Sunday, January 27, 2013

Secular and pislamic activists clash in Syria

The tensions had been simmering for months in the northern Syrian town of Sarakib. Civilian antigovernment activists had complained of rebel fighters needlessly destroying a milk factory and treating residents disrespectfully. A growing contingent of jihadist fighters from the ideologically extreme and militarily formidable Nusra Front was suspicious of the activists’ secular, nonviolent agenda
On Thursday, mistrust erupted into confrontation. Masked koranimals believed to be with Al Nusra raided the headquarters of two secular civilian grass-roots organizations — setting in motion one of the most dramatic tests yet of the makeshift system of local governance that civilians and fighters have established in Sarakib, a rebel-held town

Sarakib, in the early days of fighting

The dispute also tests the clout of jihadist koranimals and the ability of civilian opposition groups to stand up to them. The increasingly prominent role of koranderthal battalions on the battlefield in Syria worried the United States enough to blacklist Al Nusra last year as a terrorist organization, an effort to isolate it that may have backfired. The Syrian opposition is ambivalent about the group: while many antigovernment activists oppose its vision of a pislamic state and complain of attempts to enforce pious practices, its relatively steady arms supply and string of battleground victories have brought it respect
News report here.