While the Obama Administration presents its ultimate goal in Syria as propping up “vetted, moderate rebels” as an alternative to ISIS, those self-same rebels are increasingly allying themselves outright with ISIS.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the most endorsed faction from the US perspective, is eagerly attaching itself to ISIS, with FSA commander Bassel Idriss admitting he regularly collaborates with ISIS in attacking Assad government forces along the Syria-Lebanon border.
Fighting at the border crossing in Qalamoun is a joint FSA-ISIS operation, and Abu Fidaa, the head of the local Revolutionary Council, says that a “very large number” of FSA fighters have joined ISIS outright.
The US has been funding and arming the FSA for many months now, and recently, reports are that a lot of those arms are ending up in ISIS hands. It wasn’t clear how that was the case, but overt alliances between the two makes it more obvious.
But the administration wants to pump even more arms toward the FSA, a move that even politicians nominally allied with the FSA aren’t sure is a good idea. The aid seems destined to give ISIS even more US weapons than it already has.
The various rebels are nominally in conflict with ISIS, a fact that gets hyped whenever US arms are up for grabs, but their interrelations are far more complicated than that, and the only constant among them is that they are all hoping for power in post-Assad Syria.