On the Ten O’clock News last night the little child’s face flashed across the screen. Lonely but unmoved after being pulled from rubble after an apparent air strike on his home. No doubt in serious shock from the events of that day. His name is Omran.
The news likened it to past images used to highlight the horrors of war such as that of little Aylan Kurdi (below) washed ashore after a refugee boat capsized after fleeing war torn Syria.
The news went on to report that a new ‘coalition’ of forces had come together to break the government siege of Aleppo before the government had retaliated with yesterday’s devastating attack. This group was named JFS (Jabhat Fateh Al Sham) a break-away group from the Al Nusra Front originally part of Al Qaeda.
Al Nusra front are by Americas own admission a proscribed terror organisation and allegedly refused to arm, train and fund Al Nusra unlike many other so called moderate rebel groups and here is where the story becomes murky. During the Syrian war America has openly backed these moderate rebel groups but in reality these moderates are by any other definition insurgency sects and revolutionary groups or in the language of our own UK anti-terror authorities, ‘extremists’. Al Nusra however are one of the largest groups in the region and without their ranks being directly swelled by the money and arms of the US they had been overwhelmed by Assad’s army and supporters and in the process the main aim for the West was slipping away, namely the deposing of President Assad. The dictator was winning the war.
The News though was reporting JFS as almost revolutionary. Standing up to the rigor of war against the evil Assad. How though would the public ever accept that Al Nusra, a terror group, were the ‘good guys’? They wouldn’t. This is the exact reason for the “re-brand” and alleged “split” from Al Nusra to form a “coalition” of rebel groups, The JFS. The acceptable public face of the Al Nusra. Finally now the rebel groups are united and this time with the legitimacy of likely accepting western assistance via arms and money and no doubt intelligence resulting in events like the breaking of the Aleppo siege.
The new acceptable face of Al Nusra had a new spokesperson. An Australian educated, English speaking Media spokesperson of the JFS, Sheikh Mostafa Mahamed (below). He claims that the new group recognises what is and what is not acceptable to the wider public image of them and for the first time are willing to engage with western media. This would explain the sudden western media interest in the JFS.
Whilst the JFS attempt to liberate Aleppo and the West reports on a new innocent child victim pulled from the rubble thanks to the efforts of the JFS you would be forgiven for thinking that the JFS are the ‘good guys’. That’s certainly how the media appears to be portraying the situation.
Make no mistake, as has been reported from several sources, it is clear that the JFS is still the same group of people as before, anti western, terror led, still extreme. They are it seems willing to use the people of Aleppo as human shields and then display them to the West as victims of Assad’s barbarity. They are no friends of the West but it would suit the West for them to succeed and turn a blind eye to the JFS using western arms against the regime. The West also fails to report on the barrage of rockets being sent into Western Aleppo by the Rebels and the victims there including a little girl known as Rim.
This blog is vehemently opposed to Western intervention in the Middle East especially when it comes to the deposing of leaders so it’s not for us to intervene against any foreign internal terror groups but likewise we should not back them to our own ends and the Western public here appears to be being hoodwinked into viewing the JFS as somehow ‘on our side’ but to what end? Could it be that the land is being laid for further western interventions in Syria? Because a friendly face in Syria may swing public opinion especially if an innocent face is dragged across our screens bloodied and dazed.
As ever the innocent are caught in the middle and we can only hope that something changes the course of history but for now the battles rage but we should be clear, there are no ‘good guys’ in this bloody war.