The so-called Islamic al-Nusra front has again been the center point of fears for many Syrians and the international community. As the New York Times reports, members of the Nusra Front attacked the northern Syrian city of Saraqib. Thereby, they threatened the local governance system put up by Syrians in many regions of Syria in order to organize themselves without control of the Baath regime. It is stated that a cultural club and a social work office were raided but that local people from Saraqib showed significant resistance to these attempts of gaining control over the already rebelheld city. Townspeople called them even ‘Shabiha’, a term used mainly for the Assad forces. By demonstrating against them, the people of Saraqib made clear they will not accept the interference of non-local Islamic groups at a low cost.
Meanwhile Prince Turki al-Faisal from Saudi-Arabia, a former spy chief, identifies more jihadis in the Syrian opposition and calls for the international community to support the Syrian opposition to prevent jihadis from gaining influence. It would be important to make sure that precise and sophisticated weapons are at use against Assad and that these should be given “to the good guys”, namely not to jihadist groups such as al-Nusra. King Abdullah of Jordan even went so far as to say that “The new Taliban we are going to have to deal with will be in Syria,” according to the Guardian.
However, how power dynamics will evolve within Syria not only depends on the international community who sides with the opposition but also on Syria’s main allies, Russia and Iran.
“Iran considers any attack against Syria an attack on itself”, quotes the Huffington Post a government official reaffirms Iran’s support for the Syrian regime. Legitimizing this support, Iran claims the Syrian Regime to be central to the resistance to Israel. Contrary to this statement, the Russian Prime Minister Medvedev seems less convinced in his support for Syria. Medvedev is quoted as having said to Assad: “I personally called Assad a few times and said ‘You need to start reforms, you need to sit at the negotiating table.’ Unfortunately, the Syrian authorities turned out not to be ready for this.” While Medvedev sees the power of the Regime of Assad declining, it is not stated whether he still continues to support the regime in either way.
The newspaper ‘The Guardian’ reports from the region of Lattakia which is more and more becoming a battleground. As one theory of the Syrian opposition says, Assad’s last option might be to return to Qardaha in Lattakia, the heartland of the Allawite Community. Therefore rebels are focusing more and more on this region. The underlying logic is to fight regime forces in Lattakia which are the most loyal to Assad. Consequentially, a rebel leader said: “There is no way Bashar can win the war if he loses there.”
Turning to the humanitarian crisis, the German newspaper ‘TAZ’ points out that there is still an urgent need for financial support in order to lessen the humanitarian crisis. While it is stated that only 3.2 percent of the required 1,5 billion Dollars have been accumulated, Britain just announced 21 pound million extra for humanitarian help. More Hopes for the accumulation of a significant amount of money rest on the upcoming conference in Kuwait which will take place next Wednesday.