With the virtual collapse of the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA), Western nations have been on the hunt for a new “Western-backed” rebel faction in Syria, with Britain courting the Islamic Front and others having debates about the difference between “good al-Qaeda and bad al-Qaeda.”
Maybe the new Western-backed faction is just going to be the Assad government now, as the latest reports are that key European nations, as yet unnamed, have been sending top intelligence officials to Damascus to discuss their concerns about foreign rebels.
In the EU this has been a major concern, with reports of thousands of EU citizens now fighting in Syria, mostly for al-Qaeda-linked groups. As the war drags on, this situation is only going to grow.
The US has so far insisted they are uninvolved in any direct talks with the Assad government, but likewise wouldn’t deny that other Western nations are doing so. The revelation comes just a week before the Geneva II peace conference however, which is being attended by government officials and likely no rebels at all, and could suggest Assad will be going into those talks with more backing than initially expected.