voting to arm those rebels. Last month video surfaced that showed weapons air-dropped from the U.S. landing in ISIS hands. Shoebat.com also relayed the accounts that showed humanitarian aid and medical assistance was ending up in the hands of ISIS as well.
To illustrate just how idiotic American politicians are when it comes to arming Syria’s ‘moderate’ rebels, perhaps a metaphor using the current Geico commercial can be used to illustrate. In the commercial below, the car represents any course of action other than arming the ‘moderate’ rebels, to include pulling out of Syria altogether or formally aligning with Assad in the short term to defeat ISIS; the guy in the shed represents ISIS; and the morons hiding behind the chainsaws represent the likes of Senator John McCain, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and any other member of Congress who voted to arm the Syrian rebels: