This Associated Press article comes from reporters who spent two weeks with opposition fighters in northern Syria. It is notable because almost all of the reporting on the conflict in Syria has been through second or third parties, often from a station in neighboring Lebanon or something. The result is actual criticism of the rebel forces, as opposed to uncritical recitation of “activists” claims.
Simply put, no one is in charge.
…Rebel coordination rarely extends beyond neighboring towns and villages and never to the provincial or national level. Many rebels don’t even know the commanders in towns two hours away.
While the regime has been brutal, so have some of the rebels — another cause of concern for the West.
Opposition activists filter most information about the rebels sent outside the country, making it hard to get an accurate picture. But several groups said they had sent captured soldiers “to Cyprus,” which in rebel shorthand means execution. So many poor Syrians have died trying to reach the island that the phrase “send to Cyprus” has become synonymous with “put to death,” usually by gunfire.
One group said it had killed two brothers caught collaborating with the regime — one during interrogation, the other by firing squad.
Nothing about this account is new information, but very few mainstream accounts have detailed the deplorably fractured nature of the opposition fighters and the fact that these disparate groups continue to commit brutal crimes. Still, we have the Obama administration openly aiding and coordinating with these militias and the CIA helping to distribute arms and heavy artillery to them across the Turkish border. This is effectively a policy of regime change, a dangerous approach that is exacerbating the conflict. See here, here, and here for more on the potential for this policy to draw disastrous consequences.
Rep. Ron Paul has introduced legislation that criticizes the President for keeping Congress in the dark in his “march toward another war in the Middle East.” Unfortunately, there isn’t a chance it will gain enough congressional support.