Southern Tip of Syria Last Holdout for Pro-West ‘Moderate’ Rebels

Rebels There Still Fighting Alongside al-Qaeda

With al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra routing the pro-US rebels in Idlib Province and signing a deal with ISIS not to fight against one another, the prospects for the so-called “moderates” in Syria are at their lowest level yet of the war.

Still, they aren’t totally landless, holding some possessions on the Jordanian border, in the Daraa Province. The US had been training and arming rebels inside Jordan to cross the border and fight against the Assad government.

Even here, however, they exist basically at the whim of Nusra, as they are still openly allied in this area, and much of the territory along the Jordan border is held in common with the al-Qaeda fighters. If Nusra splits with them, as in Idlib, the moderates would likely be wiped out in short order.

The primary reason Nusra has not split with them yet is because the status quo suits them, with the pro-US rebels awash in US gear, a portion of which inevitably finds its way to their not-so-pro-US allies. So long as the far south of Syria remains a popular smuggling ground for US arms, the moderates will likely have a friend in Nusra, irrespective of the US attacking Nusra forces elsewhere in the nation.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.