Salafist, Muslim Brotherhood Blocs Overwhelmingly Head 'Unified Command'
A high profile meeting in Turkey has ended with the election of a 30-member ‘unified command’ for the Syrian rebellion, with the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood dominating the winners, cementing the view of Syria’s rebels as Islamist dominated as an undisputed reality.
Even the non-Islamist members appear to owe their positions to the Islamist leadership, with the command’s nominal leader Brigadier Abdelqader Saleh seemingly a figurehead installed to placate the West, while a second tier of “aides” underneath him is dominated by Muslim Brotherhood members who will handle the bulk of the day-to-day operations.
The group completely excluded the long-standing leadership of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), including its initial founder Col. Rial Assad and the Brigadier Mustafa al-Sheikh, who has been an outspoken opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
And while the rebel umbrella moves toward Sunni Islamist leadership, the most effective rebel fighting force by most analysts’ estimates, and the one that has continued to eschew umbrella factions, is the al-Nusra Front. The group’s leadership has been openly endorsed by al-Qaeda, and would likely find this new “unified command” far too moderate for their tastes, even as it adds to the difficulty of the Western efforts to throw money and weapons at a fashionably secular rebellion that arguably no longer exists even on the periphery.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Escalates ISIS Strikes, Pentagon Says They Can't Bomb Way to Victory - September 30th, 2014
- White House Presents Failed Yemen Intervention as 'Model' for ISIS War - September 30th, 2014
- Turkey Seeks Parliament Mandate for War in Iraq, Syria - September 30th, 2014
- White House Scoffs at Notion of Congress Voting on ISIS War - September 30th, 2014
- East Syria Economy in Ruins as US Destroys Privately-Owned Refineries - September 30th, 2014