Syria: Replacing a brutal dictator with brutal religious thugs changes nothing.

We know that the Assad regime in Syria is a brutal dictatorship, one that any decent human being would be delighted to see vanquished. there are no doubts on this issue, human Rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have detailed how Bashar’s government and secret police routinely tortured, imprisoned, and killed political opponents, and those who speak out against the government  ..

  • Human Rights Watch – “A Wasted Decade
  • UN report – “2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Syria”

So does that make all those rebels that are fighting our friends, the good guys, the chaps in the white hats riding to the rescue of the poor oppressed people of Syria?

Sadly no.

There are reports that the rebels are just as brutal and just as willing to trample all over basic humans rights …

BEIRUT — BEIRUT (AP) — Jihadi-led rebel fighters in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and abducted more than 200 during an offensive against pro-regime villages, committing a war crime, an international human rights group said Friday.

The Aug. 4 attacks on unarmed civilians in more than a dozen villages in the coastal province of Latakia were systematic and could even amount to a crime against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a 105-page report. The findings are based on a visit a month later to the area, with permission from the Syrian regime.

The report quoted witnesses as saying rebels went house to house, killing entire families or killing the men and taking women and children hostage.

The villagers belong to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam which forms the backbone of President Bashar Assad’s regime — and which Sunni Muslim extremists consider heretics.

One survivor, Hassan Shebli, told HRW he fled as rebels approached his village of Barouda at dawn, but was forced to leave behind his wife, who was unable to walk without crutches, and his paralyzed 23-year-old son.

When Shebli returned days later, after government forces retook the village, he found his wife and son buried near the house and bullet holes and blood splattered in the bedroom

Arming a gang of religious thugs so that they can overthrow a brutal dictator will change nothing at all.

We are three years into a civil war which is really an international war by proxy where Russian and Iran are arming and supporting the Assad regime and the US and Turkey are arming and supporting the rebels. If there is indeed to be a resolution to any this this, then the starting point needs to be the persuasion of all external parties to stop treating Syria like a chess board and stop arming violent thugs.

What is also of concern here is that the civil war is shaping itself into a religious war. Many of the rebels are Sunni Muslims, while Syria’s patchwork of minorities, including Shiites, has largely stood behind the Assad regime. Promoting each side as the bastion for a specific religious “truth” is guaranteed to ensure a continuous cycle of violent confrontation.


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