Hot off the Arab press 398338

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

April 16, 2015 16:54
4 minute read.
al-Qaida’s Nusra Front

A member of al-Qaida’s Nusra Front fighting with other Sunni Islamists in support of the Syrian opposition pose on a tank near Aleppo in November 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The extremist opposition in Syria
Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, April 6
I’ve recently come across a video of a young Syrian journalist documenting Syrian opposition forces entering the city of Idlib, following a fierce battle against troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. One of the scenes depicts several of Assad’s soldiers caught underneath the rubble, crying for their lives. The rebels seemed to be satisfied by the troops’ suffering, and despite their begging, abandon the latter to have “a taste of their own medicine.” No one is arguing that Assad’s forces are peaceful individuals with benign intentions. But this scene does raise an important question: could there exist a midpoint between two extremes? The Syrian opposition itself, more often than not, acts very cruelly. Its spokespeople often dismiss criticism pointed out against its practices by arguing that “this is the Middle East, not Sweden.

There is no room for a peaceful opposition here.” But in reality, without denouncing the inhumane practices of Assad, the Syrian opposition becomes no different than its sworn enemy. By propagating extremist behavior it acts no different than Assad’s forces. It must not forget that while the opposition forces are not Swedish, neither are the troops stuck in the rubble.


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