Rebels in Syria: Hit Assad Hard or Don't Bother at All

Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery / Foter / CC BYCredit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery / Foter / CC BYAbdel Jabbar Akaidi, the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) chief for Aleppo province, has said that a limited military strike in Syria, like the one being proposed by the Obama administration, would do more harm to the opposition than good.

According to Akaidi, if the Assad regime is not dealt a significant blow Syrians will suffer when the government forces retaliate. Salim Idris, chief of staff of the FSA Supreme Military Council, hopes that any strike against Assad will not be just a “slap on the wrist.”

From Syria Deeply:

Salim Idris, the chief of staff of the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Supreme Military Council, says he hopes for a devastating strike against the regime, not just a “slap on the wrist” with little to no impact.

“There is no more room for excuses from the international community after this massacre,” says Idris, a former brigadier general in Assad’s army, who defected in July 2012. 

Abdel Jabbar Akaidi, the FSA’s chief for Aleppo province, enjoys wide support among rebel ranks. He says that a weak campaign could do more harm than good. “If the strikes target the airports, Scud missile launchers, and command and control headquarters, then they will cripple the regime,” he tells Syria Deeply.

On the other hand, “a light strike would be worse than doing nothing. If it’s not the death blow, this game helps the regime even more. The Syrian people will only suffer more death and devastation when the regime retaliates.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said something similar yesterday before a vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution on intervention in Syria. Like Akaidi and Idris, McCain said that a limited strike would not go far enough. McCain went on to vote for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s resolution after his amendment that said America's goal was to “change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria” was accepted. The committee rejected an amendment proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have declared Obama in violation of the Constitution if he orders a military strike in Syria without Congressional authorization. 

According to Syria Deeply, while some of the FSA’s leadership may want a large strike against the Assad regime many soldiers fighting in the FSA are skeptical about the Obama administration’s motives for such a strike:

But civilians and fighters living in rebel territories remain skeptical of U.S. motives for intervention. While many FSA commanders are still holding out for Western support, rank and file soldiers are cynical.

“The U.S. will not topple Assad because it is in their interest to let the regime continue fighting with the jihadists,” says a fighter named Ahmed, referring to groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, which are becoming increasingly influential on the ground.

Abu Hussein says that the FSA and regular citizens “think the Americans informed the regime of the strike targets in advance.

“We’re not going to benefit from a strike at this point, since the regime had time to prepare itself. The army and security forces have transferred their men from their headquarters and bases and stationed them in schools and hospitals and civilian areas. The only way it would be useful now is if they dealt a major blow.”

As well intended as a limited American military strike on Syria might be, some rebels are skeptical about how useful such an intervention might be and others question the Obama administration's motives.

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  • kinnath||

    The appearance of doing good is far more important to this administration than doing good.

  • Nazdrakke||

    The Dems have to bomb him or how can they explain during the next election cycle their previous embrace of such a monster? More people are going to die because certain US politicians don't want their previous actions to be used as a campaign issue.

  • CE||

    Killing a few hundred or a few thousand Syrians in response to Assad (or someone else) gassing a few hundred Syrians hardly seems like a justified response. If Assad did, killing him might be justified, if he refuses to turn himself over to the authorities for a proper trial.

    Oh, I forgot, heads of state are off limits, as a professional courtesy among thieves.

  • Nazdrakke||

    STILL NOT OUR FUCKING PROBLEM.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Godammit, Nazdrakke! Your credibility is on the line! America's credibility is on the line! The world's credibility is on the line! The only person whose credibility is not on the line is Obama's!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, you selfish, racist bastard.

  • ||

    Okay then...let's not bother.

  • Homple||

    Precisely.

  • Rhywun||

    But they're *rebels*. Rebels are cool and we want to be friends with them.

  • Hugh Akston||

    They wear those leather jackets and sunglasses indoors. Oooh our fathers would just die if they knew we were hanging out with them.

  • anon||

    Rebel scum!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The rebels didn't go to the trouble of gassing their own just to have a couple show missiles lobbed at Assad's toolshed.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I'm still laughing at the concept of the U.S. punishing a country for engaging in indiscriminate bombing. At the end of the day, what Assad allegedly did was a well-established and America-approved tactic. Traditionally, if you're fighting a major war, and you want to capture an area containing a mix of hostile troops and innocent civilians, you're left with a choice between a ground assault or bombing the shit out of the area with indiscriminate weapons. The U.S. doesn't use nerve gas for this, but US commanders sure love napalm, which is really just as grotesque a weapon. Shit, the U.S. managed to bake, broil, and otherwise cook over 100,000 civilians in one single fire-bombing raid during WWII (The Good War!). Imagine that! As many or more people than have died during the entire Syrian Civil War, all gone in one bombing raid! If anything, the U.S. should be doing tech demos to show Assad how indiscriminate bombing is really done.

  • tarran||

    Oh Jesus!

    One shriek is enough! We don't need a second one.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Shriek is busy getting all teary-eayed and salutey now that his Idol is the one doing the warmongering.

  • anon||

    That warboner ain't gonna stroke itself.

  • tarran||

    .... and into the troll bucket you go. Enjoy swimming in your pail of shit.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Are you one of the local proggies or one of the holdout neocons? I can't tell.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Navy, I think.

  • tarran||

    I recommend you not encourage it by interacting with it.

    It isn't going to interfere destructively with Shriek; their constructive interference will just make this place less pleasant.

  • Suellington||

    The second option sounds good.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Eddie: I would've been in the house saying: "Oh baby this is beautiful." "We got a chandelier hanging up here, kids outside playing. It's a beautiful neighborhood. We ain't got nothing to worry, I really love it, this is really nice."

    Loud, Disembodied Voice: GET OUT!

    Eddie: Too bad we can't stay, baby.

  • ||

    Police officer: Did you try to save your daughter Mr Murphy?

    Eddie: Yeah, I'm a man and shit. I changed the channel, the shit didn't work, I got the fuck out.

  • Hyperion||

    Putin says Kerry speak with forked tongue

    For some reason, I am leaning towards Putins version of this, or at least that the Rebels did this, and not Assad. But I never believed Kerry in the first place.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Isn't it a shame that you find a deranged megalomaniac more plausible simply because the people in your own government have lost all credibility?

  • anon||

    I was reading various headlines about Putin today and thought "Man, it's pretty sad that I like Putin more than our President."

  • Jon Lester||

    Give it time, and you won't find it sad anymore.

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, it's beyond sad. But that's what it's come to.

    Our so called leaders are all a bunch of pathological liars and criminals.

  • Virginian||

    I don't think Putin is either, quite frankly. That's what makes him so dangerous. He's methodical, intelligent, and ruthless. He's 60, so he could be in power another decade or two.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The Saudis saying yesterday, that they'd pay for the bombing of Assad and friends was a tell. The Saudis won't pay for a few dozen cruise missles to hit random wharhouses and asprin factories. They want a sustained campaign to smash the Assadian forces command and logistics infrastructure.

    But Obama isn't selling that. And I don't think he's willing to go down that path when he (or his Lurch-like mouthpeice, Kerry) can't even articulate a coherent strategy of punishment.

    Of course the Saudis, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Sunni hardliners, Shiite hardliners, random assholes and Israel are all playing high stakes, 3d chess and the Obama administration is playing Pong.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Well obviously the Syrian people don't know what's good for them any more than the American people do. Fortunately we have our Great Leader and his loyal harem in Congress who know what's best for everyone.

  • anon||

    Rebels in Syria: Hit Assad Hard or Don't Bother at All

    ftfy

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If the Syrian rebels want to make waves, maybe they can eat some more hearts and livers of Syrian troops.

  • anon||

    OT: Kathleen Sebelius talks about our "Federal Family."

    I knew I fucking hated my family for a reason...

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    It's just like a family, except my dad doesn't demand that I tribute one third of my income to him every year.

  • Jon Lester||

    Some of these rebels are currently shelling the village of Maaloula, where people are mostly Christian and still speak a dialect of Aramaic.

    I think I have an idea for restoring order to the Middle East. We should disengage from it, yank all our people out of Saudi Arabia in particular, leave the security vacuum open for China and India to fill, and announce that we won't oppose Russian retaliation for any acts of terrorism at Sochi, up to and including nuclear options.

  • anon||

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's not really off-topic.

    And that's very, very sad.

  • ||

    Seriously. What's Assad's response really going to be? "oops...sorry 'bout that Sarin gas shit. My bad. Can I just go back to blowing people up with bombs and shit? I can? Thanks, Mr. Obama Sir."

    I've yet to hear a single credible argument why anything short of an Iraq style occupation will satisfy our supposed wishful thinking (apparently cessasition of hostilities and the installation of a secular regime not affiliated with the Assad family tree).

  • anon||

    I've yet to hear a single credible argument why anything short of an Iraq style occupation will satisfy our supposed wishful thinking (apparently cessasition of hostilities and the installation of a secular regime not affiliated with the Assad family tree).

    And you're delusional if you think we have any power to stop that short of nukes from orbit.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Can I pulverize them? SURE!

    Can I burn them alive? SURE!

    Can I shred them with artillery? SURE!

    Can I drop cluster bombs and blow kids' legs off? SURE!

    Can I shoot them? SURE!

    Can I run over them with tanks? SURE!

    Hey, at least Obama has principles. No inducing respiratory failure with nerve agents! I'm sure people on the ground will be so much happier with the other means by which Assad will kill them.

  • anon||

    Funny thing is it can take hours, even days, to die from bleeding out. Weeks from infection after operation of an injury.

    Sarin is probably the *most* humane way of killing people, taking what... 5 minutes tops?

    We must ban murder that doesn't involve agonizing pain for prolonged periods of time!

  • Hyperion||

    Let's just ban career politicians, right there is your fix to almost everything.

  • anon||

    Let's just ban career politicians, right there is your fix to almost everything.

    BUT ROADZ!

  • Hyperion||

    I am sure we can have plenty of roads with all the money that they steal and misappropriate.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    That money won't get spent on roadz unless we confiscate it through taxes and then disburse it through politicians handing out construction contracts to local mafia buddies.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What, is Hillary's Clitdong supposed to be like the Antishrike?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • Hyperion||

    It's looking like this will not pass in the house. McCain and his little toady better run back over there and see if they can get the Saudis to send more chemical weapons to the rebels. Needz moar bigger pile of dead children.

  • anon||

    It's looking like this will not pass in the house.

    Yeah right. The Republicans can't pass up on an opportunity to stroke a war boner.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    But now it's a tough choice between stroking the war boner and humiliating the pretzeldent.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    As it stands, Obama doesn't have a lock on votes in the Senate.

    He needs 217 in the house to get his fig leaf for war.

    The Congressional Black Caucus typically votes no for war, but chocolate Nixon is pretty chocolatey, so it's hard to say.

    The Tea Party wants to stick a finger in Obama's eye, so they'll likely vote no.

    Votes wise, it's really up in the air.

    Personally, my talking point would be "since the President has already stated that he doesn't require the authorization of Congress either way, he doesn't need me to vote for his latest military advenure."

    Bloomberg news

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Personnally, my talking point would be "since the President has already stated that he doesn't require the authorization of Congress either way, he doesn't need me to vote for his latest military advenure."

    We don't need people to abstain as much as we need people who will vote no, but the abstainers might carry the day.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "According to Akaidi, if the Assad regime is not dealt a significant blow Syrians will suffer when the government forces retaliate."

    This is what I've been saying all along. If we attack Assad, allegedly, to punish him for using WMD against civilians, then Assad is almost bound to escalate such attacks against civilians in order to defend his credibility.

    I've been saying almost the same thing, except I've been adding that if we attack Hezbollah, and it's unlikely we hit any substantial targets that don't involve Hezbollah, then Hezbollah is bound to retaliate--against the United States!

    Those are just two ominous points on the downside--what's the upside of attacking Syria again?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and Memo to John:

    No, this does not mean the rebels want the United States to invade Syria.

    Sincerely,

    Good Sense

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