The Syrian opposition finds itself in increasingly dire straights and this past year has proved to be especially difficult. So far, the long promised Western Aid has not materialized in any discernable fashion. Of course, a notable exception to this is on the so called “Southern Front” where supplies and programs run out of Qatar and Jordan do appear to be creating noticeable results. Arms shipments in this area are sent directly to vetted groups and Qatar hosts a training camp that is run by the United States that reportedly brings in a small amount of moderate opposition fighters at a time. It is also important to remember that a joint intelligence/coordination center is hosted in nearby Amman, Jordan with input from the USA, the UK and France.
However, the situation in Northern Syria has gone from bad to worse. The opposition in Aleppo is yet again on the brink of collapse. In Idlib, a devastating and embarrassing blow was dealt to the Saudi/US linked groups called the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and Harakat Hazzm by the Al Qaeda linked Al Nusra Front. It is clear that the FSA linked groups were on a steep decline. The Islamic Front is not functioning much better and has started to shown severe cracks that have resulted in infighting. The Salafist Linked Ahrar al Sham has proved to be the dominant force in the Islamic Front.
In early August, some of the western linked FSA groups and a few of the Islamic Front groups began a process of reconciliation titled the Watasimo Initiative. The goal was to provide an alternative or outright replace the failed FSA linked institutions, especially the almost completely discredited Syrian Military Council. This project has expanded to include almost every single major opposition group in the FSA, the SRF and the Islamic Front and is now titled the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council. Perhaps most importantly, Ahrar al Sham has apparently decided to throw its lot in with the RCC. Ahrar al Sham perhaps more then any non-Jihadist group has the capacity for “State Building”. The challenge for all involved now is to come together and find a working solution. It is important to remember that the RCC contains groups like the Salafist Ahrar al Sham, US vetted Syrian Muslim Brotherhood linked groups like Jaish Mujahideen (Army of the Mujahideen) and secular groups like the SRF and Harakat Hazzm. In order for the RCC to be successful, some common ground must be found and this often proved to be extremely difficult for the Syrian Opposition so far.
Announcement of the formation of the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council