US-backed militia groups now fighting each other in Syria

Richard Spencer writes in The Telegraph:

If anywhere can show the consequences of American foreign policy under President Barack Obama, it may be the small town of Marea, north of Aleppo.

In the course of the last five years, it has seen Assad regime tanks roll through from the south, firing shells through its houses.

It has been repeatedly attacked from the east by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). On occasion it has been bombed from the air by the regime and shelled from the ground by Isil on the same day.

Now its rebel defenders are fighting Isil, the regime, Russian bombers, and a new enemy, the Syrian Kurdish militia the YPG, all at once.

America is calling for a ceasefire. But it is not clear whether even if one were declared, it would stop any of those enemies from attacking Marea.

A “cessation of hostilities” was supposed to come into force on Friday, but the fighting in Marea and everywhere else in Syria continued. The rebel opposition said on Saturday that it agreed to one “in principle” but was still waiting to see if Russia and the regime would stop bombing.

“The deadline set in Munich for a cessation of hostilities has passed without response from Russia or the regime,” its spokesman, Salem al-Meslet, said.

“To date, every time the international community has placed its faith in regime and Russian promises of good faith, the streets of Aleppo, Homs and so many other towns and villages across our country have run red with the blood.”

It is not new to say that the war in Syria has become a complex mess, spiralling out of control.

Analysts – and many American diplomats who have left the administration, some in disgust – say that the mess is a consequence of President Obama’s decision to support the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, but only half-heartedly.


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