Below is Suqour al-Sham / Islamic Front commander Abu Ammar’s response to impending U.S. intervention in Syria. Unsurprisingly, after America’s stop-and-start support for rebels and recurring rumors that Ahrar al-Sham or the entire Islamic Front would be designated as terrorists, he is not in love with the idea.
One idea worth bearing in mind when evaluating American intervention in Syria is “path dependence,” the idea that your previous action (or inaction) bounds the options currently available to you. Goodwill towards America among Syria’s rebels – while not necessarily exhausted – is a wasting asset, one that has been depleted as the war has dragged on without meaningful American support for rebels. When America was considering action in August and September 2013, the rebels most unfriendly to a U.S. role were substantially less powerful and dug into areas outside regime control. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that America is going to have a much tougher time finding partners now than it would have last year.
For three years, the Syrian people have tasted the al-Assad regime’s artistry at torture, murder and displacement. Thousands of children, women and the elderly have been killed; prisons filled; millions made homeless; and women raped. All this in full view of the world and its [Security] Council, which met time and again to no avail, and which never moved a muscle.
Instead, it acted to designate some of the factions working to end the oppression of this bereaved people as “terrorists,” and it threatened the same for others.
God willing, we’re able to topple the al-Assad regime and repel Da’ish’s [ISIS] aggression without foreign intervention. To aid our people, it’s enough to stop aiding the al-Assad regime and its minions and to pull away its cover, as well as not tightening the screws on the factions working to topple al-Assad.
Our land can’t bear a proxy war. It can’t bear more settling of scores and more experiments on our wounded people.