Syrian Rebels Continue To Confront The Al-Assad Regime

The Syrian civil war is a major conflict which has significantly escalated over the past 8 years into a full scale war with both national and international attention drawn to the area by a variety of both political and humanitarian issues. The conflict, originally arising from civil discontent with the Al-Assad regime, has generated a number of rebellious facets established by the general public and founded upon both cultural, political and religious dogmas. Major troupes in rebellion of the Syrian government specifically include the likes of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Islamic Front, which openly and callously contest the control and philosophies of the Syrian government. These forces are explored through various reports instigated by the BBC organization and, therefore, reflect the political upheaval experienced within the country. The FSA, established in 2011 within the Turkish borders, rapidly spread across country adopting and organizing a range of military and political campaigns against the Al-Assad Regime. The Islamic Front, established in 2013, was a party which synthesized seven separate Islamic sects into one coherent party with an estimated 45,000 fighters joining that year. Upon establishment, the Islamic Front declared its goal to completely end the Assad regime and rebuild a new Islamic state with its governance to be shared between the seven synthesized parties.

The FSA was founded upon the philosophy of local public freedoms, free from the control of the government. In 2012, the FSA aligned itself with the newly established Supreme Military Council (SMC) in an aim to become more influential than the alternative Jihadist rebel groups. The SMC contained 30 members, which represented the five fronts of Syria covering the Northern, Eastern, Western, Central and Southern areas of conflict. Each front produced a commander to the council in order to fully communicate and conduct various military missions and agendas. Characteristically, the FSA is understood to be a simple network of units united under the same cause and operates at a localized level rather then a uniformed national force. This means that operations and communications are contextualised within local areas with unique traits rather then an overarching structure which dictates local action.

The Islamic Front, founded in November 2013, is a party constituted by a fusion of seven religious parties all synthesized into one. At the time, the largest rebel group yet seen within the conflict founded its actions upon the philosophy of creating an “independent political military and social transformation [to] topple the Assad regime completely and build a new Islamic state.” In December 2013, the Islamic Front withdrew from the SMC in order to gain more control and freedoms in its aim to end the Assad regime. Characteristically, this group does not incorporate Al-Qaeda associates within its ranks such as the Islamic State from Iraq or the Levant, although potently it does accept foreign activists to join them in their fight.

The social, economic and political consequences directly produced from this war creates a clear index for the urgent need of an intervention from outside agencies to assist in the peaceful resolution within the area. There has been a huge cost of life with 400,000 deaths as of March 2018, 4.5 million people having fled the country, and 6.1 million have been internally displaced. The urgent need for diplomatic relations to be both fostered and facilitated by an external agency within the country is clear in order to move forward and protect the lives of many innocence civilians. The futility in the continuation and support of the Assad regime by the rest of the world is now a clear issue which must be similarly recognized upon a global scale in order to successfully deescalate and facilitate peace within the region.

The complexities and fluid dynamics of the Syrian civil war, with its long standing violence of political upheaval, is a clear issue which must be addressed by the global population. The sheer scale of violence, bloodshed and deaths associated within this conflict projects the issue into a broader sphere of conflicts as international involvement both of military and humanitarian nature intertwines this local issue into a global context. The rebel forces, inclusive of the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front, publicly emphasize through their violent contestations against the power of the state and represent a much wider national discontent. The vocal and physical engagements of these parties critically index the hostility, brutality and ultimate futility of the Assad regime. The Free Syrian Army and Islamic Front rebels are, thus, understood to be simple pawns located and manoeuvred within a much wider chessboard of warfare as each side continues to fight for their own survival, values and freedoms.

Ellie Willis