Syrian Rebel Disarray Leads to Clashes

Rebel Commander Reports Mistaken Attack by FSA

by Jason Ditz, May 01, 2013

While brief skirmishes between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and more Islamist factions over the interpretation of Sharia law are not new, recent reports suggest that fighting is also erupting within rebel factions, seemingly a sign of growing disarray.

Abu Ahmed, detailed in an Agence-France Presse piece, is a leader of an unaffiliated rebel brigade. He is recovering from injuries suffered when he was attacked by FSA fighters.

The FSA had the wrong man, it turns out. Ahmed was mistaken for the leader of another FSA brigade, which had detained a member of this FSA brigade, which figured the most expedient way to get him back was to beat the rival leader unconscious.

“They apologised and went on to hunt for the FSA man they were after,” explained Ahmed, though this hardly seems like a good excuse, and Ahmed cautioned that “possessing lethal weapons does not give you the right to behave like warlords.”

Yet Syria’s piecemeal rebellion seems to be going down the exact same road trod in Libya, where victory didn’t so much end the fighting but shift it, and random militias continue to besiege government offices on a regular basis.

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