The Militarised Opposition
As western governments back the militarized opposition and accept a political group supportive of the ‘rebels’ as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, it is critical to build an understanding of those who are fighting the regular Syrian army. Who are they? What are some of their tactics? Who inspires them? What is their ideology?
Most people are used to seeing images and video of the groups fighting the soldiers, but people in Australia are rarely presented images of the people of Syria. The images below are from Syrian satellite TV. They were taken in 2012.
Mary Fitzgerald, Middle East correspondent for the Irish Times, throws some light on Liwa al-Ummah, a group of fighters led by a Libyan Irish fighter, Mahdi al-Harati.
Liwa al-Ummah has an undeniably religious character, though some of those who have lived in Europe fret that this might be misconstrued. One insists that the brigade’s name should be translated in English as “Banner [or Brigade] of the Nation,” though I point out that the Arabic word ummah has a specifically religious meaning and is usually translated along the lines of “global community of Muslims.”
The group’s alleged Facebook page lists goals such as defending the ummah and liberating it from dictatorship and aggression; co-operating to establish Islamic governance, and working to unite the ummah and bring about its “renaissance”. Mohammed al-Sukni, Liwaa al-Umma’s commander in Homs, said “I would like to see Syria with a moderate Islamic government – something like Tunisia or Turkey”. Abdelmajid al-Khatib, the group’s political organizer, says that Liwaa al-Umma plan to transform into a political party once the Assad regime is overthrown. He said “we envisage a party that will accept all factions, religions, and sects in Syria, including Alawites, but with an Islamic frame of reference” and added, “we want to be part of any transitional government”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liwaa_al-Umma Wikipedia on “Liwa al-Ummah”
NB: Work yet to be completed on this page.