The imminent US attack on Syria was initially being presented as a major win for the rebel factions that have long sought outside military intervention on their behalf. As the attack looms, however, many fear it will do more harm than good even for them.
President Obama has desperately sought to avoid charges that the strikes would aid the al-Qaeda-dominated rebels, and the jihadist factions are scrambling, fearing the US will attack them too just to argue that they’re not supporting them.
Indeed, with the administration insisting that they don’t want the strike to change the situation on the ground in Syria, they might decide to try to damage the rebels as much as the Assad government in hopes of leaving the situation stalemated.
And while they wouldn’t be hit by the US, secular rebels aren’t on the bandwagon either, even though the Obama Administration has endorsed and subsidized them. With the White House promising to keep the strikes “limited,” those factions worry they’ll be the first target of any retaliation, and that having the US attack will give Assad considerable international sympathy.