US-Created Syrian Rebel Faction Eyes Fight Against Assad

Group Was Supposed to Focus on ISIS, Members Have Other Ideas

The massively expensive and massively unsuccessful US training program in Syria continues to go off the rails today, as members of the group, which is called either “Division 30” or the “New Syrian Forces’ depending on who is talking about them, look to pick a fight with the Assad government .

That wasn’t supposed to be the plan, as the group was explicitly created by the US as an anti-ISIS force, a secular rebel faction that would go after ISIS primarily and only after get involved in some possible regime change. There were only ever 54 of them, and losing about a quarter of that to al-Qaeda seems to be changing their agenda.

Now the “secular” US rebels are endorsing al-Qaeda publicly, declaring themselves to support the other “holy warriors” in the civil war, and in an interview today with CNN, openly talk about their desire to go after the Assad government, irrespective of US wishes.

The US didn’t technically say they couldn’t fight Assad, either, they just told them to go after ISIS but made it clear they could “fight whoever fights them.” Picking a fight with the Syrian military then is as easy as driving into one of their districts and waiting for the shooting to start. With the US committing itself to providing air support for this rebel faction whoever they’re fighting, this could be a quick and dirty way to shoehorn the US war against ISIS into a war for regime change in Syria which already failed to get Congressional approval.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.