Obama bombs non-ISIS groups in Syria to help Assad
who Obama wanted to overthrow last year.
(London Telegraph) - The United States has broadened its air campaign in Syria, hitting a faction once seen as part of a mainstream rebel alliance not part of either al-Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The attack on Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist group which has been backed by Qatar and which has been allied to a number of mainstream rebel brigades, is likely to further complicate Syria's multidimensional war.
Rebel groups reacted angrily to the bombing, as they did to a separate attack against the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra group, which is reported to have killed civilians including at least two children.
Activists in the border town of Harem posted footage of the small and bloodied corpse of a young boy amid the rubble of a Jabhat al-Nusra base there.
A member of a foreign aid organisation, who asked not to be named but was in the town at the time of the air strike, confirmed to The Telegraph that it had caused civilian casualties.
Rebel groups expected - though in many cases opposed - US bombing raids against Isil. But they have been angered by the strikes against Jabhat and Ahrar, saying they are primarily fighting the Assad regime, and that the attacks are helping his cause.
Ahrar al-Sham in particular fell out badly with Isil last year, led the fighting against it when it was driven out of many opposition areas last January, and is also valued for its strong track record of fighting against the Syrian regime.
Rebels, including those backed by the US, said the raids were likely to turn local public opinion further against the American intervention and drive more people into the arms of hardline jihadist organisations.
"This only makes things more difficult for the international coalition," said Khaled Saleh, the Secretary General of Harakat Hazm, one of the principle rebel groups to receive US military support.
"The patience of the Syrian street is running out. They wonder why everyone is bombing them, and now, when an attack comes they don't know if it's from the regime or from the US-led coalition."
An Ahrar al-Sham spokesman issued a statement on Thursday confirming that the group's headquarters in Babsaqa, near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing in Idlib province, had been hit.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group also confirmed the raid and activist video and photos claimed to be from the scene showed a large explosion and a building collapsed into rubble.Read More . . . .
The Islamic State and Hezbollah Fight For Lebanon
As the Islamic State massacred its way throughout Iraq and Syria this summer, a separate battle took place in neighboring Lebanon.
This summer, the Islamic State invaded the Lebanese border town of Arsal, beheading captured soldiers and unleashing waves of lethal car bombs, destabilizing the country. Hezbollah, one of the world's strongest guerrilla armies, has also become involved — either defending Lebanon, or making things worse, depending on who you ask.